Can You Digg It?
In the winter of 2004, soon after the husks of once-great dot-com startups had dried and shriveled, a 27-year-old college dropout named Kevin Rose deployed a barebones new site, simply named “Digg.”
It was one of the first social networks in existence. Back then, the term “social networking” hadn’t shouldered its way into our lexicon yet. Facebook was a nascent, walled platform for college gossip; Google was still idly toying with its search algorithm; Twitter wouldn’t launch for another two years.
News itself was a hierarchical affair, largely produced and disseminated by trusted broadcasters and editors. Journalism’s democratizing forces hadn’t congealed, yet; bloggers weren’t sitting front row at fashion shows or making a living off of Google Ads. The idea that a community of Internet geeks could manipulate the news cycle would’ve elicited howls of mocking laughter from the Conde kingmakers.
Microsoft Outlook now operates in-browser and is apparently a legitimate Gmail competitor? No flipping desks for Steve Ballmer today. [Wired]
Things are not looking good in iPad mag land. The Daily has laid off a 1/3rd of its staff. [AllThingsD]
Kevin Rose did an AMA, just in time for the release of the new Digg. It got less than 1,000 upvotes and apparently he didn’t actually answer any questions. [Reddit]
Two online poker sites are paying millions in damages following fraud and money laundering charges. Guess the government called their bluff. [New York Times]
Times Square will broadcast the Mars landing on one of those gigantic screens. The space geek in us is currently fighting with the person in us who fucking hates Times Square. [NASA]
UBS lost $356 million in the Facebook IPO. Yikes. [The New York Times]
Deconstructing the myth of the “booth babe.” [Jezebel]
Speaking of myths, the Facebook phone is apparently a reality, which is a shame because nobody wants a stupid Facebook phone. [Bloomberg]
Roku continues getting cozy with pay TV, raises $45 million from News Corps. and BSkyB. [TechCrunch]
Kevin Rose on the new Betaworks incarnation of Digg: “It’s very simple, and there’s a lot of emphasis on real-time.” Version one of the new Digg is set to debut in one week. [GigaOm]
Google is livestreaming its announcement about rolling out a fiber network in Kansas City today. [Google]
Zynga shares tumbled 42 percent yesterday; not even gullible mothers taking care of virtual crops can fix that. [Bloomberg]
Apple has won an injunction against Samsung, preventing the company from selling its biggest Android tablet. [AllThingsD]
A day in the life of a startup founder: “Shower and then spiritual time. I have a small shrine set up that allows me to focus on the important. I light an incense and gaze up at posters of Tim Ferriss, Kevin Rose and Warren Buffet.” [Hacker News]
Zynga announced a new hub for their online games, which will probably still not do much for their stock. [Wall Street Journal]
Apparently changing your email address to @facebook.com was a “visibility” change, not a privacy change. Welcome to the wonderful world of Facebook semantics! [New York Times]
Surprise! Most of BuzzFeed’s content is just repackaged Reddit posts. [Slate]
Exit This Way
It appears we now have a concrete reason for Oink’s mysterious shuttering yesterday. Kevin Rose, Internet cutie pie and ex-overlord of Diggnation, has been hired by Google. According to AllThingsD, “Google is not outright buying or ‘acqhiring’ Milk, the sources explicitly said, but Rose and some others from the company have been hired.”
Exit This Way
Milk Inc., Digg founder Kevin Rose’s new app shop, announced today that it was shutting down its first app project, Oink. The iPhone app was meant as a servicey rating tool, where users could highlight and rate specific aspects of a restaurant or bar, like meals or drinks. It saw fast growth upon release in November 2011, but apparently very little after the initial excitement died down.
Just two years after winning a SXSW Interactive award for Mobile apps, Gowalla has officially shut down. The location-based social networking start-up, once backed by investors including Kevin Rose and Jason Calacanis, was bought by Facebook in early December of last year but only put up a good-bye notice on its website today.
It's Who You Know
Let’s take a trip with the Ghost of Christmas Future. The year is 2016, and George Bailey, a former banker, now a part-time consultant, is looking for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for a co-op in the super-hot neighborhood of Bedford Falls (BeFa). He has never missed a loan payment and has zero credit card debt. He submits his information to the online-only PotterBank.com, but halfway through the application process, the website asks for his Facebook login. Then his Twitter. Then LinkedIn. The cartoon loan officer avatar begins to frown as the algorithm discovers Mr. Bailey’s taxi-driving buddy Ernie was once turned down by PotterBank for a loan; then it starts browsing his daughter Zuzu’s photo album, “Saturday Nite!” And what was this tweet from a few years back: “FML, about to jump off a goddamn bridge”?
We're Going to be TV Stars
A few weeks ago, we wrote about a new We checked out Mr. Commagere’s LinkedIn, where he lists his specialties as “games” and “viral marketing.” The CEO created or worked on several blockbuster Facebook games, his profile says, including Zombies and Vampires. He was also “a key member of the team that created ‘Causes on Read More
We're Going to be TV Stars
An ad for auditions for “a new reality show” set in Silicon Valley has appeared on Craigslist and in the inbox of Digg founder Kevin Rose. “NOW CASTING ‘Silicon Valley Reality Show’ Young Professionals (palo alto)” reads the headline, and the major cable network behind the idea is … Bravo. Project Startup, anyone?
The show isn’t explicitly tech-focused, it seems, as “any career goes, as long as you’re living life in the fast lane, we want to hear from you!”