Media, tech moguls meet in New York (You are NOT invited)

November 3, 2009

Media and technology executives are meeting Wednesday and Thursday in New York City at a conference hosted by private equity firm Quadrangle. Note the word private.

MySpace: Be ready to read this story twice

October 27, 2009

MySpace, the online social network (can we still call it that now that it has ducked out of the Facebook/Twitter competition?), appears to be pursuing what I’ll call the “two-pronged news strategy.” You get used to it when you cover media and technology. For those of you who don’t enjoy this privilege, it goes like this:

Aardvark’s Internet search: No web pages required

October 14, 2009

Microsoft may be the only company with the wherewithal to challenge Google’s Internet search dominance head on, but a number of firms are trying to outflank Google with services that handle aspects of search not covered by Google’s index of Web pages.

Twitter and Bing: A cold September

October 14, 2009

For two of the Web’s newest sensations, September was not a good month.

The robust growth that Twitter and Microsoft’s Bing search engine enjoyed in recent months appeared to come to an abrupt halt last month.

On Facebook nobody knows you’re a dead language

October 2, 2009

Gaudeamus Igitur!

Friday was a day of great joy and merriment for seminarians, academics and other devotees of Latin following Facebook’s announcement that the world’s largest social networking website is now available in the language of Caesar.

Facebook account: free. Friends? About 18 cents apiece

September 3, 2009

How much are 1,000 Facebook friends worth?

According to Leon Hill, $177.30.

That’s the price that Hill’s online marketing firm uSocial.net is selling Facebook friends for, through a new service that has already raised alarms within Facebook.

Facebook’s start-ups strut their stuff

September 2, 2009

Facebook opened its doors to venture capitalists on Tuesday.******The world’s largest social media company, which landed $200 million in funding in May, wasn’t trying to drum up any more cash for itself.******Instead, it was promoting a couple dozen start-up companies that leverage its technology and could further the strategy of making Facebook a key building block for Internet businesses and services.******The start-ups were selected by Facebook earlier this year through fbFund, a joint venture between Facebook, Accel and Founders Fund that provides seed funding (typically between $15,000 and $75,000 per start-up) to Facebook application developers.******The start-ups toiled through the summer in Facebook’s erstwhile Palo Alto, California headquarters and Tuesday was show-time: a chance to show off their progress and, they hoped, secure a more substantial chunk of funding from the VCs assembled.******Unlike traditional Facebook applications, such as games that run directly within the Facebook Web site, many of the products showcased on Tuesday were stand-alone Web sites that tap into a Web surfer’s network of Facebook friends using the Facebook Connect service.******Thread.com, an online dating site, allows people to cull through their Facebook friends’ friends, searching for say, single women in a certain age group, and to contact a prospective date via a trusted friend.******Another start-up, Sociable, provides a service that it said can boost sales for online retailers by integrating transactions with Facebook. The company said it was already generating revenue and that concert-promoter LiveNation is a customer.******According to Founders Fund’s Dave McClure, who organized Tuesday’s event, five fbFund companies are already break-even or profitable, and another three expect to get there by the end of the year – no small feat given the rough economy.******Facebook will need more such success stories as it seeks to transform its own company from the Web’s top social networking destination into the underlying social fabric of all Web sites.

from The Great Debate:

Can sleeping giant Skype reinvent itself?

By Eric Auchard
September 1, 2009

eric_auchard_thumbnail2.jpg -- Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

Do once-hot Internet start-ups who miss a date with destiny ever truly get a second chance? History says no, even for once-great names like Netscape, AOL and MySpace.

from DealZone:

Stirrings from Silicon Valley

August 19, 2009

As centers of innovation go, there are worse places to place a bet on the past repeating itself than California's technology hub. Looking beyond the Internet, housing and credit bubbles, it's still the preferred playground of such leading financial weathervanes as venture capitalists, gizmo nerds and software studs.

MySpace in talks to buy iLike for $20m – reports

August 18, 2009

MySpace is looking to buy Web music service iLike for around $20 million according to several blogs. iLike co-founder Hadi Partovi declined to comment when we asked him and MySpace’s PR team also declined to share details.