THANK YOU GROUPON, FOR REMINDING US OF THE GLORY THAT IS GLASSDOOR.COM. Groupon, the all-star white-hot unstoppable brilliant daily deal startup that launched a thousand clones, is being sued by Chicago employees for abusive working conditions (think “sales staff cries all the time”). Nevermind that Groupon is the PointCast of 2011–”I don’t understand how everyone isn’t vomiting in their mouths over Groupon,” one exhausted founder told Betabeat a short time ago–let’s talk about GlassDoor. The all-anonymous, all-unverified rumormongering-est site of them all, a thorn in the side of employers who are forced to endure slander or pay GlassDoor to clean up their profiles, and a blight on our eyes as we navigate its rabbit hole-like interface in search of smack talk.
AOL issued an official statement saying that Mike Arrington has decided to move on, leaving AOL to run his venture fund with a lot of AOL money. Erick Schonfeld, who has been the number two at TechCrunch for a while, will become the editor in chief.
Mike Arrington has reportedly been fired from AOL, which currently owns TechCrunch, the blog he founded. That was the response to his demand, on TechCrunch, that AOL grant the site complete editorial independence or sell it back to him and the original stakeholders. Things are very much up in the air as to what will happen now that he’s been canned, but on his personal Twitter account, Mr. Arrington is going about business as usual.
“TechCrunch Disrupt update – There will be well over 2,500 people attending next week, shattering our previous attendance record of 2,100,” he wrote this afternoon. Like a proud father unable to handle the custody arrangement in a divorce, Mr. Arrington continues to use the paternal “our” in reference to TC Disrupt.
We stopped watching those Taiwanese animation videos sometime around the outting of Tiger Woods’ third or fourth extramarital paramour. But this one, courtesy of Next Media Animation, reinvigorated our interest, due mostly to the attention to detail.
Notice, if you will, how close Michael “Yarrington’s” green robes come to the actual TechCrunch logo. They even took the time to reference Kara Swisher calling Crunchfund “a giant, greedy, Silicon Valley pig pile.” And gave TechCrunch bloggers Spartan shields, a la Mr. Arrington’s ultimatum post. But what really got our attention was the scene of Arianna Huffington pummeling Mr. Arrington while Tim Armstrong tries to pull her off. That’s probably just how she imagines it in her Brazilian daydreams.
Michael Arrington has been dodging questions over bias and journalistic integrity ever since he got back into the investing game earlier this year. But we guess launching a $20 million venture capital fund has a way of making the issue hard to ignore. Yesterday, shortly after closing a fund, Mr. Arrington resigned from his role as managing editor of TechCrunch, reports the Wall Street Journal.
“Mike will run the fund and will continue to write for TechCrunch, but will have no editorial oversight,” AOL spokesman Mario Ruiz told the paper, noting that Erick Schonfeld, co-editor, will serve as interim editor while AOL tries to find a personality to replace Mr. Arrington.
That said, AOL Huffington Post doesn’t appear to be making any signs to distance itself. AOL is leading the limited partner group in the less-than-subtly named “Crunchfund.”
Fortune’s Dan Primack broke the news this afternoon that TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, who co-edits the AOL-owned blog, will be raising a venture capital fund for early stage tech startups. Mr. Arrington’s partner will be VantagePoint Ventures Partners’ Patrick Gallagher and investors will include, “many of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital firms and tech luminaries” (i.e. the sources that TechCrunch regularly covers on its blog.)
If you’re anything like Betabeat and routinely find yourself chasing down founders and venture capitalists (it’s all very professional, we assure you), chances are you’ve come across more and more About.me profiles recently.
The San Francisco start-up, which AOL snatched up last December, lets users create a free splash page-like personal profile with a big photo, short bio, and handy little buttons connecting to your other profiles scattered around the web (Twitter, Foursquare, WordPress, etc.). Users can also access analytics in terms of traffic to their About.me page.
In the battle to become your “single online identity,” About.me certainly certainly has an aesthetic and utilitarian edge over say, your drab Google profile. And its list of advisers–Kevin Rose, Om Malick, Tim Ferriss, Andy Weissman–is impressive. But we have yet to see anyone outside of the tech world’s earliest-of-adopters latch on. Which might be why the start-up is making an aggressive push into the streets of New York.
Betabeat grabbed a coffee yesterday with a former AOL staffer who worked in the company’s corporate development arm. Naturally the conversation turned to Google+, which has been called the fastest growing social network in history. In one sense this is true, the service has registered more than 18 million members in its first few weeks. Read More
AOL needs about 20 senior PHP, full stack and server engineers with three to five years experience “quickly,” a source told Betabeat this morning. AOL’s job openings page shows 147 listings in New York, including three engineers and an intern at hyperlocal news network Patch.com and three positions at The Huffington Post Media Group.
“Almost three years ago to the day, we introduced you to our new site that hopefully became your daily stop for all things meme- and Internet-related.” No explicit mention of Huffington Post’s comedy section, which is where some of the bloggers from the AOL-owned Urlesque will be writing.