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Myles Tanzer

startup rundown

Startup News: Quora Gets Bloggy and Foursquare Gets Down to Business

Screen shot 2013-01-30 at 11.27.52 AM

Do We Really Need More Blogs? For the last three years, Quora has been the site for headsdown homebodies to ask their fellow coding brethren about what it’s like to go outside. But the company has recently announced two new developments that show a shift of attention to writers. The question site now has plans to include blogs. Quora has also announced the release of a rich text editor for their mobile app which should help Quora users ask bolded crazy questions while they’re on the go. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Etsy Goes Shopping for a Twee App Maker and Dwolla Goes to the Gov

Mr. Vinh (Photo: Tumblr.com)

Shopping Site Goes Shopping Back in 2011, Khoi Vinh, the former design director for The New York Times’s website, attempted to launch an iPad collage maker called Mixel that even Taylor Swift would love. The interface was kind of clunky, and the company soon pivoted to a smoother iPhone product, which became fairly successful. And now Mixel has been acquired by the custom product giant Etsy.

No, you won’t be creating any collages of your twee collectables any time soon. According to AllThingsD, The Mixel team is being acquired for its stellar mobile talents. Mr. Vinh and his cofounder Scott Ostler, along with employees Akiva Leffert and Roy Stanfield, will all make the move to Etsy’s Brooklyn offices. Mixel will be shutting down the social side of its app, but will leave up its collage-making tool. In an email to Betabeat, Etsy CTO Kellan Elliot-McCrea explains, “We expect our mobile traffic to surpass desktop traffic by the end of 2014.”  Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Warby Parker Ate Way Too Much Salad and Sold a Lot of Monocles This Year

Katie Couric in Warby Parker (Photo: Facebook.com)

Rose-Colored Glasses Warby Parker just released its annual report for 2012, and it’s a pretty fun slideshow to click through. The glasses empire now has 113 full-time employes and 42 part-time employees. Of those bespectacled folks, 108 have company-sponsored gym memberships. In other Warby Parker health news, 2,507 pounds of salad were eaten in the office this year. Although there are not too many exact sales figures in the package (besides the fact that 296 monocles were sold this year) a diagram on the last page shows that sales from the first quarter of the year to the last one have nearly tripled. Warby Parker says it gave out 250,000 pairs of glasses this year, some of which went to victims of Hurricane Sandy. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: The Library of Congress Has a Twitter Problem

Congress Fail Whale (Photo: blogspot.com)

API Rate Limit Exceeded Back in April of 2010, the Library of Congress promised to add every tweet up to that date to its famous archives. But like anyone following too many people at once, it’s just caused one big mess. The library now has an archive of approximately 170 billion tweets totaling to a compressed 133.2 terabytes. Now the librarians of Congress are planning to work with Gnip, the company currently organizing all of the data, to develop a plan for archiving all of the tweets.

Apparently there have already been more than 400 access requests to the Twitter archives from researches doing work on citizen journalism and political communications. Someone needs to teach the librarians how to make lists as soon as humanly possible. Read More

Fun with Theology

Yo the Pope, Please Call Your Social Media Team

The Pope (Image: Twitter.com)

The Catholic Church has had a pretty rough couple of years in terms of popularity. So the clergy must have been thrilled when the pope announced his arrival to Twitter earlier this month.

On December 12th, he tweeted his first message to the world, which sounds like an excerpt from a wily Aunt’s last chain email, “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.”

The Vatican is now bragging about the success of the first heavenly tweet and comparing il papa to Canada’s own Holy Father, Justin Bieber. Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Miley Cyrus Starts Campaign for Emoji Equality

Ms. Cyrus (Photo: Wikipedia.org)

Miley Cyrus had a brush with social advocacy last year when she recorded Occupy Wall Street’s unofficial theme song, “Liberty Walk.”  But since then, she’s remained pretty quiet on any issues of equality. In 2012, she’s cut her hair several times, most notably when she got rid of her bun, which put popular fan account @Mileys_Bun in an awkward position.

But now Ms. Cyrus is back to the fight with a new issue. Yes, Ms. Cyrus has something that all Americans can get behind — Emoji equality. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Two Regular New Yorkers Disrupt Christmas and Alexis Ohanian Just Wants to Park His Car

"Leave me alone." (Photo: Twitter)

r/findmeaparkingspace ParkWhiz, the Chicago company that enables users to find and reserve guaranteed parking spaces before reaching their destination, today announced that it has closed a $2 million Series A round of funding led by Hyde Park Venture Partners. Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian also took place in the round along with Hyde Park Angels, Amicus Capital, and others. In a press release sent to Betabeat, the company said that since its launch in 2006, it has driven $10 million in parking revenue to parking operators and provided access to 3 million parking spaces nationwide.

Fab Goes To India Jason Goldberg, the founder and CEO of Fab, took to his personal blog yesterday to announce that his company had acquired new funding. Times Internet, the digital arm of The Times of India Group, India’s largest media company, has chosen to invest in the company. Mr. Goldberg notes in the post, “As part of this investment Fab will be working with Times Internet to explore and execute on our India market strategy in the coming years.” Since launching in June 2011, Fab has raised over $150 million from investors. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Whitney Dominates Google and Nike Creates Accelerator for the Athletic Among Us

Ms. Houston (Photo: Wikipedia.org)

And I Will Always Google You Google just released its year-end zeitgeist list and Whitney Houston was named the most searched person and term of the year. Gangnam Style clocked in as the second most searched thing of the year and the now-pregnant duchess Kate Middleton was the second most searched person in 2012. In terms of New York’s search history, Hurricane Sandy took the number one slot and was followed by “MTA” and then “NY Knicks” (The new Brooklyn Nets didn’t manage to crack the top 10). In terms of restaurants, Nobu was the most searched place to eat in New York, but Daniel and Chef’s Table didn’t fall too far behind.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Tumblr Tumblr is instructing its users to tag their favorite posts “#TumblrGiftGuide.” The Tumblr team then will troll through the entries and reblog the best entries onto the official Holiday Gift Guide Tumblr. A look on the site shows a knit skull and a case for an iPad with cute typewriters all over it. No GIFs are currently on the site or for sale anywhere in the world. Read More

Jobs

Instagramming Your Resume is as Useless As It Sounds

(Photo: Instagram)

David Mas, a graphic designer based in Crevillente, Spain, was just looking for a creative way to stand out in his crowded field. So he turned to the land of sepia filters and brunch photos for help, natch.

Mr. Mas created an Instagram account@esto_es_un_curriculum, to showcase his skills and past projects. Uninterestingly enough, no borders or filters have been applied to any of the 38 uploads, but none of them have been tagged with #nofilter. It’s a total rookie move. Read More

Facebookism

There’s Now a Facebook for Unpopular People

Rejects (Photo: Tumblr.com)

Half of the fun that comes along with having a Facebook account is dealing with the seething rage inspired by watching someone’s status become more popular than yours. Well if that whole thing isn’t really your cup of tea, then the Facebook Demetricator is for you.

The browser extension lets you look at Facebook without the number of likes and comments hitting you in the face. It’s the perfect solution for the Klout-less among us whose statuses are left naked and bare, just hanging there, probably not even showing up in your newfeed because Zuck’s magic algorithim knows that no user could possibly ever admire them. Read More