Skinner

SEOmoz continues to grow, with CEO Rand Fishkin telling a crowd of entrepreneurs that the Seattle upstart is on pace to hit $18 million in revenue this year. Now, the maker of software to manage SEO efforts has hired Anthony Skinner as CTO to help manage the technical operations. Skinner, who most recently worked for MediaNet Digital, a New York company that powered music services such as Turntable.fm and Zune, said he was attracted to SEOMoz because of its commitment to TAGFEE. What’s that?

It’s the guiding principles that make up the company: Transparent and Authentic, Generous, Fun, Empathetic, and Exceptional.

“It is not just lip service or a poster on the wall,” said Skinner, who started at the company three months ago but whose arrival was not previously reported. Skinner also said he was attracted to the company because of the challenges of processing big data using the cloud, and its openness about the revenue run rate.

“The startups  I have worked at in the past  are only open about revenue when they start layoffs,” he said.

The appointment of Skinner — who studied computer science and economics at Whitman College — follows the departure last November of Kate Matsudaira who left to become CTO of Seattle startup Decide.com.

Jay Thompson

Zillow continues to bolster its ranks, especially when it comes to the relationships it has with real estate agents and brokerages. Last month, the Seattle online real estate company hired Bob Bemis — the former chief executive officer of Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service — as vice president of partner relations. And this week the company is going back to Arizona, picking up the talented real estate agent and blogger Jay Thompson as the company’s new director of industry outreach and social media.

Well respected in the industry, Thompson is best known for his 7-year-old blog The Phoenix Real Estate Guy. In that blog, Thompson said that he joined Zillow because he loves a challenge, and loves working “with ridiculously smart people.”

He continues: “Believe me, I know what some agents think of Zillow. I got yelled at on the NAR Annual trade show floor for wearing a Zillow t-shirt (which BTW is too small now. Wonder if I can get a new one? Or a hoodie!). Granted, I have freely admitted that I don’t fully understand the fear of Zillow some seem to have (I wrote this almost five years ago. And this, over five years ago). I think it’s mostly the unknown. Or the misunderstood. So what say we try to fix that?”

Kevin Rose

Digg founder Kevin Rose has joined Google, along with several of the other employees who worked at the startup incubator Milk, reports All Things D. The news comes after Rose announced that Milk’s first project, a mobile application called Oink which we once featured as our App of the Week and competed with the likes of Trover, was shutting down.  As VentureBeat previously reported, Milk was backed by Google Ventures, so there are obviously some close ties there.  Rose also is a prominent angel investor, holding stakes in companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, Fab.com and Coffee & Power. Meanwhile, TechCrunch reports that Google paid under $15 millon for the team, a high price which occurred in part because of a bidding war with Facebook.

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