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. “