Online ticket vendor Eventbrite shines with $20M infusion

Online ticketing agent Eventbrite has clearly caught the eye of investors looking for an upwardly mobile competitor to dominant market player Ticketmaster, on Wednesday announcing it had raising $20 million in mezzanine financing from DAG Ventures and Tenaya Capital.

Why is non-CEO Kevin Rose messing around with Digg?

Social news aggregator Digg hired former Amazon executive Matt Williams to be CEO a little over a month ago, but ex-CEO and co-founder Kevin Rose is still fiddling around with the site it seems.

SocialShield pulls in $10M to help parents monitor kids’ social networking

SocialShield, a service designed to help parents keep their kids safe while using online social networks, announced today that it has received $10 million in a first round of institutional financing from a conglomeration of sources including U.S. Venture Partners, Venrock and a group of angel investors.

4 must-have social-media dashboards for your business

While big brands and agencies have the luxury of resources and money, local businesses don’t. What they need is a social-media dashboard — an all-in-one, Web-based monitoring tool for Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites where customers hang out — that can optimize their online presence, engage with users and manage social campaigns. But that tool needs to meet three criteria: cheap, easy to use and automated. With that in mind, here’s a list of the top four that I find particularly well-suited for business use.

Is it too late for a Digg comeback?

Social news aggregator site is trying to work its way out of the traffic hole it created with its botched redesign attempt. Today it announced the return of several popular features from its previous version.

Linkedin cuts down the noise on its news feeds with ‘Signal’ feature

Linkedin, a social networking site for people looking to connect with other professionals, is launching a new feature, called Signal, that will help users manage their news feeds on the main website. Jeff Weiner, the CEO of Linkedin, announced the launch of Signal at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco today.

After The Social Network, Facebook’s IPO is the real show we’re waiting for

Last night, I watched The Social Network, the much-anticipated movie about the founding of Facebook from Hollywood storytellers Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher. And as the credits rolled, I found myself thinking that it could have been much, much worse for Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s youthful CEO, who finds his life being chronicled when much of it has yet to unfold.

Digg traffic down, but not out

A month ago, popular news aggregator Digg underwent a redesign that many describe as disastrous. Now, despite bad press, site bugs, and a traffic collapse, the company is trying to put a good face on its current state. It sent letters to publishers this week in an attempt to calm them during what many say is a drop in referral traffic.

Zynga CTO: We turn on 1,000 new servers a week for FarmVille and other games

Each day, Facebook game developer and FarmVille creator Zynga delivers about a petabyte of data — that’s 1 million gigabytes, or more than six Libraries of Congress — for its array of social games, chief technology officer Cadir Lee said at the Oracle OpenWorld  2010 conference in San Francisco today.

DEMO: SocialSmack helps consumers learn and talk smack about brands

SocialSmack is one of 70 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2010 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.

DEMO: HomingCloud wants you to break up with your real-estate agent

HomingCloud is one of 70 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2010 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.

Facebook moves in on Twitter’s turf with new follow feature

Facebook confirmed yesterday that it has begun testing a new “subscribe” feature for users and pages. The feature lets users follow a user or page and receive notifications when a new update or piece of content, such as a picture or video, occurs.

FlowTown adds social media profiles to businesses’ email lists

Flowtown, a company that connects data from social media sites with a company’s email list, announced Wednesday that it raised a seed round of funding for $750,000. The funds will be used to hire more people, especially developers familiar with Ruby, a coding framework for Web development.

Social network ad spending to hit $1.7 billion in 2010

According to new research released Monday by eMarketer, U.S. advertisers will spend an estimated $1.7 billion in ads on social networks in 2010, accounting for 6.7 percent of all online ad spending.

Shape Up The Nation lands $5M to make exercise more social

Shape Up The Nation, a social network used to help motivate people to live healthier, today announced it has secured a first round of funding for $5 million. Cue Ball Capital and Excel Venture Management both led the funding.

Exclusive: 18 new ways Mark Zuckerberg rules social networking

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is already the undisputed king of social networks, but now he has one more prize: 18 key patents related to social networks, quietly purchased this summer from the industry’s faded pioneer, Friendster.

LinkedIn acquires recommendation technology company mSpoke

LinkedIn today announced it’s acquiring recommendation technology company mSpoke for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will help LinkedIn provide its members with more relevant insight from professionals, according to the company’s announcement.

Twitter for businesses? StatusNet grabs another $1.4M

StatusNet, a microblogging service with similarities to Twitter but designed for businesses, today announced it secured a second round of funding for $1.4 million. The funding will be used to support and grow its sales team and continue targeting the world’s 1,000 largest businesses, it said in an announcement.

Activity-tracking service The Hotlist launches iPhone app

Location-based service The Hotlist aggregates Facebook and Twitter feeds to tell its users where the hottest spots in town are – as defined by where their friends are going. The service was solely available online for the past year. But now it’s launching an iPhone app and plans to deliver Blackberry and Android apps shortly.

Is that a gay in your pocket, or just apps to see them?

The Big Gay Sketch Show, a popular variety series on Viacom’s gay-themed logo channel, debuted in 2007 with a sketch about “Your Pocket Gay Friend.” Now, two gay social networks are making the notion of the gay-world-in-your-pocket a reality with iPhone apps.

There goes the neighborhood: DeHood builds hyper-local social networks

Did you hear about the burglary down the block? Are you coming to the yard sale next Saturday? Did you see the new SUV in the driveway next door? A new location-based-slash-social-networking app named DeHood is coming to town, which is aimed at hyper-local communities: Neighborhoods. DeHood is a way to make the neighborhood a friendlier place, or perhaps just an easier way to keep up with the Joneses, depending on how you look at it.

Ning CEO Bianchini steps down to become EIR at Andreessen Horowitz

Ning CEO and co-founder Gina Bianchini is leaving the build-your-own-social-network startup to become an executive-in-residence at Andreessen Horowitz, the new venture firm from her co-founder and Netscape creator Marc Andreessen.

OneRiot lets you search for Spock in realtime

Social search — the ability to find what people are tweeting on Twitter or sharing on Facebook — is heating up. Last week Scoopler began offering near-realtime search of Web content shared by users on Twitter, Flickr, Digg,, and other social networks. Today, San Francisco-based OneRiot went live with its own high-speed search of the content being shared on social networks.