There’s a new craze on Facebook, where people are tagging their friends and posting “25 Random Things About Me”. The idea is to share random facts about yourself that other people might not know. It seems to be very popular–either, there are a lot of people with free hands on their times, or the self-actualization gained from posting “25 random things” is something people can’t help but spend time on. Well, in that note (and on, perhaps, a crassly commercial scale), here are 25 random things about socalTECH.com:
1. socalTECH was first started in 1998, as a hobby of mine (now a business, mind you), when I was looking for a job. I had a 2+ hour commute and a child on the way.
2. socalTECH.com, the web site, was actually preceded to a large degree by a hand-copied email list, sent out to about two dozen people. The list grew because people forwarded the email to other folks, they emailed their friends, etc.
3. The web site only came into being, because Earthlink (my ISP at the time) threatened to kick me off the service (dial-in) because my home page was getting too much traffic.
4. The number of venture fundings and companies we cover on the public side (RSS feeds, news, etc.) is dwarfed by the number of non-announced venture funding, new companies, and other information you can mine from our database. (yes, that’s a crass commercial plug).
5. We’re still annoyed when we talk to people who think there are only high tech companies in Silicon Valley.
6. socalTECH isn’t just Southern California, we’ve got some lesser known (stealth?) efforts in other areas. Silicon Valley (silicontap.com), the Rocky Mountain region (techrockies.com), the Pacific Northwest (nwinnovation.com), and Texas (www.texastechpulse.com).
7. Once upon a long time ago, our main competition in covering Southern California technology news was the Digital Coast Reporter–run by Jason Calacanis, pre-bulldogs. Not to mention, he later morphed his publications into the Venture Reporter–also a venture capital database.
8. You can’t pay to get news coverage on socalTECH, and we get insulted if you ask.
9. We believe there’s a one degree of separation to Southern California’s high tech community.
10. One of the most popular things to do with our database is–not to look for funding–but to figure out what companies have gotten funding lately, to find new customers, determine who might be interested in purchasing services, or might need assistance in their business.
11. We hand edit every calendar entry into our calendar, to make sure they get through spam filters when we send them in our email.
12. VCs often hate it when we cover funding news for their stealth companies.
13. Our satellite/map mashup of Southern California venture funding was one of the first applications of Google’s mapping technology in a third party site, and came before Google released their API.
14. DFJ, Interwest, USVP, and Charles River — all outside area investors — are currently leading our venture deal stats (subscriber only, sorry) for the last six months. The Tech Coast Angels and Mission Ventures are next.
15. You can get to a list of stories tagged with any keyword by going to http://www.socaltech.com/tag/keyword. For example, if you want all stories about you can go to http://www.socaltech.com/tag/idealab. For the more morose, you can go to all the stories on layoffs here: http://www.socaltech.com/tag/layoff
16. We’ve got a Google gadget which allows you to embed a widget with recent funding, calendar of events, or news in your web site or Google home page.
17. We’ve got all of our interviews since 1999 (has it been that long?) posted on the web site in our interview section.
18. We get a kick out of seeing all of the “post your own instructional video on the Internet” startups, remembering back when How2TV was doing the same thing. There seem to be lots of Web 2.0 startups rehashing the ideas of 1999/2000.
19. For some reason, our WAP/mobile pages get the most cumulative hits for the web site.
20. A huge number of our email readers tell us they read us the first thing every day, on their BlackBerry.
21. We track the local exits for Southern California companies in our database on our exits page, in case you ever want to know who’s cashed out.
22. Our venture database actually includes venture funding across the U.S. and beyond. That includes funding of companies in areas we don’t cover on a news basis, including far flung locales as Boston, New York, Philadelphia, London, etc.
23. People who are members of socalTECH, are helping to support our news coverage, interviews, calendar, and more–which in turn, helps to support Southern California’s technology industry. Without our members, we couldn’t offer the daily news coverage that we do, even with the great sponsors and advertisers we have.
24. A surprising number of readers don’t realize that the “socal” in socalTECH stands for Southern California. (in particular, this seems to come from startups from other areas looking for coverage, and thinking it’s “social tech”).
25. We think you ought to be commended if you actually made it this far in the list. Or, you have too much time on your hands.