Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Video: GroupMe Dudes Talk Group Messaging Phenom (and Drink Beer at the Same Time)

If you had to pick the hotsy-totsy start-up to win the media darling of South by Southwest award for 2011–following in the precious footsteps of Foursquare and Twitter from years past–it would probably have to be GroupMe.

The group messaging/conference call/location/photo sharing service has, as these things tend to, garnered a lot of heat since its debut less than a year ago.

That has, of course, also meant the requisite big venture funding–$11.5 million in total–for the New York-based GroupMe, including from SV Angel, betaworks, First Round Capital, Lerer Ventures, General Catalyst Partners and Khosla Ventures.

And, no surprise, the dead-simple idea now has many start-up rivals, all vying to use combine mobile, texting, social, location, groups and smartphones into some unholy megatrend.

Still, GroupMe has built a slick little offering, which is likely to get scooped up by some bigger entity (or perhaps just copied, which is the sincerest form of flattery in tech).

Until then, its Co-founders Jared Hecht and Steve Martocci are enjoying their day in the sun–quite literally, at their free grilled-cheese-and-beer giveaway at SXSW this weekend in Austin, Texas.

Here is my video interview with their-future-is-so-bright-they-have-to-wear-shades pair:

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald