shorty awards 2014

Social Media Stars Interact IRL at the Shorty Awards

Ms. Leggero in the beginning of the show. (Photo: Shorty Awards)

Social media fame is strange. Twitter, Instagram, Vine and YouTube celebrities are kind of like reality TV stars, but with even more of an everyman feel. They’ve got low budgets and lower inhibitions, and they play characters online who are an extension of their own identities. Reading tweet after tweet, we begin to feel like we know them.

But we don’t. And meeting them in real life can be awkward. They’re not professional socializers, after all, or even traditional entertainers. They’re just people who, from the privacy of their homes, consistently craft tiny bits of entertainment for our consumption. They’ve mastered the art of connecting with people bit by bit, every day — but only when separated by the distance between two given iPhones. Read More

Ello

Mad Genius Creates Ello, the Elegant Anti-Facebook

Paul Budnitz — exhibiting photographer and filmmaker, artist, designer toy maker, bicycle enthusiast. Add: social media magnate?

Update #1: Be sure to check out our latest reporting of Ello’s sudden explosion in popularity here.

Update #2: For anyone concerned about the future of Ello, they’ve assured us that the site will remain ad-free and porn friendly!

Update #3: Overwhelmed by the deluge of new users, Ello almost choked off all access for new members, but have gone all-hands-on-deck to keep Ello alive and soldier on through the hype.

For tech entrepreneurs and investors, a social network is the great white whale of startups. Successful ones scale hard and fast, generating mountains of precious user data for advertising clients.

Paul Budnitz, an artist and designer toy maker, thinks that kind of marketer exploitation is downright evil, and has organized a supergroup of artists, programmers, and designers to build a safe haven. It’s called Ello, and it’s a social network with a manifesto. Read More

ATwitter

Twitter’s #FF Was Born From a Bet — 5 Years Later, It’s Still Going Strong

Micah Baldwin (Twitter)

In honor of it being the end of the week, we did an interview with the guy who gave rise to the Fridays we’ve all come to know and (maybe?) love: Micah Baldwin, the creator of Follow Fridays, or #FF.

Mr. Baldwin is a startup guy living in San Mateo, Ca., ten minutes south of San Francisco. He’s the owner of Graphic.ly, a company that works with publishers to help them navigate the digital world and distribute ebooks.

He’s pretty sure it all started in January 2009, when two of his friends were competing to see who’d be the first to reach 1,000 followers on Twitter. The loser had to take the winner out to dinner. Read More

The Facebookers Will Inherit the Earth

“I Will Not Work With Facebook”: Minecraft Creator Disavows Oculus Rift Post-Acquisition

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 10.29.10 AM

While many are scratching their heads over Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of virtual reality company “Oculus Rift,” one developer has some strong words for the company.

When Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of the enormously popular sandbox game Minecraft, heard the news, he immediately withdrew his support from Oculus Rift: Read More

Fashion Plates

At Fashion 2.0 Awards, Social Media Teams Take the Spotlight

Zac Posen and Coco Rocha (Photo: facebook.com/stylecoalition)

Awards shows are never short on stuffiness masquerading as decorum — and you’d think that a ceremony for fashion industry insiders might be extra-uptight. But last night’s Fashion 2.0 Awards were anything but.

This was the fifth annual iteration of the awards show, which recognizes the fashion brands that use digital media best. The awards presenters are style bloggers and the honorees are fashion mavens who usually stay behind the scenes. The resultant atmosphere was laid-back, fun, modern and irreverent.

Guests arrived at the Merkin Concert Hall on West 67th Street and had their pictures taken in the carpeted lobby while bloggers milled about. Since many of the honorees were social media directors and bloggers, the lines were blurred as to who should be in front of the calendar and who should be behind it. We heard more than one pair of style bloggers (don’t they always socialize in twos?) wonder, “Should we go in front of the cameras or no?” Read More