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Posts Tagged ‘very creepy stuff’

Startup Founder Gets a Little Too Flirty with Journalist

The latest News You Should Know from Valleywag, aka “Tech Douche Daily”: a certain startup founder may have taken the phrase “media relations” a bit too literally.

Seems like Sam Shank wanted to thank Alyson Shontell of Business Insider for this article covering his “Uber for hotels” app Hotel Tonight, but he just had to make it weird…

Eww. We’re not quite sure why Sam Biddle files this story under “PR” since the agency that scored the piece would never suggest such a socially clueless move.

In short, this is NOT how you thank a journalist for good coverage.

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Startup Wants to Help You Publicize Your Own Death

No, that headline is not a typo: The always-reliable Mashable reported today on a new Facebook app called If I Die that lets users set up postmortem messages or videos to the world–statements that will be issued to friends after members themselves have passed. We guess we might see the appeal, especially after reading stories about very bored people who troll the profiles of the recently deceased and loved ones who can’t get the pages of late family members removed.

But the product itself isn’t the strangest part of this story: In order to publicize the app, its Israel-based creators have hyped a contest called “If I Die 1st.” The details? Whichever new user of the app becomes the first to die will have his or her postmortem video or text message broadcast to the rest of the app’s community members and unnamed “media outlets”–and the community supposedly has more than 200,000 members. Here’s the video:


Is this a new way to perpetuate your personal “brand,” or a really sick PR stunt? We think the whole concept is more than a little creepy, and the conditions of the contest are the icing on the cake: The winner’s passing “cannot be an act of suicide or otherwise sanctioned death.” Yeah, that’s very weird.