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All posts by Kevin Grant: Silicon Valley correspondent

Kevin Grant: Silicon Valley correspondent
Kevin is a journalism geek who hails from Chicago, Illinois. He spent more than three years working in New York City’s “Silicon Alley” building the content enrichment firm Inform Technologies. He is now a second-year master’s candidate at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School in Los Angeles. He is executive editor of Neon Tommy, a Web-only news organization devoted to innovating in the Web media space and serving its community. Kevin is drawn to opportunities where budding technologies intersect with reporting and information sharing. He makes many of his decisions based on the relative proximity of good coffee shops.
  • GetGlue brings social check-ins to media and entertainment

    People like to be rewarded for things they would probably do anyway. Hence it stands to reason that sooner or later someone would capitalise on this. And that is what entertainment check-in network GetGlue did -- by offering real and virtual incentives for consuming media online. GetGlue, founded in 2009 by New York City entrepreneur Alex Iskold, has pioneered the media check-in space, piggybacking on the Foursquare phenomenon with more than one million users earning stickers and discounts as they watch, read and listen. Sites like Foursquare and Gowalla have come a long way offering virtual “badges” to complement the...

  • Diaspora scores on privacy but will it ever go mainstream?

    Diaspora, the open source social network that puts user privacy above all else, is now rolling out in private alpha. The question is: can it hold its own against Facebook, or MySpace, or even Ning?  Early indications seem to indicate that the answer is no. Although Facebook has run into backlash several times over its approach to users’ information, it continues to grow like gangbusters, surpassing more than 550-million unique users in October, according to ComScore. Clearly, privacy concerns are something plenty of people pay lip service to, but rarely do anything about.  If Diaspora is to succeed, it will need...

  • Blekko search: Coming soon to a browser near you

    Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta has conceded the search battle to Google without even firing a shot. Instead, he’s adopted the mantra of his co-founder Mike Markson: own a category or die. The challenge for Blekko is that the company must figure out exactly which category it plans to own; then work to define it. At present, the most accurate term for what Blekko does is vertical search, which has been a highly elusive category for large-scale, consumer-level entrants. Vertical search targets specific types of content, whether by format, topic or genre. ...