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Posts Tagged ‘Laurel Touby’

At Mediabistro Circus, Data Is King but Design Is Differentiator

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(Photo: Steve Bartel)

Brandishing a whip and clad in gold lame pants, founder Laurel Touby reprised her ringmistress role as she welcomed hundreds of media types to the second annual Mediabistro Circus, which kicked off today at the TimesCenter in New York City. The theme of this year’s media-meets-technology confab, explained Touby, is “Extraordinary Impact: Do More with Less.” The focus of the doing? Data, data, and more data, according to many of the day’s speakers. But don’t count out design.

ferriss.jpg“Data is king,” said self-promoter extraordinaire Timothy Ferriss, who lives to generate buzz and deduce ways to prolong visitors’ stays on his many websites. “The big idea, the one big bet favored by Madison Avenue, is not only irrational, it’s also expensive.” For Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek (now in its forty-first printing in the United States, he noted), technology and social media offer ways to constantly analyze, adjust, and re-analyze everything, from how to create a successful blog post (aim for evergreen content, omit dates, people enjoy watching short and ideally incomplete videos about how to peel hard-boiled eggs) to how to sell a book (try for the least crowded-channel: face-to-face communication). Thanks to Google analytics, crowdsourcing, and click patterns, life is one long beta-test.

Where does this leave publishing? In flux, according to “From Gutenberg to Movable Type,” a panel discussion ably moderated by Dan Costa, executive editor of Panelist Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO of Blurb, the self-publishing company, is a believer in the power of branding to best communicate with niche markets. “Gone are the days when you have to guess who your audience is,” she said of Blurb’s print-on-demand model, which eliminates warehousing and adds a new agility to publishing. “Books no longer need to be static things, where you print one—kerplunk—and then maybe come back later with a second edition. Books can now be the starting point of communication.”

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Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on Janaury 27  at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media compaies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

So, I, Um, Don’t Know How to Say This…But I’m Leaving You

Uh oh. You already know something’s up because I’m not writing in the third person, huh? But I assure you, it’s not you (and it’s not we), it’s me. Exactly two years ago today, Steve and I took the UnBeige reins, and as you may know, two years is practically a lifetime in blog-years. I decided that this was as good a time as any to make a change, a decision that was only slightly influenced by the fact that this is the very same night that Lost returns to television (8/7pm Central).

Over the last two years my life has changed in ways that I can’t begin to explain in what I hope will be a short and sweet post. I’ve traveled all over the country, met my heroes, and hopefully, introduced you to a few worthy people and causes along the way. When I started at UnBeige I was terrified by this big scary design world that, frankly, I didn’t know nearly enough about. Now I look over there at that blogroll and I see a list of my dearest friends.

Thanks to the dearest of all those new friends, Steve Delahoyde, and that’s saying a lot since we have still never met in person. Steve is such an effortlessly funny human being–he is the only person in the world I can count on for a solid laugh at 7am–and I will miss being his partner in crime. But I would never have felt comfortable leaving if it wasn’t for one Stephanie Murg, who has leapt into this role with grace and wit. Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend Keith Scharwath, who provided me with so much support, advice and good tips that thanking him every time would have made it seem like he was writing this blog instead. Thank you to Jen Bekman and Eva Hagberg, who left gigantic, like, size 12EEE shoes to fill. Huge thanks to both Bryn Mooth and Taffy Brodesser-Akner, who recommended me for the gig in the first place. And to Laurel Touby, who has always been a big inspiration to me, but especially when she sold for $23 million freaking dollars.

Finally, thank you to everyone out there who read this over the years, all 15 of you, even though four of you are my immediate family members and read this blog even though you have no idea what I’m talking about. I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing next (although I’m fairly certain you won’t find me anywhere near a computer for the next week or two), but you can always find out what I’m up to at my personal blog, Gelatobaby. And if you want to be kept abreast of my situation, just drop me a line at getthescoop AT I’m sure we’ll meet again.

Love, Alissa Gets Snapped Up By Jupitermedia


Well consider us consolidated., the folks that cut our checks, has been acquired for a cool $23 million by Jupitermedia, the folks that cut at least some of our other checks:

Laurel Touby turned her popular cocktail parties into a high-traffic Web site for job-seeking media and creative professionals. Yesterday, she sold, the company that sprang from those mixers, for $23 million.

The Jupitermedia Corporation, an Internet research company that also sells photos and art, agreed to pay $20 million in cash and an additional $3 million over two years for the company, which is based in New York City.

While this may not make for any huge changes over here at UnBeige HQ, we do find it rather interesting that a company with a heavy design interest is taking the reigns of our media-focused mothership. And according Jupitermedia press release there’s already talk of some “meshing”:

“Mediabistro provides our JupiterOnlineMedia division with another diversified and fast growing revenue stream through its vertical online job board, which has broad appeal to all aspects of the media industry. The Mediabistro job board should benefit from the vast traffic generated from our online media and Jupiterimages properties. Furthermore, Mediabistro has a wide variety of original content and blogs, which will augment our 150 original content sites. And, Mediabistro events mesh nicely with Jupitermedia’s growing trade show and Webinar operations,” added Meckler.

You heard it here first: Webinars!

Bierut Sounding Absolutely Scrumptuous on WNYC Today


The man who seems to have no shortage of fabulous ties (one seen here with our blog-mama Laurel Touby), Michael Bierut appeared today on “The Leonard Lopate Show” with guest host Julie Burstein. His segment named “Graphic Design Can Cause Seizures” explained the pervasiveness and importance of graphic design, as Burnstein asked him about everything from Target to wine labels to Obama‘s and Rudy‘s winning identities.

We were so captivated by the thought of Bierut’s voice that we neglected to post the link pre-show, but we’re sure you can find the archive through the magic of iTunes.

Drink With Us Tonight


Dear friends, do not forget that it is tonight when we will be imbibing with our fellow bloggers at the Chinatown Brasserie in New York, courtesy of and our boss lady Laurel Touby. We’ll be the ones huddled with the design-y looking people in the corner, one of whom will hopefully be you.

RSVP and more information here.

Party with the Bloggers


It seems like we were just throwing a party out here or over there or maybe even a little one in this general area, but it looks like it’s that time again and this is gonna be a biggie. mom Laurel Touby is bringing all the bloggers to town and we’re celebrating our own blogginess with an Online Media Party on Friday, April 13 from 6:30 to 8:30pm at Chinatown Brasserie in New York.

Here you’ll get to meet the whole blog family–Cats, three kinds of Fishes, and the is-he-legal-yet TV Newser–as you mix with other media folk. Only half of our UnBeige-ness will be in attendance, sadly, but we invited plenty of very funny designers to make up for Steve’s greatly-missed charisma. Details and RSVP and we’ll see you on Friday. Remember, the first 50 drinks are on Laurel–so get there early!

The Onion-College Party


Where to begin in our extensive SXSW party coverage? How about early evening on the only night it hadn’t been raining at sundown. We made our way over to Club de Ville, where the best panel of the entire festival held a happy hour. The folks from Nerve,, The Onion, College Humor and all had their peeps popping sushi and free drinks. We even hosted in place of the irreplaceable Laurel Touby (Happy birthday, Laurel!).

All sorts of Austin local people were there (are you guys all that friendly?), including freelance writer Theresa Everline who is–get ready for this–Chip Kidd‘s sister-in-law! No joke. She’s even housesat for him. We also ran into several wayward LA pals who were arriving for their music duties, like Jeff Miller, LA editor of Thrillist.

Since it was the only clear night in recent memory, as the sun went down we started thinking about our old friends over on Congress Street. We weren’t the only ones. As we were complimenting College Humor/Vimeo‘s Jacob Lodwick on his performance at the day’s panel (see 48 minutes in), College Humor/Vimeo co-founder Zach Klein approached and told him they were leaving to see the bats. “The Bats?” said Lodwick. “Down at the bridge,” said Klein. “Is that a club?” said Lodwick. “Not The Bats, the bats! The animals!” laughed Klein.

Only at SXSW.

Online Magazine Panel Sets New Standards For Conference Entertainment


Let’s be serious for a minute. Nah, on second thought, let’s not. It’s much more fun when panels at stuff like this aren’t so damn serious. Example: “The Future of the Online Magazine” at SXSW. Even though only one of the panelists was from College Humor, that phrase easily describes the content of the hour-long episode. And it was pretty awesome.

Moderated by Rufus Griscom of Nerve Media, it was quite the eclectic crew, none of which really describe themselves as online magazines: Sean Mills of The Onion, Ricky Van Veen of College Humor, Joan Walsh, Editor of and‘s own CEO & Founder Laurel Touby. Griscom immediately set up a supposed rivalry between College Humor and The Onion, while Touby asserted herself as Griscom’s moderator, calling out additional questions for the panel and the audience. Walsh and Touby insisted on nailing Nerve for its sexy content and The Onion/College Humor contingency for their “dick humor.” And so the laughs began.

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Back In Austin and Already Up To Our Knees In BBQ

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Torrential rains welcomed us to Texas last night, which we found rather soothing for our parched Southern California soul as we dashed from 6th Street bar to 6th Street bar catching up with old friends.

We’re a day or two late to the SXSW party, but we promise to make up for it with lotsa dirt on your favorite interactive designers, a one-on-one with Ze Frank (we were practically drooling), an appearance by mom Laurel Touby, and of course, plenty of smoked meats. Stay tuned!