Linkages

Booting Up: VCs Waxing Philosophic Edition

Mr. Graham (flickr.com/pragdave)

Startup soothsayer Paul Graham penned a letter to Y Combinator’s portfolio companies about withstanding the fallout from Facebook’s poorly-performing IPO. [Business InsiderHacker News]

Fred Wilson wants to put Mr. Graham’s musings in perspective. [A VC]

Apple will yank Google Maps from iPhones later this year, which is just another reason why we’re quite happy with our Galaxy Nexus, thankyouverymuch. [Wall Street Journal]

GigaOm rounds up what we know about Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker’s video startup, Airtime, set to launch at a press event this morning. [GigaOm]

Oh good, there is an Instagram for animated GIFs. [Wired]

Internet Art

New York Tech’s Love Affair With the Animated GIF Grows via Anil Dash

Did you know that silent films are now the most popular form of entertainment in America? No, not through some awful retro-hipster resurgent of Nickelodeans or Netflix’s repeated suggestion that we add Buster Keaton to our instant streaming queue. It’s the slow but steady growth of the animated GIF, an almost vestigal file type from the early internet era that has become the medium of choice for quick, viral communication of humor, sports and even art.

That’s according to Anil Dash, who did a little back of the envelope calculation based on Tumblr’s page views and the site’s GIF-happy users. If just one in 20 of the 180 million Tumblr posts a day contains an animated GIF, and you factor in all the other sources of GIF goodness like 4chan and B3ta, nearly 3.3 billion people will watch one of these short, silent animations each year. Read More

Kickstart or Kill

Kickstart or Kill? Bringing Animated GIFs To Life

kill bill uma

Welcome to the first of a new series here at Betabeat. Each week we will highlight one Kickstarter project focused on technology and based in New York City. The idea is to discuss the merits of the project and dissect their approach to fundraising.

To kick things off we’ve got Physical GIF, a project that combines our favorite file type with the laser-based maker culture that percolates at places like NYC Resistor.

Treating GIFs like high-brow art isn’t a new concept, but it’s having a moment right now. Read More

Memes

Highbrow GIFs from A New York Photog

Animated GIFs have become the lowest form of internet currency, a viral tidbit easy to trade an consume but unlikely to be of much substance.

New York photographer Jamie Beck is doing something a little more interesting with the form. Read More