I'll Tumbl For You
Chief Yahoo Marissa Mayer looked pretty damn chipper as she took the stage in a small room overlooking Times Square, late yesterday afternoon.
Technically, the press had gathered for the announcement of a revamped Flickr. (It’s biggr! It’s spectaculr!) An entire lounge had been papered over with giant images pulled from the service, and in the square below a mob of T-shirt-wearing fans/paid actors were jumping up and down and hollering and waving Flickr signs in celebration.
But with David Karp slouched in the front row, it was clear this was about more than the addition of full-bleed photos to a decade-old service.
Yesterday was Mayor Bloomberg’s final Inner Circle dinner, an annual gathering of politicos and a chance for the city’s chief executive to indulge his inner vaudevillian. Every year, the mayor participates in a parody of a popular Broadway show, recapping the year’s events.
This time, though, Bloomberg went a bit over the top. The New York Times reports that he hired (with his own money) the casts of several Broadway musicals to lend a hand. And perhaps as a nod to his role as Godfather to the New York tech scene, he traded his usual slacks for jeans and a blue hoodie (perhaps the gift from Yext?).
On the Town
“Mr. Mayor, I know you’re wearing a suit on the outside. But this industry is all about hoodies, and I know based on who you are you’re a hoodie on the inside,” CEO Howard Lerman told Mike Bloomberg, presenting the mayor with his very own honorary pullover–Yext branded, of course.
As he took it, Mayor Bloomberg informed the shaggy entrepreneur that, “My mother would have said you needed a haircut.” A room full of techies held up their smartphones for a digital souvenir of the moment.
Fitter Happier More Productive
Has there ever been a person more relentlessly energetic than Mike Bloomberg? The New York Post reports that our outgoing mayor is launching yet another initiative in his ongoing campaign for clean living, and it’s targeted to the young folks and their deafness-inducing earbuds.
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.
After the Storm
Hurricane Sandy drove many New Yorkers out of their homes and, given the impending Nor’easter, at the worst possible time. Something like 20,000 to 40,000 people need somewhere to stay. Hoping to help alleviate the situation: Airbnb. Thanks to a partnership with the mayor’s office, the displaced can now turn to the site for places to stay, free of charge.
The hub for the effort is this page, which greets visitors with the guilt-trip-inducing message, “It’s time to help each other.” Anyone with a place to stay, be it spare bedroom or humble couch, can list it for free.
In a statement, the company told Betabeat:
Guest of a Guest is worried that the next mayor of New York won’t use the Foursquares and the Twitters. “Technology and social media has taken over the world and has even inserted itself into the heart of Mayor Bloomberg … He has made the use of technology important and a priority to the city’s growth and well-being.” The writer cites Mayor Bloomberg checking into Duane Reade on Foursquare and tweeting about the opening of the Twitter office as evidence that the next mayor has “pretty big tech boots to fill.”
Hacker News News
Did Mayor Mike Bloomberg, tech champion, join the influential geek forum Hacker News? It appears so. About 12 hours ago, someone registered an account for “mikebloomberg” and submitted a link to a video on Mr. Bloomberg’s website entitled “My Visit to TechStars’ Demo Day in NYC.”
Tech and the City
UPDATED 2:16 p.m.
Hackathon madness continues! And this time, it’s a civic duty. The mayor’s office is hosting a two-day hackathon the last weekend in July at General Assembly to redesign NYC.gov (or as it may soon be called, NYC.nyc), inviting developers and designers “to create imaginative, new prototypes of NYC.gov, the City of New York’s primary web presence.”
The hackathon is just a first step in the process to redesign the struggling website, which has bloated to almost a million pages, Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne said.
Silicon Alley U
Mayor Mike is ready to heavily subsidize a university to build an applied sciences outpost in New York, and it’s looking like it could be Stanford. Eighteen schools submitted proposals by the March 15 deadline, but the mayor’s office keeps shouting out the Palo Alto institution in speeches and press releases. And if the goal is to encourage tech entrepreneurship, what school could be better?
“The initial response we’ve gotten from universities has been very encouraging. We’re particularly pleased that Stanford–which has a top-flight engineering school–is considering the idea,” he said in prepared remarks two weeks ago at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.