Your Colleagues In the News

Product Hunt’s Success Begs the Question: What Is Tech News Even For?

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 2.06.16 PM

Welcome to Freshly Minted, where we examine an overlooked deal or funding announcement in tech from the past week, and tell you what you need to know, and why it matters.

The deal: Product Hunt, a site that where users can upvote new products every day, raised $6 million from Andreessen Horowitz at a $22 million valuation.

For as long as there’s been an Internet, self-proclaimed new media evangelists and armchair philosophers have been saying that online media was going to kill off the need for us “real” journalists. But even as dwindling ad revenue wreaks havoc on the news biz, here we are, still occasionally pulling in a salary — though every once in a while, some new service shows up to keep us journos in check. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: BlackBerry Really Hopes That Keyboards Are Going to Save Them

The future. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons,by ScaredPoed)

Careful where you tread, Ryan Seacrest: BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company’s future devices will “predominately” feature physical keyboards. [The Verge]

We’re just going to leave this headline here: “Path Closes $25 Million In New Funding.” [Recode]

Since you need another music streaming service, Beats Music is launching next week for $10 a month. [Fast Company]

An Uber car was attacked by striking taxi drivers in Paris. Apparently, they’re not so pleased with the influx of competitors encroaching on their turf. [CNet]

NBC News is taking a ten percent stake in NowThis News, a Lerer Ventures-backed news agency that specializes in producing short clips for Vine and Instagram. “It allows them to experiment in this new medium without putting their legacy brand at risk,” said Mr. Lerer. [New York Times]

All Covered With Vines

You Can Get Paid to Be a Vine VJ Now

We'd be giving the thumbs-up, too. (Screengrab: Seenive.com)

Those who still scoff at the idea of Vine as an influential app, here’s a little more proof that the six-second video-sharing service is not only entertaining, but profitable.

Video news service NowThis News has hired West Palm Beach, Fla., native Cody Johns as their first official Vine VJ, their managing editor, Katharine Zaleski, confirmed today. And, yes, he’s getting paid for it. Read More

New News

‘Planet Daily’ Gets a New Name and a Partnership with Buzzfeed

Not the actual NowThis News headquarters, sadly. (Photo: DC Wikia

Ken Lerer’s answer to the Daily Show–a video startup formerly known as Planet Daily–is stealth mode no more. Today the company announced its proper name–NowThis News–plus the identity of its executive team. The site will launch with a partnership with BuzzFeed in place, positioning the company’s content to go viral like chickenpox in Mrs. Henderson’s kindergarden class. The mission is about what we’d expected: to offer “video news for mobile and social news consumers.” Finally, a real broadcast for those among us who turn YouTube in times of crisis!

However, as lifelong Lois Lane fans, we must register our disappointment that the site is losing its super-heroic code name.  Read More