I saw a theme this morning as I perused the various other tech sites: Hulu invites! Hulu, the video-streaming partnership between News Corp. and NBC, is throwing open its doors to many early adopters by offering up thousands of invites on several tech sites. If you haven't gotten a chance to play around with Hulu and want to see just what the hell Paul Boutin is complaining about, here's your chance. GigaOm, Read/WriteWeb, TechCrunch, and Mashable are giving away 2,500 invites each. All, we note, are clients of Federated Media, John Battelle's online-ad network. Coincidence, conspiracy, or just part of a future Hulu advertising campaign?
WEB 2.0 SUMMIT — In an interview with former Business 2.0 editor Josh Quittner, Quincy Smith, the frenetically dealmaking CBS Web chief, looks so bored. So bored. As Quittner rambles on with a long, involved tale about his mancrush on awesomely geeky GigaOm blogger Om Malik, Smith is scanning the audience and jotting down notes, as if he's plotting, mid-panel, which startups he's going to buy at the show.
A double birthday party for GigaOm biz-blogger Om Malik (pictured with operations manager Joey Wan) and Spark PR founder Donna Sokolsky fogged up the glass patio walls at Jack Falstaff on Friday. I happened to be at the bar, hoping to catch dreamy god-mayor Gavin Newsom doing paperwork again. After the jump, the best overheards.
It appears that Michael Arrington is no longer devastated by the abrupt departure on Tuesday of Julia Allison, the New York-based TV commentator he'd begged to stay in town after she flew in for his TechCrunch9 party. The TechCrunch editor has found a new lust object: Morgan Webb, host of WebbAlert, yet another online tech-news show with a busty host in the vein of Rocketboom. After the jump, the hilarious homina-homina that the horny hetero slipped into his review.
Blogs continue to sell — but blog valuations are staying modest. Discovery Communications, the cable-and-online media company, has bought enviro blog TreeHugger for a reported $10 million. With nearly 2 million unique visitors, that means Discovery paid a very modest $5 per "eyeball" — the unpleasant online-advertising slang for a reader. Contrast that to the bubbly hopes of GigaOm's Om Malik back in 2005, when he wrote about the "return of monetized eyeballs" for Business 2.0. (Full disclosure: I helped him crunch the numbers for that story.)
We asked, and Kara Swisher of AllThingsD.com helpfully answered: Om Malik is launching a television show with Revision3, the online-video site cofounded by Digg's Kevin Rose and now run by Jim Louderback, theman who made a well-timed exit from PC magazine. The deal was thinly disguised, since Revision3's PR firm was the one to send out invites for a party Malik's holding tonight to celebrate the deal. The result of the partnership is called "The GigaOm Show," and will cover many of the same personalities who pop up in Malik's GigaOm blog. But now, here's the question that Swisher didn't ask — and should have.
On Thursday, Om Malik is going to make a big announcement about GigaOm, his tech blog network. How do we know this? Because he's
cancelled still throwing a swanky party to be held this Wednesday at San Francisco's De Young Museum and briefing journalists afterwards. (Update: Turns out the party's still on. Personal to Om: Dude, my invitation appears to have been lost in the mail. Ahem.) Which partner is Malik announcing a deal with? Not Time Inc., apparently. Malik, a former senior writer at Time Inc.'s Business 2.0 magazine, held acquisition talks with his former employer a few months ago, but they went nowhere. (Vivek Shah, the newly appointed head of Time Inc.'s business publications, even joked about it with Malik when they ran into each other at Fortune's iMeme conference.) I gave Om a buzz, but he couldn't talk when I reached him. I'll update when I know more.
For Earth2Tech, the new green blog from GigaOm, founder Om Malik has hired Adena DeMonte away from the Red Herring, the struggling publication we've put on a deathwatch. That's got to be the last straw for Herring editor Joel Dreyfuss (pictured, right). Rumor has it that Dreyfuss at one point told Malik to stop poaching the Herring's best writers. Malik, of course, is a former Herring writer, but the publication in its current form and under current management bears no relationship, aside from the name, to the storied tech magazine Malik worked for earlier in this decade. Why Dreyfuss feels Malik's not entitled to fish in his pond is a mystery to me — unless it's just a sign of his general frustration with trying to bail out a sinking ship.
Om Malik, the moody tech blogger behind GigaOm, is better known for his blue periods. But now he's entering a green phase with his new environmental blog, Earth2Tech. His heart's hardly in it, however. In sending around a note announcing the site, all he could manage was this: "Apparently like everyone else, we are going green!" For those who know Malik, that's his slightly chagrined way of admitting he's following a trend, not setting one. While it may not attract much excitement from its creator, it's sure to pull in those green ad dollars. (Side note: GigaOm contributor and Earth2Tech lead writer Katie Fehrenbacher is the sister of Jill Fehrenbacher, who in turn is Engadget founder Peter Rojas's girlfriend.)
MEGAN MCCARTHY — "Pownce is the new pink," declared Valleywag's capricious new editor Owen Thomas in assigning me to go cover a party thrown by Leah Culver and Kevin Rose, cofounders of Digg. The new pink? More like the new pot. The microblogging site, which people use to send around URLs, MP3s, and updates on their lives, is just as coveted — invitations are still up for sale on eBay — and seems to leave its users just as unproductive. So what better place to hold a party than a pink castle of a house in the Castro owned by Dennis Peron, one of the heads of California's medical marijuana movement? A list of Internet-glamorous attendees, a crime scene, and a photo gallery, after the jump.
Microsoft agreed to pay Universal Music over a dollar for each Zune it sells — and that's all the bloggers and commentators will report. But the New York Times, which broke this news, explains the payment is part of a deal in which Universal will license its music to Microsoft's new music download service.
Update: Now with page 2!
- BusinessWeek reports on the Hewlett-Packard leak probe and ensuing scandal: "The HP board will meet on Sunday. The company declined to say if this is an emergency meeting of directors to discuss the fallout from the probe." Right, they decided to meet on Sunday for no particular reason. Just for brunch, actually! Mimosas! WE'RE ALL GOOD FRIENDS HERE. [BusinessWeek]
The basis of Web Worker Daily, GigaOM blog kingpin Om Malik's latest title, is that in an increasingly web-based, wireless world, with bloggers and web workers dispersed in diverse geographic pockets, it's becoming more difficult to mobilize the workforce. The site, which launched on Labor Day (cute timing, Om), is meant as a forum in which "2.0 users" share knowledge of technological systems and workspaces.
When the little dot-coms blow up, says marketing/PR blogger Steve Rubel, the sites funded by their advertising will go under too. Rubel names social news site Digg as one potential victim. How does it stack up against other Web-2.0-supported sites? Above the fold, we analyze Digg and tech blog GigaOM. Below, GigaOM competitor TechCrunch sets off a red alert.