Web television has just gone mainstream. Sure, we know that our favorite television shows go online the day after they air and we can catch what we missed simply by going to Hulu or the respective network’s website, but how often will the networks offer original programming online? Probably never…because it wouldn’t make that much sense for them–they have their own network viewed by millions of people each day so might as well exploit it. But let’s not discount what we’ve seen online either…there’s been some really great web series that have huge followings.
Maybe finding a huge web property that would allow Discovery to create original series while enabling it to expand its online offerings was key for Discovery Communications. As a result, the parent company of the Discovery Channel has announced its acquisition of web-video startup Revision3 for an undisclosed amount. Known as a TV network for the web, Revision3 is probably one of the first to really make it big in web video content, producing hit shows like Diggnation, Epic Meal Time, GeekBeat.TV, HD Nation, Foundation, Lifehacker, Scam School, SGNL by Sony, Tekzilla, and the Totally Rad Show. It is probably known best as being among the leading special interest video network focused on technology while also being home to some of the top Internet video talent like Digg and Revision3 founder, Kevin Rose, Veronica Belmont, Patrick Norton, Alex Albrectht, Cali Lewis, and Brian Brushwood. But now, Revision3 will become more mainstream and well-known on the Discovery Channel as “Shark Week”.
The results are in…the Internet community has made their choice on who they think did a bang-up job promoting themselves online. New York City is set to be the place that everyone online is looking towards as the winners of the 16th annual Webby Awards are announced and awarded their prize. Established in 1996 during the web’s infancy by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the Webby Awards are probably among the most prestigious international awards out there that honor excellence on the Internet. Honor bestowed by the Academy means receiving accolades from among some of the best minds in the industry–web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries, creative celebrities, and other Internet professionals help make up the judging panel.
Hosted by comedian Patton Oswalt, this year’s ceremony will once again honor a mixture of companies and agencies for their creative gumption in developing a really cool interactive presence and it’s only fitting that some of the most talked about tech companies here in Silicon Valley are awarded accolades themselves. Take Facebook for example…this year, the largest social network in the world will be the recipient of the inaugural People’s Special Achievement for Social Change as an honor for the company’s efforts in leveraging the Internet to enable and foster social and political development around the world. It’s interesting to note that Facebook trumped Twitter for this honor.
Don’t be evil — that’s Google’s unofficial motto. But while some companies may take that motto to simply mean “don’t do anything bad”, some might argue that rather than being passive about avoiding evil, companies should actually be more active in combating evil and doing more good. For Facebook, doing good and giving back seems to be very much in part of their effort to give back to the world. Sure, their service allows people to connect themselves with others from around the world, but there’s always more that can be done and one might suggest that Facebook has strived to be good global corporate neighbors. Just take a look at recent events to gain a glimpse at what the power of Facebook has had over our lives–the service has helped directly/indirectly shake the foundation of some of the most totalitarian regimes across the Middle East during the famous Arab Spring event. And Facebook’s founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has not made it a secret that he intends to donate some of his wealth to charity, having signed onto billionaire Bill Gates & Warren Buffet’s “Giving Pledge”. And in 2010, Mr. Zuckerberg famously went on the Oprah Winfrey Show and announced that he was giving $100 million to the Newark Public School System as part of his effort to help Mayor Cory Booker revive the struggling education system.
Facebook and Mr. Zuckerberg have clearly been corporate model citizens helping to illustrate that companies can do good for the public and that more can be done instead of simply pledging never to be evil–there are other philanthropy efforts that need corporate help and it seems that Facebook is leading the way.
Look out Big Apple! One of the hottest events dedicated to finding the next big startup is set to make its next showing in just a couple of weeks–yes, that’s right, TechCrunch Disrupt is returning to New York City and you can bet that it will be even better than ever. It all takes place at Pier 94 on the westside of the city just a few blocks away from Central Park. For the third year in a row, TechCrunch is setting out to find out just who has the hottest startup outside of Silicon Valley. We all know that there’s a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem outside in the rest of the United States and New York is just one of those hubs in the country where technology is practically flourishing. Known in many circles informally as Silicon Alley, New York City is home to some of the tech world’s well-known startups, not to mention that it’s what The Startup Genome considers to be the number two tech hub city in the world, placing only behind San Francisco.
In its inaugural year, Soluto was crowned winner of the TechCrunch Disrupt battlefield. A year later, GetAround claimed the top prize. This year, the competition is wide open. Applications for the Disrupt Battlefield have already been received and finalists may be notified shortly. But what you’ll see at TechCrunch Disrupt are companies who are young and eager to get their product out into the world and gain some much needed press coverage. Each of the finalists are going to be companies that have been around for only three months and most likely haven’t received any press coverage before. But I’m sure that at least one established company will grace the audience with their presence by unveiling a brand new product for the world to see and enjoy. But who will be that next lucky company to get that big break? Once on stage, it’s a “do or die” attitude because each startup presenting is doing so not only for the coverage, but for the prestigious Disrupt Cup and also a chance to win $50,000 on the spot and be named this year’s top startup–not to mention that it would be critiqued by an “all-star panel of the biggest innovators, angels, VCs and influencers in the tech community”.
You know it was probably only a matter of time before someone did it. In light of all the popularity and hype over services like Instagram, Pinterest, and even Tumblr, somehow the industry has managed to forget about a special set of people. They were first recognized in the era of email marketing when folks using UNIX and PINE accessed their email. Just who am I talking about? Why, the text-only generation…the people who never liked looking at images in their inbox with HTML emails and those that slows down their download speeds. And that’s why over the past few days, some interesting Twitter accounts have popped up to (supposedly) make it easier for people to understand what people are sharing on some of the most popular services on the Internet today.
The first one that apparently popped up is called Text-only Instagram and it was created by Josh Helfferich, a man who found it appalling that people would need to be subjected to endless bad photo filters and having to engage with followers. He created Text-only Instagram as a means of taking what people would normally see on Instagram and converting it into a text-based feed without all the “messy and superficial social interactions“. All you need to do is go to the service’s Twitter account and you’ll be able to see tweets of some of the millions of photos shared on Instagram, but without needing to worry about the Lo-Fi, Amaro, Hudson, Earlybird, Brannan, Inkwell, Hefe, or Nashville filters mucking up the image.You can just use your imagination to see what people are photographing and let THAT be your memory.