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Q&A

Q&A

Brooklyn Coder Lauren McCarthy Wants To Cure Your Crippling Social Awkwardness

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 3.13.25 PM

In a world where your friends can now set you up on virtual blind dates, it’s hard to believe tech could be the solution to any uncomfortable situation.

Lauren McCarthy is a coder and an artist whose strange art experiments put subjects face to face with their deepest social anxieties. She might not be able to cure your crippling awkwardness — or her own, for that matter — but she has designed over two dozen tech-based performances to help you breathe a little easier, even if it just means making a quick getaway. Read More

Q&A

Rap Jesus: Ousted Genius Founder Mahbod Moghadam Finally Speaks

Mr. Moghadam (Photo via Facebook)

Rap Genius cofounder Mahbod Moghadam might not be working at the startup he helped create (which was recently rechristened Genius) anymore. But he’s not going quietly — he recently revealed he’s working on a book about his time with the startup formerly known as Rap Genius.

We had to get some more details, so we emailed Mr. Moghadam some questions about his new project and his past experiences. Also check out this book teaser Mr. Moghadam shared with us from his upcoming tome, Genius Inc. Read More

Q&A

Instagram TV: The First Show You Can Binge Watch in 8 Minutes

They finally made it to the small screen (Photo via Artistically Challenged)

The way we consume media is changing. There’s more to pay attention to, and with a seemingly endless mess of digital content, we find ourselves paying attention to the snaps, vines and tweets that take up as little of our time each as possible.

So it’s about time television shows found a new medium, which just so happens to be the smallest screen you watch — the 612px X 612px Instagram screen. The app’s first TV series, “Artistically Challenged,” which premiered its first seven 15 second episodes on Tuesday, follows Nick, a young NYC artist as he struggles with failure and looks to stand out. He finds instant fame after telling a white lie but soon finds it comes with a price. Read More

Q&A

‘Big Data’ Sounds Scarier Than It Really Is, Says Marketing CEO

David Steinberg, CEO of Zeta Interactive.

Big data: it’s a term that tends to make people nervous, conjuring images of NSA surveillance and massive privacy hacks.

But those who work in big data will argue otherwise. Earlier this month, we spoke with David A. Steinberg, CEO of Zeta Interactive, a big data marketing platform he founded in 2007 with former Apple CEO John Sculley. Zeta Interactive helps its clients — like T Mobile, US Airways and Time Inc. — harness the copious data they regularly collect from their customers, and send out more effective, targeted advertisements.  Read More

Q&A

Fap Happy: A Word From the Folks Who Collect Porn GIFs For a Living

Here's a really fun infographic they shared with us.

From “Chief Happiness Officer” to “Chief Curator at eBay,” the tech industry is riddled with bizarre-sounding job titles — and we here at Betabeat love figuring out what they all actually mean. 

A recent Recode story called “Go West, Young Men” profiled a bunch of migrant techies working in the “Dojo” — a coworking space run by cryptocurrency miner Dave Grossblatt. The story undisputedly had two break-out stars: Raj and Chris, The Worst Drug’s (link NSFW) two “GIF Porn Scrapers.”

Curious about what it could actually mean to be a “GIF Porn Scraper,” we interviewed Raj, Chris and their coworker Katie (all of whom asked to go by their first names).  Read More

Q&A

Inside ‘BS’ Tech Jobs: What eBay’s Chief Curator Actually Does

Michael Phillips Moskowitz

Last week, Valleywag published a disdainful list of “The Biggest Bullshit Job Titles in Tech,” calling out kooky positions like AOL’s “Digital Prophet” and Tumblr’s “Fashion Evangelist.” Betabeat wondered, What do these people actually do for a living? What, pray tell, does an “Innovation Sherpa” or a “Chief Happiness Officer” do all day? Are their jobs as illusionary as they sound, or are they just normal jobs with wacky titles?

Following chief happiness officer Jenn Lim, our second interviewee was eBay’s chief curator Michael Phillips Moskowitz, who’s been working with the company since August 2013. Mr. Moskowitz is on the team leading the roll-out of eBay’s new “experience,” which debuted in North America on October 22, 2013, and will expand overseas to the UK and Germany in early March. Read More

Q&A

Inside ‘BS’ Tech Jobs: What a Chief Happiness Officer Actually Does For a Living

Jenn Lim (Delivering Happiness)

Last week, Valleywag published a disdainful list of “The Biggest Bullshit Job Titles in Tech,” calling out kooky positions like AOL’s “Digital Prophet” and Tumblr’s “Fashion Evangelist.” Betabeat wondered, What do these people actually do for a living? What, pray tell, does an “Innovation Sherpa” or a “Chief Happiness Officer” do all day? Are their jobs as illusionary as they sound, or are they just normal jobs with wacky titles? Read More

Q&A

Stack Exchange Growing 40 Percent a Month, Gaming Vertical Up 250 Percent

stack exchange growth

Betabeat stopped by Stack Exchange the other day to interview the CHAOS team. We snapped some pictures of the big monitor array they have set up, including some eye popping stats on the way traffic is growing. But we didn’t want to make those public just yet, since we were invited in to visit to report another story.

But today Stack Exchange COO did an interview with founder Joel Spolsky about the big board and tipped their hat about some of these numbers. Over the last 30 days Stack Exchange has grown 40 percent, hitting more than 17 million page views on 6.3 million unique visitors. Gaming.stackexchange.com led the way, with 245 percent growth in the last month.  Read More