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Myles Tanzer

startup rundown

Startup News: SoundCloud Goes Social and HowAboutWe Tries to Get Your Mom Laid

Soundcloud CEO Mr. Ljung (Photo: Twitter.com)

SoundCloud Busts Out Of Beta At this point, SoundCloud is basically the audio version of YouTube. A private-beta version of the site launched earlier this year called Next and the newest version integrates a bunch of those social features that the company hopes will help its users discover new music. “From today, ‘Next’ is now simply SoundCloud,” said Alexander Ljung, founder and CEO of SoundCloud in a press release sent to Betabeat. “It’s a platform for people to discover new, original music and audio, for creators to build audiences, and for everyone to share what they hear whether online or on mobile.”

The company claims that users now post over 10 hours of music and audio every minute while reaching over 180 million people. That’s a staggering 8% of the entire internet population, every month. On December 6th, mobile users will be able to enjoy reposts, updated mobile search, and UX updates on both iOS and Android SoundCloud apps. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: New York Tech Plans Sandy Relief Hackathon and Tumblr Shines Bright Like a Diamond

Hipstblr (Photo: wikipedia.org)

PartyHat.GIF Tumblr just passed a huge traffic benchmark by finally reaching 170 million global users a month. It’s now the ninth most visited site in the U.S., according to Quantcast. David Karp took to the Tumblr Staff site to congratulate his users and say, “You guys have earned an audience bigger than the biggest TV networks, and you continue to make some of the most thought provoking, insightful, inspiring, funny, diverse, and compelling content being created today.”

Young Money Also worth noting is that Tiffany & Co launched their official Tumblr today. It’s called From Out Of The Blue. The blog contains a couple pictures of necklaces containing an unfathomable number of diamonds and a promotional video that would make any tween ask their parents for a diamond tiara. That’s what Tiffany is going for, right? Read More

Release the Memes

Please God Don’t Let ‘Milking’ Become a Thing

Taylor would never (Photo: Thebosh.com)

Oh god. Fresh out of the U.K. and the dairy aisle comes “Milking,” a new internet craze. To be a “milker,” one must stand in a public place and dump an entire jug of milk over one’s head. It’s an extraordinary waste of food and time, but kind of amazing to watch in the worst kind of way.

But what is it with wasting dairy products for the sake of some public reactions? Is “coning,” the act of sticking an ice cream cone onto your head while going through a drive-through to blame? This is the worst Internet trend since planking. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Ev Williams Hires a Literary Darling and Branch Finally Lets You Bro Out

Mr. Williams (Photo: Wikipedia.org)

Power Literary Hire: Twitter cofounder Ev Williams’s new publishing tool, Medium, just added an impressive member to its team. Kate Lee, a former literary agent from International Creative Management (ICM), has joined Mr. Williams’s startup as the director of content. Ms. Lee was responsible for plucking several bloggers out of obscurity and giving them book deals. The Observer announced her leave from ICM back in April. In a blog post on the site, Mr. Williams described her job as “encouraging, soliciting, commissioning, and contextualizing interesting ideas, authors, and institutions” and noted that she would be building a small team in New York to help her do that.

Branch Finally Lets You Hang Out With Your Friends: Branch, the social conversations site, just launched a groups feature yesterday. In an email to Betabeat, Branch cofounder Josh Miller described it as “Branch’s equivalent of a Follow button.” The idea was inspired by the conversations that people have at dinner parties, in which smaller groups form to discuss topics that they care about. On Branch, these groups can be added into a conversation. Branch’s example site includes a group featuring Mr. Miller, Medium’s Ev Williams, John Borthwick from Betaworks, Michael Sippey from Twitter and Facebook’s Sam Lessin. These groups have a possibility to create Bloods and Crips-like warfare in tech. Choose sides wisely. Read More

Election 2012

Obama’s Social Media Strategist Tells Tumblr How to Win an Election

Everybody likes this (Photo: Facebook.com)

It’s about two weeks later and we’re still reeling from the Presidential election. Luckily, we got our campaign fix today because Tumblr and The Daily Beast spoke to Laura Olin, one of the Obama campaign’s top social media strategists.

Ms. Olin was responsible for scheduling the victory posts to all Obama’s social networks. Most notably, she posted the now-famous photo of a hugging Mr. and Mrs. Obama with the simple caption “four more years.” The post has amassed more than 800,000 retweets and is the most liked Facebook photo of all time.

But like all important moments in history, the much loved post almost never happened, Ms. Olin explains: Read More

Tech Celebs

Ke$ha Launches Online Treasure Hunt for Her Fans

(Photo: wikipedia.org)

Internet treasure hunts are nothing new, just take a look at Geocaching for proof of that. But this week, Ke$ha, the auto-tuned Illuminati supporting pop sensation, launched an online treasure hunt for her fans. The goal is for them to unlock songs from her upcoming album Warrior.

A new location is revealed when enough Animals (Ke$ha’s special name for her legion of fans) tweet using the hashtag, #KESHAWARRIOR. Then it’s up to fans to find that location in real life, unearth the clue hidden there and let Ke$ha know via Twitter. Read More

Y Combinator

Alexis Ohanian, Rap Genius and Other Y Combinator Grads Hate on Silicon Valley at NYU Panel

"Leave me alone." (Photo: Twitter)

Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian hosted a talk at NYU last night featuring a slew of fellow Y Combinator grads. The Rap Genius guys were all there, as was Shoptiques founder Olga Vidisheva, and Tutorspree founders Aaron Harris and Josh Abrams. The conversation mostly revolved around all of their transitions from the business world to the tech scene, but the night got interesting when Mr. Ohanian urged the panel to hate on Silicon Valley.

“We were hating on the Bay Area,” he said. “And I think we should do that a little more.” Read More

Grind It

Yenta Just Really Really Wants You To Be Happy

A gallery of potential "Jewboos"

Like any Jewish mother trying to marry off her precious son, Yenta, the Grindr for Jews, is now resorting to the final step–cash bribes. The app’s users were treated to a lovely email greeting yesterday from Yenta CEO Luba Tolkachyov, which said the company will now pay you to go on a date with another Jewish smart phone user.

Yenta will foot the bill of your romantic Jewish lovefest just as long as both of you are registered Yenta members and your food bill doesn’t exceed $100.. You also have to let Ms. Tolkachyov know about your rendezvous seven days in advance, so that the Yenta team can make the proper payment arrangements with your desired dining establishment. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Etsy Goes Big for Christmas and Bloomberg Giving Away Big Prize to Makers

Mr. Dickerson (Photo: Twitter.com)

Lots Of Tiny Wicker Puppets Sold Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson took to the company’s blog to address his craft-obsessed minons and report big new numbers. Etsy recently hit 20 million members across over 200 countries. In the first week of November, they passed the $700 million sales mark and their direct checkout system has now processed over $100 million in transactions. By the end of the year, Etsy projects that it will have sold over 100 million items in the company’s history.

The company is also going all out for the holiday season and expects to have its best month yet. It’s running a multi-million-dollar online advertising campaign and opening a Etsy Holiday Shop in SoHo from November 29th through December 8th. SoHo though? Isn’t Greenpoint or Williamsburg more on target with the Etsy brand?

Chu Bets Against Zynga Betable has already announced partnerships with big game companies and is right on the path to become the Spotify of online gambling and pass its closest rival, Zynga. Ya-Bing Chu, a former VP and GM of Zynga’s mobile division, has now joined Betable as the company’s new Chief Product Officer. At Zynga, he was responsible for operating Words with Friends and Scramble with Friends. Mr. Chu explains the move in an essay on Betable’s blog, where he says, “I realized that Betable was the only frictionless way to enter the real money market, which is revolutionary.” Read More

Insurgents

Tech Insurgents 2012: Mike Karnjanaprakorn

Mr. Karnjanaprakorn (Photo: About.Me)

The Principal of New York

Before Mayor Bloomberg signed up for Codecademy, before General Assembly signed its first lease in the Flatiron—even before Peter Thiel started paying kids to skip school—Skillshare founder and CEO Mike Karnjanaprakorn was trying convince New York investors to finance his peer-to-peer learning startup. He billed the company as the Etsy of education, since it set up a market for anyone to teach—and learn—practical skills through an affordable hands-on class, starting at $25 a night. (The hybrid online classes that Skillshare launched this August, with Livestream office hours, start at just $20 a night.) Read More