Motherboard: Kickstarter Employees Win Historic Union Election. “Kickstarter employees voted to form a union with the Office and Professional Employees International Union, which represents more than 100,000 white collar workers. The final vote was 46 for the union, 37 against, a historic win for unionization efforts at tech companies.”
Mashable: Facebook ad scam tricks users with images and video of Kickstarter products . “A devious new scam is sweeping Facebook. Scammers find an interesting or popular product from crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, rip the item’s details, photos, and videos, and push them via Facebook ads as their own products. Victims of the fraud are either never sent the product or receive a knockoff version.”
Engadget: Kickstarter game teaches players how to identify fake news. “Between fake news, viral clickbait and biased reporting, it’s hard to get a sense of what is really true when reading the headlines. So a new game being pitched on Kickstarter aims to take the public behind the curtain and show them how journalism works by putting them in the driving seat.”
A sports photographer is holding a Kickstarter to crowdfund the digitizing of his Tampa Bay Lightning photography. From the page: “This is Jon Hayt and I would like to first introduce myself as I was the Team Photographer for the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Hockey Team that was formed in 1992 during the early 90’s expansion phase of the NHL. I was the team photographer from 1992 early 2000 and all of my photography was shot on Fujichrome 100 ISO color slide film shot under arena strobe lights set up in the catwalks of the various arenas and triggered from my camera to create beautiful high quality color images of the game and players…. I am estimating that there will be around 10,000 images scanned and ready for archiving. My goal is to place this archive with the Hockey Hall of Fame up in Toronto Canada so that it can be shared with current and future fans, players and the folks that were part of the early years of this team.”
Sounds like an awesome Kickstarter project: Preserve & digitize 30,000 historic New Orleans newspapers . “Currently, the entire collection is housed safely at our New Orleans headquarters where it will stay in the original Mylar sleeves until we have the full capability to process and re-enter it into record with our proposed unprecedented image quality and data utility. Our next major undertaking is to scan and digitize the entire New Orleans DNA holdings–over 500,000 sides of newsprint & special supplements, mostly from The Daily Picayune and Times-Picayune from 1888-1929, a collection unrivaled in both continuity and condition.”
Engadget: My other life as a Kickstarter scammer. “I have the process down to a tee. I start by browsing Kickstarter, looking for projects with active campaigns. There’s no specific selection criteria. Perhaps I find one that’s just gone live, or one coming to the end of its fundraising window. I reach out with a message, explain who I am and invite the project contact to book in an interview. On the call, I feign interest, ask the right kind of questions and promise a write-up on Engadget in the near future. I leave it a day or two and reach out again, saying I’ve heard great things from others about a specialist that can increase a project’s exposure for a daily fee. A highly unethical move for a journalist, but I set to profit from it, so what do I care? The Engadget article never materializes, of course, because this person isn’t me.”
Food & Wine: ‘Spotify for Cookbooks’ Just Launched a Kickstarter Campaign. “Ckbk, a new service calling itself the ‘Spotify of cookbooks’ and promising seamless digital access to the best cookbooks in the world, has launched its Kickstarter campaign today. The online database (and, eventually, mobile app) boasts 100,000 recipes, and was built with guidance from acclaimed chefs and cookbook authors like Nigella Lawson, Yotam Ottolenghi, and Fergus Henderson.”
Mashable: Tech keeps hitting the FCC over net neutrality. “The internet isn’t letting net neutrality disappear without a fight. Several big tech companies, including Etsy, Expa, Kickstarter, Automattic, Foursquare, and Shutterstock, filed a petition on Monday with the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit against the Federal Communication Commission’s decision to end net neutrality.”
This is completely fascinating. Someone has managed to turn the idea of curating the Library of Congress’ photo collection into a successful Kickstarter project. From the project page: “From the seemingly endless archives of the Library of Congress, I will find a photo you’ve never seen before but that you would absolutely want to have hanging on your wall. I will pick a photo specifically for you and 99 other backers, according to your personal wishes.” Thierry Blancpain has blown past his $1500 goal and at this writing has raised $2799 – and the Kickstarter doesn’t end until January 31.
Vanity Fair: Some Ex-Employees Plan To Wrestle Peter Thiel For The Ghost Of Gawker Past. “More recently, as Gawker’s bankruptcy winds down, it’s been reportedthat Thiel himself is interested in purchasing its remaining assets, mainly the name and its online archive. Last month, Thiel’s lawyers filed a motion in court, challenging a provision that kept Thiel from buying Gawker.com’s assets. This could set a plan in motion for Thiel to buy Gawker.com; the domain still hasn’t been sold, and a buyer would not only be able to purchase the domain but all of the Web site’s archives, and be able to do with them whatever they wish. ‘The idea of an anonymous group trying to buy a defunct media company would have made a great Gawker story,’ one former Gawker editor told me. Still, they added, ‘There’s nothing worse than the alternative—even if we have reservations, there’s literally nothing that could be worse’ than Thiel buying the archives.”
Smithsonian: Smithsonian Launches Kickstarter for Culture-Defining “Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap”. “The Smithsonian has launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign today for the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap, a powerful cultural statement told through an unequaled combination of music, text and stunning visuals. The compilation, to be produced and released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, includes nine CDs, more than 120 tracks and a 300-page book with extensive liner notes, essays by artists and scholars, and never-before-published photographs from the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s collection.”
An interesting idea from Kickstarter Corner, though unfortunately it has no backers with 19 days left, so I’m not sure it’ll get off the ground: LiLGov.com. From the project’s description: “LiLGov is a project I have been working on for a year now. I want anyone to be able to search for their local government videos and find out what their representatives are saying. With LiLGov you will also be able to share specific moments of the meetings with other people on social media allowing change to happen. It is completely free and will never have ads, my goal is to make local government accessible to everyone. With your donation I will be able to improve the website and keep the website hosted for 1 year. “
The Kunstverein in Hamburg is turning to Kickstarter to create a digital archive for its 200th anniversary. “In 2017 the Kunstverein in Hamburg is celebrating its 200th anniversary as one of Germany’s key non-profit institutions for contemporary art. Celebrating this achievement and after a three- year long research, together with the Department of Art History at University Hamburg, the Kunstverein seeks to launch a Digital Archive. Starting from 1817 the project will establish a systematic and sustainable method of preserving our rich archive. The success of this project will allow a broad community of users to search the archive rapidly and comprehensively from anywhere at any time, making this indispensable information accessible to scholars, librarians, students, and everyday internet users.” The fundraising goal is about $22,000; a little over $9000 has been raised so far.
CNET: On Anne Frank’s birthday, a push to save war diaries online. “…the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is launching a Kickstarter campaign to help preserve hundreds of other Holocaust diaries and first-person accounts. The campaign, titled ‘Save Their Stories: The Undiscovered Diaries of the Holocaust,’ seeks to raise $250,000 (about £197,475 or AU$332,520) to ‘catalog, preserve, and make available online over 200 Holocaust diaries in the Museum’s collection — for the first time ever.'” At this writing the campaign has raised just under $41K.
Washington Post: Amazon, Kickstarter, Reddit and Mozilla are staging a net neutrality online protest. “Some of the Internet’s biggest names are banding together for a ‘day of action’ to oppose the Federal Communications Commission, which is working to undo regulations for Internet providers that it passed during the Obama administration.”