Online Financial Service Credit Karma Raising $2.5 Million Second Round

Credit Karma

Credit Karma, a site that lets users get free access to their credit scores in exchange for receiving targeted ads, has raised $1.5 million worth of a $2.5 million round of funding, per an SEC filing. The company said QED Investors led, with participation from Ron Conway’s SV Angel, Founders Funds’ FF Angel and private investor Aydin Senkut; the site raised just over $2.2 million in previous rounds.

Founded in 2007, S.F.-based Credit Karma matches users with credit offers, loans and other financial products based on their credit scores; the site also offers tools like loan payment calculators, as well as message boards and credit-related news. It uses TransUnion’s data to power the credit scores. CEO and founder Kenneth Lin previously ran online campaigns for companies like Upromise and E-LOAN.

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The Price of Medical Services

By now, most of the health care cognoscenti realize that we have not had a robust discussion of medical costs. You could say that the public has been misled by the pols and the advocacy groups, which have been preaching that affordable quality health care will magically appear at the stroke of the president’s pen. For months, Campaign Desk <a...

The Yankees’ World Series Win, Explained In Media Terms

yankeesCongrats to the New York Yankees, who clinched their 27th World Series last night by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 7 to 3. The Yankees’ dominance of Major League Baseball is the stuff of legends. But let’s look at their success in a way that is both relevant to our media coverage AND a shameless attempt for getting linked across the Internet: let’s compare the payroll differential between the Yankees and the Phillies as if they were media outlets. Fair? Balanced? I think so!

Baseball: New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Allow me to restate the sincerest of congratulations to the NY Yankees, World Series champs! They won the game not in the press box or in the sports pages, but where it mattered — on the field of the brand new billion-dollar stadium built with tremendous tax breaks from New York City. However, its worth noting that the metaphorical playing field was not nearly as level as the literal one: The Yankee’s team payroll for 2009 comes in at a league-leading $201 million. By comparison, the Philadelphia Phillies’ overall team payroll for 2009 comes in around $113 million, or roughly 56% of the Yankees’ salaries.

yankees.vs.phillies

Yankees team payroll, 2009: $201 million.
Phillies team payroll, 2009: $113 million. (56.2% of Yankees)

Magazines: Vogue vs. Self

Where does that stand in media terms? Let’s start with magazines. Who are the Yankees of the magazine world, based on year-to-date revenues booked up to the third quarter of 2009? How about Vogue? Much loved, often reviled, Vogue comes in at around $213 million. Who would be the Phillies in this equation? Self! Yup, so far this year, Self has booked revenue of $120 million, or 56.3% of its Condé Nast sister’s. So Vogue versus Self — who ya got?

vogue.versus.self

Vogue year-to-date revenues, 2009: $213 million.
Self
year-to-date revenues, 2009: $120 million. (56.3% of Vogue)

Social Media: Facebook vs. MySpace

Moving on, let’s look at social media properties, as measured by monthly unique visitors according to Quantcast. In this case, the Yankees=Facebook: Facebook totally dominates the social media realm (and seems on pace to soon take over the world, but I digress.) Judging by Quantcast, Facebook enjoys roughly 100 million unique visitors a month. The Phillies’ equivalent? MySpace gets roughly 56 million uniques a month. Never has the comparison between the Yankees and Phillies been clearer.

facebook.versus.myspace

Facebook monthly visitorship: 100 million unique visitors/month.
MySpace monthly visitorship: 56 million unique visitors/month. (56 % of Facebook)

Cable TV: Fox News vs. ABC Family

Finally, let’s move on to television. I’d love to use cable news as the metaphor, but finding reliable data for revenue and costs for cable news networks is an arduous task. Fox News is the perfect metaphor for the Yanks here — I mean, they are dominating the ratings with a thier primetime lineup is a modern day murderer’s row, and yes, they are equally loved and hated — but neither MSNBC nor CNN measure up to even be considered the lame Phillies-esque competitor. So who can it be?  Basic cable ratings can give us a hint: last week, an average of 2 MM household tuned into the self-described fair and balanced news channel. Which network had 56% of those viewers? ABC’s Family Channel enjoyed 1.13 million viewers. So – Yankee vs. Phillies is the same as Fox News vs. ABC Family — Perfect!

foxnews.vs.abcfamily

Fox News average viewership last week: 2 million.
ABC Family average viewership last week: 1.13 million. (56.5% of Fox News)

So in conclusion — the Yankees deserve credit for winning the World Series, but let’s not pretend that they didn’t have an enormous advantage. Beating the Phillies is akin to choosing Vogue over Self, watching Fox News over ABC Family, or being on Facebook instead of MySpace. It sort of begs the question: how come the Yankees don’t win every year?


Oprah Giving Up Syndicated Talk Show, Moving to Oprah Winfrey Network In 2011: Nikki Finke

The industry has been betting that the daytime diva would extend The Oprah Winfrey Show for at least another year or two because of the huge cash license fees which stations have long paid her. But people around Oprah are telling me that won't happen. They say that Discovery Communications chief David Zaslav has demanded that Oprah "move it or lose it" -- move her talk show to OWN, or risk losing the Oprah Winfrey Network altogether. I've learned that in coming days Winfrey and Discovery will issue a press release announcing OWN's on-air launch for the start of 2011. And, in several weeks, Oprah will tell the public that she's ending her syndicated Chicago-based daytime talk show when her current deal runs out and moving it to OWN headquarters in Los Angeles probably as soon as mid-2011.


Mediaite Office Hours, Featuring Jake Tapper, “Martin Eisenstadt” And More

mediaitelogoWe’re back with a live Mediaite Office Hours today, coming to you from Livestream.com’s studio at 3pmET. We’ll be joined by ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper, the team behind “Martin Eisenstadt” and more.

Do you have a question, comment or complaint about anything concerning Mediaite? Well if you do, today is a real chance to make your voice heard. We will be holding our Mediaite Office Hours at 3pmET.

Tapper, who has been a guest with us before, will discuss the elections this week, the White House vs. Fox News situation, reporting from the White House, and, sadly, his Phillies loss last night. Follow him on Twitter here. Dan Mirvish and Eitan Gorlin are the authors of the new book, “I Am Martin Eisenstadt,” the hoax McCain pundit that rose to fame after he convinced MSNBC and others he was the source behind the Palin-doesn’t-know-Africa-is-a-continent rumor.

Glynnis MacNicol, Steve Krakauer and Rachel Sklar host the live-streamed call-in show, and others in the Mediaite team, like, Colby Hall and our fantastic interns, will appear periodically, as well as special guests.

Our call-in number is (347) 632-8956. Also, we’re using Skype now, so you can video chat in to our username – Mediaite. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Watch us live here on this page at 3pmET, or check it out at www.livestream.com/mediaite.

As for the schedule, we’ll talk to Tapper first than Gorlin and Mirvish.

See you at 3pm!


Dobrow Weighs in on Whether He Needs Tons of Useful Stuff


It turns out that the clean-livin' print genre has gone the way of the manatee. A handful of titles still sit upon the shelf, tantalizing lard lads with the promises of stress mitigation and ear-poppingly great sex. Nonetheless, only Men's Health offers workable advice for both healthy-living dudes and Chocodile enthusiasts hoping to maintain some basic semblance of fitness.


Does Your Mom Edit Your Blog? Google Wants to Know.

momDo a Google news search, for say, “Will Ferrell,” and you’ll see that the search giant has started labeling news items from blogs as… news items from blogs. Why?

Turns out Google (GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt isn’t quite sure himself.

But posed with that question during a Boston news conference yesterday, he did use the opportunity to expound on the difference between pro bloggers and amateur ones. Or at least, his vision of the difference.

From Nieman Journalism Lab blogger Zachary Seward’s transcription of his exchange with Schmidt:

Me: A very small question. Google News very recently added a label for blogs, to differentiate from non-blogs. It seemed weird in 2009 to make that distinction. I wondered, did you have any input on that or —?

Eric Schmidt: I was not directly involved in that. There seems to be a difference between blogs and traditional news. It’s sometimes hard to distinguish because many people in the traditional news are also bloggers.

Me: Or they use a blog platform.

Schmidt: Or they use a blog platform. So we’re trying to find that line. And it’s hard to articulate what that difference is.

Me: How would describe that line if it’s not based on the tech behind the publishing platform?

Schmidt: No, it’s not the technology. My guess is — again, I’m speculating, which is always a mistake — it has a lot to do with the infrastructure around the writer. So a blog that’s associated with a major, legitimate organization — of which, I think, the majority, if not everyone, in the room is associated with — would be, I think, treated differently than an individual blogger who’s using his or her right of free expression to say whatever he thinks. So the presence of an editor, as an example. You know, an editor that’s not your mom.

As Seward points out, Schmidt’s wrong about the way Google News categorizes. As best as I can tell, it basically lumps all blogs, including this one, which I like to think of as reasonably professional, in its “blog” category. And no, despite her occasional appearances on this site, Kara Swisher’s mother is not an editor here.

Anyway, the real question for me, isn’t “how does Google refer to my work in its search results”, but “how does Google determine where to put my my work in its search results”? Schmidt and company can call it whatever they want — just send those eyeballs my way.

[image credit: kevindooley]