Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!
It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
My friends Justin Brown & Mark Bakacs are founders of a hot new startup, Ideapod (a platform for ideas). Think TED but more interactive! Every week, a leading thinker will ignite a new conversation. This week it’s Amir Dossal, founder and chairman of Global Partnerships Forum. Topic: What if everyone had access to the web?
The thing about getting something done in D.C. is it requires the occasional trip to D.C. Hence this week, Mark Zuckerberg sallied forth from the cozy womb of Silicon Valley to do a little schmoozing in the capitol. As part of his trip, he took a little time to sit down with the Atlantic and answer a few questions at the Newseum.
And if you’ve been wondering about Mr. Zuckerberg’s political allegiances, well, don’t expect to be enlightened: “I think it’s hard to affiliate as being either a Democrat or a Republican; I’m pro knowledge economy.”
Generally when a billionaire says that, though, it doesn’t mean he’ll be whipping out his checkbook for the DNC.
Now that he’s no longer CEO, how does Eric Schmidt spend his days? Well, he’s become really interested in expanding Google to “wacky countries — you know, countries that have problems.” [Foreign Policy]
The FTC is patient: After a minuscule fine for noncooperation with that StreetView investigation, Google is close to coughing up $22.5 million for tracking Safari users. [Businessweek]
The Pentagon wants some cybersecurity legislation. [Washington Post]
The Atlantic is welcome once more on Reddit, the beehive’s point having been made. [The Daily Dot]
Is poor, beleaguered Microsoft facing Surface manufacturing troubles? [ZDNet]
Meanwhile, the Kindle Fire is slimming down to face its newest foe. [PC World]
It’s election season, which explains the higher-than-usual incidence of poll-pegged stories we’re seeing in our inbox. And hey, guess what? The Internet now has cultural relevance beyond enabling politicians to send citizens pics of their junk.
And so The Atlantic wound up with a couple of interesting little factoids, as part of its massive state-of-the-union study (co-commissioned by the Aspen Institute). The most alarming? Lots of youths are letting the Internet influence their ideas about morality.
From a post summing up the results:
Seems like the folks over at Reddit don’t take too kindly to spammers. The Daily Dot reports that at least five news source domains, including some media heavyweights like The Atlantic and Businessweek, have been banned from Reddit. That doesn’t just mean employees at those companies can’t post links–it means that users can’t post links that include atlantic.com or businessweek.com domains.
“Are LOLCats Making Us Smarter?” asks a link-baity Atlantic headline that actually has nothing to do with the article it accompanies. The short answer: No, but that didn’t stop the Atlantic from writing a think piece about memes anyway.
As a graduate of NYU’s Gallatin school, where students design their own bizarre, mostly pretentious majors, this reporter is not really surprised that people are now writing dissertations about the cultural impact of LOLCats. After all, hasn’t social media researcher Danah Boyd essentially built an entire career around intellectualizing Internet topics otherwise deemed too 4chan-ish?
Media outlets should have learned a lesson when Village Voice Media got caught spamming Reddit and basically had to grovel for the Mechagodzilla of link aggregation sites’ forgiveness, but they didn’t. We know this because the Daily Dot ferreted out a new spammer, no less than The Atlantic‘s social media editor, Jared Keller–a.k.a. “SlaterHearst” during his time pimping Atlantic articles to the Redditorati, a.k.a. “redditors.” Mr. Keller’s skullduggery was revealed to Daily Dot by finding him on OK Cupid, where he used the same screen name, describing himself as an “Attempted journalist” and “lover of new ideas.”
As “SlaterHearst,” Mr. Keller was a highly successful redditor until the site banned him last month:
Did you know that sometimes guys use the Internet for things other than porn and perpetrating sexist stereotypes? Here at Ladybeat, we know very little about the Internet habits of the opposite sex, but luckily Jennifer Doll, she of single lady fame, bro-ke it down for us in a manticle for The Atlantic.
Ever since news broke last year that satirical news source The Onion was shutting down their New York office and heading to Chicago, The Atlantic reports that the core team of staffers has pursued every avenue to keep the company from heading west. One bizarre but apparently legitimate option was to have startup non-incubator Betaworks buy The Onion.
According to Tumblr experts (look for a course in becoming one at your local DeVry soon), Tumblr is something like an unholy hybrid of Twitter and WordPress and quite possibly the future of humanity. Or, more seriously, the future of print.
We exaggerate–but there was a shiny, glittering feel to The Next Web’s report on last Friday’s “Let’s Get Ready to Tumblr: Building community by reimagining and redistributing your content.” The panel was part of Social Media Week and featured Tumblr notables from Buzzfeed, Flavorpill and The Atlantic.