Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Facebook Cofounder Chris Hughes Named Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of The New Republic

via flickr.com/docsearls

It looks like we can cut the question mark at the end of “Chris Hughes: Media Mogul?” The New York Times Media Decoder blog reports that the rumors were true, Mr. Hughes will indeed head up the 98-year-old neoliberal magazine, which has struggled with diminishing profits and dwindling circulation.

Although the terms of the deal were not revealed, Mr. Hughes will become the magazine’s editor-in-chief and publisher. And they’ve wasted no time updating the publication’s Wikipedia page. After spearheading President Obama’s digital campaign in 2008, Mr. Hughes went on to found Jumo, a social network for nonprofits and activists which was “acquired” by GOOD for $0.

What’s the former Facebooker’s plan to rescue old media? According to Media Decoder, Mr. Hughes will focus on “distributing the magazine’s long-form journalism through tablet computers like the iPad.” Read More


Whither the Facebook Mafia?

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Sean Parker - President

Around the time of the demise of Jumo, the social network for nonprofits and activists started by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, Betabeat got an email from a source intimately familiar with the social media startup sector. “I’m intrigued by the fact that Facebook doesn’t seem to be proving to have the kind of second-act momentum among early employees that PayPal had, and I wonder why that is,” the source wrote. “I don’t have high hopes for Asana, Quora, or Path either, but maybe it’s too early to make a judgment call.”

With the rise of secondary trading, many Facebook employees have already cashed out. The company’s hefty exodus of early employees has been well-documented. Sarah Lacy, writing for TechCrunch, identified the emergence of a “Facebook mafia” as “early and distinct” last year. But with the Facebook-spawned startups still unproven, is it fair to say that yet? Read More

Second Acts

Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes: Media Mogul?


Another member of the Facebook mafia struggles to find an equally fulfilling pursuit. Chris Hughes, one of Mark Zuckerberg’s college roommates, a co-founder of Facebook and its first head of publicity (in the movie, he’s one of the guys on the couch), went from startup founder to politics all star; working on Barack Obama’s digital campaign and then launching Jumo, a socially-minded startup that shut down in August. Now the 28-year-old millionaire (reportedly $700 million) is moving into the media scene.  Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

The Knight Foundation Taps Jumo’s Chris Hughes to Go After Media Like a Venture Capitalist

Mr. Hughes via Crunchbase

The Knight Foundation, which sponsors innovative projects in journalism, just named the “first ever digital appointments” to its board, reports Businessweek.

They include Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, Joichi Ito from MIT’s Media Lab (an early investor in Twitter, Flickr and Technorati), as well as John Palfrey, who runs Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and works as an adviser at Highland Capital Partners.

Mr. Hughes told Businessweek, “We need to be approaching these questions and these problems with an attitude more akin to venture capital, than with the attitude of a foundation.” Read More

Seed Stage Slaughter

Jumo ‘Acquired’ for $0 and a Graceful Exit

chris hughes

UPDATE, March 13, 2012: The final acquisition price was not $0. It was $62,221. Original story follows.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has struggled with his ambitious solo start-up, the social network for activism Jumo, ever since its bumpy launch. Waning traffic and disinterested users were making it obvious that the site was not going to catch on, despite multiple redesigns; a tough pill to swallow for the wunderkind whose second act after Facebook, online strategy at the Obama presidential campaign, was another huge success story.

But Mr. Hughes found a solution: rather than folding the grant-funded, well-meaning and inordinately high-profile start-up and admitting what would surely be a very public failure, he arranged a deal with an old friend. GOOD, the publisher-turned-digital-media-platform with a focus on good design and social causes, announced today that it has acquired Jumo for undisclosed terms. But the “acquisition” is not quite the earth-shaker it was made out to be. Betabeat has learned the terms amounted to $0, a loose “advisory” role for Mr. Hughes at GOOD, and the opportunity for Jumo’s 16 employees to interview for the start-up’s new owner. Read More

Apps for Activists

Friendfactor Is Blowing Up State Senators’ Phones With Calls for Gay Marriage

give brian equality

How do you legalize gay marriage in the age of social media? Peer pressure! Friendfactor, the app that generates individualized campaign pages for gay marriage, is converting every gay New Yorker who signs up into four phone calls to a state senator.

Brian Elliot created a Facebook page to lobby his friends to stand up for marriage equality–not for a faceless statistic of however many loving gay couples in however many states across the union–but for just himself, a dude people knew, who would like to maybe marry another dude he loved very much. He called it “Give Brian Equality.” He got 19,000 fans. Read More

Taylor Tees Off

Nobody Cares About Jumo


If there’s one thing I hate more than pretending not to have any change when inept accordion-playing buskers pass a hat around the subway car, it’s Jumo, the ugly nonprofit Facebook for charities. It doesn’t work and will probably never accomplish anything. Read More


Jumo’s Chris Hughes Survives Colbert

A brazillion dollars

Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook and now founder of New York-based Jumo, braved The Colbert Report last night.

“My guest tonight is the co-founder of Facebook who founded Jumo.com. I can’t wait until it starts invading my privacy too,” Stephen Colbert said in his intro. And later, “So do you have a Read More