Tim Arango pegged his Times story around BigThink’s investors (former Treasury Secretary and ex-Harvard president Larry Summers and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, among others), and painted a pretty Ivory Tower, highfalutin picture of the venture. Erick Schonfeld goes more than 800 words in his evenhanded look on TechCrunch, making fair criticisms of the site’s interface, and comparing it with FORA.tv. (Disclosure — I know Don Baer, one of FORA.tv’s board members.)
Kudos to BigThink founder Peter Hopkins on the launch, and the great coverage.
But the more interesting story, the one I would have liked to see in the Times or TechCrunch, is the trend story. BigThink is an example of a company carving out a quality-content business in a post-YouTube, post-Digg, lewd-and-loopy-win world. Whether or not BigThink’s model is exactly the right one, or if they’ll execute, remains to be seen. But they’re trying to do something interesting, and I can’t help but applaud the effort.
Anyone who’s spent any time around Brijit will understand why I like BigThink conceptually:
They’re embracing unique, smart content with an eye toward making it accessible to a mainstream audience. They don’t seem to be dumbing it down.
They’re taking a hybrid approach to content creation. They seem to be committing to high quality by employing internal editors and house-produced segments, while at the same time seeking to tap into all benefits of community-generated content and the wisdom of crowds.
They’re looking at big long-form ideas from trusted sources and boiling them down for a short-form world.
I sense a trend…