Off the Media

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

offthemedia-1

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

OkCupid Data Scientist Max Shron Talks Data Analysis, Next OkTrends Post

Mr. Shron (OkCupid)

Last Friday, OkCupid’s data scientist Max Shron gave about 30 students at a Hackdays event a peek at what he does everyday: take terrifying amounts of raw data, make sense of it and draw insightful conclusions based on what he finds.

Students—including three girls!—gathered in a classroom on the third floor of NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and got ready to nerd out.
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Blog Lords

Venture Capitalists With Powerful Blogs May Run Afoul of the SEC

Image via BacktoGeek

Has Blogging Become the New Insider Trading?

“People think there is a distinction between how an major investor can talk about a public company versus a private company,” said Ralph Ferrara, former General Counsel for the SEC. “But if you read the law carefully, you see that everything that you can do wrong when combining a public company with the media applies to investments in private companies as well.”

Michael Arrington wanted to have it all. The editor-in-chief of TechCrunch, the nation’s most powerful tech blog, had, except for a brief hiatus, invested his own money in the companies he covered. The move always prompted a bit of grumbling in the blogosphere, but nothing he couldn’t handle.

Then Mr. Arrington decided to go bigger. He tapped Silicon Valley’s royalty to raise a $10 million pool he dubbed CrunchFund. Read More