It’s time to talk to Ben Gaines – a man whose claim of musical multi-tasking has driven me to look in vain for video evidence. I will not give up…
Benjamin, tell the nice readers some things about you.
I was born and raised just outside of Boston and still consider myself a “New England expatriate living abroad” south of Salt Lake City. I consistently annoy my Twitter followers with updates about the Red Sox and the Patriots. I got my start in analytics at Utah.com, where I did a little bit of SEO along with some basic analysis for the best tourism site in the state. I joined Omniture (now Adobe) in April 2006 in the ClientCare organization before moving into Community Management where I helped start up and grow the Omniture user community. After graduating with an MBA from the University of Utah, I moved into Product Management, working with Adobe SiteCatalyst and DigitalPulse. I’m a husband and proud father of two brilliant girls. In high school, my sports trivia submissions were featured on SportsCenter’s “Did You Know?” segment twice. I play a mean rendition of “Piano Man” by Billy Joel during which I sing and play both the piano and the harmonica.
Ben gains what, exactly?
(I’m sure that’s not the first time you’ve heard that one, but please humour me)
My mother used to say that my first son should be named “Capital.” The original (from second-grade summer camp) is “Ben gains weight,” which is sad but true.
What do you know about Project Jojoba, and how much do you support it?
I need 100% of my oxygen (not just 7%), so I pledge my heart and soul to Project Jojoba. To paraphrase Ghostbusters, “There is no Michele. . . only Jojoba.”
What is the worst question you’ve ever been asked in a job interview?
I can’t remember a question that was truly bad, but I will tell you my least favorite common interview question. It is, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” My favorite answer to that question: “Well, first of all, I hope to be one of the survivors.” And just leave it at that.
In all seriousness, I don’t like the idea of telling your hiring manager what you think your next step is. I value loyalty highly and I expect that others do, too; if I’m interviewing for a job (as I did when I moved to Product Management), I want my potential future manager to know that I’m not trying to use the job as a stepping stone. I understand what they’re going for with this question, but that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy answering it.
Who is your superhero-sans-cape in the web analytics community and why?
There are a ton, and I could take this in many different directions, but today I’ll go with the guys who take time out of their busy day to help out fellow analysts on Twitter or other social platforms. In the Adobe/Omniture world, these are people like Adam Greco, Rudi Shumpert, Andreas Dierl, Kevin Rogers, and the inimitable Jason Thompson, plus many others whom I don’t have space to name. They understand more than just the tools; they understand analytics and organizations, and how to help the two mesh. It’s special when you see them reach out to a confused user who doesn’t even know that there is a vibrant community waiting to help him or her. Also, shout-out to Jorgen Sorensen (@OmnitureCare) and François Coquemont (@OmnitureFC), who have picked up the ball with our community management effort and run with it.