Off the Media
Last year, a couple of young guys in the pickup community created a deliberately offensive article for Medium.com about the female writers at XOjane. Not because they wanted to offend people for some personal benefit (it was published under pseudonyms) but to trace and observe the process.
As you can imagine, it caused a stir.
You could call it trolling. Or you could call it a social experiment.
For those of us in the startup, Silicon Valley-makes-the-world-go-round tech industry, the name Sam Biddle incites fear (in the timid), disgust (in the short-tempered) and a chuckle (for those with a good sense of humor).
But before the 27-year old Brooklyn-based tech stroke gossip blogger wrote his first word, there was another Sam Biddle, the “real Sam Biddle”, as she jokes, who has beaten cancer and raised two children while building a global empire for nail artisans. She was also first to claim the @SamBiddle Twitter handle, so of course she knows all about the other Sam Biddle, who has a substantial 16,000 Twitter followers @SamFBiddle while Ms. Biddle has just under 2,000.
XY in Tech
Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft want Bill Gates gone as chairman. They worry he’s blocking the company from evolving and limits the power of the new CEO to make “substantial changes.” [Reuters]
Lines like “I found myself pressing the skip button on iTunes Radio more often than Pandora,” doesn’t bode well for Apple’s fledgling service. [Wall Street Journal]
The Washington Post is officially under Jeff Bezos’ control. [Washington Post]
Zynga founder Mark Pincus is “pretty bored with all games.” At least he acknowledged playing Running with Friends? [WSJ]
Sam Biddle shows how easy it is pretending to be a venture capitalist and gamed AngelList for fun. Hopefully this is just funding a second season of Start-ups: Silicon Valley. [Valleywag]
News of the first annual Objectify a Male Tech Writer Day swept across the web this morning following an article penned by one of the event’s founders, gaming and social media reporter Leigh Alexander. “From booth babes to harassment, snide comments to double standards, women have often had a hard time feeling comfortable around the tech industry,” she wrote. In order to demonstrate “the absurdity of objectifying people you claim to agree with or support intellectually,” she’s encouraging female tech writers to give gendered compliments or make sexist proclamations to men about their work.
Though the actual Objectify a Male Tech Writer Day isn’t until February 1st, Betabeat–comprised primarily of female writers–could hardly contain ourselves. Here are 25 gendered comments for 25 of our favorite male tech writers.
Oh you fancy, huh? Turns out doing PR for Tumblr, despite the site’s numerous recent outages, has its advantages. Katherine Barna, who works in communications for the blogging platform, got the chance to meet President Obama and the first lady at the White House, and she has the Christmas-themed snap to prove it. Wonder how many jealous reblogs this pic will spawn?
I’ll Take Stingy for $5, Alex We’ve heard of venture capitalists who drive a hard bargain when it comes to their term sheets, but not so much when they drive off Sand Hill Road. So we were dismayed to learn that a VC at a very prominent 36-year-old venture capital firm asked the non-profit(!) meetup group Hacks/Hackers, which brings together journalists and technologists, to waive a $5 attendance fee for an event. To put that number in context: the firm has more than $400 million under management.
Hacks/Hackers has a very welcoming attendance policy and routinely waives fees for students so that no one gets shut out. But if your portfolio’s aggregate revenue teeters up into the billions, just pry your hands off the fiver, dude.