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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Latest from TechCrunch

The Latest from TechCrunch

Link to TechCrunch

Forbes Acquires Freelance News Startup True/Slant

Posted: 25 May 2010 08:58 AM PDT

Just a couple of days after PaidContent ran a story about freelance news site reportedly True/Slant being in M&A talks, Forbes Media announced today that it has agreed “in principle” to buy the company.

True/Slant founder and CEO Lewis Dvorkin will be joining Forbes to lead all editorial areas at Forbes as Chief Product Officer effective June 1.

It isn’t much of a surprise for Forbes specifically to make that move. Dvorkin has after all been consulting with Forbes in April. Also, he was Executive Editor of the Forbes magazine from December 1996 to April 2000.

He was previously Page One Editor of The Wall Street Journal, a Senior Editor at Newsweek, and an editor at The New York Times. He’s also former Senior Vice President, Programming at AOL.

The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

Mayor Bloomberg Calls For More NYC Startups At TechCrunch Disrupt

Posted: 25 May 2010 08:14 AM PDT

Today, TechCrunch Disrupt attendees were treated to a very special guest: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg addressed the audience of entrepreneurs, urging them to make their way to New York City to start their next venture. As he put it, “When you want to start a business, you don’t have any choice. This is where the best and the brightest are.”

Here’s a full video of Mayor Bloomberg’s talk (which was followed by a brief Q&A). My notes on the talk are below that.

Watch live streaming video from disrupt at livestream.com

I am the proud owner of a new iPad. It’s amazing. I told Steve Jobs the other day that if he can improve on this it will really be amazing. Before this morning’s conference I updated my Facebook page, sent a tweet, checked in on Foursquare, posted a personal on Craigstlist. (laughs)

Venture funding has increased by 19% in the city even as it went down in the rest of the country.

My company never could have been anywhere as successful if I started it anywhere else. If you want to compete in the big game and hae breadth of cultural possibilities this is the place to come.

20 years ago when Wall Street went into a tailspin, City Hall went into overdrive. When I started the business PCs did not exist, nor did the Internet when I started Bloomberg. We built our own hardware. I used to go up to Connecticut to be with our engineers I worked with and I would solder chips onto circuit boards. As PCs were developed we switched to PCs.

Our idea worked out pretty well, I don’t know who will create the thing big thing will be we do know it needs to be headquartered here.

We’re going to launch a media lab at a major university in our city later this year. We’re continuing to help IT firms find out about opportunities to do business with our city agencies.

Two announcements: first thanks to partnership with Firstmark Capital which is co-investing with our NYC entrepreneur fund will now be able to invest up to $22 million.

Also announcing first investment of $300k going to a mobile app provider MyCityWay.

MyCityWay – a year ago we launched a competition called NYC Big Apps. More than 100 submissions. My City Way put in NYC Way – puts everything New York right at your fingertips.

We liked what they did so much we not only listed them as a Big Apps winner, we also chose to invest in them. They have moved from NJ to NYC.

In NYC we understand innovation drives economic growth. We’re nuturing information technology. If you have an idea, or a product, or an app, NYC is the city for you. Business is better here. NYC has just become #1 tourist destination. It’s happening here. I can’t guarantee you will be succesful, but it’s an awful lot easier to attract the best and brightest, and to interface with other people. If you’re a smart people this is the happening city.


If you’re a world-class startup, why pick NYC?
Most immigrant friendly place in America. Gateway to the US. What is unique about NYC is that we live as a mixture, not a mosaic. Live together in a way that promotes understanding. People don’t have to forget where they came from.

Microsoft, Google, Reuters have few thousand people each in this city.

If you were starting today as an entrepreneur what would you do?
Something that wasn’t be done, or something that was only being done by big companies. Competing with big companies is much easier than small companies. Live expectancy of a company is relatively short. They become big, they develop infrastructure, and everything looks small in the bottom line so they don’t do it. And that’s when the next big thing comes along.

Your company was about disruption. Today’s media companies are being disrupted by the Internet. What’s your advice to the media?
I’m a big fan of quality media. I think that the problem is not, is it distributed via truck or fiber. The question is it something that you need> I would argue an awful lot of the media has gone away what the public wants to receive. Examples: The Economist keeps growing, it’s probably the most expensive general interest magazine that I know of. There are companies that sell what people want. An awful lot of companies got away from that. It’s not the technology. The magazines that are in trouble are in trouble because they are writing the same thing as everyone else does. They aren’t germane to people’s lives anymore.

Tax incentive programs for tech companies?

Basically, no. We have the fund, we have incubators. But NYC we tax people. We make this the safest big city in the country. Our streets are cleaner, safer. We support our cultural institutions. Rather than tax breaks we’re investing our money in making this city a better place for people to live so that when you want to start a business, you don’t have any choice. This is where the best and the brightest are.

More discussion:

iGlue Raises New Funding To Wikify The Web

Posted: 25 May 2010 08:13 AM PDT

iGlue, which wants to "wikify the web", has raised a further $550,000 funding from private investors alongside Hungary-based Power of the Dream Ventures. The application unveiled at the recent GeeknRolla event in London, is pretty interesting in that it creates an additional information layer over web pages by using natural language technology to understand its content. The browser widget recognizes names of relevant entities, such as people, geographical locations, institutions etc. and on the spot displays related data, images, videos, events in a timeline.

Netflix Goes With Microsoft PlayReady DRM For Upcoming Streaming Devices

Posted: 25 May 2010 08:12 AM PDT

Looks like Netflix has decided to go with Microsoft's PlayReady DRM for all upcoming Netflix-ready devices. If all goes according to plan you shouldn't even notice the DRM being there, but we all know how well DRM has worked in the past.

AOL Now Employs 4,000 Journalists (But Only 500 Are Full-Time)

Posted: 25 May 2010 07:54 AM PDT

It’s no secret that AOL is aggressively building out its content strategy. Today at TechCrunch Disrupt, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong says that the company now employs 4,000 journalists, 3,500 of which are part-time or freelance. As of last October, the company employed roughly 3,000 journalists.

That’s pretty decent growth in a matter of six months. Of course, AOL has launched a number of content initiatives, including buying hyperlocal news site Patch and launching content machine Seed.com. Armstrong says that AOL is really “taking local to a local level.” Patch is now in 53 markets in 5 states, including Connecticut and California. And it's been reported that AOL will pour $50 million into Patch this year and plans to roll out the model to "hundreds" of communities in the future.

We know that Armstrong is not only bullish on niche content but is also looking for AOL to become a content powerhouse. But Armstrong said today that he’s not interested on creating a “content farm.” He believes the future of AOL’s content strategy is in quality news. Hyper local is clearly a part of this strategy,

AT&T Offering Free Wi-Fi To Customers In Times Square

Posted: 25 May 2010 07:41 AM PDT

If you can't get a signal in Manhattan, blame AT&T. They've pretty much admitted that their network in New York is completely inadequate, and now, three years in, they're taking some concrete steps to alleviate the problem — for tourists, at least.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong At Disrupt: “Bebo Was A Major Distraction”

Posted: 25 May 2010 07:32 AM PDT

Straight from the horse’s mouth: AOL CEO Tim Armstrong just told the TechCrunch Disrupt audience what most industry watchers already knew: the company made a strategic mistake in acquiring social network Bebo, and it ended up being a “major distraction” for them.

Armstrong admitted that it would have been very hard to make Bebo work right out the gate no matter what, and that probably the deal shouldn’t have gone through in the first place, given technology and other issues.

About the only good thing that came out of it, Armstrong acknowledged, was Lifestream.

Michael Arrington asked Armstrong in an on-stage interview whether AOL is still in the process of shutting down or actively trying to sell Bebo, but the only response he got was that the company is still in the middle of the whole ordeal, with no further comment.

My educated guess is that we’ll find out what Bebo’s future will look like soon enough.

Yext Launches Realtime Reputation Management System For Local Businesses

Posted: 25 May 2010 07:08 AM PDT

Yext, a popular local business search engine, debuted Yext Calls last year at TechCrunch50, which is sort of like a Google Voice for businesses. Yext allows local businesses to use its software to process incoming phone calls and organize them based on what was said during the conversation. This gives businesses the ability to search or browse through the transcripts and calls at any point. Based on keywords that occurred in the call, the software can detect that e.g. price estimates were requested for a car repair or which part of what type of vehicle the caller was having problems with exactly.

But Yext says that in the realtime web, it’s tough to manage your reputation as a business. So the startup is launching a realtime reputation manager for local businesses. It will claim your local business listing on sites like Citysearch, Yelp, YellowPages, Twitter, Facebook and more. The site will pull reviews for a local business on all these sites, a track each review for positive ore negative feedback.

Businesses can Tweet directly from the management app, manage their Facebook fan page and can access visitor check-ins on Foursquare. Yext’s reputation dashboard is also integrated with its other features. The dashboard will be free for businesses for now. Yext says that local is vertical, and is not a big, broad market. For example for a local gym, the dashboard will source buzz from fitness site as well as social media.

The startup, which was set to generate $20 million in revenues in 2009, just raised $25 million in Series B funding.

Yext will face competition from ReputationDefender, and a number of other social media tracking services for businesses.

Watch live streaming video from disrupt at livestream.com

AOL Co-founder Steve Case Backs Online Wine Marketplace Vinfolio

Posted: 25 May 2010 07:02 AM PDT

Co-founder of AOL Steve Case (who will be up on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt this morning – live stream here) has invested an undisclosed sum in online wine marketplace Vinfolio.

The funding comes from Case’s investment company Revolution – partners David Golden and Philippe Bourguignon will join the startup’s board of directors.

The deal terms were not disclosed.

Vinfolio, based in San Francisco, provides fine wine fans and collectors with technology to purchase and manage wine collections, and share their ratings and opinions with others.

The company has raised capital in the past, most recently securing $4.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Panorama Capital.

The startup competes with the likes of Wine.com, Snooth, Vinogusto and Cork’d.

You Vote, We Go: Startup Alley Twitter Challenge

Posted: 25 May 2010 06:43 AM PDT

If you’re watching our livestream of Techcrunch Disrupt, you’re getting every minute of every keynote, panel and Startup Battlefield presentation, but you’re missing out on the dozens of companies in Startup Alley. We’re trying to fix that. Yesterday, we did a quick tour of the Alley during lunch, for day 2 we plan to do the same but take it up a notch. Instead of a random path, we would like you guys to tell us where to go– we’ll be livestreaming this at 1pm. Vote in the comments or send a tweet to @EvelynRusli, and we’ll go to the startups with the most votes. If you want me to ask a specific question, include that as well. List of today’s Startup Alley companies (with company provided descriptions):

Assistly- Enterprise-class customer support made smarter, easier and more affordable.

Aviga Systems Inc.- Aviga provides a cloud-based, white-label service for media companies and content aggregators that adds the Aviga voice-activated table of contents to their mobile applications running on broadband-connected mobile devices which enables their users to just ask for what they want.

BetterMe- BetterMe provides an anonymous, private way to give constructive feedback.

Burning Sky Software- Sky's ThingWorx™ platform extends the social graph to devices and services, accelerating the development of "internet of things" applications.

byMK Fashion Social Network- byMK is the biggest Fashion Social Network in Brazil that allows users to make compositions using fashion items available from the Internet and from offline stores – items that users can actually buy – in a very interactive and vibrant way

Cubicl Inc.- Cubicl is a new social media platform where people can create and participate in real-time, interest-based conversations.

Delfigo Security- Delfigo Security is the developer of DSGatewayTM, a strong authentication platform that utilizes multiple authentication factors, including keystroke and machine identification, to assign each user a Confidence Factor (CF) and transparently provide the appropriate level of system access.

eEvent- eEvent is a mobile application that enables users to quickly search, locate, check-in and broadcast events in real-time while giving event organizers mobile access to create, manage and promote their events.

eVenues- eVenues introduces the first public marketplace for unique spaces. We help market and promote your space on the web, manage the bookings, and pay you!

FareShare Inc.- Fare/Share is a mobile app that helps New Yorkers share taxis on the go. It features one-click ride requests, fare calculations, identification by photo or apparel, Paypal integration and a feedback system. Socialize your ride!

Favit- FAVIT, a European tech company, is pioneering a powerful and innovative content streamer that allows users to receive all their relevant content on one place in the web, to collaborate on its curation and interact with it across multiple networks.

Feedback.com- People want to give feedback that is honest and constructive. Businesses want to hear what consumers have to say. Feedback.com is the place to share and solicit feedback and take control your online reputation. Feedback.com is an Idealab company.

Feedtrace- Feedtrace provides filters for real time streams. Our filters perform ranking of shared links based on attributes like time, popularity, categories, domains, languages and social graphs. We will be launching two products: instantPulp, which is destination site to enjoy real time celebrity gossip, and Buzztrace, which provides real time analytics for shared links (a Compete for passed links).

Firefly- Firefly is a photo check-in service for Twitter.

Get Smart Content- Smart Content is a web service that enables website publishers to easily serve content that is targeted to their individual site visitors by location based audience segments.

GOSO- An automotive social media management system with a complete suite of tools for car dealers to manage their brand reputation.

HelloExpert.com- HelloExpert provides free & personalized expert help, anytime anywhere!

Hivetrader- Hivetrader is a free social trading platform that helps you discover, connect, and trade with the world's best stock and options traders. Our service combines web based trading with social networking, messaging, and news to maximize returns for traders worldwide.

HomeFree.com INC- HomeFree.com links home buyers and sellers, guiding each party to the goal of a complete sales transaction………absolutely free. Who needs Realtor? You’ve got the internet.

homingCloud- homingCloud is a real estate social networking site where home buyers, sellers, landlords and renters search for one another, view suggested matches and connect privately, directly and onsite, for free, without brokers.

i.TV- At i.TV we are not content with just being the top TV and movie app for the iPhone. This summer i.TV will reinvent how people watch television and engage with their favorite TV shows, celebrities, advertisers and other viewers.

iCoolhunt- iCoolhunt is the first location based social networking game for coolhunters. An addictive social game that brings real time and location-based information on cutting edge trends directly to the iPhone.

- Easiest way to create step-by-step application instructions

IVPL- InvestmentPal (IVPL) is an online service which enables quality contributors and content to be found by tapping into one's social networks. Focused on the finance vertical, its target users include investors, financial bloggers and professionals.

JungleCents- Jungle Cents helps consumers find deals at their favorite new online retailers by inverting the affiliate model in a fun and exciting way.

Kabbage- Kabbage provides financing to millions of businesses that sell products over marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. We leverage robust, real-time data about these sellers to augment credit scores and allow them to obtain the capital necessary to grow their businesses.

Knocking- Knocking is like having a live mobile phone web cam. LIVE VIDEO anywhere 3G or Wifi Phone to Phone

LIBOX- Libox lets you sync, share and play all of your HD media across all of your devices – for free. The Libox alpha product is in stealth and will launch to beta on June 15.

Medizzle- Medizzle by Collaborative Health Solutions is an advanced and secure information sharing platform that connects users with highly targeted referenced medical knowledge, care providers, mathmatically similar patients, products or services.

MightyMeeting Inc- MightyMeeting is a mobile collaboration and social publishing company. Users can manage a cloud-based library of presentations. They can access this library anywhere from mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android, and others. They can join or start mobile web meetings directly from their smart phones and tablets in real-time and anytime.

mTouch- The mTouch is an affordable fully interactive multi-touch table capable of object recognition, enhancements via our App Store, and the ability to allow multiple users to simultaneously interact with virtual objects using their fingers.

NearVerse- LoKast is an iPhone app that allows users to create a digital identity of themselves and discover and exchange media in proximity to one another.

OliveWoo- Zynga and Yelp mated, OliveWoo is the dating site their grown-up child would use. OliveWoo combines matchmaking and social games, which fosters a community of users passionate about creating, reviewing, and sharing date ideas for both singles and couples.

OrganizedWisdom- OrganizedWisdom® is the first realtime, health and wellness discovery engine powered by health experts.

Plantly- Plantly is an online investment advice service that helps people find a better place for their hard-earned cash. It's part of a new trend of financial services that come to fix Wall Street with higher standards and a straightforward approach.

RankAbove- RankAbove SEO technology Drive(TM) is an automated platform for SEO Professionals. Drive offers the ability to easily see more data; dramatically reduces the time spent on SEO tasks; and gives unprecedented ability to predict the results of SEO work.

RealUp.com- RealUp is the revolutionary commercial real estate website offering free recent sales data, free property listings, free searching and free memberships. RealUp is committed to providing real estate professionals with up-to-date listings, information and exposure at the best value – free.

Runkeeper- RunKeeper by FitnessKeeper, Inc. is a mobile fitness platform that enables runners and other fitness enthusiasts to track, measure, and improve their fitness.

Snap Shop- Visualize furniture in your own living room – using your iPhone

sProphet Network- sProphet is an exciting social gaming platform that offers users a new way to share, participate and make predictions about real sporting events.

Stagename.com- Stagename is a music gaming network, providing a platform for artists to better monetize music, while empowering consumers to become active participants in the creation, publishing and discovery of new music.

stiqr.com- With just one line of code, Stiqr changes web-development in a way the world has never seen.

TaskUs TaskUs is a startup focused on helping other startups.

Think Eight- Think Eight takes web and mobile app ideas, molds them into sustainable businesses, and then drives them to successful exits. Our process of building businesses enables us to launch sustainable businesses on web and mobile platforms in a matter of weeks.

Tradepal, Inc- Tradepal is a marketplace that connects communities of friends and enables them to buy, sell, and trade online.

Tripping- Tripping is a hospitality network where travelers meet locals for tips, shared cups of coffee and even home stays. Recently launched and built on a social networking platform, Tripping already has thousands of members from over 80 countries.

Trybe, LLC- Trybe is a personalization service that uses proprietary matching technology to recommend people, content and products.

Verishow- VeriShow is a customer support SaaS based collaboration platform that requires no download or installation

Vertical Acuity- Vertical Acuity is revolutionizing how content is discovered and delivered online. We aggregate content across a vast network of sites and dynamically syndicate full page content based on real time network analytics and consumer behavior.

WayConnected- With WayConnected a single, worldwide, unique word represents all you personal, public and sharable information. WayConnected reduces all your hundreds of pieces of personal, public and sharable contact information to just ONE WORD… your wayID (™).

Zizio- Zizio aim to disrupt shopping experience via deep leverage of social behavior

MoreIdeas-MoreIdeas unlocks image content with its proprietary computational vision applications.

New “Drastically Simplified” Facebook Privacy Controls Start Rolling Out Tomorrow

Posted: 25 May 2010 06:21 AM PDT

On stage today at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York City, Facebook’s vice president of product Chris Cox announced that starting tomorrow, Facebook will be rolling out “drastically simplified” and improved privacy controls. He didn’t give any details, but did suggest that they should alleviate some of the recent privacy problems Facebook has faced.

Ever since the recent wave of privacy backlash began following Facebook’s f8 conference, Facebook has been saying they were listening to feedback and would respond. No less than CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been talking about the issues very publicly. He has said they “missed the mark” and “made a bunch of mistakes.” He also has said they are working on a “simpler way to control your information.”

That starts tomorrow, apparently. Stay tuned for more details.

Facebook, Foursquare, and Google Talk The Future of Mobile

Posted: 25 May 2010 06:19 AM PDT

Today at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York City, Michael is on stage to talk about the future of mobile with Facebook’s Chris Cox, Google’s Vic Gundotra, and Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley.

Below find my live notes (paraphrased):

MA: there’s so much with privacy issues around Facebook. What’s happening?

CC: It’s been an intense and humbling couple weeks for us. We’ve spent a lot of time talking to advocacy groups. Mark wrote a post. Starting tomorrow we’ll be rolling out “drastically simple” privacy controls.

MA: What’s the go-to phone for all you guys?

DC: iPhone.

CC: HTC Incredible.

VG: Incredible too. It’s the go-to phone for today because it’s really fast. And the Verizon network is awesome. Sprint has a great device too.

MA: I once threw a Sprint phone out a window because it was so bad.

VG: You throw things (laughs).

MA: Remember when the guy from Google stood in front of my car?

VG: No.

MA: Why not the EVO?

VG: It’s not shipping yet. I did have one buy my wife took it from me.

MA: The phone I have is this (some crappy feature phone). It’s the new black. This phone cost $24. It had 300 minutes included — it makes calls that never drop. It’s like there’s a hamster in there that just keeps running.

MA: Sometimes you have to make a call, and it’s nice to have a phone that does that. What phone should be the perfect one for data? Should you just have a feature phone then the iPad? Do you need data everywhere you go?

DC: Yes.

MA: With the rise of the iPad, do we go back to simplicity in phones?

VG: You can have both.

MA; When are you going to have that phone?

VG: We have it, the Incredible.

DC: I have a problem with AT&T, but it’s not deal-breaker problems. I call my parents and grandma, everyone else I text.

MA: Let’s talk about location. Has Foursquare won? Are they the YouTube of location?

VG: I think there will be lots of players. I think Foursquare has done some amazing work with check-ins. But it’s early. Lots of innovation in the next year.

CC: I think they’re a winner right now – but it’s not a space where there are winners and losers. It’s a piece of context in a larger thing.

DC: I think we’re building great stuff — there is no winner. Think of where we are now to where we were 2 years ago. We’ve made the space more interesting. We’ve pushed things in a different direction. It’s experimenting in the space.

MA: What is it that people love to do?

DC: It’s all about giving people reasons to check-in. People love it for different reason. Some for deals, some for location history, some for badges, etc. We thought it would be one thing that caught on, but it’s all of them for various people.

MA: How many users?

DC: 35% 7 day active users. Opens the app is higher each day. 700,000 check-ins a day last Friday.

VG: We don’t have check-ins. Latitude has 8 million users, 3 million active. It’s not the same thing. Nor is it on Buzz. With Latitude it’s background location.

MA: Is that a product for the masses?

VG: It’s a strong start. We’ll be doing better thing.

DC: I don’t think the passive tracking model is for everyone. It skews towards families. We built Dodgeball without it because you couldn’t do it. Now you can, but I still think the right model is in the middle.

MA: Is Facebook the most popular mobile app?

CC: Over 100 million people are using Facebook mobile products monthly — across products.

MA: It’s a limited app right now?

CC: Yeah but we offer Connect as well.

MA: When do you get into location?

CC: At some point. We’ll talk about it when we have a product.

MA: Are you putting a lot of thought into it? Do you know the model?

CC: I don’t think we know yet. A lot of things already have location element, like a status update, we just have to turn it on. But there are other things. How do we interact with things like Foursquare — we’re a platform company.

DC: We have Facebook Connect on the iPhone app, not the other platforms yet.

MA: Let’s talk about devices. What do phones look like in a year or a year and a half?

VG: In the 20 years I’ve been doing software, I’ve never seen a rate of innovation that we’re seeing now. You think you’ve seen the best, then a new one comes. Looking out a year — that’s a long time.

MA: Will the screens get bigger? The EVO screen is too big, no?

VG: For my daughter, to watch Disney, it’s the right size.

MA: Will it be ARM or Intel?

VG: I think Intel will try to make a push. Clearly ARM has the momentum.

MA: Dennis what’s your ideal phone?

DC: One that doesn’t run out of batteries. Passive tracking is on Android phones, but it kills the juice. Even push notifications drain the battery. The batteries need to get better.

CC: I want a phone you can talk to. You sort of can with Android phones. I don’t want to type SMS anymore. They should be contextually aware. Check-in to flights, find deals at grocery stores, etc. These things take a bunch of clicks now — it’s all wasting time. The phone should know what we want.

MA: Yeah, this phone (feature phone) lasts a week. And I don’t check-in on Foursquare with it.

DC: You can do it via SMS (laughs).

MA: It’s great, it makes calls. Texts are hard. Vic, you guys should sell pre-paid phones with Google Voice at 7-11.

VG: 7-11, okay.

MA: I think you should listen to my business advice. Wake up guys! Okay I’m bringing something out to wake you up. Vic, you were on stage with Conan O’Brian recently.


VG: A neighbor thought it was a CGI trick — how did they make me look so small (laughs). Conan is really tall!

MA: Okay we have some phones to give away. I can give it to you Dennis or Chris?

CC: I’m cool — give it to the audience.

MA: We have three of these. The first person who takes off all their clothes… Nah. If you truly think this is going to make your life better. (A lot of people). So we’ll do the best question.


Question: Can you explain on Foursquare the genesis behind the game mechanics? It changes user behavior.

DC: Yeah so when Alex and I were working on Dodgeball at Google — we realized it was a crappy one-person experience. So we had to make it fun by yourself. So we turned the city into a game. We made leaderboards, etc. Right before Foursquare I was working at a company called Area Code working on game design. That’s where a lot of it came from.

Question: We know Google’s model. But is Facebook evil?

CC: No, we’re not.

Question: On Sunday night there was a piece with Marty Cooper and the original cell phone call made. He’s 82, you guys are the leading mind, but the answers weren’t good. Are you guys not innovative.

DC: I consider myself a product phone — it’s fun to look out, but that’s not what I do. We look towards what we know. It’s great to think about the future, but that’s not my job.

VG: I thought Chris’ answer was great — you phone should be a personal assistant. That’s clearly where we’re going. But people overestimate what’s possible in a year, and underestimate 5 years. These devices are going to be magical in 5 years.

Question: About Facebook privacy. I’m a senior in high school, I haven’t really heard anyone talking about them. No one in my high school is concerned about it. Is it just being pumped up in the tech news?

CC: Um, I think it’s an issue.

MA: No you can’t answer this question. Can I?

CC: Sure.

MA: It is overblown. I wrote an excellent post on it. We’re in a very transformative age right now. All of these guys are making platforms right now. It’s not trivial to do what they’re doing. There are issues around it, but not as big as we’re making it. And those Zuckerberg IMs don’t help things, cause every jumps on it.

CC: That’s not exactly how I look at it — we’ve gotten a lot of feedback. A huge part of what we’re focused on is about making the controls simple.

MA: Do people really care?

CC: A lot of people do.

MA: How many have left?

CC: I don’t know. Really.

Question: Is anyone doing anything with flash mobs to do things like Meetup in Foursquare?

DC: Not really. We’re just starting to see people using interesting things with that. Like political candidates to check-in and gather a crowd. We just talked to the Meetup guys for organizing our own meetups. We’ll start using their platform.

Jeff Jarvis: What is the definition of evil? Can Facebook answer that.

MA: Let’s go with the mobile theory.

JJ: Mobile will be come a meaningless word soon? It’s just that we’re always connected. Isn’t the real frontier what’s local.

VG: You will have a device, it may not look like the devices today, but it will be there.

DC: It’s about ambient awareness.

Question: How can mobile be a transformative experience in places like Africa? Like Facebook Zero.

CC: Yeah Facebook Zero is a free data service, it pulls out images — just down to the basics. Hopefully it will be great in Africa. It’s hard to know what to invest in — a better Android app or Facebook Zero. It’s a tough question.

MA: What about devices in everyone hands. Clean water and a phone.

VG: These smartphones 3 years ago were $600. Today we have $100 price points. And that trend won’t stop. We’re going to have great tech in these new markets. But it’s about deciding where to invest.

Question: What about competition? Are you guys friends?

MA: Yeah, they were fighting in the green room.

DC: We’re tiny compared to these guys.

MA: Not as tiny as TechCrunch though. (laughs)

DC: We look at using what these guys are doing.

Question: But what about when these guys do location?

DC: We’ve known about this for a while. These guys are platforms.

MA: It will be a federated model right Chris?

CC: Everything we build has basically been a platform. Users should bring their check-ins between services. We worked with Google on building the Android app for Facebook. It’s about establishing what you believe in, and making it happen.

Question:: Google TV will do what for mobile apps?

VG: I think one of the most exciting things about it is that the same Android apps you use will work on the TV. Like Pandora, play it on the TV.

That’s a wrap.

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Phase One Acquires Microsoft’s Expression Media Product

Posted: 25 May 2010 06:18 AM PDT

Digital photography company Phase One, which offers in open-platform based medium format camera systems and solutions, is taking over Microsoft’s Expression Media product.

The acquisition of the product is an extension of a partnership between the Copenhagen-based company and Microsoft, inked in 2007.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Microsoft Expression Media is a commercial digital asset management (DAM) cataloging program for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. It is the next version of iView MediaPro, which Microsoft itself acquired in June 2006.

Under the terms of the agreement, Expression Media will join Phase One’s product lineup, which includes medium-format camera systems Capture One raw-conversion and image-editing software.

Phase One will take full ownership of the Expression Media product. Microsoft will continue to provide support to retail customers for 90 days, after which Phase One will begin offering support.

Microsoft customers who are currently using Expression Media under an Enterprise Agreement will continue to receive support from Microsoft through the term of their agreements.

The agreement was brokered by Microsoft’s IP Ventures program, a vehicle for Microsoft to get technologies into the hands of other businesses. Microsoft said that it will continue to develop the Expression Studio design tools for Silverlight and .NET.

Scribd Ramps Up Migration To HTML5; Scores Partnerships With Forbes Media And Others

Posted: 25 May 2010 06:09 AM PDT

We reported recently that online document sharing site Scribd will start to ditch Flash across its tens of millions of uploaded documents and convert them all to native HTML5 Web pages, another win for Apple in its battle against Flash. Today, at TechCrunch Disrupt, Scribd CEO and co-founder Jared Friedman, is announcing that the startup has moved much of its content, including tens of millions of books, magazines, newspapers, presentations, research and more, to the HTML5 format.

Friedman has told us that he believes HTML5 improves the reading experience, by allowing any document to become a Web page. “The possibilities are endless,” Friedman said in a statement. And the HTML5 format is able to bring the richness of fonts and graphics from documents to native Web pages. A new bookmark feature will help you keep your place in especially long documents. Scribd's documents will be especially iPad friendly. Instead of downloading a book from Apple's iBooks store or Amazon's Kindle app, you can see if an electronic version is on Scribd and read it in your browser.

As Scribd has converted its documents over to the new format, the startup has noticed that users are spending more time on the site than before. In fact, Friedman says that users are spending twice as much time on the site.

To commemorate the transition, Scribd has partnered with a number of publishers to make premium content available in the new format for free. Forbes Media will make available its “Vintage Warren: The Best of Forbes on Buffett” special issue free to Scribd readers first; Liquid Comics, with titles from Guy Ritchie and Deepak Chopra, among others, will offer hundreds of graphic novels and comics on Scribd; Workman Publishing will offer the complete job hunter’s bible “Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview” and other full-length titles; and Publishers Weekly will share entire issues and special reports, starting immediately with its BookExpo America (BEA) show daily.

And Scribd plans to launch an ad revenue-sharing program for select content partners this summer. Friedman showed how ads within content flow more seamlessly with the HTML5 format on the iPad. Friedman says the great thing about HTML5 is that every tablet, e-reader and device supports it.

Watch live streaming video from disrupt at livestream.com

Zecco Introduces Stock Trading Widget On StockTwits And Firefox

Posted: 25 May 2010 05:00 AM PDT

If you like to trade stocks, chances are you do your research on sites like Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, or even StockTwits to find ideas, and then you go log into your brokerage account to execute a trade. Or maybe you get distracted by a dancing bear on YouTube and never buy or sell that stock.

Online discount brokerage Zecco wants to make sure you can trade anywhere on the Web, whenever the feeling hits you. Today, it is releasing Zap Trade with StockTwits, and as a Firefox add-on. On StockTwits, there will now be a Z button which will launch a Zecco trading widget. The widget allows customers to place stock trades without going back to Zecco. Trade, Tweet, Repeat.

Zecco also has a Firefox add-on which overlays a Zecco trading widget onto any site. The add-on works particularly well with financial sites such as Bloomberg, CNNMoney, MarketWatch, Google Finance, and even parts of competing broker sites like E*Trade and TD Ameritrade. If it identifies a stock ticker on one of those sites, it will pre-populate the trading widget with that stock’s symbol.

The Rubicon Project Buys Malware Security Company SiteScout

Posted: 25 May 2010 04:25 AM PDT

Los Angeles-based digital advertising company The Rubicon Project this morning announced that it has acquired SiteScout, a four-year-old security technology company based in Seattle.

SiteScout essentially helps online publishers protect their Web sites from malicious advertising (malvertising), and The Rubicon Project can use their technology to ramp up the security layer of its REVV for publishers platform.

A purchase price was not disclosed.

Rob Lipschutz, CEO of SiteScout, will henceforth be tasked with leading the Rubicon Project's Brand Protection offering. The SiteScout malware reporting and other product tools are slated to be available within the Rubicon Project’s REVV platform in the third quarter of 2010.

In addition, the Rubicon Project will open a Seattle office. The company had earlier bought Seattle-based digital advertising startup Others Online for an undisclosed sum.

The Rubicon Project launched in 2007 with a mission to “automate the $65 billion global online advertising industry”. The company is backed by $42 million in funding from Clearstone Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, IDG Ventures and GE/NBC Universal's Peacock Equity Fund, and claims it is currently optimizing more than 45 billion ads each month, reaching more than 500 million unique users in total.

TechCrunch Disrupt Livestream: Over 1 million viewer minutes served

Posted: 24 May 2010 10:20 PM PDT

Anyone who was in the room today for the first day of TechCrunch Disrupt won’t need me to tell them that the event was a huge success. From Charlie Rose and John Doer first thing in the morning, to David Carr and Eric Hippeau last thing in the afternoon – via the first two rounds of the start-up battlefield, plus the already-infamous Arrington vs Bartz interview – it was a hell of a day. And there are still two more to go.

Another thing that was a huge success was our live streaming of the event. We’ve just received the day’s stats from broadcast partners, Livestream: over the course of the day we streamed over 1 million viewer minutes of video, a total of 87,873 visits by 31,033 unique viewers. Or to put it another way, for every person in the room, 21 were watching online.

Unsurprisingly, the most viewed video was the Carol Bartz interview which has been watched by over 29,000 times at the time of writing.

For those of you who missed the event (which kicks off again at 9am Eastern time, 6am Pacific), we’re showing all of the sessions again throughout the night at techcrunch.com/disrupt

To Top Off A Busy Day, Yahoo Acquires Foursquare — Well, The Asian Foursquare

Posted: 24 May 2010 09:18 PM PDT

Yahoo has had a busy day. Not only did they announce a new cross-branding deal with Nokia, and struck a partnership with Match.com, and had their CEO spar onstage with Mike, but they apparently made an acquisition too. It’s a location-based service. No, not that one. It’s called Koprol. Basically, it’s the Asian Foursquare.

Koprol, based in Jakarta, Indonesia focuses on the “intersection of location, community expertise and mobile experiences.” With it, people share photos and reviews of locations using their mobile phones. And yes, it allows you to “check-in” to a location.

This acquisition is interesting to say the least since Yahoo had been in discussions to buy Foursquare, the American Koprol. That purchase (which we urged Foursquare not to agree to) would have likely cost Yahoo north of $100 million. The terms of this deal were not disclosed, but you can be sure Yahoo got Koprol for far less than that.

On the surface, this purchase seems to make sense with Yahoo’s apparent direction. With the Nokia deal in place, they seem to be going after emerging markets, such as Indonesia. And it’s a web app, so a smartphone isn’t needed. From the site:

You don’t need a fancy smartphone or GPS to use Koprol. Just open koprol.com in your phone browser, check in, and Koprol will tell you what’s happening nearby.

That said, Koprol has apparently been extending beyond feature phones, as it today introduced a BlackBerry application.

No word on if Koprol was welcomed to the Yahoo team by Bartz with a nice “pergi dr sini!

[via Hunter Walk]

Google TV, And Optimizing The Web For The 10 Foot Experience

Posted: 24 May 2010 08:46 PM PDT

Last week at Google I/O, we got our first glimpse of Google TV, a new product due to launch this fall that combines the best of the web with television. Thing is, as anyone who has set up an HTPC can probably attest to, the web isn’t exactly tailored for the so-called 10 foot experience — it’s hard to use an Internet browser when you’re sitting on the other site of the room. So how does Google plan to work around that when Google TV launches?

I asked that question during a press conference held immediately after Google TV was first unveiled. The answer, which primarily came from Google Senior Product Manager Rishi Chandra, is that we’ll probably see something akin to what happened with mobile sites, where websites create versions that are optimized for Google TV and similar products. But Chandra says that one key point is that sites won’t necessarily have to make any changes in order to give a reasonably good experience (in other words, there won’t be a chicken-and-egg problem where consumers won’t have content to look at). We’ve embedded the video of his response below. Here’s a rough transcript of his answer:

“There are a couple of things that we do in the browser. One is the speed, a second is zoom-to-fit automatically so that sites will actually display correctly. I would say a couple things, I think one I definitely agree that they’re not optimized for the ten foot experience but I think what you’re going to find is that a lot of the sites we showed you today work reasonably well on the ten foot experience. And I think the same thing that we saw happen with mobile is going to happen to TV. We can send users to a whole bunch of new content sites, and as content providers see the new traffic, they’re going to optimize as they see fit. I think the key is that they don’t have to optimize from day one. From day one all of their content is accessible over the web because of the browser we’re putting into Google TV, and that allows them to further enhance it as they see fit.

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen added to Chandra’s explanation, saying that it is “early in the evolution of how people will author for these devices, but that [Adobe] is committed to providing great tools” to help sites optimize and repurpose their content.

News Panel: The Only Thing That Can Stop The iPad Is Apple

Posted: 24 May 2010 03:37 PM PDT

Today at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York, we had a panel entitled “Does The iPad Change Everything For News, Or Is It Still All About The Web?” The New York Times’ David Carr moderated the panel which included angel investor Ron Conway, Huffington Post CEO Eric Hippeau, and Bloomberg chief content officer Norm Pearlstine. The common theme? The only thing that can stop the iPad is Apple.

While that may sound confusing (since, of course, Apple makes the iPad), everyone seemed to agree that Apple’s restrictions could end up hurting the device in the long run. Apple is in control right now because they’re the first to market with a killer product, but others will emulate them, reasons Pearlstine. He believes a lot of the content on these type of tablets will eventually be web-based rather than app-based (similar to an argument Google co-founder Sergey Brin made last week).

Carr extended on that question, asking if maybe the iPad itself would just be a device where you consume content on the web rather than through apps?Hippeau says that’s up to Apple. Clearly they want to push people towards apps, behind their wall, he believes. The problem with this is that Apple doesn’t give back nearly as much data as having your own website would, Hippeau says. He thinks Apple will have to learn that media organizations live  off of this data. “They’ll have to open it up more,” he says.

Pearlstine agrees, saying that the key for traditional publishers is their lists of subscribers. More importantly, they have their payment information. With iPad apps, Apple has that information, and that will be a problem for a lot of media companies. “There will be other providers that won’t do it the Apple way,” he says. That, again, is implying that while Apple may have jump-started the industry, if they don’t open up a bit more, a competitor will beat them.

Of course, that hasn’t happened with the iPhone yet. But Android is charging fast.

Conway believes that Apple has a good lead for now though thanks to its “fantastic user interface.” He sees publishers flocking to it just like the music business did to the iPod/iTunes combo. “It’s a better model than free,” he says.

Watch live streaming video from disrupt at livestream.com

Google Reader Latest To Kill IE6 Support; Also Axes Offline Support, But Simplifies Social

Posted: 24 May 2010 02:37 PM PDT

Back in January, Google announced it was removing Google Docs and Sites support for older browsers such as IE6. Starting June 1, it’s doing the same for its popular Google Reader product. And that’s not the only thing they’re removing — gone as well is Gears support. But to make up for those loses, they have added something in their “Spring Cleaning” — a simplified social structure.

To be clear, IE6 isn’t the only browser getting the axe. Firefox 1.0 and 2.0, Safari 2.0 and 3.0, and even Chrome versions 1, 2, and 3 are all being pulled. “This will allow us to spend our time improving Reader instead of fixing issues with antiquated browsers,” Google writes. Again, this will happen June 1.

That’s all understandable, less-so may be the removal of Gears support. Google announced it was killing off Gears support earlier this year mostly because HTML5 has similar capabilities. But those capabilities aren’t ready yet. So instead Google is telling users to download a few different third-party clients.

Google is also opening up commenting a bit further. Until now, you had to be in a sharing group to be able to comment on a post. Now if you can see a shared item, you can comment on it. For users who share publicly, you’ll now get a choice between continuing to share publicly and allowing anyone to comment on your shared items, or switching to protected sharing.

But, as I said, we are getting something in return. A better social experience.

LiveIntent Turns Static Social Media Sharing Buttons Into Dynamic Ones

Posted: 24 May 2010 02:32 PM PDT

Launching today at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference (the audience voted them up on stage), LiveIntent aims to help publishers create meaningful connections on social networks.

What that means?

Static buttons on e.g. The Huffington Post are inadequate, says LiveIntent, and thus they think those buttons should be dynamic instead. If a user would click, say, the Twitter button, a publisher could show multiple accounts, not just links to one page. It keeps the users on the site, and also gives them a way to follow multiple accounts in one click.

Furthermore, you could potentially engage with the publisher inside the widget, so you don’t have to leave the page you were in to start a conversation. The startup’s technology is also smart enough to serve you different recommendations when you come back.

All this is aimed to give publishers another way to increase pageviews, ad impressions, unique visitors, and ultimately, revenue.

Second round presentation and expert feedback

Business model: performance-based but also on CPM basis for ‘sponsored tweets’.

“Consumers win, which means the advertisers win.”


Philip Kaplan: How much do you charge?

Response: minimum bid of 50 cents, auction-based model.

Philip Kaplan: We like it a lot. You may have the effect of MyBlogLog, where it would just take off.

Jeffrey Bussgang: it’s a lead-gen effort, right? I like the model.

Response: we agree, and it’s not only followers, but also information collection. Viral opportunity to deliver coupons.

josh Williams: the analytics part, is that made available to the sponsor?

Response: yes, we want to make publishers the experts.

Watch live streaming video from disrupt at livestream.com

TC Disrupt: Battlefield Session One Video And Winners

Posted: 24 May 2010 02:30 PM PDT

The judges have returned from their deliberations, and the winner is… three of the following five companies, all of which gave excellent demos and answered questions with poise and confidence.

The entire session is in one monster video for now, along with deliberation and second round business plan discussion, so I’m providing times in case you want to skip directly to one presentation or another. If you just want to see Sacca crooning, go here.

Here they are, in chronological order:

UJAM (4:30)
A web-based toolset for generating music based on a theme, highly customizable by the user. They certainly got the audience choice award, and even persuaded one of the judges to sing a little ditty. They’re planning on doing a freemium model in which the basic tools are free but a more robust version will be for sale.

Off & Away (21:00)
These guys work with hotels to put expensive, rarely-rented suites and such on the auction block. Off & Away has a pay-per-bid model that differs from other pay-bid sites like Swoopo by essentially giving auction losers their money back to spend on a hotel room, which was probably where the money was going anyway. If you travel a lot, checking this might be a nice habit to develop, but you shouldn’t gamble with company money, or so I’m told.

FluidDB (35:30)
A more technical entry, FluidDB (FluidInfo is the company’s name) is a versatile data storage service that is completely open to writing, and the data comprising the DB will open to querying by pretty much anybody. You can tag data as private, of course, but the idea is a a “flat” database where you can collect and manipulate only the data you need and use or share it easily. I don’t really do it justice, not being a developer, so if it sounds interesting, go read the post.

Soluto (51:30)
This very fluid and pretty presentation showed off a utility these guys have created that monitors your PC, analyzes when you are “frustrated,” and offers solutions. The cool bit is that the solutions are created by monitoring expert users’ PCs, and when a similar problem comes up, their response is added to a database — kill process, change startup settings, lower process priority, that kind of thing. The UI is very impressive, the best I’ve seen in a while. They’d have the “manual” version free and the “automatic” version (in development) for money (or get fees for pre-installs with vendors).

Betterment (1:05:45)
It’s a replacement for your bank account, basically. They want to provide a simple (but robust) way of taking a sum of money, putting into something, and getting a return. You can easily split your investment between stocks and bonds, see what others in your age/income bracket are doing, and easily access the exact specifications of your portfolio. As the judges noted, this is a huge market and to capture only a fraction of a percentage of it would be a huge victory.

And here’s the marathon video of the first session. The second part of the session (brief business plans and commentary from the top three) starts at about 1 hour, 20 minutes in.
Watch live streaming video from disrupt at livestream.com

And the winners of this round? Soluto, UJAM, and Betterment! Congratulations to all.

Publish2 Wants To Disrupt The Associated Press With An Online News Exchange

Posted: 24 May 2010 02:21 PM PDT

Online news aggregation and curation startup Publish2 is today at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference launching a new product dubbed Publish2 News Exchange, with the ambitious goal of disrupting the entire reason for being of The Associated Press.

The AP being the cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and TV stations in the US, which operates a monster news and photo distribution network that non-contributing media organizations can subscribe to (for a hefty sum, evidently).

Publish2 is taking a swing at the newswire mammoth – they un-lovingly call it an inefficient monopoly – by launching a platform that allows newspaper publishers and other media organizations tap the vast amount of quality content already available for free on the Web (we don’t mean to brag, but TechCrunch was one of the examples cited by the startup on stage).

The startup realizes that the only way to disrupt the monster co-op is by offering a completely scalable substitute. Here’s basically what the company hopes the Publish2 News Exchange will do to the AP: ‘Craigslist it’.

As in, kill the AP’s main income stream by offering an open, efficient alternative.

And my educated guess is publishers are going to love this.

Publish2 announced an initial $2.75 million round of financing back in March 2008.

At the helm of the company we find Scott Karp, former Director of Digital Strategy for Atlantic Media and publisher of The Atlantic and current Editor & Publisher of Publishing 2.0, a widely-read industry blog. The startup can also fall back on a solid set of advisors (Stowe Boyd, Dan Gillmor, David Cohn etc.) and quite an impressive board of directors (which includes people like Robert Young, Kurt Johnson, Howard Weaver).

Does Publish2 really have the potential to destroy the AP and help publishers survive and thrive thanks to free online content publishers?

Time, as ever, will tell, but we can’t help but cheer for this one.

Feedback and Q&A:

Philip Kaplan: on one hand, feels like selling paint to the Titanic. Also not sure if I want newspapers to survive and thrive, as they’ve basically disrupted themselves.

Josh Williams: Great presentation. Cutting out the middleman is very interesting.

Chris Fralic: You explained the problem really well. The press will love it, as will the blogs.

Jeffrey Bussgang: felt like selling vitamins to dinosaurs. Where’s your business when newspapers die? What’s the value proposition then?

Response: the brands will survive on the Web, and we can play a role in that story as well.

Jeffrey Bussgang: The question is how big the window of opportunity is.

Second round presentation and expert feedback

“We want to become the brand newspapers rely on, and when they fade, we want to be there to help them.”

Publish2 wants to be in a position of trust and authority, that will ultimately be very profitable in an admittedly shrinking market. Scale is key.

“It’s all about the value of news brands.”

Philip Kaplan: are you charging for the content or is it advertising-based?

Response: we’re not charging, but content owners can and then we take a transaction fee. If the content is free, we have the licensing fee model.

Philip Kaplan: It makes sense, and that’s why we invited you back. Reducing the expense for publishers makes sense. But making an ad network out of it at some point, is going to prove very, very hard. Why not just sell the hell out of the content that you’re offering?

Response: yes, that would be fantastic.

Jeffrey Bussgang: How big are the budgets you’re going after?

Response: $30-$40 million for the AP disruption part, and then there’s the international aspect.

Chris Fralic: Shrinking AP’s market – what would you expect them to do?

Response: ignore us in the beginning, then reduce their business to provide the same kind of value. By the time, they will, it’s going to be too late. We can stay way ahead of them.

Watch live streaming video from disrupt at livestream.com

VideoGenie Aims To Help Brands And Consumers Connect Through Video

Posted: 24 May 2010 02:11 PM PDT

Launching at TechCrunch Disrupt this afternoon, VideoGenie aims to transform the way consumers and brands connect with each other using video.

Text-based interaction between brands and consumers is inadequate, the startup claims, because a palette of 94 ASCII characters doesn’t provide people with enough flexibility to express the full spectrum of human emotion. A better way, they say, is videos.

Videos that show people providing companies with a spontaneous, authentic testimonial that wasn’t pre-written by their brand marketers. Videos that show people enthusiastically reviewing a product or service. Videos that show real people expressing their opinion, in essence.

VideoGenie automatically creates compilation videos that allow companies to solicit customer sentiment. Marketers can use the service for video-based testimonials, reviews, suggestions, and corporate communication.

The three pillars of the product: easy and time-constraint video capturing, simple content management tools and single-click distribution.

The startup’s technology provides marketers with an affordable, efficient way to create, collect, manage, and distribute compelling video content without the expense, training, and software traditionally required.

VideoGenie is located in downtown Palo Alto, California, and has raised an undisclosed round of angel funding from Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Daniel Zumino and Tomorrow Ventures.

Feedback and Q&A:

Philip Kaplan: Wow, Eric Schmidt! I’m wondering what the goal is of the whole thing, e.g. for Starbucks to sell more coffee, or to get more content for their website?

Chris Fralic: Nice flow, good story. It’s very campaign-specific and ad-related. One of the things you need to address is the moderation and reviewing of videos, will you do that for the brands?

Reaction: most brands know their messaging better than we ever will. We think we will leave it to them.

Jeffrey Bussgang: Nice job, good pace. Interesting mechanism for capturing user feedback. Make it shareable and searchable.

Reaction: working on both.

Josh Williams: what is it going to be like for first-time visitors? The user experience has to be just right, that’s key.

Watch live streaming video from disrupt at livestream.com


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