Mediatwits #101: Twitter Goes to Wall Street; Omidyar and Greenwald’s New Project

    by Claire Groden
    November 8, 2013
    In this photo courtesy of @NYSEcam, Twitter debuts on the stock exchange floor.

    Though Twitter has never turned a profit in its seven years of existence, its public debut on Thursday valued the company at a whopping $31 billion dollars. Twitter’s inaugural day on the New York Stock Exchange was met with much fanfare after a week of raising its share price, reflecting high demand for the social media’s stock. Though the trading price was set at $26 per share Wednesday night, the shares began trading for $45.10 — 73 percent higher than its initial asking price. But will the high last? We’re joined by media strategist Sarah Evans and Reuters’ Felix Salmon to discuss the initial public offering. In addition, we’ll talk about eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s new brainchild: a digital media outlet that has already attracted the talent of the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald and Dan Froomkin, formerly of the Washington Post, among others. We’ll chat about the typical challenges and decisions that a digital media outlet faces as it emerges. We’re also joined by regular guests Monica Guzman of the Seattle Times and Geekwire, American University’s Andrew Lih, and our host, MediaShift’s Mark Glaser.

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    Mediatwits Bios

    mark glaser ISOJ headshotMark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He is a longtime freelance writer and editor, who has contributed to magazines such as Entertainment Weekly, Wired and Conde Nast Traveler, and websites such as CNET and the Yale Global Forum. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Renee and son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.


    AndrewLih_270x210Andrew Lih is a new media journalist and associate professor of journalism at the American University School of Communication. He is the author of “The Wikipedia Revolution” (Hyperion 2009, Aurum UK 2009) and is a noted expert on online collaboration and journalism. He is a veteran of AT&T Bell Laboratories and in 1994 created the first online city guide for New York City (www.ny.com). Follow him on Twitter @fuzheado and buy his book here.

    monica guzmanMónica Guzmán is a columnist for the Seattle Times and Northwest tech news site GeekWire and a community strategist for startups and media. She emcees Ignite Seattle, a grab-bag community-fueled speaker series. Mónica was a reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and seattlepi.com, its online-only successor, where she ran the experimental and award-winning Big Blog and drew a community of readers with online conversation and weekly meetups. Follow her on Twitter @moniguzman.

    Special Guests

    felixFelix Salmon is the financial blogger for Reuters. He was named one of Time Magazine’s 25 Best Financial Bloggers, and offers his frank view on the maneuverings of Wall Street, Washington and popular culture. Watch him on Felix TV or follow him on Twitter @felixsalmon.

    sarahevansSarah Evans (@PRsarahevans) is a social and digital strategist, correspondent and publisher with her company Sevans Strategy. She works with companies like Cox Communications, as a digital correspondent, runs popular digital lifestyle publication FAVES + CO. (http://sarahsfav.es), and shares a weekly email digital literacy resource for parents and teachers, #1StepAhead.

    Podcast Topics:

    1. Twitter’s IPO hits the NYSE floor

    On Thursday, Twitter began trading publicly after a week of raising its target share price that indicated the company’s IPO optimism. But there are reasons to be skeptical about the company: its slowing rate of new users and failure to make a profit mean that some believe the company is overvalued. Twitter’s debut comes in the wake of Facebook’s messy spring 2012 IPO, with its initial $38 shares plummeting to $18 by last September. So far, though, the public offering seems to have proceeded without any disasters, leading the banker who organized the IPO, Anthony Noto, to issue a public “phew” over Twitter. Regardless, many investors have voiced skepticism that the soaring Twitter shares will stay gold. Is Twitter a bubble that is about to pop? Or is there something about Twitter that is sturdier than its social media peers?

    2. Omidyar’s $250 million bet on a media startup

    Pierre Omidyar has dabbled in news before, backing a variety of news and transparency-focused ventures with the Omidyar Network, including the Poynter Institute and the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, and he also launched the Hawaii non-profit site Civil Beat. He considered buying the Washington Post, before realizing that an investment of that size could bankroll an entirely new media organization, he told the New York Times. He began talks with Glenn Greenwald, a journalist famous for his involvement in the Edward Snowden leaks this past summer. The venture’s plans were leaked before the media organization could even give itself a name, but the outlet, which for now is calling itself NewCo, is starting to show its ambitions. NewCo won’t just house investigative journalism, but every section that is common in a media outlet, writes Omidyar. But how does one go about creating the next New York Times or Huffington Post? What should its vision be? Will rich businessmen with an interest in news like Omidyar and Jeff Bezos be what turns the media industry around?

    Other stories:

    Ads Scant When Twitter Crosses Borders (NY Times)

    Existential Journalism Revisited (The Huffington Post)

    Netflix Enters Race for Oscars (Mashable)

    Internet Kills the Video Store (NY Times)

    Interview: NPR’s Brian Boyer on building and managing news apps teams (Source)

    Weekly Poll


    Claire Groden is the podcast intern for PBS Mediashift and a current senior at Dartmouth College. You can follow Claire on Twitter @ClaireGroden

    Tagged: bubble dan froomkin felix salmon glenn greenwald ipo media startup omidyar network pierre omidyar twitter

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