Opinion

Anthony De Rosa

The next great tech bubble emerges

Anthony De Rosa
Mar 24, 2011 20:30 UTC

photo.PNGAn application that wasn’t even in the app store a week ago just raised $41 million.

We’ve reached the point where simply the idea of an app is now enough to raise multi-million dollar capital. Were any of these folks around back in 2000? Certainly some lessons have been learned the first time around. Most investors and companies are avoiding the same mistakes but that hasn’t prevented plenty of head scratching deals to emerge in the last few months.

The app, called Color, is a photo sharing application that allows you to post and view images by people in the same proximity as each other.

“Not since Google have we seen this,” is what one Sequoia Capital partner told Color Labs co-founder Bill Nguyen when he met with them recently.

Those seven words inspire such an abundance of eye rolling that one has to wonder what the guys over at Sequoia are smoking. Better yet, how quickly can I put together a pitch deck boasting some superfluous social, hyper-local, organic, mobile game changer of my own?

Our transforming news habits

Anthony De Rosa
Mar 18, 2011 16:47 UTC

Newsrooms are transforming to a great degree because the way we consume and create news is changing. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is check my Twitter. I know I can rely on my Twitter Lists, which I’ve carefully curated to be finely focused by reliable sources, both traditional and non-traditional, from the ground and from newsrooms.

In a highly un-scientific poll, with answers coming from Twitter, which again will skew the answers biased toward the medium of Twitter, I asked folks where they go first thing in the morning to check what happened overnight:


[<a href="http://storify.com/antderosa/morning-news" mce_href="http://storify.com/antderosa/morning-news" target="blank">View the story "Morning News" on Storify]</a>

I asked the same question on Tumblr, which again skewed the answers a bit based on the demographic and the tendency of the folks there already to use Tumblr as a news source. Out of 97 responses, the top three were Tumblr (28%), Twitter (18%), and the New York Times (7%), with NPR Radio (5%) and Al-Jazeera (5%) not far behind. Other interesting answers were new email curation tools like Percolate, which look at your social networks, source out the links that are getting the most attention, and email you a digest of them the next morning.

A teachable moment

Anthony De Rosa
Mar 7, 2011 17:39 UTC

Is a crisis in education less important than a crisis of our capital markets? At the end of 2008, the federal government took aggressive measures to ensure that a supposed complete financial meltdown would be averted by purchasing troubled assets and restoring liquidity to the largest banks in America. Only a few months following the bailout of these banks, many of them paid out healthy bonuses to the same executives responsible for causing the situation to unfold.

Today, in Wisconsin, we watch teachers fight to ensure they receive a five figure salary. According to The Atlantic, the average salary for teachers in Wisconsin is slightly worse than the national average with starting salaries of $32,642 and a maximum with a master’s degree of $60,036. Meanwhile, the average Wall St. bonus, not salary, fell to a measly $128, 530. Goldman Sachs paid $431,000 on average.

Is it fair to compare the salaries of Wall Street executives to the teachers in Wisconsin? Are the jobs on Wall Street more valuable than the ones in education? It seems like an easy answer, with Wall Street profits reaching $27.6 billion last year. But with our job market thinning and unemployment hovering around 9% it seems wise to invest in education to help build the jobs of tomorrow. The financial sector is but one component of our economy, an economy sorely needing diversification based on how apparent it is now that we depended on Wall Street to create capital and jobs for far too long.

The rise and fall of Gawker media

Anthony De Rosa
Mar 3, 2011 17:37 UTC

Screen shot 2011-03-03 at 11.51.24 AM

Full disclosure: I was a contributor at Gawker in 2009.

How has Gawker’s major redesign altered their traffic? It all depends who you ask and what measurement service you decide to use. They all seem to paint a slightly different picture and everyone you speak to will give you a different explanation for why it is so. Gawker had been using the measurement service, Sitemeter, that they proudly displayed prior to the redesign, and still exists on Gawker’s UK site in the old reverse chronological format they tossed away.

The new format launched on February 10th, and you can see the massive drop off on that very date. Gawker’s editor-in-chief Remy Stern claimed the Sitemeter was not working anymore. The new format of the site was created in such a way that the measurement could not be accurately detected by that type of tool. So let’s toss out the Sitemeter entirely since it seems incapable of giving us a true look at Gawker’s traffic.

Instead, we’ll look at Quantcast, which shows a steady decline in pageviews for Gawker since  the end of January. Additionally, unique visitors fell off a cliff shortly after February 7th and have struggled to reach their previous levels ever since.

Apple’s iPad 2: A thin video powerhouse

Anthony De Rosa
Mar 2, 2011 20:17 UTC

ipad2

The biggest surprise at today’s Apple iPad 2 event was the fact that Steve Jobs was there to present it. Jobs walked out to a thunderous standing ovation and stated, “We’ve been working on this product for awhile, and I didn’t want to miss it.”

The iPad 2 is very much a video device. The resolution is the same, the price is the same and the battery life is the same. The new feature is a front and back facing camera which was not available on the original iPad.

The new device can also wirelessly stream video from any app to an Apple TV device (and vice versa), which makes the iPad an even more powerful convergence device than Apple TV.

  •