Gothamist Shutters Its Austin Counterpart Citing Low Nat’l Ad Interest

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Gothamist National Media, the hyperlocal news empire based in New York City, announced yesterday that their hyper-local site Austinist is officially closed.

“As an independent, bootstrapped media company, we have to run lean and mean,” Jake Dobkin, the founder and publisher of Gothamist, told Betabeat. “That means pruning the tree each year to keep it healthy and strong, and that’s what led to the Austinist decision.” Read More


Patch Layoffs Hit Today

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Patch, AOL’s hyperlocal site, laid off around 350 employees today. The eliminated positions, which represent about 40 percent of the workforce, could increase to 500 if AOL doesn’t succeed in finding partners for some of the underperforming sites, ALL Things D reported this morning. For now, that leaves 150 people in limbo.

CEO Tim Armstrong was expected to announce 500 layoffs on a conference call last Friday (instead, Mr. Armstrong publicly fired a staffer for taking his picture during the call, and then sort of apologized for it this week). Read More


Patch Expected to Lay Off 500 Employees Tomorrow

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Hard times are hitting Patch, AOL’s network of hyperlocal news sites. In an earnings call yesterday, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said that he expects to shut, sell or find partners for nearly 300 of the 900 sites, Newsday reported this morning. Additionally, Mr. Armstrong said that layoffs will eliminate up to 500 positions, reported Jim Romenesko. Details of the layoffs will be announced on Friday.

Giving employees two days to speculate about upcoming layoffs understandably rankled staffers. Read More


Where NY Tech’s Culture Comes From (and Why We Owe Amit Gupta Our Bone Marrow)

Mr. Gupta

This is a guest post from Nate Westheimer. Nate is an engineer, entrepreneur, and angel investor. Currently, Nate serves as Executive Director of the NY Tech Meetup, Advisor to Flybridge Capital Partners, and Founder/Advisor to He blogs at


As the NY Tech scene has gained momentum over the past few years, I find myself talking to a lot of journalists who are trying to understand what’s going on here and how we arrived at this point.

In these interviews, I always highlight NY Tech’s unique culture, and in so doing I point out that this culture is both native to New York itself, but also cultivated and defined by folks in the tech community 5 to 10 years ago, before this Great Boom showed up in Gap ads and magazine covers.

In my opinion, the culture we have here has been defined by three people: Read More


What Happens When You Have a New York Incubator NOT Named TechStars . . .


. . . You gots to put a shingle up to attract the start-up talent. With a 1.7 percent acceptance rate for its last class, TechStars NY already bested the Ivy League at its own game: the enviable aura of exclusivity. But New York’s glut of incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces—all loosely-organized around the goal of mentoring, housing, funding and growing baby start-ups into big companies—have led to a noticeable distinction between the varsity and JV leagues of support networks.  Admission into TechStars vaunted ranks, of course, comes with $18,000 in funding—and exposure. And even General Assembly is known for having VCs saunter-through its effortlessly cool coworking space, which has led to some investment deals. Read More


A Eulogy to the Chinatown Fair Arcade Arrives Via Kickstarter


Begun in the 1940s as a penny arcade and museum of oddities, the Chinatown Fair Arcade was one of the last great haunts for coin-operated machines and their all-night jockeys.

It played host to an eclectic crowd of gamers, dancers, freaks and thugs, all joined by a common love of great arcade action, the kind of physical, sweat-inducing play that is hard to find on a console.

The location shut down suddenly in February after the owner received an eviction notice. Kurt Vincent, a independent filmmaker from Brooklyn, captured the last, emotional night, as players from across the five boroughs flocked for a final taste. Read More


Making Manhattan The Web: Twitter as Wall Street, Tumblr is Meatpacking

NYC as Web

MessageParty c0-founder Amanda Peyton imagined a web centric New York, in which the personalities of different services are charted to the appropriate neighborhood.

Twitter symbolizes Wall Street: “Frenetic, Jumbled, Terse, but incredibly powerful.”

Tumblr stands in for West Village and Meatpacking: “Coolness to a fault.”

Worth checking out the whole thing here.

In the meantime, feel free to get even more specific in the comments. Betabeat was thinking 4Chan for the surviving smut of West Times Square and maybe Facebook knock-off Renren for Canal Street.