Feed

Nitasha Tiku

I'll Tumbl For You

Storyboard Speaks: Laid-Off Tumblr Staffers Discuss David Karp’s Decision

BIEFCMnCAAA50l9

Earlier this week, Tumblr CEO David Karp took the stage at PaidContent Live for a panel called “Tumblr and the Future of Media.” It was a poignant title considering that one of the topics discussed was Mr. Karp’s recent, rather brusque blog post announcing the end of Storyboard, a high-profile editorial experiment that hired journalists to write features or film documentary video about Tumblr’s community of “creators.”

For example, this Storyboard piece about a photojournalist documenting a gang truce in El Salvador (on his Tumblr) was published by Mother Jones. One about activists and feminists using nail art (and the growing subculture on Tumblr) was produced in partnership with the Daily Beast. Read More

I'll Tumbl For You

String of Executive Departures Leaves a Leadership Vacuum at the Top of Tumblr

david karp

Late Tuesday night, while most of New York City was “afk” enjoying the balmy weather, Tumblr CEO David Karp snuck a post onto the staff blog paying tribute to Storyboard–a team of journalists and editors assigned to “cover Tumblr as a living, breathing community.”

After gushing with pride over Storyboard’s many accolades, Mr. Karp pivoted, abruptly. The year-old concept “had run its course” and the editorial team, he announced, “will be closing up shop and moving on.” Please, he asked, “join us in wishing them well.”

But the Storyboard layoffs, which affected three staffers peripheral to internal operations, are hardly the only departures Tumblr has faced over the past six or seven months. Rather, they’re the only ones Mr. Karp has spoken about publicly. Read More

Location Location Location

Foursquare Has Toyed with the Idea of a Stand-Alone App for Discovery–Without Check-ins

Android_Radar1_350

Last week, a tipster told Betabeat that Foursquare is working on a stand-alone app for discovery that would not require checking in. A handful of sources familiar with the company said a separate discovery app is not actively being developed, but revealed that Foursquare has kicked around the idea of stand-alone apps over the years.

“[The company] had talked in the past about Foursquare being ‘read only’ in the future as only a certain percentage of users will ever check in,” said one source. “It jives with what I have seen out of them: deprioritizing power users in favor of scale.” Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

YC-Backed Hipset Launches YouTube Network to Help Clients Like Tyga, Soulja Boy, and Rob Zombie Make Money Off YouTube

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 11.24.29 AM

At this point, it seems fair to say that celebrity-associated tech startups occupy their own stratum of Startupland. There’s the celebrity-backed startup, benefitting from the digital ambitions of investors like Scooter Braun, Ashton Kutcher, and Lady Gaga. Then there’s the celebrity “cofounded” company (see: half the startups in Los Angeles). There’s even startups that help brands harness the buying power of, say, Team Breezy.

Coming soon: a celebrity-backed venture capital fund, with a hashtag in the title, of course. Read More

Over The Aereo

News Corp. Threatens to Yank Fox Off the Airwaves and Turn It Into a Cable Channel If Aereo Wins In Court

Chase+Carey+Cable+Executives+Testify+Senate+pg3OXXZ889Pl

What’s the best way to respond when a court ruling doesn’t go in your favor? Public histrionics, judging by statements from News Corp. COO Chase Carey.

Last week, the Second Circuit appeals court upheld a decision denying broadcasters their motion for a preliminary injunction against Aereo, the Barry Diller-backed startup that lets users live-stream broadcast TV. The plaintiffs in the case are a cohort of powerful media companies, including NBC, CBS, Disney and, yes, News Corp, whose COO Chase Carey is not taking the decision lying down. Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Dear Vanity Fair, a Word About Your Best Dressed List

Screen shot 2013-04-04 at 10.43.41 AM

That Sergey Brin sighting amid the hedgerow at Vanity Fair‘s Oscar party must have gone to the glossy’s head. Today, they attempted to catalog “Silicon Valley’s Most Stylish.”

Try as Jack Dorsey might with his “modified Mandarin collars,” this is a crowd that once compared its colorful sock flair to boardroom “gang signs,” so the bar was already low–especially considering that the New York Times already marked and tagged the every pair of Louboutins in the Bay Area. Read More

Teach Me How to Startup

The Chef from Lure Fish Bar, a Techie Power Lunch Spot, Now Has His Own Startup

tumblr_l813313rY71qaikuuo1_1280

If you’re looking to fact-check whether Lure Fishbar is indeed the “the Michael’s of downtown,” as one publicist recently told Betabeat, you could do worse than the Soho hangout’s Foursquare page. There, you’ll find tips from Reuters’s Felix Salmon, ex-Googler Caroline McCarthy and even defoundered Foursquare exec Naveen Selvadurai, who recommends Lure’s private side room for meetings—and the lobster Read More

Over The Aereo

Win One for the Diller: Appeals Court Rules In Favor of IAC-Backed Aereo Over TV Networks

IAC CEO Barry Diller. (David Shankbone)

Aereo, the New York City-based service that lets cordcutters live-stream network TV online, has been making broadcasters feel litigious ever since IAC led a $20.5 million Series A in the startup last February. The group of 17 broadcasters suing Aereo argue that the individual antennas Aereo assigns each user are an illegal loophole to avoid paying networks costly retransmission rights–and that Aereo is guilty of copyright violation of their content.

This January, Aereo raised $38 million more, which should help cover its considerable legal fees. But the TV incumbents haven’t found much support in the courts. Read More