Given that coding lessons are the new Baby Mozart, we are in no way surprised at the existence of Code Club, the latest educational initiative launched across the pond. We are, however, quite amused at this promotional video, in which a sassy panel of children considers the Internet’s biggest names for open advisory positions. Most do not meet their exacting standards.
YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley doesn’t impress them once they know he doesn’t actually make the videos; Tim Berners-Lee’s credentials are underwhelming. They get excited about Bebo, but only because it sounds like Bieber. Don’t worry, kids–you’re not missing much on that last one.
Having already succeeded in building two of the most spectacularly successful Internet companies of the modern age–PayPal and YouTube–what on earth do you do next? We’d be inclined to buy an island and never touch a computer again, but that’s not the plan for Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who just announced that their digital magazine building platform, Zeen, will roll out next week.
Zeen is a part of AVOS, an Internet company helmed by the duo that acquired bookmarking tool De.licious last year. Precious little info is known about the mysterious Zeen. “Discover and create beautiful magazines,” reads the sparse splash page.
Perhaps the biggest hints about Zeen’s ethos come from its Facebook page, where avid fans have been posting about beta testing and wanting more information since April.
the startup rundown
3..2..1..BLASTOFF. It’s official: NYC is now one of the spots for NASA’s Space Apps Challenge, a two-day development event happening in cities on six continents and aboard the International Space Station. StartupBus NYC and the NY Tech Council are both helping with the coordination of the event, which focuses on how technology can address problems with minimal resources in creative and innovative ways. Register here.
SPLISH SPLASH. Don’t you hate it when all your friends get into a band you’ve already been sick of for weeks? You tried to spread the good sonic vibrations early on but to no avail—the world simply wasn’t quite ready for that new fangled rock ‘n’ roll music. But that’s not a problem anymore. Splash.FM, a new social music platform, will make sure you get the credit for discovering a band before they were cool. Splash.FM has been in private beta since Jan. 16 and is preparing to go live publicaly on April 17th. Like on Spotify, users can follow friends, search for and stream songs and make recommendations for friends—called “splashing.” Beyond that users will be be able to see what songs are trending among their friends and assign “splash scores” to rate other’s music discovery skills. It’s an official hipster socreboard! Splash.FM plans to eventually allow artists and labels into their analytics to see how when, how often and where their songs are being played. Take that, Spotify!
YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen’s AVOS is on the move with a new project, Zeen. Zeen, which currently exists as a minimalist website, Twitter feed and Facebook page, promises users will be able to “discover & create beautiful magazines” and offers prospective users the opportunity to reserve a username. The site allows users to register via Facebook, Twitter or with an email address.
Now that Turntable.fm courts celebrities as investors, it’s fair game for the likes of The Hollywood Reporter, which had an interesting interview with co-founder Seth Goldstein over the weekend. In it, Mr. Goldstein discusses monetization (with engaged users it’ll come naturally) and how DCMA-compliant listening makes for a passive experience (“it’s primarily read-only”).
As an early investor in the taxonomic trailblazers behind Delicious, Mr. Goldstein also had some telling observations about how TTFM users have scrapped traditional genres for a different approach to categorization.
Old Dogs Learn New Tricks
Just in time for a post-mortem on Carol Bartz’s tenure as CEO of Yahoo comes an interview with YouTube founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley in The New York Times about their plans to revamp Delicious. Even before her abrupt cellphone ouster by a bunch of “doofuses”–her words, not ours–Ms. Bartz was criticized for her “failure to innovate” or even capitalize on innovative acquisitions like Delicious and Flickr.
So what will Delicious look like under the leadership of Mr. Chen and Mr. Hurley, who purchased the bookmarking service after Yahoo threatened to shutter it or sell? According to AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes, “The new Delicious sounds a lot like the old Delicious brought up-to-date,” but that’s sort of the point. The need for a service like Delicious, the forward-thinking bookmarking site that never quite caught on outside early adopter circles, is heightened by the torrent of information flowing from social sites like Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and more.