Duncan Riley: “No I am not scared and neither should you be!”

Posted on December 13, 2007
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid | 3 Comments

Blogging Evangelist Duncan Riley has become Web 2.0’s version of the infamous Iraqi Information Minister (aka Baghdad Bob). In response to market research firm eMarketer’s projections that the growth in online ad spending will slow in the coming years, Democracy Duncan issued a statement reassuring Internet supporters everywhere and urging them not to panic. Although I was unable to read his statement because it was issued in a language that a cultural elitist such as myself cannot understand, the following translations were provided to me:

There is no slowdown in the growth of Internet ad spending. Never!

Arianna Huffington Gets Punk’d

Posted on December 13, 2007
Filed Under OMG! Old Media is Dying! | 2 Comments

Arianna Huffington, the loathsome liberal who makes Bill Maher’s otherwise entertaining series on HBO a struggle to watch, was the subject of a scathing editorial by syndicated columnist Froma Harrop. In it, Froma essentially calls Arianna, founder of new media darling The Huffington Post, a downright hypocrite.

Why? Arianna, the enemy of capitalist pigs and greedy old media moguls, admits that paying the bloggers who make her growing media empire what it is, is “not our financial model.” Yes, the woman who has described herself as “a compassionate and progressive populist” who champions the cause of average proletariats against their corporate oppressors apparently can’t compensate the bulk of the bloggers who are contributing to her business. Yet she has no problem lashing out at “big media” when it comes to its unwillingness to give in to striking Hollywood writers’ demands. Cute.

Drama’s Roundup - December 13, 2007

Posted on December 13, 2007
Filed Under Drama's Roundup | 1 Comment

Last Chance to Nominate Startups For the Crunchies (Nearly 72,000 Entries So Far)
Why It’s Interesting: There are only 72,000 Web 2.0 wannabes. That means there’s still massive opportunity and a market ripe for fresh faces. If you don’t run your own Web 2.0 startup, what are you waiting for? Start two or three tomorrow and enter the Crunchies! I personally can’t wait to see the stars of Web 2.0 walking down the red carpet. “Here comes Mark Zuckerberg in classic-style Old Navy jeans and a pair of diamond-studded adidas flip-flops. He really puts Jason Calacanis, who looked horrible in that atrocious Mahalo outfit by CafePress, to shame.”

Edgeio: An Interesting Look into the World of VC-Financed Startups

Posted on December 12, 2007
Filed Under VC Insanity | 9 Comments

The auction of classified listing service Edgeio provides an interesting look into the world of VC-financed startups. Edgeio received $1.5 million in an angel round and $5 million from Intel Capital and Transcosmos Investments in a series A round. Edgeio’s demise, and the fact that the assets of a company that raised $6.5 million are now being auctioned with a $250,000 starting bid, have unsurprisingly sparked a lot of negative commentary, including some directed at Edgeio’s co-founder Michael Arrington, editor of TechCrunch.

Posted on December 11, 2007
Filed Under Commercial Interruptions |

Every once in awhile I’ll get a “pitch” email from a Web 2.0 startup. The vast majority of the pitches I’ve received haven’t been very impressive so I’ve not felt compelled to write about any of the startups pitched, even though I could easily write some negative reviews that would be of little interest to readers.

I received a pitch today that, like most of the others, failed to impress me and I thought to myself, “Even if a startup doesn’t have a chance, it’d be a whole lot more interesting to receive a well-written pitch.” Today I’m giving advice on how to write a good pitch so that I hopefully get pitches that are more enjoyable to read.

Duncan Riley Takes on an Ill, 88 Year-Old Nobel Prize Winner: Take a Guess Who Actually Has a Point

Posted on December 10, 2007
Filed Under Culture & Technology | 11 Comments

I haven’t picked on Duncan Riley at TechCrunch for some time. I guess I simply got used to his inane posts and have been preoccupied with other things. But after reading his latest post, in which he takes on Doris Lessing, who was just awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, I felt like it was worth picking apart Duncan’s illogical drivel if for nothing other than old time’s sake.

In her acceptance speech, Lessing decries the “inanities” of the Internet and expresses concern about a global society in which more and more people seem to know less and less about the world they live in. As an author, it’s not surprising that she’s saddened that young people are reading less and spending more time on the computer.

Who Clicks on Ads? Most Likely Not the People You Want

Posted on December 9, 2007
Filed Under Marketing 2.0 | Leave a Comment

One of my readers pointed me in the direction of a blog post by Danah Boyd, a Ph.D student in the School of Information at Berkeley and a Fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society. In her post, Danah discusses an important topic: who clicks on ads displayed on the Internet and specifically on social networking websites. I’ve pointed out that quite a bit of evidence exists showing that social networks have not delivered for marketers and have also argued that logically, they never will at the level expected. Because of this, I found Danah’s post quite interesting.

The Overfunded: Why Too Much Money Is a Bad Thing

Posted on December 8, 2007
Filed Under VC Insanity | Leave a Comment

A cardinal sin for any startup when raising a round of funding is to not raise enough money. There are few things an investor hates to hear more than “We’ve run out of money” before the milestones that were to be achieved with that money have been accomplished. As such, it is crucial that entrepreneurs try to accurately project how much money their startups need and to raise an amount at least somewhat greater than that since any experienced entrepreneur knows that expenses are almost always underestimated and revenues are almost always overestimated.

Zuck, Tom and Tila in Fiery Love Triangle?

Posted on December 7, 2007
Filed Under Valley Drama | 10 Comments

Rumors have been circulating that Mark Zuckerberg, Tom Anderson and Tila Tequila are involved in a passionate love triangle. I previously blew off these rumors as being completely absurd but as I learned more, it started looking more probable:

Viral Video Revisited (and Proof that an Education from a Top University Can’t Buy Common Sense)

Posted on December 6, 2007
Filed Under Marketing 2.0 | 2 Comments

I was amused when TechCrunch published a post by Stanford student Dan Ackerman Greenberg on “The Secret Strategies Behind Many ‘Viral’ Videos.” Dan had posted a comment on The Drama 2.0 Show two days prior in response to my post on Stanford’s Facebook application course for which he is the TA. Dan thanked me for my post, apparently not recognizing that it was tongue-in-cheek, and even said that if I was “interesting,” I should check out the course website and blog. Needless to say, I was not initially impressed with Dan Ackerman Greenberg.

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