More ‘Self Referential’.

Introducing SplatF

In May, I announced I was leaving Business Insider this summer to work on some new projects. Yesterday, I launched the first one: A new site called SplatF.

There, I’ll be covering tech news, including reporting, analysis, commentary, and reviews. Here’s my intro post and here’s where I explain what SplatF means. You can follow on Twitter at @splatf.

It’s an experiment in self-publishing as much as anything else. Is it a viable business online? I’ll try to find out.

Ben Popper at the New York Observer’s BetaBeat site wrote up a cool post about it yesterday.

Part of my going-solo mission is to spend more time doing cool projects for FromeDome.com, too. Stay tuned for those and some other new projects.

And Now For Something Completely Different

It’s weird to write this, but after spending the last four years at Business Insider / Silicon Alley Insider, I’ll be leaving at the end of June to focus on some new projects.

It has been a wild time. Since I joined, the company has grown from three guys in a loading dock — we had to move our chairs so the FreshDirect order could be delivered — to a staff of 50, with more than 10 million monthly readers and a cool new office.

But for me, now is the best time to try building some things of my own, so that’s what I’m going to do. And I’m very excited about it.

My first project, launching this summer, will involve writing about technology, much like I’ve been doing at Business Insider and at Forbes since 2005.

But other projects will be totally unrelated to tech and/or media. Some haven’t even been imagined yet. (And I’ll still be contributing to Business Insider on some special assignments.)

Special thanks to Henry Blodget, Julie Hansen, Kevin Ryan, and Peter Kafka for everything over the years.

Please follow me on Twitter at @fromedome to get updates about what I’m working on.

Fourteen Years Of FromeDome

eiffel-tower-night-blur

Today, this site celebrated its 14th birthday… sort of.

Back then, it was “FromeDome’s Page From Hell,” hosted on a crappy AOL server somewhere. And there have been many years of “under construction” banners between then and now. But it’s still older than Google and many of the sites we use constantly today!

As I spend the next couple weeks traveling around the holidays, I’m going to spend some time working on a few new features for the site, including a photo gallery (so you can see more shots like the one above).

Thanks for visiting, and happy holidays!

How Wesley Willis Got Me On The Cover Of The Evanston Phone Book

cut-the-mullet

In 2000-01, my freshman year of college, the Northwestern Wildcats won the Big Ten title. So it made sense that Ameritech, the local phone company, would feature them on the cover of the Evanston phone book the next year. (Which I found this past week while visiting Chicago for Christmas.)

Their photo’s focus: A bunch of shirtless frat dudes in the front row of the Ryan Field student section with their chests painted “Who Let The Cats Out” — a parody of the terrible Baha Men song that was already getting old.

Directly behind them: Some friends and me holding up homemade signs that said “Cut the Mullet” — a reference to a song by Wesley Willis, a paranoid schizophrenic musician from Chicago. The signs were created for — and directed specifically at — the Big Ten official holding the first down marker. As you can see, he really needed to get his mullet cut.

Wesley recorded more than 50 albums before he died in 2003. (I started listening to him in 8th grade after hearing him on a morning radio talk show.) Most of his songs sounded exactly the same: Brilliant nonsense yelled into a mic over an electric keyboard’s prerecorded sample tracks. Here’s “Cut the Mullet,” live.

Thirteen Years of FromeDome

frome-map

Don’t look now, but this web site became a teenager today. Sort of.

Thirteen years ago today, I figured out how to install the free AOL web counter on my first site, “FromeDome’s Page From Hell.” So since then, I’ve counted Dec. 17 as this site’s birthday. Even though it’s had multiple names, Web addresses, and has been “under construction” for the majority of the time. But now it’s back — for good, I hope.

What’s on tap? I spend most of my time reading, thinking, and writing about tech companies like Apple and Google. But there’s always a lot more going on that I’m interested in. So I’m going to write about it here. Partially so I can remember it. But also just in case anyone else finds it interesting.

Stay tuned and feel free to get in touch.