Internet users are probably well-versed by now in the glory that is Amanda Bynes’s Twitter account. One hardly needs to spend a minute scrolling through her Twitter feed before encountering a booty call to Drake, a death threat to Perez Hilton or a topless selfie taken on a bathroom sink.
When it comes to obsessing over Ms. Bynes’ Twitter, it’s one thing to be an avid peruser, but it’s another thing entirely to earn the coveted retweet. We here at Betabeat have tried, so far to no avail. Now, for your convenience, we’ve scientifically analyzed Ms. Bynes’ Twitter feed and concisely determined what it takes to get noticed—and retweeted—by everyone’s favorite wayward celeb.
As New York Observer columnist Ryan Holiday noted back in September, social media sites are often “broken on purpose.” That brokenness works in favor of a site like Facebook because it means they can potentially find more ways, in Mr. Lawler’s words, “to extract more money from users.”
Today, Facebook is starting to address that problem with a feature that allows users to choose if they want to be notified whenever there’s a new page post.
Show of hands: How many of you now know way too much about high school friends’ video viewing habits, thanks to SocialCam‘s overshare-enabling default settings? And surely we can’t be the only users enraged by being prompted to install an app before we can read an article on Yahoo News or The Washington Post?
Facebook apps and their “frictionless sharing” are aggravating–so naturally, a couple of enterprising developers have created workarounds for both Chrome and Firefox, reports TechCrunch.
The plug-ins allow users to read or watch whatever their friends have shared, without sharing it themselves. That means you can assuage your curiosity re: TomKat while browsing Facebook, without blowing your “I don’t read celebrity news” cover.
Of course, this only solves accidental oversharing. If you’re the type to chronicle every dispute and drunken cocktail party on Facebook, there’s not much we can do for you.
Ever stood on a street corner wondering what your neighborhood looked like a century ago? If yes, a) you are a nerd and b) the New York Public Library is working on it.
Thanks to a 2010 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the NYPL has embarked on a big effort to digitize its collection of historical maps. And for the history-crazed among us, they’ve just posted a lengthy, detailed description of how that project works.
When NonStartr popped up on our Twitter feed this morning, we of course found it hilarious–”Its like Klout, but for clowns!”–but then we thought maybe we had seen it before. Turns out Nonstartr is new; one of its creators, Alex Leo, Reuter’s director of product news, told us over Twitter: “We came up w/idea months ago, brainstormed & got domain/accts but [Andrew Cedotal] (who did ALL the work) did it recently.” But it’s also one of many ridiculous startup generators on the Internet that poke fun at some of the silly ideas for companies the recent tech bubble has produced. So without further ado, here is your complete guide to the Internet’s best startup generators.
Lean and Healthy
The blanket definition of a wantrepreneur is simple: someone who wants to start a company but hasn’t yet. They may have an MBA; they may be freshly escaped from the JP Morgan hamster wheel, or they may have recently inherited a large sum of money immediately before watching The Social Network. Whichever it is, wantrepreneurs are strivey, enthusiastic and most of all, ubiquitous. These creatures have become a staple of the New York tech scene, so odds are you’ve got at least one of them on your gift list. And if not, remember that even though that wantrepreneur may be a douche bag, they do RSVP to every one of your meetups. Soooo maybe you should get them something, we dunno, just to be nice. Who knows, maybe one day they will launch that augmented reality app, subscription service or daily deal site, and you can say you helped them a little bit on the way with these wantrepreneur-friendly accessories.
Smartphones Make You Lazy
While some venture capitalists require their portfolio founders to get life insurance and many startups opt for disaster insurance (server loses all the data, hackers attack, etc.), startups, founders and freelancers often skimp on health insurance. “It’s called DontGetSickOrDie.ly,” tweeted* a local founder after Songsicle founder Frank Denbow posed the question on Twitter (asking for a friend, he said, although he also needs it himself, he told Betabeat).
In part the dearth of health insurance is due to the fact that “lean startup”-leaning founders and freelancers don’t have funding to pay their salaries, let alone benefits (and they’re all 25-year-olds on the 4 Hour Body diet anyway, right?**). But it’s also because the process is complicated and no really great options exist. Sounds like a market ripe for disruption! But in the meantime, Betabeat did a bit of research.
This app has a terribly clunky name but perhaps you may find it useful, so Betabeat presents the Official ING New York City Marathon Mobile Spectator App Presented by Subway, powered by MapMyRUN. This weekend, the annual New York City Marathon will draw thousands of spectators lined up from the Verrazano Bridge to the edge of Central Park, either to support a friend or just to enjoy the spectacle of a bunch of people sweating really hard.
Welcome to New Fit City
Last week, we wrote about the tech community’s ambivalence toward Occupy Wall Street. Some young web entrepreneurs just aren’t in love with the movement. But many socially-minded developers are into it, and whether at hackathons in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, or New York, or elsewhere, or on their own, they’re building apps to show it.
This is a guest post by Dick Talens, an amateur competitive bodybuilder and the co-founder and CTO of Fitocracy. He once looked like the kid from Up (except much rounder) until he traded in his video game time for gym time. Over the last eight years, he’s spent 1000+ hours reading about nutrition and training so that others don’t have to. He tweets about startups and fitness @DickTalens, or you can find him on Fitocracy with that same handle.
Over the last decade I’ve gone from comically fat (note the homeless guy laughing at me) to amateur competitive bodybuilder. At the same time, I’ve whittled down the hours I spend working out every week from 20+ to less than three, and improved my results.
Because I co-founded a startup, I obsess over the ROI of my time on fitness for myself and my trainees. There’s nothing more painful than seeing people spend hours every week on the treadmill without seeing any change. So how do you remain fit* while working 80+ hours/week at a startup? Here’s what you should know.