The Community Water Cooler

I don’t like the term silicon alley and never have. It’s a wannabe term. And the internet/tech scene in NYC doesn’t need to be like silicon valley. We’ve got a pretty interesting community developing here. Just this year, we’ve seen Doubleclick, Right Media, and TACODA become the objects of affection from the big guys. Twelve of Union Square Ventures’ fifteen portfolio companies are headquartered in the NY metro area. There’s a lot of good stuff happening right here in the Big Apple.

So that’s a long way of saying that I don’t like the name of the NYC’s version of Valleywag, called Silicon Alley Insider. The comparisons to Valleywag only go so far. To date, The Insider (that’s what I am going to call it) has not delved into the private lives of the people in the NY venture/startup scene. It leans toward the kind of analysis that its editor Henry Blodget did when he was in the investment research business. Just this week, we’ve gotten an analysis of the economics of the iPhone price cut and another analysis of the video streaming business.

Just like I read @NY and SAR back in the 90s, I read The Insider religiously. They’ve got the blog format down. The posts are short and get to the point quickly. It’s largely news and linking out to other stories, many of which I’ve already read elsewhere, but every once in a while they’ll post on something I don’t know about.

And they are building an audience quickly. The Insider already gets more traffic than this blog.

It’s good to have a "paper of record" for a community and The Insider is likely to be it for the NY venture/startup community. I particularly like what they are doing with Twitter. They’ve build something they call Community Twitter, but I think of as the Community Water Cooler. If you are in the NY venture/startup scene and use Twitter, you can add your Twitter posts to this page. It’s a nice way to keep track of what’s going on around town at any given time. It looks like this:


I have two suggestions for Henry and his colleagues. First, I’d like to see the posts by reverse chronological order, not grouped by the person making the post. Second, I’d like to subscribe to the whole page via a RSS feed.

Let’s make this our community water cooler. If you work in the NY venture/startup world and use Twitter, join this page and let’s start talking to each other.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Nate Westheimer

    1. Yes! about the community twitter (though if we used Chiris Messina’s idea about creating channels using “#” it could be more topical). I definitely 2. Not really! about the Valley Wag comparison. More like Paid Content for NY. I just don’t think Valley Wag has anyone on staff who has looked at a 10Q before.3. Yeah… kinda! about the name. “Insider” is a good fix for it.4. I’d love to hear about their RSS and email metrics. A site like theirs has to have a ton of people reading it in a more digesty format.5. The community water cooler will be enhanced when they throw their first high quality conference. I look forward to it and suggest it.

  2. Jerry Paffendorf

    > I don’t like the term silicon alley and never have. It’s a wannabe term.Not a re-branding suggestion for the Insider, but I’m partial to Silicon Ghetto, at least for the Brooklyn side of things. We keep it dirty in a very good way over here.

  3. Michael Bailey

    Being from Missouri myself, I am quite fond of the term Silicon Prairie – my very long term goals are to create a high-tech business complex here in the Heartland. We have 4-seasons ya know!