Teach Me How to Startup
Bright and early this morning, we hopped aboard an F train and ventured not into Midtown, home of Betabeat, but rather deeper into Queens. Our destination: The Queens Business Solutions Center, an unassuming government building located on Jamaica Avenue and surrounded by bargain stores. Waiting, freshly printed, on every single seat: An updated copy of the city’s digital roadmap, dated August 2012.
Mayor Bloomberg had shlepped out to discuss his plan to bring small businesses into the Internet Age. The means: the Small Business Toolkit, a program incorporating both in-person classes at business solutions centers across the five boroughs, and a new online library of how-to guides developed in cooperation with local tech companies Mashable, Tumblr, Google and Weebly to help neighborhood entrepreneurs figure out this whole Internet thing.
While startups in the Union Square vicinity focus on disruption, few have been addressing the many neighborhood business that aren’t even online, and don’t know how to get there. Perhaps the administration got the memo about that bodega tech gap?
XX in Tech
Rapping mogul Jay-Z has 99 problems but an uncharged cell phone is certainly not one of them. In January, Mr. Carter signed up to be a spokesperson for Duracell’s Powermat charging station, a sleek little square that charges your cell phone just by resting your phone on top of it. Now, Mashable reports that HOVA has outfitted his swank 40/40 Club with Powermats, which should satisfy the attendees of those startup parties 40/40 has been hosting.
According to Mashable, the sports bar and lounge is “outfitted with Powermat charging stations through the resin-top bar area, VIP lounges and the stadium style seating with a view of the 165-inch state-of-the-art video walls.”
We be big pimpin‘ spendin volts. Wired charging is a hard knock life–once you have your moment of clarity you’ll realize the only way to run this town is with money, cash and Powermats.
Okay, we’re done.
The rain was really starting to come down hard, but the female CEOs at Internet Week appeared undaunted by the passing storm. Birchbox’s Hayley Barna, Learnvest’s Alexa von Tobel, Nest.io’s Caren Maio, Mashable’s Sharon Feder and Artspace’s Catherine Levene joined CNNMoney reporter Laurie Segall for a discussion about gender in tech.
The panel was entitled “Why Being a Good CEO Has Nothing to Do with Being a Woman,” but it was clear from the first question that the women on this panel were more concerned with talking about their businesses than how being a woman has hindered their growth in the tech sector. And who can blame them? After all, the panel was specifically about how gender had nothing to do with their success–though almost all of the questions revolved around their experience as women in a male-dominated world.
Yesterday we learned that a link in a Gawker post can fetch $175; so how much do you think an A-list television star could get for a tweet? Last night, in between tweets about the McRib being made of people, washing his hair with baby urine, and recovering from the mental image of Bette Midler and Geraldo Rivera having sex, Rainn Wilson tweeted the above.
FLACKER NEWS. A week ago, someone uploaded this incendiary! infographic! to Pastebin and Imagur: “Hacker News and Y Combinator exposed as scam!” Betabeat does not know the origin of the image; we were sent the link today by a tipster. “In twelve months of observation (since before and after the recent re-factors), we have determined beyond a reasonable doubt that “Hacker News” uses the following techniques,” it says.
UPDATE: Betabeat has learned that, after talking with Google+, Mashable has decided to pull its Google+ account until the official launch of branded profiles. Pete Cashmore, classy guy that he is, will post soon on this and of course, he and all Mashable employees will continue to share news, links and cat pictures on their personal accounts.
Seems like Google+ has decided to wipe the slate clean on brands, giving everyone a fair shot at what will be the most aggressive social media gold rush to date.
MORE UPDATES: Google+ Ad Guy Christian Oestlier, who is running the brand page portion of the search giant’s new social network, has issued a formal update. Basically, he says, Google+ was overwhelmed by the number of businesses, brands and charities who wanted to create profiles. “As a result, we have refocused a few priorities and we expect to have an initial version of businesses profiles up and running for EVERYONE in the next few months. There may be a tiny handful business profiles that will remain in the meantime solely for the purpose of testing how businesses interact with consumers.”
Unless you count the bacteria parties during the Cambrian Explosion, Google+ is the fastest growing social network in history, hitting 18 million users in just its first two weeks. Not surprisingly many companies want to get in on the gold rush, with savvy sites like Mashable racking up over 100,000 followers on their news account already.
But even as sites like Mashable have thrived, others have found Google+ much less hospitable. Yesterday Google+ took down ABC News Radio’s profile, much to the chagrin of its the company’s digital platform manager Dan Patterson.
Boing Boing spoke with Google about the issue and was told that brand account would be going live within a few months. They took down their official Boing Boing profile and replaced it with an intern who posted news links. But Xeni Jardin wasn’t ready to stop asking why companies like Mashable and Ford seemed to be getting special treatment. “You can’t ask orgs to simply not engage with such a powerful traffic mover. Not when Mashable has 72K followers or whatever. You can’t just ask other brands to chill and wait until [whenever],” she wrote on Google+.
Departures, Digital Publishing
Pete Cashmore was at Mashable’s New York headquarters this week, sitting out the rainy afternoon. “Some people say this has been a cruddy weather, but I’m from Scotland, so it doesn’t bother me,” Mr. Cashmore told Betabeat.
While he has called San Francisco home for the past few years, Mr. Cashmore is increasingly spending Read More
Tech Celebrity Sightings
Garry Tan, the co-founder of Tumblr’s trash-talking competitor Posterous, has jumped ship.
Posterous, a blogging platform similar to Tumblr, has
ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries Read More
Mashable has 500 invites today for The Fancy, a social bookmarking site dedicated to identifying real-world objects:
Tagging is where things—literally—get interesting on thefancy. A photographer, for instance, can add context to photos by tagging objects, or a business owner can tag merchandise in photos.
Snap a photo of something, upload to The Fancy Read More