Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Netted, a Web-Centric Tipsheet, Tries Squeezing Into Your Inbox

mailboxEveryone loves to complain about email. Except for the growing batch of entrepreneurs using it to launch newsletter businesses. Latest example: Netted, a Web-centric tipsheet from the guys who bring you the Webby Awards.

The pitch is straightforward: The newsletter will bring you one cool and/or useful online site, service, app, etc., per day. The alpha versions I’ve seen suggest that subscribers try out the likes of Gazelle, Zeni Optical, and Hazelmail.

If the concept sounds familiar, it should. There are several popular Web sites, like Gawker Media’s Lifehacker, that tread similar thematic ground.

And there are many variants in newsletter industry. Very Short List, the newsletter started by IAC (IACI) and now owned by the Observer Media Group, offers up a cool book, movie, video, etc., per day; DailyCandy, now owned by Comcast (CMCSA), tells its subscribers about cool sample sales and boutiques; Thrillist*, the DailyCandy for dudes, informs dudes about cool restaurants, bars, etc.

One other commonality: This newsletter business, like many others, is getting a boost from Bob Pittman’s Pilot Group. The investment fund, which has invested in newsletters, including Daily Candy and Thrillist, owns a piece of Recognition Media, the New York company that produces the annual Webby awards, among other silly/serious events.

*Your story is coming, Ben. Patience!

[Image credit: polmuadi]

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus