Amazon buys book sharing startup Shelfari

Amazon has purchased book sharing startup Shelfari according to posts by Read/Write Web and TechCrunch last night.

The startup, which has one of the most interesting & funky user interfaces I’ve ever seen, is essentially a social networking & book sharing system for those that love to read.. like me!

Shelfari’s team makes the formal announcement on their blog:

We’ve got some big plans ahead. With more resources and Amazon’s expertise in building a platform where people come to share ideas, there are a lot of new opportunities in the future that will benefit each of you. In the meantime, you’ll continue to have access to the great community and tools that you’ve always known and used on the site.

Which Facebook application developer is making more than $1m monthly?

At Allfacebook, Nick O’Neill claims that at least one Facebook application developer is making more than $1m/month, but won’t say who it is:

There’s a pretty well known secret among top Facebook application developers: one developer is generating over $1 million a month. Who is that developer exactly? Well, most people won’t talk about it and after some prodding around we’ve narrowed down the suspects. We aren’t going to post them though because ultimately it doesn’t matter who the individual is. All that matters is that a top application that is used for entertainment purposes is generating over $1 million a month.

So who is it? [Read more…]

Is linking to yourself the right thing to do?

An interesting piece by Tim O’Reilly over at O’Reilly Radar asks if linking to yourself is the future of the web:

At the time, I noted the way that more and more information that was once delivered by independent web sites was now being delivered directly by search engines, and that rather than linking out to others, there were strong signs of a trend towards keeping the link flow to themselves.

This thought re-surfaced when Techcrunch launched Crunchbase. Now, rather than linking directly to companies covered in its stories, Techcrunch links to one of its own properties to provide additional information about them. I noticed the same behavior the other day on the New York Times, when I followed a link, and was taken to a search result for articles on the subject at the Times (with lots of ads, even if there were few results).

[Read more…]

New York Times examines the rivalry between TechCrunch50 and the DEMO Conference

The New York Times, in an article penned by Brad Stone, takes an in-depth look at the rivalry between the DEMO Conference and the new upstart TechCrunch50 conference:

Demo, a 17-year-old conference franchise owned by the technology publisher IDG, has served as the springboard for hit products like the Palm Pilot and the TiVo digital video recorder. In San Diego during the second week of September, 70 start-ups will pay $18,500 each to make a six-minute presentation to a crowd of investors, journalists and others.

To Michael Arrington, the elbow-throwing, supercilious founder of the popular Silicon Valley blog TechCrunch, Demo’s business model amounts to “payola.”

[Read more…]

VC Firm EDF Ventures subpoenas TheFunded to discover identity of poster

TechCrunch is reporting that venture capital firm EDF Ventures has subpoenaed VC discussion/review site TheFunded in order to discover the identity of a poster that wrote a negative review about EDF Ventures.

The negative review reads, in part:

“Worked with these people on several deals and they are to be avoided unless you are desperate. Beaus Laskey, the only honest straightforward person in the bunch, has left the firm.’”

Interestingly enough, TheFunded was designed from the beginning with this sort of legal challenge in mind. The site does not track email addresses, IP addresses, or any other identifying characteristic associated with posters & commenters.

Arrington Calls For Fake Follow on Twitter

Michael Arrington calls for a Fake Follow feature on Twitter, and similar on FriendFeed for that matter, so that he can stroke people’s egos. What? I actually makes sense:

[…] there are a lot of people who for some reason are greatly offended when you don’t reciprocate a follow/subscribe on Twitter or FriendFeed. When this happens (and it happens a lot), you have a choice – deal with the fallout (”that guy is such a jerk”) or just friend the person and avoid the pain.

I’ve had some of those myself, and I think Arrington i pretty spot on with the need for a less friendly follow on Twitter. It just becomes too much to handle, both for yourself and, I suspect, for Twitter when you’ve got 300+ followers. Or wherever, it probably depends on who you follow too. The story notes that Twitter “might” adopt something like this, and FriendFeed’s got features coming out to cope with it.

Teens in Tech, the for Teens

You got to love the underdog, especially when it is a 15 year old teenager that gets featured, nay hyped, on TechCrunch. Daniel Brusilovsky is getting a lot of praise and encouragement, probably rightly so, although I have no idea if his first project, the teen blog host Teens in Tech, is something special. It is in private alpha, but Jason Kincaid has obviously seen it, since he describes it like this: [Read more…]

AOL Cuts Blog Budgets, Signs of Things to Come?


aol.gifTechCrunch reports that AOL has been making big budget cuts across its blogs. We’re not talking small stuff here, serious cuts up to 25%, which will almost certainly effect the writers the most.

The cuts range up to 25% of each properties total budget, which falls mostly on personnel costs – bloggers are simply being told to take a couple of weeks off for now, and there may or may not be work for them later in August.

The tech blogs, with Engadget being the most prominent one, is not affected, the sources say.

While this should be treated as a rumor for now, it is something that will and should rattle the blogosphere.
[Read more…]

TechCrunch’s Web Tablet Project

This is interesting. TechCrunch have started a project where they want to build an open-source based web tablet, running Firefox and possibly Skype on top of a Linux distribution, with just a touch screen interface. Add a power button, and a $200 price tag, and you’ve got the essentials of this interesting project.

There’s great interest in this, truly, because the first post on TechCrunch is at 593 comments, and TechCrunchIT, another site in Michael Arrington’s network, have two posts for discussions, the first which is now closed, and a new one to keep the discussion going on.

I’m hoping they’ll pull this one together. A simple web tablet for $200 would be sweet indeed.