The world needs a better understanding of what events are taking place and to find a way to coordinate with each other to see who they want to meet up. Plancast was probably going to be that. Started by former TechCrunch writer, Mark Hendrickson, and Jay Marcyes, there was some great hope for the startup, but somehow it just never managed to gain traction past the tech startup scene. The idea was simple: if you wanted to find out what events were happening around the city or state you were living in, you could just look up Plancast and find the information you want. The beauty was that it wasn’t just idle promotion by startups, but rather events that were curated by friends and people you think are interesting. I won’t write up a review of the site because I’ve already done it before. However, in the end, it seemed that the service’s adoption was never meant to be and Mr. Hendrickson penned a beautiful post on TechCrunch explaining his unfortunate decision.
But today is the dawn of a new day with Plancast, as rumors have started to grow that the event service has been recently acquired by The Active Network, and has finally been relaunched with a brand new design and a whole heck of a lot more features. That’s right folks…your favorite event calendar service is back and badder than ever! No word yet on the acquisition deal but it might not be much…judging from who The Active Network is, they probably would have spent a few million on the deal? From what I can gather, the acquisition went down in the Spring of this year and is being entirely run by The Active Network–the founders have all since departed for greener pastures, with Mr. Hendrickson, himself, leading the product charge at Obvious’s Lift startup. If you take a look at the Plancast site now, you’re going to see much more emphasis on the outdoors and active events compared to something much more tech focused.
Just when you thought you were finally rid of the incessant tweets and Facebook wall postings about the London Summer Olympics ruining your chance to witness history or perhaps to hear about that awesome interview Ryan Seacrest had or maybe to watch what ridiculousness the NBC commentators would make on live TV this time, the tech world is about to be set ablaze by a fury of content that hasn’t been seen in about a year. No, I’m not talking about political advertising and messaging that will be flooding the Internet over the next few months leading up to Election Day. Actually something much more “persistent”. What I’m talking about is the annual tech rite of passage known as the South by Southwest PanelPicker event. And it’s back…
It almost seems like we just attended the annual South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, didn’t it? Nearly five days of fun, panels, lectures, parties, and tech-related news happening in the middle of the United States. Sure, it’s the grand ol’ Spring Break for nerds! And now it’s time to plan for it all over again. Will you be going this year? For many, their hopes and desires to attend the annual conference depends on what happens today. See, voting has begun for the panels and sessions that will be scheduled at the show this Spring. For many, having time on stage in the Austin Convention Center can be a great way to increase their social presence while for others, it’s a more prominent way of getting their company name and service out there. And then, for others, it’s a great way to snag a choice room in one of the downtown Austin hotels. It’s true.
Oh man, where has the time gone? We’re already in the middle of August and one of the things that perhaps may have slipped some minds is that it’s already been three months since the largest tech IPO in history happened (albeit to some dismal fanfare). Since that fateful IPO by Facebook in June, not much has gone well for the company. First the company saw their stock IPO at the high of $48 per share, but ultimately it’s slipped by 40% over the past several months. Their first quarterly earnings report didn’t help them as much and the market let them know it. Sure, the company made $1.8 billion in revenue, an increase from $895 million, but according to the New York Times, not much more confidence was given moving forward. The market has continually punished the company over and over again with Facebook’s CFO, David Ebersman, saying that even he’s disappointed in how the stock was traded.
But the next test that lies ahead of Facebook isn’t their next quarterly earnings report, but rather the expiration of the requirement that prevents some shareholders from selling their stock in Facebook. By law, when a company hits the market, its insiders or those holding majority stakes are forbidden to sell any of their shares and an IPO lock-up is usually done so that the market is not flooded with too much supply of a company’s stock too quickly. Once the lock-up period ends, most trading restrictions are removed. According to the Hindu Business Times, this “lock-up” period is set to expire soon–the New York Times says it’s happening this Thursday. What happens after that? Well it seems some select shareholders will be allowed to finally sell their shares in the company. And what happens after that remains a mystery…it might be a sign of further bad news for the social network.
Recent tales have surfaced that tell me that the filming of the new startup reality show to hit the San Francisco Bay Area has wrapped up. That’s right, San Francisco…you won’t have to worry about video cameras invading the myriad of startup and tech parties that we have around the city. The show, tentatively named “Silicon Valley”, that some either have hated from the start or love it has captured all the footage that it needs to make it’s eight-plus episodes for the season and has moved on to post-production work in order to get the whole thing ready for the upcoming fall season where it’s expected to make its debut.
“Silicon Valley”, as you may recall, is a reality show produced by Bravo TV that follows along the adventures of several entrepreneurs and records their day-to-day activities so folks around the world, or at least those that have Bravo as a cable channel, can see what it’s like to be a struggling entrepreneur, ready to defy-the-odds, and witness the potential birth of something great. The inaugural season has cameras that follow along at least six of the cast mates, including The Next Web reporter and Newspepper founder, Hermione Way, her brother, serial entrepreneur Ben Way, Dwight Crow, David Murray, Marcus Lovingood, and Kim Taylor. What antics, surprises, drama, and potential success stories will turn up? I suppose that we’re going to have to just wait until the fall season to find out.
Last month, a controversial article crossed my path and rather stunned me that I felt that I needed to respond to it. It was written by University of Iowa student Cathryn Sloane for the NextGen Journal publication and was provocatively titled “Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25“. At first glance, one might think that this is one of those posts where it’s a ironic joke or something like that, so you would give it a glance and read it once thinking that some marvelous point would be made. But after reading it once, you’re going to start to realize that Ms. Sloane’s perspective and post are widely off-base.
The premise behind Ms. Slone’s point (right or wrong) was that her generation was way more suited for the role of helping companies and corporations figure out how to use social media simply because her generation was more closely tied to the development of social media. Yes, as Ms. Slone points out, when the largest social network, Facebook, came into being, her generation was just “teenagers in high school” and that they saw how these new tools and services came out and evolved. Whether it’s Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Foursquare, Digg, Technorati, MySpace, AIM, Skype, Zynga, etc., that generation tagged along. So why exactly should companies hire young individuals for that role?