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Tuesday, April 10, 2021

Vator.tv: It’s basically a YouTube for tech startup entrepreneurs who hope that a video-presented beg for money will shake some funds loose from the big ol’ venture capital tree. (The key would be finding an investor as averse to reading business plans as the investee is to writing them.)

Doesn’t sound like much of a going concern, but Bambi Francisco is hitching her wagon to it. Not that she has a choice, since she gambled away her journalistic credibility by pimping Vator-backed companies on her now-former MarketWatch beat.

I’m guessing Francisco is envisioning an expansion of Vator, from the current video clips collection to an eventual business community hub, complete with lucrative subscriber rolls and juicy advertising space. That’s really the only way it’ll work. Now that she doesn’t have the MarketWatch association as a legitimizing channel, it’s questionable if there’s anything notable enough on the site to make it catch fire. Odds are Francisco will be back to getting a paycheck from business reporting within two years.

That’s if anyone gauges she’s worth the risk. The amusing part about the controversy behind her leaving MW is that there’s any controversy at all. Let me make it real simple:

Francisco abused her assumed status as a neutral reporter. She had no business providing free publicity that would wind up lining her own pockets. The moment you do that, the assumption is that you’re constantly on that same make, and you’re no better than an infomercial pitchwoman.

This isn’t trailblazing territory: For years now, business writers and analysts have been required to disclose their stock holdings when writing about the market, in order to avoid any questions of ulterior motives. Francisco was in the same position — the public-private company distinction is irrelevant. So, like I said, no controversy — her resignation (let’s face it, she was pushed out) was the only option.

The larger issue: Is there something inherent about business reportage that leads to this ethical quagmire? Maria Bartiromo’s whole “money honey” nonsense was a clear precursor. As usual, gazing too long into an abyss — in this case, a money hole — creates a void within you.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 04/10/2021 11:42:37 PM
Category: Business, Internet, Publishing
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The geek quotient in Bryant Park should be off the charts tomorrow evening. Matt Mullenweg is in town Wednesday and will host a WordPressers get-together starting at 6:30.

Bryant’s free wi-fi was a motivating factor, so I expect there’ll be plenty of showing-off of wicked-cool WP implementations.

I’m a big fan of Bryant Park for websurfing purposes. I don’t know if this gathering is open only to hardcore WordPress developers/users, or to the general blogging community. Either way, I won’t be able to make it, as I’ll be tied up during that time. Too bad it wasn’t tonight, I’m wide open! (On the other hand, it’s still rather chilly around here, so I’m not sure the open-air park is a great idea — one reason why I haven’t been hanging around there of late.)

It’s a shame. On top of establishing contact with other bloggers, I miss the chance to ask Matt if his “Photo Matt” site title is an intentional pun on the long-departed Fotomat Corporation.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 04/10/2021 04:01:24 PM
Category: Bloggin', New Yorkin'
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