Overview of My Work Experience
I began working professionally on the Web in 1995, as a Web producer (now called program manager or product manager depending on the company) and haven’t looked back. These were heady times – I founded the Seattle chapter of Webgrrls the same year, and subsequently the Seattle chapter of Linuxchix ( in both cases I looked for the parent organization to steer me to a Seattle chapter and they said,” You will have to start one.”)
My first project for seattletimes.com – a Martin Luther King Jr. site – pioneered the use of animated gifs, audio clips, and then-rare email exchanges between students – in this case between students in Kent, Washington and students in Birmingham, Alabama. Since then I’ve tried to take jobs that have pushed the envelope -from a home automation company, devising new project management software, driving an online community platform for a b2b startup. My Microsoft career has focused on social applications – from getting employees onto a companywide blogging platform when most companies were afraid to let employees blog, to a question-answer community application with reputation and game mechanics, to launching a site where developers could write games and sell them on Xbox LIVE marketplace. I wrote a 2D game called “When Cods Collide” in C# both as an exercise I could blog about and also to test our indie games publishing platform (part 1, part 2) .
In 2009 I was lured to business side of v 1.0 projects by a general manager at Microsoft and became an embedded engineer inside a PR team, thanks to my social media experience, Live Search engineer experience, and the little-known fact I’d been a newspaper reporter before entering the tech field. On the engineering side, I launched Bing’s community feature (now http://blogs.bing.com) as well as devised social media strategies for Bing’s launch. Since then, I’ve worked on multiple community outreach projects, including a Webby-award-winning education reform Web site, a yearlong booster program for startups, and a “social hackathon” that brought together tech industry rockstars to help DonorsChoose.org. The resulting ebook and videos, featured at our SXSW panel, were useful to nonprofits and startups alike.
I gradually got an itch to return to engineering, however, and joined Bing’s Whole Page relevance team, leading a team that brings competitive insights into the Bing product. Once I scaled that to the entire Bing organizations, I went on to lead a year-long Election 2016 project, collaborating with other Microsoft teams to bring an experience that not only focused on primary and general election results, but showed users the flow from campaign spending into specific states, as well as social media listening trends on the 10 top issues of the presidential campaign.
Later in 2016 I took at senior technical program manager role at Hulu.com, where I currently work on a proprietary metrics platform.
For the most recent career materials and updates see my LinkedIn profile here. which has most of my online blogs/publications. If you want to see what I’m up to on social media, follow me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/baoki.
Sampling of Press Coverage
Betsy Aoki: Microsoft Women Worth Watching, ZDNet, Mary Jo Foley
Betsy Aoki Brings Social To Search At Bing, Gregory Ferenstein, Fast Company
Organization Offers Women in Technology a Web of Support, Los Angeles Times