The Year Observed

Oh, Snapchat! And 2013’s Other Tech Winners and Losers

Buddies! Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Tumblr founder David Karp. (Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Snapchat’s Staying Power

Despite being a picture-messaging app whose missives disappear in seconds, Snapchat made clear that it wants to stay on the tech scene for years to come.

Invented by fraternity brothers at Stanford University in 2011, the start-up is still profitless, but it hasn’t lacked for buzz in 2013—or controversy. In February, Snapchat achieved the ultimate start-up status symbol by being embroiled in a lawsuit by a spurned frenemy named Reggie Brown. He claimed that founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy stole the idea from him, in a Social Network-esque lawsuit. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Dennis Crowley Crows About Cake and Kevin Rose’s Tattoos Are No More

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Cake, cake, cake. Sorry haters, but Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley is going to have his cake and eat too. He shared a cryptic photo of a half-eaten “Dreaming Princess” cake proclaiming that the days of Foursquare are sweeter than ever.

Perhaps he’s right! The company did announce an innovative new feature that automatically sends you texts and rumors are swirling that Microsoft wants to take a chunk of the company. But, if we’re believing caption, he’s not going to tell us for another three months. Please, someone remind us to check in with that. Read More

I'll Tumbl For You

Another Early Tumblr Employee Departs: ‘Media Evangelist’ Mark Coatney Leaves

Mr. Coatney (Photo: Twitter)

Tumblr “director/media evangelist” Mark Coatney, one of the company’s early employees and the man who built the site’s outreach team, just announced that he’s leaving the company. For those keeping score at home, that’s right on the heels of creative director Jacob Bijani’s departure.

Mr. Coatney didn’t detail his reasons for leaving in the announcement on his Tumblr, other than to say, “It’s a a good time, with Tumblr moving into a new and even better stage with Yahoo, and though I’m happy about the decision and excited about new opportunities, it’s still bittersweet.” Read More

Stop The Tumblrs

Tumblr, Age 4, Hosts as Many Blogs as WordPress, Age 8. Can We Stop Comparing Them Now?


Welp, Tumblr has caught up to WordPress, Mark Coatney said during an NPR interview yesterday. Tumblr has been hot on WordPress’s trail for a while; now both free blogging platforms host or power about 20 million blogs. “Tumblr now has about the same amount of bloggers as WordPress:  But which ones get more traffic? Guessing the latter,” tweeted social media wunderkind Vadim Lavrusik, formerly of Mashable, now media liaison for Facebook.

We say, who cares? We’re sick of hearing this comparison. Juxtaposing Tumblr and WordPress is like comparing Apple to Read More