All Covered With Vines
When Vine was launched on this day last year, many self–proclaimed social media experts scoffed. They assumed it would be used like a live–action Instagram, full of insufferable brunches, FOMO–inducing party pics, and narcissistic selfies.
But the network unexpectedly turned into a huge platform for burgeoning comedians. These ”Vine celebs” were unknowns last year, and now make a living by being funny on the year–old network.
All Covered With Vines
You mean coitus? Like all humans, we’ve been learning every single track on the surprise digital album (#tech) recently released by one Beyoncé Knowles‐Carter.
Knowing Beyoncé and Jay‐Z are big fans of hanging out in Paris, we weren’t surprised to hear some French on our favorite track, “Partition.”
Those who still scoff at the idea of Vine as an influential app, here’s a little more proof that the six-second video-sharing service is not only entertaining, but profitable.
Video news service NowThis News has hired West Palm Beach, Fla., native Cody Johns as their first official Vine VJ, their managing editor, Katharine Zaleski, confirmed today. And, yes, he’s getting paid for it.
Jack of all trades If you recently moved to a new apartment and are looking for some non-Ikea works to spruce up the place, Twitter cofounder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey has just the item for you. The creative Mr. Dorsey has put a pencil drawing he did up for sale on Square’s marketplace. For just $1,000, you can own a 4-panel pencil sketch of a gingko leaf, appropriately signed by “@jack.” But you might want to wipe that sneer off your face: the proceeds go directly to Charity:Water, so we don’t think Mr. Dorsey will be launching a personal moneymaking venture as an artist anytime soon.
In the future, everyone will receive their
15 minutes six seconds of fame, at least according to VaynerMedia founder Gary Vaynerchuk, who has spared no expense in his insatiable quest for content. When last we checked in with Mr. V, he was having an employee Vine him on the toilet in order to worship at the throne of Content, which he believes is “the cost of entry to relevance in today’s society.”
Now, Mr. Vaynerchuk intends to monetize other people’s six-second pooping episodes by founding a talent agency. For people who Vine.
“Oh my god, I should totally have my own reality show.” It’s something bland people have been saying since the dawn of Bravo, but few have acted on it. Lucky for them, one trail-blazing social media CEO is bravely chronicling his existence in a deluded quest for content.
Gary Vaynerchuk of VaynerMedia has repurposed a perfectly innocent employee to “shadow my life,” he told Forbes. The employee will follow him around all day and record his every statement and move, like a lesser Beyoncé assistant. He thinks this is a trend that will catch on like wildfire within the year.
Earlier this afternoon, Gawker republished photos and a video of AlphaBoost CEO Matt Monahan drunk and naked during a vacation to India. The escapades were originally shared by Jesse Thomas founder of JESS3, a social media advertising firm.
Venture-backed startup founders are fond of booze-soaked jaunts to unwind from the pressure of crushing it, celebrating a big milestone, or just because they can afford to. The difference here is that Mr. Thomas graduated from ill-advised Instagram shots of popping bottles to sharing a video and photos of a stark naked Mr. Monahan cavorting on the beach, somewhere approaching blackout drunk.
And that Mr. Monahan got caught on tape at the same time that he’s trying to sell his company.
It’s never too early to start speculating about the next election cycle. So we’re calling it, less than a month into the new year: 2013 will be New York tech’s debut as a political force.
Tech moguls and politicians have always been willing bedfellows, of course. Last year, technophiles in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area outpaced “Hollywood celebrities and Wall Street moguls” in funding President Obama’s reelection campaign, according to a report from MapLight.com. On the other side of the aisle–like far, far to the right–Facebook investor Peter Thiel “almost single-handedly” funded Ron Paul’s super PAC. After his fringe candidate dropped out of the race, Mr. Thiel donated $1 million to Club for Growth Action, a Tea Party super PAC.
Sundancing in the Dark South by Southwest is basically right around the corner, but it seems several techies needed a break before March offers the excuse for a tax-deductible trip to Austin. Investor Scooter Braun is be there (for obvious reasons), as is VHX cofounder Casey Pugh, ABC News’s Maya Baratz, onetime Myspace prez Jason Hirschhorn, and Thrillist cofounder Ben Lerer. Judging from Mr. Lerer’s Instagram, Gary Vaynerchuk is also along for the ride.
Startups are taking advantage of the festival’s halo of hipness. The creatives at Kickstarter have devoted a page to Sundance entrants funded on the platform, and cofounder Yancey Strickler says he’ll be in attendance. Uber will be there–and handing out hot chocolate. “All you have to do is tap the Uber app and we will come wherever you are to deliver sweet salvation from the epic cold,” the company promises. Not to mention helping sooth the pain of Uber’s high fares.
Some bad news for New York’s best big mouth, it appears that Wine Library, Gary Vaynerchuk’s online store, has been hacked. The site sent an email out to customers yesterday, as first reported by Alexia Tsotsis, which gave them a rundown on the timeline of the attacks.
When we began hearing from a few customers about possible fraudulent credit card charges in the middle of October, we launched an investigation. At that time, we did not know a data breach had occurred. However, as the number of these concerns increased in early November, we removed all credit card data from our site on November 11th since it became clearer that, although we couldn’t find a breach, something was going on. Last week we confirmed that an IP address from China was used to hack our website and potentially compromised customer credit card information. As far as we can tell, this did not affect any in store transactions.
The company makes it clear that this is the first time in its 15 years on the web that it has experienced something like this, and that it is taking big steps to ensure it never happens again. In fact, according to the email, the company will no longer store any customer credit card data.