Zero gravity Vines Newton would be proud - in honor of Gravity Day, September 8, GE asked Viners to film themselves catching an apple at the top of their screen and dropping it down through the bottom. When put together, it looks like the apple falls from one video to the next as you scroll through them, ending in a zero gravity multi-apple drop. GE compiled all the #GravityDrop vines in this trippy five-minute video.
Back in November, Livestream partnered with Tumblr for a “live-GIFing” of the final presidential debate. Seems the experiment was successful enough for a return engagement: The company’s bountiful stream of coverage tonight from Times Square will include not just the usual interviews and musical performances, but also GIFs. Glorious GIFs!
This officially solidifies 2012’s place in the Internet history books as the year even your 80-year-old nana learned what “those little moving pictures” were.
2012 was quite a year for the New York tech community. Several NYC startups scored monster exits, while others raised millions to up their chances of scoring a ping pong table for the office. Whether or not that hotly debated bubble bursts, we imagine 2013 will be another exciting year for NYC’s tech set. Here are some New Year’s resolutions from some of the NYC tech community’s boldest names.
Exit Through the GIF Shop
The wind is already whipping and New Yorkers, having bought up all the bottled water and discount Halloween candy they could find, are ready to hole up in their apartment for the next two days. It’s not like you can hop on the ACE and go check out the scene at the waterfront, since the subway is shut down and all.
Luckily for anyone seeking a little vicarious storm-chasing, there’s Livestream. The startup has installed a camera on the roof of its Chelsea HQ and will be broadcasting the storm’s transit across downtown on what they’ve dubbed #SandyCam.
“We just decided to scramble everybody, and they’ll be working and locking in with food and maybe even sleeping in the office Monday and Tuesday,” Livestream CEO Max Haot told Betabeat. Now that’s dedication.
Monday night, Betabeat headed downtown for a new twist on presidential debate punditry. Rather than merely wisecracking, drinking or even live-blogging, Internet types assembled for something new this election cycle: a “live GIF off” of the proceedings, arranged by Tumblr and Livestream.
Our destination was 111 8th Avenue, most famously Google’s New York HQ but also the home to Livestream, our hosts for the evening. Normally an office, the space had been transformed into a multimedia hub, with screens scattered throughout, streaming feeds from both the debate and (so meta) the event itself.
Game Over? There seems to be a mass exodus at Zynga. It was reported yesterday that Wilson Kriegel, the former chief revenue officer of Omgpop, has now left the company. In the last 30 days, the company has lost its COO, CCO, and two vice presidents. Maybe it’s time for them to “draw something” different, like a new management plan.
A New Hope? In much better Zynga news, the company has partnered with Food Network’s Robert Irvine to help beef up its Chefville game. Mr. Irvine has introduced a series of challenges to help improve the game where you run your own restaurant. “I couldn’t be more honored to have an avatar of myself and Restaurant: Impossible be a part of ChefVille,” Robert Irvine said in a press release. “As we lend insight to players on what it takes to create their dream restaurant while earning my approval.”
Love must be in the sticky, humid, sweltering air this season. After three Facebook mafia nuptials in a succession, New York techies are taking their turn at the altar.
The New York Times covered Rachel Sterne‘s East Hamptons wedding to LiveStream founder and CEO Maxime Haot twice in the past two months, once in a trend story about live-streaming your special day. (Yes, they live-streamed it. No, you couldn’t watch without a password.)
However, Vimeo cofounder Jakob Lodwick, perhaps burned by the public’s response to previous displays of affection, avoided the paper of record’s carefully combed-over Wedding section.
NYU’s Skirball center was at capacity last night as roughly 850 people crowded into the once monthly New York Tech Meetup to celebrate the defeat of SOPA and PIPA, and check out some startup demos.
Last night was also special (and started late) because the meetup was simulcast on Livestream for the first time in many months, so everybody at New Work City and New York General Assembly could join the NYTM remotely.
The big news: NYTM announced two new sponsors: Bloomberg and Nasdaq. Nasdaq has apparently been “shooting awesome video of the tech startups that are being built here.”
Office Photo Tour
On the Saturday that thousands of protesters marched to Times Square, the brass bells of the New York Stock Exchange rang out at noon–signifying the takeover of the trading floor by the New York startup community. Companies like Etsy, Meetup and ZocDoc were handing out t-shirts and branded ping pong balls to fresh-faced engineers in backpacks who circled the screen-filled roundabouts while munching the complimentary sandwiches provided for SA500, a Silicon Alley recruiting event.
The choice of venue could be interpreted as symbolic aggression. New York startups compete fiercely with the finance sector for programmers and MBAs–and while they can’t match Goldman’s salaries, they do make the social argument. Knewton wants to transform education, Sulia wants to reinvent news, and the mobile payments app Venmo wants to replace credit cards. Meetup is “starting a local community revolution”; Etsy’s mission is to “empower people to change the way the global economy works.” The lofty talk of startups is not unlike the rhetoric of the protesters, who are advocating–albeit vaguely–the most radical agenda of any political movement in recent memory.
“I see them as very, very similar,” said Scott Heiferman, co-founder and CEO of Meetup.com, who orchestrated a field trip to the protest after a recent board meeting. “Most of the successful startup people are out to make a dent in the universe and change the world in some way, and that’s what they’re trying to do downtown. I can’t speak to the people who are just hanging around for the free pizza, but there are people downtown who are really fired up to see some sort of systemic change in culture.”
But while they’re definitely talking about the protest, many techies aren’t sold. The movement has high engagement (and revenue!) but the brand, the marketing and the roadmap need work.
Almost two years ago, New York-based streaming video start-up Livestream was not Livestream. It was Mogulus, launched in 2007. “Mogul-us, as in “anybody can become a media mogul,” CEO Max Haot told TechCrunch at the time. The company bought the killer domain in 2009 when it rebranded around the trend of streaming live video.
The company is now more than 20 employees and growing, hiring for a web designer in New York as well as some positions in Bangalore and L.A. CLARIFICATION: Livestream is 120 employee in four offices (New York, Los Angeles, Bangalore India, Ukraine), including 50 full-time staff in its New York headquarters.
All photos and captions by James Nani.