Archive for category technology

Tech writers: Tecca is looking for you!

About us

Tecca is a consumer electronics content and commerce startup based in Santa Monica, CA. We’re building a new online destination in the personal technology space and are looking for smart and creative folks to be a part of our freelance writing team.

Want to know more about Tecca? Read about us on GigaOM or check out socalTech’s interview with CEO Mickie Rosen.

About you

You should have lots of interest in technology as well as ideally some experience producing content in the realms of personal technology and consumer electronics. You should enjoy working in a fast-paced publishing environment and have the self-discipline to work effectively in a distributed virtual office. You’ll be expected to be able to talk about a broad range of technology topics (or a smaller set of topics in depth) to all levels of technology consumers, from the experienced to the technophobic. You must have a fun, friendly, and positive attitude, and should love helping others solve technology problems and learning more about the industry.

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Tecca is looking for writers!

About us

Tecca is a consumer electronics content and commerce startup based in Santa Monica, CA. We’re building a new online destination in the personal technology space and are looking for smart and creative folks to be a part of our freelance writing team. Do you love gadgets and call writing your craft? Read on for details on how to apply.

About you

You should have lots of interest and expertise as well as ideally some experience producing content in the realms of personal technology and consumer electronics. You should enjoy working in a fast-paced publishing environment and have the self-discipline to operate in a distributed virtual environment. You must have a fun, friendly, and positive attitude, and should love helping others solve technology problems and learn more about the industry.


We are building out our team of freelance contributors. We need people who can speak to all levels of technology consumers, from the experienced to the technophobic. You will be part of a large team crafting fun, easy to understand guides to and original feature columns about topics in consumer electronics. You’ll be covering both the buying process and usage after purchase. You’ll need to excel at working in a virtual environment and covering a broad range of topics (or a smaller set of topics in depth, if you have expertise in a particular area: home theater, mobile, car tech, etc.). We expect you to both tackle assigned tasks and bring your own original ideas to the table.

How to apply

Send an email to apply AT tecca DOT com with the following information:

  • Your background — let us know what you’ve been working on, what you feel your skills are, what your experience in the realm of personal technology/consumer electronics is, and what interests you about this position. If you have special expertise in any category of CE, be sure to let us know.
  • Your contact information — full name, email address, phone number, instant messenger handle, where you’re located, the best methods and times to reach you, and your general amount of availability for freelance work.
  • Example work: 3 or more bylined writing samples linked somewhere online. No attachments, please!
  • Column pitch(es): You are also encouraged to pitch us on an original feature column idea (or several). For each column you’d like to pitch, please give us the overall theme and title for your column and between 5 and 10 example topics you would feel confident covering that fit within the overall theme.

We look forward to reading your application!

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Do you love personal technology and online media? Want to help build something cool? Read on…

About you

  • You should have lots of interest and expertise as well as ideally some experience producing content in the realms of personal technology and consumer electronics.
  • You should enjoy wearing multiple hats, be flexible as roles and duties shift, and thrive on working in a fast-paced startup environment.
  • You must have a fun, friendly, and positive attitude.
  • You must either be in the Los Angeles area or willing to relocate.

About us

We’re a startup based in Santa Monica, CA. We’re building a new online destination in the personal technology space and looking for smart and creative folks to be a part of our editorial team. Our work environment is fun and energetic, and we offer competitive pay with benefits.

Here are the three positions we’re currently hiring:


This role will work closely with our in-house programming staff as well as help oversee a geographically distributed freelance team of writers and content creators. You will be responsible for helping to program major content areas within the site, contracting new writers, ensuring a high level of quality and accuracy in editorial, and using analytical tools to evaluate content performance. We would expect you to bring vision to our editorial direction, be able to iteratively craft original content strategies based on performance, have cogent ideas and methods for building an audience, and be able to execute on them.

The ideal candidate should have managerial experience as well as experience working with virtual teams.

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Thanks and praise for challenges old and new

There’s nothing in life more constant than change. It is in that spirit that I embrace a big one: next week I’ll be starting a new position at a new consumer electronics-focused startup based in Santa Monica. I won’t be leaving my newfound home of Los Angeles (yay!) but I will unfortunately and reluctantly be leaving my amazing colleagues at Mashable, and am already jealous of all the wild success the top-notch team will continue to have without me.

It’s been an incredible past year at Mashable, action packed with more peak experiences than I can name here. I was blessed with the opportunity to attend the unparalleled TED conference in Long Beach along with a multitude of other excellent events from CES to CTIA, SXSW to E3 and many more. I got a chance to interview amazing folks undertaking innovative and interesting projects in social media and technology, from Tears for Fears’ Curt Smith to The Roxy’s Nic Adler, iPad DJ Rana Sobhany to cancer activist Clark Harris (aka @SilentClark), forward thinkers like Nokia’s Henry Tirri and inspiring prodigy Adora Svitak.

On top of all that I had the opportunity to speak at events including CES, Gravity Summit, and the SXSW Tweet House as well as speak to students at Emerson College’s #ESM Social Media class and make media appearances on Nikki Sixx’s Sixx Sense show, Marsha Collier’s excellent Computer and Technology Radio program, NewsTalk 1010, co-host This Week in Android and more. I also got a chance to meet the cast of Simon Fuller’s If I Can Dream, promote independent and social media-aware music and artists in the long-running Free Music Monday series, meet veritable boatloads of brilliant people working in the SM/tech space, and even enjoy the surreal experience of attending a reality show wedding.

In short, it’s been a wild ride. I will greatly miss the team and plan to continue cheering on the Mashable brand from the sidelines. I’ll be hitting the ground running at the new gig this coming Monday, heading up content programming and strategy at a new CE destination I look forward to being able to tell everyone more about as we get closer to actually launching! In the meantime: stay tuned and stay in touch! And to my dearest Team Mash: so long and thanks for all the lolcats. We’ll always have Twitter. And Facebook. And Flickr. And Posterous. And… gosh, this social media thing is awfully convenient, innit?

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First music videos shot entirely with iPhone 3GS start rolling

Some of these might have to haggle over who was truly “first,” but the interesting point is it took so little time for them to appear after the launch of the video camera-capable iPhone 3GS. Those who hate on the relative lack of “image quality” including haters of the Flip Mino series really miss the point here — it’s about convenience, ease of use and the empowerment of a new breed of digital creatives. Much like the falling cost of recording equipment spawned a surge in bedroom production from talented (and untalented…) unknowns and amateurs in the realm of music, so too will we continue to see an uptick in compelling and relevant video productions from unexpected places. We’re lucky to be witnessing the era of read write culture kicking off.

Below is a track by Kenny Mosher set to video produced by Showdown Productions. After the break is “Love, Love, Love” by Reyna Perez.

Music Video Shot on iPhone from Kenny Mosher on Vimeo.

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Thoughts on re-imagining the music retail business

Digital music kiosks take another spin

Reading this gives me crazy ideas about completely transforming the music retail experience into more of a social experience — get rid of 80% of the CD racks, keep some premium inventory around like box sets and limited editions, put in a coffee shop (seems to work wonders for brick and mortar book retailers) and create a space for music lovers to hang out and share tunes with each other. Put in digital “jukebox” computers, let people stream whatever they want (volume might be an issue… maybe the tables have headphone stands, or hire a brilliant sound engineer to baffle everything properly so tables/stations don’t bleed too much audio), and some percentage will buy MP3 files on site (and continue to buy some physical media). Others won’t buy anything but the occasional coffee but will be 100% free and avid promoters to others. Have concerts and special events in stores constantly. Hold workshops for would-be and independent music makers.

Even better: provide a celestial jukebox service to any customer who buys anything from you, ever. Store whatever tracks and albums they buy, ever, and let them stream it from any device they own. Let them re-download anything at any time when they have a hard drive crash, clean system install, get a new computer/NAS/PMP/phone/game console/etc.

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Publishers continue whining about how Google “stole” distribution on the web

Spanfeller: For some time there have been murmurings about the relative value generated by Google  vs. the parasitical nature of its business model. In short, is Google being disproportionally compensated for what is fundamentally other people’s work?”

via CEO Spanfeller Attacks Google, Stumbles Into His Own Cesspool.

First of all, this entire article from Danny Sullivan is a great and astute dismantling of Spanfeller’s “argument” — very enjoyable read. Second of all, I just wanted to comment on how it’s a very fascinating time to be covering technology news and witnessing a lot of huge companies from the analog era still floundering and failing to comprehend how and why the internet is eating them for lunch. As Sullivan aptly points out in the article, these companies and these industries have had years to see all this coming. The writing has been on the wall for some time, yet in all the content industries that stood to be most affected, very little was done to adapt. First in music, then in film, now in TV and publishing there appears to be some critical mass of desperation. Avoidance, massive lawsuits, walled gardens, inflating prices and whining for bailouts haven’t panned out. What’s next? Innovation or collapse.

To pick apart the above statement more finely — it’s curious to me that the CEO of a financial publication can unironically be doubting the value proposition of distribution. Are cable providers being disproportionally compensated for what is fundamentally other people’s work? Is being disproportionally compensated for peddling other people’s wares? Is Apple unfairly being enriched by that whole iTunes Music Store thing where they distribute content made by other people? Even as the cost of distribution falls, the value of distribution is still as high as ever — perhaps even moreso, as the flood of available content continues to increase and it becomes ever more difficult to filter. Google devised a solution to a problem they had the foresight to envision emerging. Twitter offers an intriguing and new twist on the concept of distribution channels, an idea so powerful that Facebook flat out copied it.

What publishers are really saying amidst this mess is that “people ought to like and find valuable our professionally-produced content.” While there’s a shadow of logic in there somewhere, no amount of stepping up to a podium and saying “people should read us” is going to move the needle whatsoever. A hungrier technology industry with less to lose and everything to gain has come in and offered people a treasure trove of alternatives to what “professional” publishers are offering (many of them becoming “professional” themselves along the way) along with new, interesting, fast and ultra-convenient distribution methods to find, filter and consume it. The game has changed completely and content industries are still devoting exorbitant resources in a vain attempt to roll back the rulebook instead of cultivating some hussle, summoning some hutzpah and diving into the game. Stop whining, start playing!

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Microsoft launches ridiculous campaign to pad Mac’s cost versus Windoze

Oh you have got to be kidding me. Only cretins dumb enough to think price is the only consideration when buying products in the world would take this idiotic campaign at face value, and even a cursory glance into the fuzzy math behind the “study” reveals an obviously disingenuous amount of padding in these “comparisons.”

And gosh, despite having been a Mac user for a decade now I have never spent one red cent on any of these “mandatory” Mac expenditures: Quicken, Office, Mobile Me, Airport Extreme, Radeon 4870, external Blu-Ray drive — will the Apple Police Force be arriving at my door any moment to drag me away? In total all of those dubiously optional “mandatory extras” total a whopping $1864 of the supposed $3367 premium I spend to buy 2 Macs versus 2 PCs. And anyway… Quicken? What? Why would that be mandatory for… anyone?

Not to mention, nowhere is included the annual cost of the anti-virus software the average user is actively encouraged to purchase at point of sale by most retailers as a convenient method of “protecting” you from the nasty scammers that Microsoft sold you out to in the first place while writing the pile of crap code that passes for an operating system, that nags me to install very important upgrades to its software and restart every damn time I sit down at the thing, has me constantly trying to chase down auto-start TSR crapware from mysterious unwanted sources, stops processing network calls periodically for no fathomable reason (again requiring a restart), requires a “hardware test” every time I plug in a microphone and has a registry the size of Greenland — I could go on, but I have more important things to do. Like Actually Get Work Done… on my Macs.

I tried to leave a comment to this effect on the original blog post, but the comment form wouldn’t load — guess it only works in IE… jerks.


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Managementthink is killing MSM

“We’re looking, of course, at ways to extract payments from the consumers of our news — micro-payments, subscriptions, memberships, licensing, even voluntary donations,” Bill Keller, executive editor of The Times, said last week in a speech at Stanford University.

Time Inc. EVP John Squires used strikingly similar language in a recent statement about figuring out how to “save magazines”: these guys are busy scratching their brains about how to “get a payment from a consumer.”

So what’s missing here? How about any discussion of how to actually provide better value to the consumer? Or perhaps how to reach consumers in the new landscapes they’re inhabiting? Nope. We don’t hear much about that. It’s all fire and brimstone about how consumers have the audacity to skim headlines to absorb the news (did these guys think people read newspapers cover to cover when they come on paper?) or how Google dared to invent a way to find stuff you were looking for on the internet easily. Serving customers better value for less cost? The nerve! That’s just downright sleaz… oh wait, that’s one of the fundamental tenets of business.

This is symptomatic of a larger disease going on in business that Bob Sutton describes astutely in a piece on Why Management is Not a Profession. Business schools teach future management that the game is almost solely about “extracting value.” Mr. Keller and Mr. Squires apparently both paid attention in class, and they’re not the only ones. This model reveals capitalism in its ugliest form — an elaborate shell game in which value is artificially inflated to harvest more payment from consumers, who often have poor alternatives to forking over that $0.10 carriers tell them is reasonable cost to send 160 characters of data, or who live in areas monopolized by providers who decide 40 GB of data at the same price as the previous unlimited plan is completely logical.

If these MSM goons want to save their businesses they’d better get schooled in how to make themselves relevant to the consumers they so desperately want to extract more value from, because at the moment it’s entirely logical to sympathize less, not more, with their plight.

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AP throws tantrum, lashes out at… well, it’s not quite clear

“We’re frustrated with the way amateur and professional outlets are appropriating AP content,” the organisation’s director of strategic content, Jim Kennedy, told Forbes. “When the Red River in Fargo rises, we want people to go to the Fargo Forum. But searching for the Red River on Google might also send you to the London Telegraph.”

This just in from the Hail Mary Pass department: looks like the fourth estate is still following suit on the suit strategy of the RIAA/MPAA; they apparently plan to take legal action against a host of unnamed perps using their content inappropriately. Who these news-thieving bastards are the Associated Press doesn’t specify, and although they struck a deal several years ago with Google for use of AP content online the above quote is a very strangely passive aggressive dig at search engines who apparently are guilty of having the audacity to lead users to legitimate news sources the AP would rather you not visit.

Very curious, indeed.

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