Corn Husking

What We Learned On Our First Trip to Big Omaha, Nebraska’s Answer to SXSW

Photo by Malone & Company / Big Omaha via Silicon Prairie News

Earlier this week, Betabeat shlepped out to LaGuardia and took a plane and then another plane to Nebraska. We could tell things were gonna be different when the view from the window seat was tract after tract of pastoral green and brown instead of the Lite Brites that usually greet us descending into Queens. Then our shuttle driver from the airport invited us over for a home-cooked meal. We could get used to Central Time!

We are here, of course, for Big Omaha, an intimate startup conference that people like to describe as “how SXSW used to be,” i.e. before the marketers descended, Jay-Z showed up, and the suits started ruining everything. Attendance is capped at 650 and batches of tickets sell out within minutes. Read More

Can I Get a Hand With This?

Founder of Second Life Follows Zaarly and TaskRabbit Into the Errand-Outsourcing Market

What up, gurl? 2008 was aweslam.

You guys remember SecondLife, right? The virtual world that was going to revolutionize education, branding, and human interaction? The one whose economy, based on the Linden Dollar, rivaled some tiny European country’s GDP?

Not sure whether anyone’s avatar is still living (or learning) there, but founder Philip Rosedale has moved on, with an eye to IRL.

As AllThingsD reports, his new startup, Coffee & Power, is an online market that lets users buy and sell small tasks. Read More