Let the race for content begin: Yahoo Vs. AOL

Yahoo with their  acquisition of Associated Content and AOL with their recent acquisition of TechCrunch have put the two companies at their own crossroads. Both companies have new Boss and are trying to reposition themselves as the media giants.  Any bet on which one will win the space or who is going to acquire who?

Both companies have come a long way since the web 1.0 era. They, both  have been pushing hard to find their footing in the world of the social web content and News: Read more of this post

How long will the Marriage between Michael Arrington and Tim Armstrong last?

Some people have already  made their prediction about the outcome of the recent marriage between Tim Armstrong, AOL’s  boss and Michael Arrington, Techcrunch Founder.

It’s not even two full days that the two got married, this cartoon is already floating around the internet 🙂

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TechCrunch is now officially a property of AOL

Indeed it’s all about content and AOL’s boss knows it!

Obviously the Mashable guys turned down AOL’s offer I reported back in Jan of this year. So, the head of AOL, Tim Armstrong, went ahead to acquire Mashable’s competitor, TechCrunch yesterday.
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Time to support Innovation in Washington, D.C, not Milking the Government

Washington, D.C. has the money, we have the top universities, we have smart coders spin off the AOL, we are recession-proof,  we have ton of smart tech people in the region…We have all these, but why the hell have we been struggling to position Washington, D.C. as a technology hub? Although, we have Clearspring, OPower, LivingSocial, ComScore, Micros Systems, PointAbout, the creators of AppMakr and AOL, and of course awesomize.me 🙂 but will they be able to position DC like the way Google, Facebook, and others defined Silicon Valley?

I sort of addressed the problem back in December of last year, but I am sure there are more to this.  So, I just felt like addressing a few more challenges or obstacles hoping the local investors read this and do something about it.

We need to define DC tech scene more than just top secret clearances, government contracts and billing hours. These are NOT innovation. Clearance locks you in. Maintaining Top Secret/SCI clearance requires you to continue work in that field. You can always get reinstated, but it’s a pain. Once you get a TS job, you have strong disincentives to get out of the game.

Although, we have the largest educated population in the country and perhaps even the world, but regretfully,  it’s geared toward milking the government; not toward producing value or innovation.

Come to think of it, that’s how Yurie systems started their business – government contractor. As an employee number 8, we started milking the Pentagon by building them a proprietary video protocol to support US servicemen in Bosnia via UAV predator back in mid 90s, but then we went commercial in 97, and finally Lucent bought us in 1998 for over $1.23 B when we had the revenue of only $51 m (23x) 🙂  But then again, that was the pre-bubble days 😦

As you can see, it’s going to be very difficult to build a robust high tech scene from scratch in DC area when you are competing for talent against Government contractors.

On the positive side, I believe the DC Entrepreneurial scene is definitely growing. Thanks to the Entrepreneurial programs initiatives by a few of our local universities including the George Washington University that I have been involved with, University of Maryland, DC tech event meetup, and in particular the DC Founder Institute I previously covered.

Feel free to connect with me via awesomize.me

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Local Journalism made in Washington, D.C. brought to You by TBD

It’s going to be a big week for Jim Brady and his new gig, TBD, as the company gearing up to make their big launch in an already super crowded media space this week. The company has been in development for almost nine months, is being financed by Allbritton Communications, which also owns the online political site Politico. Read more of this post

All Aboard… the Highspeed HTML5 Train is Leaving

Thanks to the inception of iPad with its anti Flash slogan, the HTML5 integration in certainly on a roll . First is was Virgin, then CBS, then Youtube, and now AOL all going HTML5.  Are these the  signs that Flash might fade away in a few years?

A few weeks ago, youtube unveiled their new version of its  mobile website (m.youtube.com) compatible with any HTML5 mobile web browser, including the iPhone’s and Android’s. Result: Playing their videos is now much faster with a much better quality. Read more of this post

Free Internet Access Now Available in all Starbucks in Washington, D.C.

As we blogged about it last month, the Starbucks all over Washington, DC area are  now offering free internet access.  The service actually started July 1st. I was jut too lazy to blog about it.  This means no-charge, registration-less and limitation-free at any Starbucks in DC metro and I think all over the nation and Canada.

Finally! I thought it was ridiculous that we had to have an AT&T account to go online there. I always thought half the point of sitting in a coffee shop was supposed to be the free wifi. Read more of this post

Free WiFi Coming To All Starbucks in Washington, D.C. Area

Those of you love to hang out in Starbucks for whatever reason, beginning July 1st, you may also enjoying their coffee with free WiFi from any Starbucks in Washington, D.C. area. So, no more need for refreshing your Starbucks card and certainly no more need to keep buying something every 30 days to keep their Wi-Fi free and active.

Good to see this happening. I think we are beginning to consider Wi-Fi as an expected service in public places, much like restrooms, climate-controlled environments, etc.

Starbucks is partnering with a number of media companies, including Yahoo, for this new digital venture. When you go to Starbucks and log-in to wifi, you’ll be served with targeted content and news. Yahoo will help run the portal and Starbucks is also working with AOL to integrate local content from Patch in the network. And you’ll get free versions of content from WSJ, Zagat, New York Times, USA Today, and free pick of the week iTunes download.  Read more of this post

Is TBD Building a Trojan Horse?

This month, the Washingtonians should brace themselves for the launch of another online media site called TBD headed by the ex-WashingtonPost.com executive editor. Jim Brady . Their content will be edited by former City Paper editor, Erik Wemple.

Curious about the company name? According to their site:

“In a mixture of humor and frustration, Editor Erik Wemple began signing his emails, “Editor, TBD.com. Before long, we realized Erik had stumbled upon the perfect name for our site. The traditional news culture is that you don’t publish or broadcast a story until all the questions are answered, all the t’s crossed and i’s dotted.” Read more of this post

Old AOLers Being Axed by New AOLers

by Elias Shams
This time around they are the top sales people at AOL departing, Business Insider reports. What I’ve been hearing from a couple of my friends working with the company, I assume they are the old AOLers can’t get a long with the new AOLers who are mostly the old Googlers.

One of the departed sales people  is Ali Van Putten, who earlier this year was named a finalist for the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Sales Excellence Award. Read more of this post