On the Town

An Evening of Diversions at the Launch Party for Experiences by GroupMe

There's a skeleton just outside the frame, btw.

When Betabeat arrived downtown at a hulking brownstone bathed in red light with a double-digit Fifth Avenue address, there was already a line out the door. We were promptly assigned a pink wristband and told to head downstairs, where we discovered we’d be attending three classes over the course of the evening: Poker, music, and arts and crafts. So educational!

We’d arrived for the launch party of Experiences by GroupMe.* The company got its start with a group messaging service (which it parlayed into an $80 million acquisition by Skype) but recently expanded into the new group purchasing service, which allows numerous people to sign up for suggested events simultaneously and still split the bill.

The venue: the Salmagundi, an arts club founded in the mid-nineteenth century. GroupMe had conspired with event designer Adam Aleksander to send the service into the world in grand style. The suggested dress code was “elegant cocktail attire,” but budget Kardashian would have to do for this reporter. Read More

Subjot Launches With the Bet That Users Would Rather Tune Out Subjects They’re Not Interested In

Mr. Carella

If you’ve been reading Betabeat carefully (and who hasn’t?!) you may have noticed a few mentions of a startup called Subjot co-founded by the husband-and-wife team of Chris and Becky Carella. The service came out of private beta today and we gChatted Mr. Carella about what users can expect and why Subjot is “not just another social network.”

The basic premise is simple:  sharing online is great and all . . . until the content that’s being posted is of no interest to you.  To fix that problem, Subjot organizes everything by–you guessed it–subjects. Every item posted to Subjot is tagged with a particular subject, like say “tech” or “music” or “food.”

The couple was inspired by topic-specific threads on Quora. Indeed, Mr. Carella told us beta users have been describing Subjot as “a cross between Quora and Twitter.” But where Mr. Carella described Twitter as more of a “broadcast mechanism” where a discussion between people you follow can quickly become tedious to outsiders, “We think of Subjot as more of a conversation platform.” The trick to keeping it conversational? In-line comments. Read More