Snapchat Is Now Worth $10 Billion, SEO Strategists Are Legitimately Ruling Newsrooms, and Virtual Reality is Awesome


Howdy readers….here are a few tech links to satisfy your Thursday night cravings (because who needs happy hour when you have reading, right?).

Original Article: “The Newest Important Person in Newsrooms: Audience-Development Czars,” from Digiday.

Last week, Digiday reported on the growing role of ‘audience development specialists’ in newsrooms such as Slate, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Instead of training grudging editors and reporters in the way of SEO — a very 2005-2010 strategy — social platform gurus like The New York Times’ Alex MacCullum and Huffington Post/Slate/Vanity Fair editor Katherine Goldstein are now overseeing breaking news desks, and in general guiding eternally creaky media vessels to “fish where the fish are.”

Original Article: “Snapchat Raising a New Round From KPCB At a $10 Billion Valuation,” from TechCrunch.

The Wall Street Journal capped off the Snapchat valuation speculation by reporting that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers had agreed to invest $20 million in the ‘ephemeral messaging’ app. Snapchat’s response: “The valuation of our business and our capital requirements are the least exciting aspects of supporting the Snapchat community. We have no further comment at this time.”

Original Article: “The Rise and Fall of Virtual Reality,” from The Verge.

New media Gesamtkunstwerk are evolving fast — case in point, this all-encompassing look at virtual reality from The Verge, particularly reflecting on Facebook’s $2 billion purchase of Oculus Rift. According to Facebook VP of Engineering Cory Ondrejka, “putting Oculus on, it had crossed those thresholds. It was this moment, like, they’ve done it.”

That link also includes two documentaries, artist’s renderings of virtual reality experiences, a tutorial of ‘How To Build Your Own VR Headset’, and an interview with our favorite natty-dreaded futurist Jaron Lanier. Definitely worth a click.

Also — when is it too early to talk about advertising in virtual reality worlds?