GREAT SACRIFICES OF THE INTERNET

Alec Baldwin’s Twitter Account Dies So, Like Jesus, Alec Baldwin Can Have His Twitter Resurrection

How happy is this man right now? (Photo: Hulu)

As Betabeat continues our ’round-the-clock Alec Baldwin Twitter Fiasco coverage, we have reached a crucial breaking point: in the wake of his being ejected from an airplane for playing Words For Friends when he wasn’t supposed to, Mr. Baldwin—the Glengarry Glen Ross actor who once called his 11 year-old daughter a “rude, thoughtless little pig“—has left Twitter. And plans on coming back. Read More

Hackers Beware

Hacker Poll Finds Stock Options Are a Risky Bet

There is an informal poll running on Paul Graham’s Hacker News right now asking startup workers about their experience with stock options.

“Just want to see how much people earn actual cash from their employee stock options. If you joined a startup as an employee and had some stock options, how much did you earn during exit or IPO?”

The most common response by far: None – my stock option vanished and don’t own any Read More

Venture Capitalism

Master Pivoter Fab.com Lands a $200M. Valuation for Flash Sales on Design Items

Fab founder Jason Goldberg

Boosting your valuation by $175 million dollars in six months? Nice work if you can get it. Almost immediately after pivoting from a social network for gay men into a flash sales site for well-designed furniture, jewelry, and other items, Fab.com picked up an $8 million investment at a $25 million valuation. But its latest round of funding puts those already bubbilicious numbers to shame.

Andreessen Horowitz, never a VC firm to shy away when the valuations get sky high, just “plowed” $40 million into Fab.com at an astounding $200 million valuation. At this rate, it’ll reach a billion by, oh, let’s say next Christmas? Read More

the startup rundown

Startup News: Black Techies Meetup is Tonight

Mr. Wanamaker.

DIVERSITY. Black Techies Meetup is tonight. “This meetup exists because I was damn tired of being the only black person at other tech meetups,” says Tumblr dev Kyle Wanamaker. “We aim to be a network of developers in NYC interested in becoming better, learning from each other and networking. Developers of all skill levels are welcome, from experienced hardcore, neckbeard hackers, to n00bs. If you want to be awesome, or more awesome, I hope you can find yourself at home here.” 7 p.m., at Tumblr’s HQ. Read More

IP Uh Oh

The Zynga Pre-IPO Alec Baldwin Effect Question: Answered, Affirmatively

What's the term IPO MANIA worth in Words With Friends scoring?

Yesterday, the world took note of a revolution brewed in the skies—or ten feet from an airport gate—when Glengarry Glen Ross actor Alec Baldwin stood up for an entire populace of belligerent, gadget-tethered humans and revolted against the oppressive goosestepping of flight attendants who want you to turn your iPad off when airplanes taxi out of runways. He did it by refusing to stop playing Zynga’s ‘Scrabble’-copycat, Words With Friends. Read More

Q&A

Conquering the CHAOS of Online Community at Stack Exchange

The CHAOS team in action

When Stack Overflow was created in 2008 as a forum for questions about computer programming, there was no need to worry about understanding the community. Co-founders Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood had long and storied histories working in the software industry. But as the Stack Overflow blossomed into Stack Exchange, a group of more than 70 sites covering topics from photography to parenting to cooking, they found that groups of humans do not respond well to being managed by an algorithm.

Everyone knows the drill. A community springs up online, leaders naturally emerge, and their commitment earns them the right to become moderators. But over time whatever small biases these folks bring with them are amplified in the minds of new users, until the inevitable charges of fascism begin to fly and a full-on flame war breaks out.

Is it possible to find a formula for combating this decline? In a row of two desks at the far end of the Stack Exchange office, just off the ping pong table, sits the CHAOS team (Cheerful Helpful Advocates of Stack), a group of community managers who spend their days experimenting in the laboratory of human interaction. “We’re trying to derive some universal principles about how to grow a community on the internet that can govern itself and regenerate after a conflict,” said CHAOS member Abby Miller. “So far we’ve learned that there are no universal principles.” Read More

Metro Tech

Mayor Bloomberg’s Office: Facebook Did Not Receive Any Incentives to Open an Engineering Office in NYC

Mr. Bloomberg, flanked by Facebook's Serkan Piantino and Sheryl Sandberg

When Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told a crowd of reporters last week that Facebook would be opening its first engineering office outside Palo Alto right here in New York, it sounded like the Bloomberg administration’s dream come true. Could the West Coast tech giants finally be taking New York seriously as an innovation center, rather than just a convenient base to sidle up to advertisers?

Indeed, earlier this year, the Economic Development Corporation said its goal in accepting bids to build an applied sciences campus in New York was to “increase the probability that the next high growth company—a Google, Amazon, or Facebook—will emerge in New York City and not in Shanghai, Mumbai, or Sao Paolo.” An engineering office from a company on the verge of what might be the biggest IPO in history sounds like the next best thing. What’s more, Facebook seemed so confident about luring technical talent (typically a sore spot with New York techies) that they weren’t waiting for the campus to break ground.

Facebook’s decision was so glaringly aligned with the city’s goal of diversifying into an innovation capital that it was hard not to wonder if New York had tried to sweeten the deal. Read More

It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It

Zuckerberg Squeeze Priscilla Chan is Clarifying Her Relationships

(facebook.com)

Everything we need to know about Mark Zuckerberg’s longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan, we can learn from Facebook. She likes John Mayer, Tyra Banks and National Geographic. She speaks Cantonese. She is from Braintree, Massachussetts. Has she ever pictured a brain snagged in a tree? Guess there are some things Facebook can’t tell us.

But if there’s one thing Facebook knows, it’s the list of everyone you care about (and probably where they live). Recently, Ms. Chan took the time to describe her relationships with other people on Facebook. And although her favorite quotations include an exchange with some students emphasizing that she is unmarried, Ms. Chan considers Mr. Zuckerberg her “partner” and his mother, her mother. Read More