The Chat-rooming Classes Today, seemingly every tech reporter in the business tuned into Jason Calacanis‘s “This Week in Startups,” presumably in the hopes that Mr. Calacanis would tell all re: the allegations of abuse against Michael Arrington. But as familiar names chattered away in the chat room, Mr. Calacanis had little to say beyond comparing himself to Obi Wan. That would make Mr. Arrington Anakin Skywalker, of course; Mr. Calacanis said he taught him how to be powerful in media, and “I regret that.”
As for the allegations themselves, Mr. Calacanis was quick to say he wouldn’t be commenting on whether they were true, citing his lack of direct knowledge. (He did, however, openly discuss the time that Mr. Arrington called a PR honcho “the c-word,”
thereby outing someone who’d never mentioned the incident publicly!) [Correction: Mr. Calacanis first mentioned the incident and the PR exec (Brooke Hammerling) by name in the comments of his Facebook post, prompting Ms. Hammerling to confirm the story, also in a Facebook comment.] All in all, it sounds like he (kinda sorta) regrets getting involved. He apparently thought writing a Facebook note wouldn’t go very far. “I thought that that would be a place where it just lived there,” he said. (Paging Randi Zuckerberg!) “I got a little P.T. Barnum in me and I feel like me commenting on all this stuff actually detracts from it,” he added.
Family ties Looks like Kim Dotcom has a pretty good sense of humor about his appearance. The Megaupload founder recently posted a photo on his Instagram of himself posing next to a hippo with the caption “Kim and his Brother .” Zing.
see and be seen
Not only is the Girls star gamely attending the D: Dive Into Media conference with her boyfriend, College Humor cofounder Ricky Van Veen—sample panel: How the Net and Social Media Are Changing the Movie Business—but she can be relied upon not to dish about the relationship to bloggers.
eBay announced on its blog today that it has acquired Svpply, the NYC-based social shopping site that curates personalized collections of clothing and products. Located on Broome Street in Soho, Svpply raised $550,000 in seed funding back in 2010 from investors like Founders Collective, Spark Capital, SV Angel, Dennis Crowley and Jason Hirschhorn. Since then, Svpply has been bootstrapping itself to 620,000 product views per week and 140,000 registered members (as of May).
Last May, founder Ben Pieratt offered a candid perspective on first-time entrepreneurship, admitting his vulnerability. ”I have zero experience or expertise in building a company,” he wrote in a 2011 blog post. “So I’m learning on the fly.”
A surprisingly diverse crowd showed up at The Gramercy Theater last night for the annual CollegeHumor Offline show. The audience was almost half female and included numerous fans significantly older than the site’s namesake demographic.
The content, however, was exactly what you’d expect if you’ve ever perused CollegeHumor for some sophomoric fun. The show featured a familiar crew—Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld of the site’s most popular series, Jake & Amir, Elaine Carroll of Very Mary-Kate—delivering familiar punch lines, most to the effect of, “I put my dick in your Sprite.” CollegeHumor’s editor in chief Streeter Seidell opened the show with a few jokes about peeing himself and disliking farmer’s markets before assuring the audience that there were a lot more “cumming jokes” to look forward to. In that respect, the performers did not disappoint.
MyPod Studios is a curated video site with half a million in funding, a headquarters in New York and a beaming, brown-bobbed “hostess” named Bridgette who excitedly welcomes each new visitor to the site’s collection of video entertainment.
The site, which launched in September 2011, has an announcement to make: it had more than five million unique viewers in December, making it the 191st most trafficked site in the nation according to Quantcast, “right behind collegehumor.com, blip.tvand cbsnews.com and just five spots behind hulu.com,” as MyPod notes, all with a team of five. “Advertisers and consumers are flocking to the site, and they are profitable after only six months,” a rep wrote in an email to Betabeat.
The Next Sam Sifton
Food52 and Eater.com are in the middle of a guerrilla restaurant run-off where a group of “mavens of pop culture” sample and judge 16 New York eateries in a series of head-to-head match-ups. In today’s installment, Ricky Van Veen of CollegeHumor and the studio Notional, which is behind the new cooking show Rocco’s Dinner Party, reviews two Asian restaurants in a conversational style, complete with suggestions for Zagat. Did you know Mr. Van Veen once considered opening a chain of Kaoh Soi restaurants? “In addition to being a food novice, I’m also a racist,” Mr. Van Veen writes in an early caveat.