Backstage pass: An Interview with Keren Zohar, Kontera’s HR Manager


June 11, 2009

kerenzKeren Zohar has been with Kontera for over two years, during which she managed HR operations and has overseen many organizational changes that accompanied Kontera’s corporate growth.  It was a pleasure to meet with Keren to learn more about Kontera’s recruitment and get a few tips about looking for a job as well as getting your foot in the door at Kontera.  In Keren’s personal life, she is a proud newlywed, and this is a great chance to wish her and husband the best–all the happiness and success to both.

With the current economic and employment market situation and implications, have there been changes in trends regarding  the way people execute a job hunt?  Anything creative or new you’ve seen?

There’s no question that people see a tighter gap of competition for a position.  We are seeing more applications coming in all the time.  This of course brings a new level in qualifications of experience, education, and other hiring criteria.  I also have found that people are really taking their job search further—they are utilizing and leveraging all their resources; essentially “anything goes”.  People have expanded their job hunts to rely more heavily on social media and online networking as a supplement to traditional means for searching.

We don’t want anyone to feel discouraged, so maybe you can clue us in:  as an HR manager of an online network, what strategies do you best relate with for finding the right candidate?

I search the web and use different recruiting strategies to find good candidates or potential employees.  When using the web, LinkedIn is a very useful tool, as it makes desirable web professionals more accessible and easy to contact directly without the need for a recruiting agency as a middle man. I also join and take part in professional and other relevant forums and in several Facebook groups  that enable me to reach a broader spectrum of candidates.   Like many companies, we also rely a great deal on our current employees and business partners to bring in fresh faces for our team.

Based on your experience, what defines someone well fit for Kontera?

First and foremost, we’re looking for people who have an aptitude for technology and are truly passionate about the web. Kontera  wants individuals who can demonstrate their passion for the web right off the bat.  A team-player attitude and willingness to be dynamic with their position are crucial traits.  Like the Internet, the company is evolving constantly, rapidly, and always presenting a new twist.  Employees should be ready for new challenges and get excited about them.  We work hard, but it’s important for us to keep the office environment fun and light—we’re looking for people who will contribute to making our coffee breaks and lunch time fun.

Since you are the first person to interview prospective employees, I’m sure you’ve seen all sorts of interviews, good and bad.  Any examples or tips as to do or not when interviewing?

Assuming that you want to get hired please turn off your cell phone before the interview begins… Another hint – if you forgot to do so – taking that call is not a good idea either :-) . On a more serious note – there’s the obvious rule of thumb: come prepared!  Research the company you are interviewing with so that you know what you’re getting into and they know you’re serious.  It’s always good to get familiar with the market competitors so you can demonstrate a wider knowledge of the company’s challenges.  Work out your “sales pitch”, explain why you are the best possible candidate for a position, be ready to include facts that will promote your “personal  brand” into the answers you are giving the recruiter. Mention your successes and initiatives, but try not to come off arrogant – balance is key.

We’re looking for confident, energetic people where the resume and personality meet to reflect the way you’ll deal with our work environment.  For the most part,  recruiters are looking for focused people—those that present themselves with confidence and send out a message that they’re the best match for the position.

Bottom line, is Kontera hiring?

Absolutely – we’re always on the lookout for talented people and have recently opened a few positions in our US and Israel offices, which you can read more about in our Careers page.

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Tags: Categories: Company News, Inside Kontera, Interviews, LinkedIn, Uncategorized

Kontera’s April Publisher of the Month: Hairpedia.com


April 14, 2009

A bad hair day is bound to ruin anyone’s mood. One way to avoid this is to frequently visit Hairpedia.com.

Publisher of the Month

Hairpedia.com has been chosen as Kontera’s April Publisher of the Month for being the ultimate source for all things hair. The site contains multiple strands of advice including celebrity styles, do’s for every occasion, an updated fashion news section, and a bountiful selection of beauty tips.  And the good news is ContentLink ads complement all hair types!

hairpedia-small

We had a lot of fun playing around with the hair games and found the virtual hairstylist page which allows you to get a preview of your hair-to-come, to be a fun resource. You wouldn’t believe it, but some of our programmers looked really good with Gwen Stefani’s platinum blonde up-do :) .

We’re pleased to have had a chance to sit down with site owners, Aaron and Jason, the people behind this great site, to talk more about hairpedia.com.

What inspired you to start Hairpedia.com?

Aaron’s wife is a hairstylist, and about 3 years back while working on her website we decided to start a Hairstyle/Fashion website of our own that would improve upon other websites we saw out there.  Plus, we saw how profitable the internet could be from a friend who was doing well online.  With the 10+ years of computer and internet experience we thought it would be a great time to start a web business to complement our computer networking business.

new-celebrtity-hairstylesThe fashion/beauty industry is extremely dynamic, and we all know that designers are constantly changing their looks, what is the best way to keep up with these ever-changing trends?

We keep up with fashion and hairstyles primarily by watching celebrity trends and going to fashion and hair shows whenever possible. Since Aaron’s wife is a hairstylist she is constantly aware and updating us on new styles. We also have other family and friends in the hair industry so it helps us stay up to date on the latest trends.

Hairpedia.com covers a highly popular niche.  With that said, are there any specific times periods in the year where hair and fashion connoisseurs research at a note-worthy rate?

We always see a lot of traffic around prom and homecoming and during the spring and summer we receive the highest traffic of the year.

As the web springs up with hundreds of new beauty/hair sites every day, can you provide us insight on how you’ve successfully developed hairpedia.com as a leading site in this niche?

We recently redesigned our site to better align with web 2.0 and we continue to expand our site with new features and fun information to stay ahead of the competition.

When did you start monetizing Hairpedia and what role does In-Text advertising play in your overall monetization strategy?

We started monetizing the site as soon as it was created and loved Kontera’s In-text advertising as it complements our profits without adding clutter to the site. Using ContentLink is a great way to add profits and give our visitors more options for products and services.

What sort of responses have you been getting from Hairpedia users with regards to the various types of advertising you employ?

We have not received much response to our advertising, so I guess you can say it’s good since we haven’t had complaints!

With the recent addition of fun hair games to your site, what else can users expect to see in the future when surfing Hairpedia.com?

We hope our visitors keep our site bookmarked and keep coming back because we are developing and adding more features very soon.  One is a user social networking type user area where people can save their favorite styles to review later, or share with other users, and add their own style to allow other people to give them tips and even ask our experts for tips.  We also will have contests for best prom hair, and contests for other events.  Also more weekly celebrity hairstyles and our picks for the best celebrity hairstyle of the week…

The Kontera Publisher of the Month series kicked off in January of 2009. A publisher is selected from Kontera’s network each month and provides an insider’s perspective on what it takes to manage a successful site. To learn more visit the Publisher of the Month Category.
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Categories: Publisher of the Month, Uncategorized

Kontera Update


April 07, 2009

As we informed before, Kontera has recently updated its Terms of Service (TOS) to ensure that we conform to the industry’s current legal standards while addressing publisher feedback and needs.

After releasing our updated TOS we’ve received some publisher feedback pertaining to an existing clause. The clause, stating a $5 earnings minimum in order for revenues to be rolled over to the next month, though not a new addition, raised some concerns among a small yet important segment of our publisher community.

Since publisher feedback is highly important to us and as a result, we’ve decided to remove this clause from our TOS effective April 1st 2009.

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Categories: Uncategorized

In Text Advertising and User Experience


February 09, 2009

Within the constantly evolving online world, some norms are re-examined every time a new technology, beyond a certain size and scope of influence, is introduced. In other words, most new technologies undergo some period of “evaluation” by users, upon first emerging into the market; a period which could last from months to years.  If you recall the discussion around RSS earlier in the decade, quite a few site owners and bloggers at the time were concerned with their content being republished and read elsewhere, while their site does not gain the visits for the content.  It took some time before web publishers fully accepted the outweighing benefits of RSS, one being the fact that it enables a greater reach and thus a greater readership for their content.  The benefits that RSS afforded to users, proved to be an advantage to publishers as well.

Something similar has happened with In-Text Advertising. In-Text became widespread as its benefits became well known.  If we look back to earlier in the decade, In-Text Advertising was causing some controversy as some prominent websites, began to display ads and information, within their content.  As quoted on iMedia, “The problem that caused the controversy in In-Text Advertising had more to do with the medium in which it appeared than with the message.”  It was not so much an issue with the advertisement as with the new medium through which they were served.  In the case of Kontera’s In-Text, the benefits to advertisers and to publishers are well known. But as Kontera’s philosophy is three fold, we wanted to highlight the main benefit In-Text hold for users. Indeed, in the last few years, Kontera’s contextual advertising technology has proved its advantages to users by offering a distinct added value- access to highly relevant ads and information that is in sync with the most current interest and state of mind of the reader.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of In-Text lies in the fact that it suits today’s dynamic online mode of work. We are already a different type of online user than we were even 5 years ago.   We refer to the contemporary multi-tasking user.  We know all about the- multi tabbing, multi window, updating my Facebook while completing chart on excel- mode of work.  Considering this, it’s really not surprising that In-Text has earned its popularity over the past few years.  With the possibility of being in more than one place at a time, finding access to extended information while being engaged with content, Kontera’s In Text brings an added value to today’s online user.

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Tags: Categories: In Content Advertising, Uncategorized

Holiday Spirit at Kontera, Adopt-a-Family Program


January 08, 2009

Kontera Christmas cartTo get into the spirit this holiday season, Kontera adopted a local family through Compass Community Services, who provides housing, education and employment services to San Francisco’s homeless and at-risk families. Kontera adopted family of six and our employees purchased gifts from the family’s wish list, ranging from gift cards to provide the family with a healthy holiday feast, to shoes, robes, teddy bears and knitting needles. We wrapped the presents just like Santa’s elves would, and then placed them under the Kontera tree for delivery to the family.  Kontera’s participation in the adopt-a-family program helped to provide thousands of presents for over 150 families, including 250 children. At Kontera, we really enjoyed celebrating a season of giving, and look forward to more community service activities in the future.  Thank you to our publishers and advertisers who help make our generosity possible.  We couldn’t do it without you!

Compass Community Services
Each year, Compass fills the needs of more than 3,000 low-income and homeless parents and children. Its services include intake and referral to shelter, emergency shelter, transitional housing, and childcare – in addition to a broad spectrum of counseling, parenting education, prevention, and support services. With its deep understanding of homelessness and personalized support, Compass helps clients regain a solid footing and move toward long-term stability.

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