App Review: Daniel X — Clichéd Alien Hunters Don’t Come Cheap

[appreview]
title=Daniel X
image=https://gigaom.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/1/2009/03/picture-118.png
price=$9.99
url=http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=305402305&mt=8
rating=avoid
[/appreview]
Increasingly, geeky pasttimes are seeping into the mainstream. Like creatures in a Neil Gaiman story, the boundary between the dimension of the fantastical and the land of the normal is blurring. And with that blur, faithful adaptations of heroes and villains have made the leap to the world of movies.
That means that in addition to Spider-Man, regular folk are suddenly familiar with the likes of Dr. Manhattan, Coraline and Hellboy. What’s more, graphic novels are showing up on our iPhone screens. Scrollmotion’s latest app, Daniel X, brings to us the adventures of a teenage alien hunter with a vivid imagination. Read More about App Review: Daniel X — Clichéd Alien Hunters Don’t Come Cheap

BlogTV Wins YouTube Stars to Make a Web TV Network

BlogTV is the closest thing to broadcast television on the web. Each day, the site has prime-time viewing hours — evenings, East Coast time — when its traffic balloons from 2,000 concurrent users to tens of thousands. And its live shows are produced by a network of stars who have established audiences that follow them where we go.

But here’s where it gets webby. BlogTV’s content creators are YouTube stars (read: not actually that big), which helps to keep costs associated with bandwidth spikes and international streaming — common assets of other live streamers that emphasize event streaming (e.g. Ustream) and sports (e.g. Justin.tv) — down. The site has a network of vigilant moderators it uses to keep the content advertiser-friendly and clean of copyright and other concerns. And of course, BlogTV is unlike any traditional broadcaster in that it doesn’t have anything to do with producing its content; everything is made by users.

BlogTV is based in Israel, though it’s focused on the U.S. market and fully 80 percent of its viewers are North American. The site originally went live in July 2007 and for a time was yet another video + social network + live broadcasting + mobile + kitchen sink provider. But since May, BlogTV has defined itself as the live-streaming provider of choice for YouTube stars; it has nearly every YouTube top 100 most-subscribed user who’s not a company. How? By paying them.

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F|R: 5 Reasons to Go All Angel à la Lookery

This week, Lookery, the ad network launched last July to serve über-cheap ads into Facebook applications, has announced a new $2.25 million round of funding. It’s a nice sum for the 14-month-old startup, which now sends Facebook some 3 billion ads a month, according to Lookery’s CEO, Scott Rafer.

But here’s what’s really interesting: Rafer and his cofounder, David Cancel, elected to raise the money almost entirely from angels, forgoing the traditional venture capital most companies would pursue at this stage. This is Lookery’s second funding event. In January, it raised a $1 million note, which converts to equity given in this deal.

The participant list is heady, including Salesforce.com founder Marc Benioff; Reed Hundt; Tickle founders James Currier and Stan Chudnovsky; and About.com’s Scott Kurnit. There are some notable VCs in the deal, too, but they’re participating individually, not with their firms: Ted Dintersmith, late of Charles River Ventures; Ravi Mhatre of Lightspeed; and Allen Morgan, of the Mayfield Fund, who is also a Lookery director.

Serial founders with good track records, Rafer (MyBlogLog) and Cancel (Compete.com) could have gone after marquee venture firms if they’d want to, but the pair has specific reasons for favoring angels. After the jump, Rafer explains why other founders ought to consider doing the same. Read More about F|R: 5 Reasons to Go All Angel à la Lookery

Recession Prep: Scott Rafer’s Survival Tips from 2000, or the ‘Summer of Angst’


Last October, Found|READ lunched with serial entrepreneur and Lookery cofounder Scott Rafer, who gloomily predicted the technology industry was “no more than five months away from the next bust.”

Pessimistic, even for the opinionated Rafer, but then he knows a thing or two about successes (MyBlogLog), struggles (Feedster), and recessions. Rafer then generously loaded our plate with great tips for less experienced founders who might need help preparing for the market’s “hard knocks.”

Seven months on, times are tougher, but plenty of companies are still getting funded. So this week we checked in with Rafer again. First words out of his mouth: “There has only been a flight to quality. Frankly I’m struggling to understand it.”
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Networking: How to Work a Twitter Party

Networking has always been a high art in business. Just ask Susan Roane, my mentor and author of the seminal tome, “How to Work a Room.” (I know a handful of VCs and startup kings on Sand Hill Road who have her book tucked into a drawer.) I’ve been showcasing Roane’s lessons for founders in my Found|READ series, “What They Don’t Teach You At Stanford Business School.”

By now it’s time to address the latest, and arguably the most powerful, networking tool in any founders’ arsenal: Twitter. It’s simple. If you’re not “tweeting,” you’re missing half the conversation. Just ask Sarah Lacy. (How different Lacy’s now-infamous SXSW interview of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg might have been had she been plugged into the tweets flying around the conference room floor!) Don’t know how to use Twitter? No sweat. Here are my 8 Tips for How to Work a Twitter Party.
(Photo credit: News.com. SXSW Tweeters celebrating before the ill-fated Zuckerberg interview.) Read More about Networking: How to Work a Twitter Party