They turned Time Inc into a spammy content factory - did huge deals with Taboola/Outbrain, along with creating stuff like a short FB video show about brunch foods. Came over to Reddit and keeps spouting off these huge proclamations about billions of users. They came over right after the huge raise so it's clear that the clear mandate is to commercialize at every possibly touchpoint.
But there is a significant lag built in on the pricing. It would probably be a few cycles of students, and you wouldn't even know they're not getting good jobs for a number of months if not years. Especially given Austen's kind of a celeb, Lambda could raised a few bigger and bigger rounds in that time period - and their numbers would look fantastic to potential investors with the cash coming in up front. If they played it right, they could maybe even IPO before those secondary ISAs ever get properly priced. Financial innovation at its finest!
This sort of delay would be priced in by the person buying the ISAs from Lambda.
I agree with the grand-parent post. Lambda school definitely has skin in the game. If they want to continue operating (i.e., sell the next batch of ISAs onward to investors) then they need to have students who get high paying jobs.
Facebook's ad model is built to reward "virality" - meaning being over the top and salacious means lower costs. Even Boz acknowledges that was part of the Trump team's genius - they used the platform, as it was built, perfectly. The Democrats naturally have equal access to this platform, so I don't think its as much a left-right thing, vs a crazy-calm divide.
The other thing is just disinformation / identity verification - making sure all advertisers are who they say they are (and you don't get russians posing as black lives matter, etc.)
I'm more curious - out of the $200mm they are projecting this year, or the $100mm they made last year - what did they spend? Their business model seems even more insane than Groupons to me.
They apparently have to pay out $12-15 per class to the studios. Had heard that on a $99 membership, with about $50 going to normal expenses (staff, marketing, etc), if a member takes 4 classes in a month they're already underwater - and they'll lose money on every additional class that user takes.
Want to know if that is true!
I am a firm believer that most media out there is not extracting enough value from their audience, or "under-monetizing", to use a ridiculous term. However, Reddit truly is different. I simply can't imagine someone with Ellen's professional upbringing will be the one who figures out how to retain the spirit, activity, and engagement of Reddit, while satisfying that 10x, $500mm valuation.
This ain't sexist, this is anti-elitist.Cutting and pasting monetization templates from other media properties, and building projected revenue models off of traffic numbers just can't work here. It's not Buzzfeed or Business Insider.
I was suspect when Erik Martin left (had the pleasure of meeting him in NYC, he lived and breathed what makes Reddit wonderful), and this really seems to solidify what I guess should've been pretty obvious.
I genuinely hope Ms. Pao holds things together, and the return of Alexis helps things out. The more I've learned, it seems Alexis was already gone by the time Reddit really took off and has been writing and speaking ever since. Curious how his operational prowess shows through the new chairmanship role.
Rant done. We're praying for you Reddit.
reddit has doubled in traffic literally every year since Steve & I launched it. Granted, it was smaller in 2010 when we left, but I've been an advisor since (and gotten up to a few other things since - like helping Steve launch hipmunk and investing/advising in a 100 or so startups) but the core reddit product is for better/worse still the same as it was when we left.
I'm excited to work with Ellen, Dan, and the entire reddit team to develop reddit with the vision Steve & I had in creating it, but with the benefit of 10 years of experience & learning from it.
Finally, why should we hold a law degree someone has obtained 20 years ago against them? (Fwiw, this is a background quite similar to Peter Thiel: years in "the elite", until finding a better home).
> Alexis Ohanian, who cofounded reddit nine and a half years ago, is returning as full-time executive chairman (he will transition to a part-time partner role at Y Combinator)
> There is a long history of founders returning to companies and doing great things.
I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about Ellen Pao leading reddit in the long term.
Also from today's reddit blog post by Alexis
> Instead, I joined the board and have done everything I can to not be a helicopter parent, but rather support reddit and all the amazing people who make it work as best I can. But reddit is and will always be my baby
It could work out very well for Reddit.
I am hopeful for Reddit's future because of its community.
I've been using Reddit for over 8 years, through many transitions, and I still go to it everyday to read and interact with many friends I've met there.
I believe that everyone currently working on Reddit knows why it's great, and is interested in making it even better.
I believe in Reddit's team, and I believe in Reddit.
Of course time will tell. Reddit is full of great little communities (and some really messed up ones). Let's hope they can keep things good for the users and not do a digg.
You can see this near arrogance flow through much of the anecdotes. "Ugh, more and more PR people trying to get my attention all the time. It's sooo annoying." "Ugh, PR girls are even trying to sleep with me, but you can't compromise my editorial integrity." It's perfectly represents the entitlement of the gatekeeper role that must've been built into that last generation of journalists.
Sorry for the mild rant but sites like Hacker News and Reddit have shown that readers are plenty smart, and capable of sifting through the bullshit, whether produced by a corporation, a newspaper, or an individual. When news media held a monopoly on distribution and there were few sources of info, I understand the danger of a corporation holding the sole lifeline of info. That's no longer the case.
Oh? I've had the opposite impression. That Reddit adequately demonstrates that readers are impulsive, poorly informed, narrow-minded, and easily manipulated. On subreddits with the most passive style of moderation, the comment threads are a self-congratulatory shouting match where any contradictory information is shouted down regardless of its merit. On the other hand, where conversations are productive and good information is rewarded, those subreddits are moderated strictly and editorial control is frequently used to remove distracting comments or guide conversations.
In my opinion, Reddit validates the usefulness of a gatekeeper for news.
Journalism outlets, at least those operated in the traditional manner with a wall between business and copy, explicitly eschew this goal. The whole point of "church and state" separation in news outlets is to enable journalists to write about stories that readers probably wouldn't upvote, but is important for them to see. This sort of story will be given _much_ less exposure on sites that are single-mindedly optimizing for likability in general.
I think traditionally-operated news outlets serve a socially-useful function, and that the metamorphosis of these outlets into likability optimizers means everyone loses out. You may disagree, and that's your perogative!
The shared links that pop up all over my Facebook from friends and family who I otherwise wouldn't think would believe such nonsense says otherwise.
I still however believe people are smart on average, and are becoming better and better at thinking critically. Possibly a bit naive, but I hope as information becomes more accessible, people will only develop a better sense for what's bullshit (again, no matter who it's produced by).
It's not that they are not capable or smart, it's that they don't bother fact checking every single story or seek out opposing analysis or interpretation, especially for things like US foreign policy.
This has an opportunity cost.
1) Auto-categorization: Great if it works. I understand it's beta, but it isn't working now. For example, almost every story is labeled 'Controversy' including "High school football player gives best post game interview ever.", "Chocolate lab after the dog park" and other similar stories.
2) Auto-curation: Again, great if it works and I know it's beta, but the Technocrat view currently offers "LPT: The correct & easiest way to safely break up a dog fight", "California boy gets detention for sharing school-prepared lunch with another student", etc.
Those are hard problems; if you could solve them, count me in. Possibly I misunderstand your goals, but as the other poster said, they could use more explanation.
2) Where you using either the default views (technocrat for instance) or your own personal feeds? The articles selected are only as good as your feed filters on your different sites and the settings selected in the menu.
Thank you for taking the time to look at it!
2) I was using the Technocrat default view.
Sagebump sits ontop of your different aggregator site accounts.
BTW Thank you for taking the time to look at it!
Best article that sums up what Buzzfeed is really about, and why I believe it is incredible for the future of journalism is this piece by Felix Salmon. Basically, he makes the point that Buzzfeed is in effect a massive advertising agency, and their content efforts are all experiments to better understand how to reach younger people. They then make money off of selling that expertise to brands.
That is a much more sustainable, legitimate form of funding a news business vs. the world of doing anything you can to get eyeballs to your page and selling ads around it. It means constant experimentation in the fields of communication and storytelling built on the back of an incredible technology company.
The best part of the entire Filloux piece, it was Chris Dixon who led the investment (someone pointed that out nicely in the comments). Does he not even realize that VC firms almost always have internal dissension and investments aren't unanimous? He has zero way of knowing Ben Horowitz's take on the investment.