The ratings on Foursquare Explore are now powered not simply by randos assigning stars, but rather a number of factors like checkins and tips. [Foursquare Blog]
At GigaOm’s RoadMap conference, Kickstarter cofounder Perry Chen dropped a little knowledge on the crowd: Last year, $3 million went to gaming projects. This year, the sum is 20 times as high. [Twitter]
Washington wants to strengthen privacy protections for the kiddos, but Silicon Valley swears up and down the new rules are so bothersome it might make it impossible to even bother developing for children. That would be terrible, because then they might have to spend some time outside, God forbid. [New York Times]
Everyone’s just a touch nervous about the prospect of New Jersey’s vote-by-email scheme. [Computer World]
Tumblr now clocks in at 20 billion monthly pageviews. Whew. It’s also basically a ceaseless river of content, with 77 million posts every day on 79 million blogs. (Though presumably many of those are reblogging the same five pinup pics again and again.) [Daily Dot]
There are some lookers spread across the board in New York’s tech scene, but no one holds a candle to the collective attractiveness of the Kickstarter team. Seriously, their staff is a little too beautiful, like the shirt folders of the local Abercrombie in our high school days.
Luckily, we can now gaze at them all day long on the site’s new team page. They’ve bucked the trend of posing together like a picture day elementary school class and have instead gone with a looping scrollable video gallery. It’s like taking a ride through Disney World’s Hall of Presidents, as styled by American Apparel.
The Media Elite
Annie Leibovitz’s Silicon Alley photo shoot has finally made its way into print, as part of Vanity Fair’s annual “New Establishment” list. As we’d hoped, the magazine opted to pose Arianna Huffington in the sidecar of David Karp’s vintage motorcycle. (Guest appearance by Mr. Karp’s “French-English bulldog,” Clark.) Only in the version that made the October issue, Dennis Crowley is depicted emerging from a manhole, avec le swag. As before, the annual list is chockablock with tech types, but just like last year, Silicon Valley dominates.
Peter Thiel comes in at no. 37, repping for libertarian utopias between Tyler Perry and Ryan Seacrest. Elon Musk is no. 9 on the list, two rungs higher than Adele, but one spot below a new entrant: Pinterest’s Ben Silberman, no. 8. Despite Square’s caffeine-fueled growth, Jack Dorsey stayed at the no. 5 spot, but finally got the fashion props he’s been waiting for. “It’s a Prada suit; for everyday wear, it’s denim from Scott Morrison’s Earnest Sewn line, which was the first brand to use Twitter.”
Scattered among the elite are a handful of New York techies, present and accounted for. By and large, it’s the same group of people as last October, although it’s interesting to note how Vanity Fair assesses their power ranking, year-over-year.
A series of stumbles–dead jellyfish, burned sandals, iffy iPod docks–has Kickstarter backers wondering whether there’s any recourse when they bet on projects that just don’t pan on. Their discontent finally bubbled up to NPR, which politely requested some answers yesterday. And so today, the Kickstarter cofounders–Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, and Charles Adler–took to the company blog to clarify a few things, with a post titled “Accountability on Kickstarter.”
That mason jar desk lamp hasn’t show up? The brainwave-scanning iPhone accessory not working quite right? Concerned that brilliant poet has taken off to Tahiti with your donation? Sorry, Charlie. It’s not Kickstarter’s responsibility to make you whole:
It’s hard to be heads down when it’s hot out. Exhortations to “just keep shipping” trigger fantasies of sailboats; Friday afternoon happy hours just aren’t as appealing as sangria on a terrace in Spain. Besides–is there any surer sign of a healthy startup sector than tech stars taking lavish vacations?
Kickstarter CEO Perry Chen announced today on the company’s blog that project pages for the crowdfunding site have gotten a major makeover. Now it will be easier to find information about projects like that sketchy open source game console Ouya. Rejoice!
Though we’re no UI experts, Kickstarter’s original project pages could be described as “cluttered” and “confusing” at best. Mr. Chen hopes this redesign will make absorbing information about projects you might want to back much easier.
In The News
The boys from Kickstarter are going to appear on Rock Center with Brian Williams on Monday. Check out a preview clip of them explaining Kickstarter to the norms.