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Posts Tagged ‘jeff jarvis’

startup’ing, the second trimester

Posted by andreaitis on December 9, 2008

there is a rhythm to the startup cycle, at least for us.  the first three months or so were the dreamy times: everything fresh and new, imagining what we might build and how it might work, all 3…then 4 of us conspiring together in gleeful anticipation.

then, in the fourth month, there was a noticeable shift.   just as we were launching our first bits of functionality, the mood changed.  personalities became…sharper.  not in a bad way, it just suddenly became simultaneously apparent that this is all real.  big, and real.  seeing some working parts pushed us along, and we each became intensely focused on our particular role, what we had to bring to the project.  for the guys, that meant they were grumpy at times.   i, of course, was a ray of sunshine.  as always.  ;-p

we’ve continued to launch other bits and pieces in a closed alpha, and that initial burst of intensity has eased into a good, constant buzz.  we’ve got a name, a tagline and a logo.  we’re working on site design now, and prepping for our second board meeting.  and, still, seeing signs along the way.   when we were at the jeff jarvis news summit a few weeks ago i happened to notice a display in the hallway: the new york herald tribune.   our tagline — “News is more than what happens” — is a quote from jock whitney, publisher of the new york herald tribune.  there’s more to that story for another time, but here’s a look at the display…

we’re finishing up our second trimester in a good place.  more after the board meeting…

buzzingly yours –
andrea

ps:  oh!!!  i saw fred wilson TWICE last week.  once in the elevator, and once when i went with our New Guy to the sandwich place around the corner.  i think i was a little less dorky, but fred wilson would have to confirm that.  of course, he doesn’t really know my usual level of dorkiness so it might be hard for him to judge…

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today is the day i met fred wilson

Posted by andreaitis on October 23, 2008

really.  i did.   and it happened through happenstance.

we attended the New Business Models for News Summit today at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.  the program, in its second year, is organized by jeff jarvis and had an all-star turnout.   andrew heyward, craig newmark, jay rosen,  larry kramer … so many others and … fred wilson.  but, it wasn’t just that fred wilson was attending the summit.  oh, no … fred wilson was also the leader of my break-out session.  yep.

all through the strange happenings of happenstance.

so, here it is.  i get to meet fred wilson.  and, it’s weird.  because, as it turns out, the moral of today’s story is this:  social media = social awkwardness.

let me explain.   i keep up with the must-read industry blogs.  including fred’s blog, avc.com.   i follow the usual culprits on twitter.  including fred wilson.    between blog posts and twitter, you get to know someone. the music they like.  the sports teams they follow.  their perspectives and opinions.  the things that make them happy and the things that drive them up the wall.

these social media mechanisms create an intimacy with people you have never met.  i know stowe boyd wakes up every day and twitters ‘good morning edgelings.’   i know jeff jarvis was working on his book while on the acela train.   and i know fred wilson has currently been on an okkervil river kick.

so i know stuff about fred wilson.   and as i was about to meet him, i felt like maybe i’d rather not.   that meeting him after i already ‘know’ him was some strange social shift, going in reverse from personal to impersonal.

and let me be clear: i am not the socially awkward type.  i am typically the one who puts people at ease.  after all, i spent years convincing people to spill their guts on national television.

but the flow of social media meanderings – publicly available, open to all – creates this sense of intimacy.  our tech version of the celebrity syndrome, i suppose.   in our world, though, we have no paparazzi.  we control the flow of information.  it is, in many ways, a social experiment: what goes out, what comes back, what evolves…

and my little experiment still leads me here:  social media = social awkwardness.

the panel led by fred wilson was great – an active, open, lively discussion.  the meeting of fred wilson was okay.  slight to moderate awkwardness.   on my part, at least.   i really don’t know him well enough to gauge what he thought.   we’ll see if he swings by to check out our prototype.  i hope so.  i’d kind of like a do-over.

socially yours –
andrea

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