shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Randi Zuckerberg Isn’t the Only One Casting for a Startup Reality Show in New York


Randi, Can You Hear Me? Yesterday evening, Betabeat attended a Bravo casting call masquerading as a networking event. An email passed around the technoscenti sought locals “who have a full time career and full time lifestyle” to possibly maybe star in an New York spin off of Randi Zuckerberg‘s much-maligned show.

But we hear Ms. Zuckerberg may have some competition. A source mentioned that MTV is also working on a startup reality show rumored to be produced by peripatetic Foodspotter Soraya Darabi and “a Reddit cofounder.” Ms. Darabi told Betabeat she was “not involved” in the project and Reddit cofounders Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman did not immediately responded to our inquiry, so it’s hard to say if that was just wishful thinking. However, an independent New York City-based casting director–not the lovely gentleman from last night!–confirmed that “There’s a bunch of networks” currently testing reality programming about startups, including MTV and possibly CNBC. Read More

Planet Reddit

Loving the Alien: How Erik Martin, King Bee of Reddit’s Hive Mind, Harnessed the Buzz


The top-scoring link of all time on the social news website Reddit is a post that users were never meant to see at all. It is titled “test post please ignore,” but almost 27,000 Redditors found it so amusing that they voted it up.

That is testament to the website’s impassioned community—and their brand of dry, often geeky humor (the site’s logo is an alien, after all). But Reddit’s user base, which a recent PBS documentary pegged as 72 percent male, has wide-ranging interests. Other top posts include a link to a news item about the elderly volunteering to clean up nuclear waste in Japan following the 2011 tsunami, and a Q&A session with the famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Reddit is one of the country’s most highly trafficked websites, but its general manager, Erik Martin, keeps a remarkably low profile. Most Redditors know the 33-year-old Mr. Martin solely by his username: HueyPriest. Read More

Parsing Pauly G

Mixed Messages: Early Reddit Employee Says He Co-Founded Reddit; Reddit Founders Say He Didn’t


Twenty-four-year old digital information activist and Reddit alumnus Aaron Swartz, in the news lately due to extreme charges of cyber crime, says on his website that he “co-founded the online news site Reddit.”

The problem? Reddit co-founders Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian don’t agree–and both sides cite the same Paul Graham quote as evidence.

Mr. Huffman, Mr. Ohanian and Mr. Swartz were members of the same Y Combinator class, where Mr. Huffman and Mr. Ohanian were working on Reddit and Mr. Swartz was working on a start-up called Infogami. According to Mr. Ohanian, Mr. Swartz joined the two founders six months into Reddit, and a new entity was formed called “Not A Bug,” the company that later sold to Conde Nast. Mr. Swartz is a co-founder of Not A Bug, says Mr. Ohanian, but it’s not accurate to call him a founder of Reddit. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Did Reddit Have a Third Co-Founder?

aaron swartz wiki

. . . And was Reddit his birthday present?

FROM THE DEPT. OF KARMA. “Reddit Co-Founder Charged With Data Theft,” Timesman Nick Bilton blogged Tuesday at Bits, and hearts stopped across the web: Redditors feared for the fate of Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, the people they knew as Reddit’s founders through the forums.

But the Times’s headline was actually referring to Aaron Swartz, the 24-year old who was just arrested and federally indicted on charges of computer hacking for downloading millions of articles from MIT and could face up to $1 million in fines and 35 years in jail. The headline was changed after protests from commenters and Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian, to “Internet Activist Charged in M.I.T. Data Theft” but the URL is still the same.

Once upon a time, Mr. Swartz was a contemporary of Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman at Y Combinator, working on a start-up called Infogami, a wiki/blog platform. Reddit and Infogami “merged,” a new company was formed and the trio made some agreement to call themselves “co-founders.” Mr. Swartz refers to himself as a founder here and here, although he said he’d be “happy to stop if Steve and Alexis wanted.” Paul Graham himself weighed in when the issue came up four years ago. “Aaron’s not wrong to call himself one of the founders,” he wrote on Reddit. “The company behind Reddit was a merger of two startups, one that made Reddit and one that made Infogami, and in that situation the founders of both startups are considered founders of the combined company.”

But Mr. Ohanian and Mr. Huffman–undisputed Reddit founders–don’t agree. Read More