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Can a ragtag group of former newspapermen from the L.A. Times help newspapers fight off the content farms of the Web The founders and backers of Ebyline , which has been in private beta for a few months and launches today more broadly, think they can streamline the way news organizations manage freelancers and syndicate their own articles. Some publishers testing out the system include Variety , ProPublica , and The Texas Observer . Ebyline is a marketplace for freelance journalists and syndicated news.
Last September, a group of former L.A. Times veterans launched Ebyline as a better way for news organizations to manage their freelance talent and syndicate their own content. The goal was to give the Web’s shady content farms a run for their monies by creating an open marketplace for freelance journalists to pitch story ideas, take assignments from editors they work with, and get paid.
The scene outside of Y-Combinator's summer 2011 demo day Silicon Valley startup incubator Y-Combinator held the first of two demo days for its Summer 2011 class on Tuesday, unveiling 63 new companies to investors and journalists at its Mountain View, Calif. headquarters. About half of the startup presentations were off the record, meaning just 31 of the presenting companies categorized themselves as welcoming press coverage. In all, it’s the biggest Y-Combinator class yet. The investors I chatted with at the event all agreed on one thing: They were impressed by the poise and professionalism each Y-Combinator startup showed during their demonstrations.
How do you go from designing toilets to building a company that hosts video? Well, the story is twisty, but that’s exactly what makes Michael Litt, the 3 other founders and their product called Vidyard a tale you should read. To start, we have to go back in time and take a trip up to Canada. Litt was, indeed, designing toilets. His eventual co-founder, Devon Galloway worked at BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) and the two of them found that their corporate jobs left them quite a bit of time on their hands.
Many businesses embed YouTube videos on their sites, but one of the pain points of using YouTube as a platform is that visitors can click through the video to YouTube and off the brand’s site — and those videos also include YouTube’s ads and branding. Ooyala and Brightcove both offer professional, enterprise-hosted video platforms but these can be expensive. Enter Y Combinator-backed Vidyard , which is launching today as an affordable way for businesses to host videos that can be viewed either on a landing page or via an embeddable player. Basically, Vidyard is offering a service that’s very similar to YouTube, but without that link to a third-party portal.