Love in the Time of Algorithms

Rap Genius Cofounder Searching for a Lucky Lady to Eat Sushi Off His Penis

(Photo: Sumner Dilworth, courtesy of Vibe)

The cofounders behind the lyric annotation database RapGenius are kind of like a trio of Tom Haverfords, albeit with a $15 million series A instead of a couple hundos from a certain mustachioed grump. In an attempt to further solidify their reputations as a cartoonish reimagining of the college ex-boyfriend who thought 808s and Heartbreak was “revolutionary,” RapGenius’s cofounders Ilan Zachory, Mahbod Moghadam and Tom Lehman submitted to an interview with Cosmo about sex and dating. Read More

App Economy

Now That Hearst Has Partnered With Buddy Media, You’re Going to Have to Learn What a ‘Sapplet’ Is

Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow

“The days of, ‘Do we publish on Facebook? Do we tweet?’ are over,” Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow told Betabeat. “Either you do it, or you’re crushed. Do it or go out of business.” Hearst Magazines must have got the memo, because its Digital Media unit just announced a partnership today to use Buddy Media’s platform to enhance its presence on Facebook. From its Midtown headquarters, Buddy Media will create “sapplets” (short for social applets) that overlay on the Facebook pages for titles like Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, and Marie Claire.

Sapplets like Buddy Media’s  Interactive “Personality” Boutique, which recommends products based on answers to a personality quiz,  introduce a game-like aspect into the Facebook page and encourage interaction. They also offer a handy new advertising vehicle for Hearst, which is probably why Kristine Welker, Hearst Digital Media’s chief revenue officer, was the point person on the deal. Hearst is further removing friction for potential advertisers by launching multiple brands (13 titles and websites will eventually be involved) at once. That way, if an advertiser wants to reach a certain demographic, they don’t have to negotiate with each magazine individually.

“Instead of doing one-off siloed programs, they’re almost selling it as part of a cable network that lives on top of Facebook,” Mr. Lazerow explained. But why “sapplet”? Did the world really need another word for a widget? “I can’t speak for the world, ” he said sharply. Read More