The traveler who blogged about the worst Airbnb renting experience possible responded to the recently-enriched company’s attempt to make amends after initially attempting to quiet her and then pass the buck. The blogger, who lives in San Francisco, and has given interviews to USA Today and the San Francisco Chronicle but otherwise spoke publicly only via her blog, emailed Betabeat on Monday to say she’d have a statement this week. Today she responded to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky’s public apology and announcement of new security policies–“Our Commitment to Trust and Safety“–in a post of her own entitled, “How I feel today.” Read More
Meet the Public
VCs Step Up to Defend Airbnb as Victimized Blogger Speaks Out and Other Horror Stories Come to Light
The story of one Airbnb user whose home was ransacked continues to play out in increasingly mainstream media. The victim, “EJ,” spoke pseudo-anonymously to USA Today and the San Francisco Chronicle, which both confirmed aspects of her story. She told Betabeat in an email that she’s been swamped with media requests and will have a statement later this week. TechCrunch also picked up a story of another Airbnb user who hosted a badly-behaved guest–this time with pictures.
Y Combinator founder Paul Graham took to the YC-administered forum Hacker News this weekend to defend Airbnb against accusations on TechCrunch and elsewhere: “I’ve just learned more about this situation, and it turns out Airbnb has been offering to fix it, from the very beginning,” he wrote. “From the beginning they offered to pay to get her a new place and new stuff, and do whatever else she wanted. The story Arrington wrote yesterday about Airbnb not offering to help was bullshit.” In another comment, he said “an angry mob” was upvoting any stories about the dust-up on Hacker News. Read More
Newly-public Demand Media, which Seeking Alpha calls “a terrible company” with a fair market price of about $0, had its IPO six months ago at a $1.4 billion valuation and carried a half-way decent share price that hit a high of around $24 but has been rockily falling toward the $13 range, where it was last month. But this week DMD’s insider lockout–the period of time during which company executives are prohibited from selling stock–just expired. And as of yesterday afternoon, the stock is tanking.
The easy conclusion is that insiders are dumping their stock because they know their company is a content farm that has little future as Google cracks down on sites that cater aggressively to search engine traffic with content that’s little more than search terms surrounded by related words. But it’s not because insiders are selling, the financial blogs say–Demand has had a collapse in demand. Just like traffic from Google, demand for Demand Media has simply been… shut off. Read More