Naive New Yorker goes hunting for bear

Owen Thomas · 09/22/08 02:20PM

Zach Klein, one of the founders of Connected Ventures, started a photo group on Flickr called "Chest Hair Party" as a joke three years ago. A redesign of Flickr's homepage alerted him to its takeover by a set of Flickr users who take chest hair rather more seriously. Oh, how innocent! San Franciscans, whose city hosts every imaginable gay subculture, take the bears who walk among them for granted. But New Yorkers are only starting to discover this clique of hairy homosexuals. (Bear models were in vogue on last fall's runways.) Zach, if you need to learn more, take the subway to Christopher Street and walk west until you hit Ty's. If you get any questions, just say you're an "otter." (Photo via Secret Enemy Hideout)

5 rules for making a company video worth watching

Nicholas Carlson · 09/05/08 04:00PM

Austin-based interactive ad agency Tocquigny embarrassed itself with a video meant to show prospective interns how fun it is to work at the company over the summer. Instead of showing how quirky and Internet-savvy Tocquigny was, it proved to be a turnoff — and a ripoff. Besides not copying someone else's work, what could Tocquigny have done differently? Using five examples the agency should have followed, we'll explain how to do a self-promotional corporate video right:Rule No. 1: Convince the video's participants that the end product will be less embarrassing if they don't worry about being embarrassed while they make it. Get your people to either commit themselves fully to the project, or stay out of the way. Vimeo's companywide lip synch of Harvey Danger's "Flagpole Sitta" wouldn't work nearly so well if the girl listening to her iPod at the beginning didn't keep such a straight face. Know what else doesn't hurt? Actually memorizing the lyrics.

Classic Jakob Lodwick video further explains post-Lodwick productivity surge

Owen Thomas · 08/04/08 02:00PM

Even when Manhattan's favorite Internet hipster Jakob Lodwick isn't high, he's not that hard-working. Connected Ventures cofounder Zach Klein reminisces about the early days of Connected Ventures, the IAC-backed testosteronefest behind CollegeHumor and Vimeo. Lodwick leads the startup's crew in singing "Semi-Charmed Kind of Life," and trashes cofounder Ricky Van Veen's cardboard cutout of Shaquille O'Neal. Any questions on why Vimeo's performance soared after IAC fired Lodwick? shaq attack from Amir Cohen on Vimeo.

Yes, that's Jay Adelson rapping and Kevin Rose not dancing

Nicholas Carlson · 04/23/08 05:40PM

IAC's Connected Ventures may have done it first, and AOLers in France may have done it better, but give Digg's companywide lip-synching video credit. Skip ahead to check out Jay Adelson at 2:02. Rewind from there to see Kevin Rose Digg underlings jumping up on a conference-room table. (Founder Kevin Rose doesn't actually appear until the very end, where he declares the group "crazy" and leaves. For his future dignity, a wise move. No one has, as yet, leaked footage of Barry Diller or Randy Falco wearing shades and rapping.) Full clip is below:

Barry Diller is paying Jakob Lodwick more than $100,000 a year to stay away from IAC employees

Nicholas Carlson · 04/14/08 06:40PM

We heard Jakob Lodwick may have broken his severance agreement with IAC's Connected Ventures when he poached Vimeo Web designer Justin Ouellette to help him start Muxtape, an online mix-tapes startup. How much could the gaffe cost the Connected Ventures cofounder? Reportedly, $100,000 a year through 2011. "What a mess," an IAC exec tells us. True, but mostly for Lodwick. IAC can hire more Web designers to replace the one Lodwick's entrepreneurial ventures have cost them so far. Diller's six-figure dole will be harder for Lodwick to replace.

Lodwick's Muxtape mess

Nicholas Carlson · 04/08/08 03:00PM

Jakob Lodwick, the fired founder of Vimeo who's now dabbling in online music, rushed out an announcement of his involvement with Muxtape, an online mix-tapes startup — shortly after we started asking questions. But in his attempt to spoil our scoop, Lodwick may have put the payout he got from Vimeo's parent company, IAC, at risk. We're told that part of Lodwick's severance package included a fairly typical agreement to not poach any of his former Connected Venture colleagues for future projects. But with Muxtape, that's just what Lodwick's done.

Jakob Lodwick invades Bay Area; hide your women, venture capitalists

Mary Jane Irwin · 02/26/08 08:00PM

Jakob Lodwick is back in the Bay Area, kicking it at his cousin's San Francisco-based startup. The only thing slightly more terrifying than the prospect of one of our local girls becoming his new softcore pinup is the notion that Lodwick might end his blogging strike. Oh wait, he has — three times over. Lodwick, unemployed after getting fired from Connected Venture by Barry Diller, lasted 20 days without blogging. Alongside our daily dose of Jakob Lodwick, he'll expose us to stuff he likes, and apparently work on a political manifesto dubbed The Invisible Fist in which he'll attempt to destroy capitalism as we know it. Good luck on Sand Hill Road, Jakob.

Where'd you go over the holidays?

Nicholas Carlson · 01/15/08 11:00AM

Cabo, it's supposed to be the West Coast's Mexico. But here's photographic evidence that Silicon Alley entrepreneurs (and B.J. Novak from "The Office," back left) like to play in the Pacific, too.

Lodwick's latest project is homeless humor

Tim Faulkner · 01/02/08 01:24PM

Amateur attention seeker and entrepreneur Jakob Lodwick may be releasing a new project soon with David Karp, the creator of blogging tool Tumblr. Lodwick recently cut ties with both his beau, Julia Allison, and Connected Ventures, the startup he founded, now controlled by IAC and best known for Vimeo and College Humor. Without Barry Diller's backing or Allison's cleavage, how will the pasty, shirtless hipster generate the buzz he's grown to expect but rarely deserves? By mocking the homeless.

Make it in Silicon Alley and you might just land yourself a bathtub

Nicholas Carlson · 12/13/07 06:29PM

In Silicon Valley, VCs talk about building wealth for your great-grandchildren. But for Manhattan's tech entrepreneurs, success is measured by being able to immerse yourself in bubbly water at home. Connected Ventures cofounder Ricky Van Veen — yes, one of those "silly kids" in New York I cover way too much — just bought a new pad. Paul Boutin's response: "Who?" Owen's: "Wake me when you have photos of Mark Zuckerberg's new condo at the Ritz." Whatevs. Check out the hot real estate porn.

Jakob Lodwick on driving the old people out with slinkies

Nicholas Carlson · 12/07/07 04:41PM

Here, in an October video, ousted Vimeo cofounder Jakob Lodwick explains how Connected Ventures keeps the office young. His opening thought is the kind of thing that's best both read and viewed. So, here. For your pleasure.

Merry Christmas from IAC's Ricky Van Veen and his women

Nicholas Carlson · 12/06/07 07:52PM

Rumor is Julia Allison is on to her next geek, Connected Ventures cofounder Ricky Van Veen. But don't worry, the family's fine. Van Veen is pictured here with his significant other and some girl. "Her name is Anna," Van Veen tells me. "And before she was my girlfriend, she was a model for our T-shirt site, BustedTees." We're not going to see a anytime soon, are we? "We shall not," Van Veen says. Promises, promises.