Featured on Jun 28, 2011
"I'm not the guy painted gold."
I'm an entrepreneur with over 10 years experience as a search engine optimization specialist and web strategist. I also throw a monthly party for NY people in tech called Tech Drinkup. I've spent the last year working on my startup social network for members of private country clubs.
- Title: SEO Specialist / Entrepreneur
- Age: 32
- Location: Midtown
- Contact: @michaelgold
How did you get into SEO? What is the most engaging thing about working as an SEO specialist and web strategist?
I started in search engine optimization and web strategy back in 2001 after launching a community website for New York City DJs. Initially, I offered SEO services to clients based on the lessons I learned running this website and my experience working at a software company developing and analyzing web reports for a Java / Oracle based enterprise web app.
The most engaging thing about being an SEO and web strategist is working and partnering with people that I find interesting, influential, and brilliant. I'm not just sitting behind a computer screen all day; I'm sitting down with my clients, figuring out what makes their businesses tick, and helping them attract more customers from the search results. As an entrepreneur myself, I find this incredibly rewarding.
My personal highlight so far was being asked to give tips for a Mashable feature article on optimizing text ads for search.
How do you go about choosing the “exclusive NYC venues” for your monthly Tech Drinkup parties? What has been your favorite venue so far and why?
I've learned a lot of secrets about throwing parties in NYC from a friend of mine who's a nightlife event planner. He and I partner on techdrinkup together. When we decide on a venue, we try to find a place that is new, interesting, fun, and will give us a really great deal on drink specials and food for our party.
I keep the parties invite-only, limited to people working in the tech space. This does make the venues seem more exclusive; but the real goal is to create an environment where everyone has a lot in common and a lot to talk about.
My favorite place so far has been POP in the Meatpacking District. They have awesome sliders and the last time we were there we met Carmelo Anthony. If he had hung out longer to speak with everyone at my party, he probably would be THE smartest pro athlete on Twitter right now.
What’s your favorite piece in monopoly?
I'm always the shoe. If I'm not the shoe, I'm not playing. We also have to play that landing on "Free Parking" wins $500.
When did you start Clubster? At that time, how did you determine that private country club members saw value in a social networking site separate from Facebook?
I got a random phone call from two guys in Texas who were interested in building a social network on a clubster.com, a domain I owned. They were both entrepreneurs with decades of experience in the private club industry. After flying down to Texas to meet with them, I was convinced that they had a winning idea.
We started planning Clubster in 2010 and, with no product developed, got a trade show booth at the club manager's industry trade show just a few months later. We spoke with country club GMs and confirmed that there was an enormous market; country clubs were searching for social media tools to communicate with their members, but were hesitant about sacrificing member privacy to websites like Facebook and Twitter. We've since had over 200 private clubs sign up to use Clubster and are actively developing the website and mobile apps.