Off the Media

The New Media Dilemma: Eschewing Crap for Quality, Despite the Incentives


When I say that Vox and FiveThirtyEight have quickly gone from promising to clickbait hackery, they almost make it too easy. I mean, “This is what Pangaea would look like with modern borders”? C’mon. Even Gawker was aghast.

But that’s my point, it is so easy to criticize. What’s harder is the dilemma that every web publisher today is facing, including myself and the leadership at Betabeat.

This stuff gets traffic. Are we just not supposed to publish it? Read More

hbo's silicon valley

‘Silicon Valley’ Ep. 2 Recap: Be an Asshole


This week on Silicon Valley, Jared Dunn dropped by to congratulate Richard, but Erlich told him to take a hike. Then, someone ordered a stripper named Mocachino, making the guys (and everyone else with a pulse) highly uncomfortable. Richard and Erlich met with Peter Gregory and blew it. Richard then decided to bring Jared aboard since it seems nobody in the “incubator” actually knows how to run a business. Read More

Cheat Sheets

Holiday-Appropriate Talking Points for Your July Fourth Gatherings

Stone cold grillin'. (Photo:

It’s July 4th, which means you are either at a barbecue, planning to go to a barbecue later, or desperately searching for a barbecue to crash. However, the limited availability of green space and roof decks means you’re likely to find yourself in a situation that requires small talk with strangers. To that end, we’ve selected a few thematically appropriate conversation starters.

1. Russia’s parliament is considering creating an Internet blacklist for sites featuring “banned pornography, drug ads and promoting suicide or extremist ideas.” Certain elements of the U.S. Congress might try, but our all-American legislative gridlock isn’t likely to let it get far.

2. The European parliament gives ACTA the thumbs-downFreeeeedom!

3. However, thanks to a recent injunction, you will not be free to buy Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus phone here in the good old U.S. of A. If the party gets boring, we recommend springing this one on an Apple fanboy. Read More

Betabeat Beat

Betabeat Had a Party Last Night to Celebrate ‘The Pitch’

10 Photos


Thanks to everyone who stopped by Soho House last night to celebrate the end of our web series, The Pitch. According to some people, that place is like an incubator with pricier snacks.

If we had to Techmeme party conversation, SXSW and AOL’s endless ousters would be at the top of the page. We talked to Scott Kidder, director of editorial operations at Gawker Media, about whether this would be the year Austin implodes under the weight of all those overbooked hotel rooms. We asked Texts From Last Night cofounder Ben Bator about the early years of pilfering texts from friends’s cellphones. We discussed Kickstarter’s bonkers growth with Laughing Squid primary tentacle Scott Beale, and registered a vote in favor of pseudonymity with soon-to-be second-time author Cole Stryker.

Afterward, we ran into the real life version of a character from The Social Network, which, we think, now qualifies us as Winklevii-adjacent. Now we’re gonna put on our sweet, sweet Betabeat headphones and drown out the rest of the bullpen. No more dilly-dallying, we’ve got a paper to close. Read More

The Pitch

Check Out Our New Web Series The Pitch

It all starts with the pitch. Thousands of new tech startups will be founded in New York this year. Hundreds will be funded. Only a few will persevere to create a lasting business.

To get funding, a company has to catch an investor’s eye. The format for finding those backers, more often than not, is the pitch, Read More