Last night, gangs of glammed-out New York techies and science enthusiasts trekked uptown to the Rose Center for Earth and Space to take in a stunningly optimistic program presented by Gizmodo and the American Museum of Natural History. The event was planned and hosted by Gawker Media founder Nick Denton (with the help of Brew PR), who appeared so eager about the “celebration of technology and discovery” that he tweeted about it numerous times prior to the event, published a grandiose blog post on Gizmodo reveling in the glorious achievements of science, and sent out an email to attendees: “This evening should be inspiring and fun,” he wrote.
“I’ve never seen Nick so excited for a social event,” one colleague remarked.
And who could begrudge Mr. Denton his excitement? The event was everything he claimed it would be–and perhaps more, depending on how many free cocktails you indulged in. Hosted by Ellen V. Futter, the president of the American Museum of Natural History, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley and Mr. Denton himself, the gathering was as swank and inspiring as expected.
The Third Degree
After a week of closed commenting sections, Gawker released its new commenting system today, and it’s a doozy. Nieman Lab has a great rundown of the changes, including a computer algorithm that sifts through the comments and looks for ones to feature, as well as “a new inbox [that] focuses attention on all replies to a user’s comments… the original commenter must explicitly approve a reply to allow it into the conversation.”
Nieman Lab reports that the proprietary system is officially called Powwow, but interestingly enough, the actual discussion threads themselves are called “branches.”
The Real Housewives of Facebook
After years of reading Ryan Tate’s piercing coverage on the free time and foibles of Silicon Valley’s demigods at Gawker, Betabeat finally had the pleasure of making his acquaintance the other night. Spoiler alert: He might be the nicest dude in tech blogging, despite what the press releases regurgitation factories would have you think. Mr. Tate’s former pen pal Steve Jobs probably put it best: “He’s no dummy.”
We also had a chance to peruse his new book “The 20% Doctrine: How Tinkering, Goofing Off, and Breaking the Rules at Work Drive Success in Business,” which takes its title and subject matter from Google’s much-admired practice of letting employees spent a fifth of their work week building whatever they want to. Like, say, multi-billion dollar revenue streams like AdSense or lifelines like Gmail.
the startup rundown
Well, well. It appears that Silicon Valley hater Sarah Lacy may have other reasons to despise the new Bravo show, aside from it is going to destroy the very fabric upon which this holy tech society was built. The reason? According to Gawker, Ms. Lacy was shopping around for a reality show of her own.
HILL COUNTRY. Made in NY: Austin will celebrate New York based tech startups at South by Southwest on March 11 from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the Fast Company Grill at Cedar Door in the Texas Capital. The event will be hosted by Gust, and the New York Tech Meetup and will be attended Read More
TURNTABLE.FM PARTY CRASHED! On Thursday, New Work City had the rockin’est Turntable.fm DJ-off and techie dance party north of the Mississippi, we’re told, despite a miscommunication in the Pepsi delivery. Turntable’s cutesy avatars were cut out and pasted on the wall behind the DJs, which included Shai Goldman, bringer of dance beats as well as Silicon Valley Bank sponsorship. “Had almost 200 people, got crashed by drunk, obstinate Obliterati around midnight,” says one attendee. “A woman who claimed be society columnist for WSJ showed up with 10 people and pretty much demanded entry. Mind you, it’s $30 at the door to get in for open bar. Women from Zaarly also showed up part of this cadre of drunken ‘VIPs’,” he scoffed. Video here, photos here.
Osama bin Laden was the talk of Twitter today, wasn’t he, and we regret to say none of these rumors are bin Laden-based. However, they are mostly about tech! Read on for office angling, kittens, and the petty trials of internet mad men.
OFFICE SHUFFLE. Many tenant shakeups at the NYU-Poly incubator today, we hear from a source, “mainly because the biggest tenant, Ecological, moved in to their own office.” Finally–Ecological announced its intention to move months ago; companies had been itching to move into their old space. The freshly be-officed start-ups include Weeels (carpooling, “social transit”), BestVendor.com (social recommendations), and “Two Lines and a Dot,” a consulting company that uses NYU-Poly students as labor. “Not really a tech company, as I understand,” source tells us.
The Start-Up Rundown
We covered the booming business of Ben Lerer’s Thrillist recently, and this week brought two big hires as the company morphs into a more serious enterprise.
News broke last night in The Wall Street Journal that Eric Ashman, Chief Financial Officer at the Huffington Post will leave that post to take up as Read More
THIS WEEK IN NEW YORK START-UPS…
SHAKE-UPS: Richard Blakeley leaves Gawker after five years to join Thrillist. Mr. Blakeley will act as a liaison between the editorial and advertising sides of the company, CEO Ben Lerer told Betabeat, which now operate completely independently, and in general push harder to monetize content.
Three weeks ago, newly-relaunched Gawker hit the web with a curious omission: the row of social media widgets frequently attached to blog posts across the web (examples below and to the right of this post).
“These sites festooned with social media buttons—they look like primitive tribesmen clutching pathetically onto shiny baubles they Read More