Young nerds carefully track tryst online

Jackson West · 09/10/08 07:00AM

In what appears to be about the exact philosophical opposite to the public relationship performance art piece perpetrated by Julia Allison and Jakob Lodwick last year, serial conference speaker Chris Messina and new girlfriend Brynn Evans have explained their much geekier obsession with tracking their relationship metrics online — privately. It's a neat way to convince a reporter that you're on the bleeding edge of Web-era relationships. Something Messina has done very successfully over the years.Rather than rely on romantic intuition (which Messina all but admits horribly failed him in his last relationship with fellow conference-speaking professional Tara Hunt), the two are now trying to suss out behavioral patterns that might indicate a cooling of interest. How do they do it? With websites that just happen to be eager for publicity.

Fake a phone number for your online hookups

Melissa Gira Grant · 09/04/08 04:40PM

No one wants to give their last-minute, late-night, drunk-from-the-open bar Craigslist "date" their real phone number. It's this free-sex market that Hookupdigits hopes to tap: the site generates proxy phone numbers that expire after 7 days, good for calls ten minutes or less in length. Other startups have gone here before: Numbr was a disposable call forwarding service, and Jangl gave both halves of the hookup a unique number. Both have since folded. The failures of its predecessors isn't Hookupdigits biggest problem. Let's start with the photo they use as their lead graphic — of San Francisco Web microcelebrities Chris Messina and Tara Hunt, whose "digitally enabled breakup" was so blogged about that it made it into print.Leave aside having a fairly public former couple as the face of their business. It's not clear how Hookupdigits believes they'll turn a profit. One of the players behind the site contacted me offering me "rev share" if I "really loved it." A rev share of what? The Google AdSense ads overdecorating the site? It's a shame that those who would most benefit from Hookupdigits — Internet sex workers and their clients — are exactly the people Hookupdigits can't overtly market to, maybe for fear of being heavily surveilled by law enforcement. What will shut them down won't be police involvement, but lack of a user base. There are still far more people meeting through online dating sites who want to swap real phone numbers before they share anything else — as a sign of mutual trust. Call it old-fashioned. At least if you share your real cell number, you can text your good time, too.

Chris Messina and Tara Hunt: It's still a breakup even if no one blogs it

Melissa Gira Grant · 07/29/08 07:00PM

Web 2.0 wunderkinds Tara Hunt and Chris Messina hooked up, broke up, and now leave their company and a San Francisco magazine profile behind. Can Internet People run their relationships like their businesses?, we're meant to wonder, the tease of a question splayed out against the story's backdrop of conference-going glamor, multiblogged dates, and come-ons delivered in the form of schwag T-shirts. We 100-worded it so you can get back to Twittering about the lover you're not quite ready to leave yet:

Wine Camp: Glad you didn't go yet?

Nick Douglas · 05/30/06 09:30AM

To prove how X-TREEM bloggers roll (they camp! it's in-tents), joined-at-the-hip tech couple Chris Messina and Tara Hunt pulled a gaggle of geeks out to Winecamp this weekend for some roughing-it fun. (By roughing it, I mean their Macs weren't connected to the Internet.) Embedded reporter Dan Fost (pictured) reports at the SF Chronicle's tech blog:

To-Do: Meet Markoff, the LJ guy, your maker

Nick Douglas · 05/25/06 02:30PM

Great weekend ahead, and I'm not just saying that 'cause Valleywag takes a half-day tomorrow. Here — meet someone important by Memorial Day and pump 'em for info.

They turned Scoble and Israel into comics!

ndouglas · 02/23/06 02:58PM

Someone's been playing with Comic Life. A Flickr user named "Privateye" 'shopped up the shirtless shot of Naked Conversations authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. (That's JD Lasica's photo, first covered back here.)