I’ve stuck to my policy of only supporting crowd-funding campaigns of works that are free and in the commons. One of the projects that I make an exception for is Smut Peddler, which has a 2014 campaign. Despite not being free to use in creative ways, it is erotica that is women-created and -friendly. The first issue was great, and is included in some of the award tiers. Check it out! ^_^
The HUB Oakland Kickstarter just reached 50%, with 18 days to go! I pledged, because I want to see this awesome space open in Oakland, and be part of the change that is happening. I’ve been searching for a space that is both interesting and filled with cognitive diversity. HUB Oakland matches that!
And the cool thing about the Kickstarter, and this particular HUB, is that it will be very inclusive, and will be given out scholarships. When I think of the lucky breaks I’ve gotten, and how cool it would have been to work in such a space, I can’t help but think it will really help some folks.
For my part, I am putting myself in fortune’s way. I can’t wait to see what emerges!
The People’s E-Book project is of great interest to the digital publishing world, but it value to me will be determined by how open it is.
I saw the Kickstarter for The People’s E-Book, and it interests me greatly. Using webcraft to tackle a different aspect of book making is a great idea. They didn’t have a FAQ up at the time, so I sent them a message:
How will the code be licensed? I suggest the AGPL. There is a lot of interest in creating open source publishing tools, and if it is going to be open source it would be great to say so. If not, that is important as well.
Yes, have been getting this question a lot, so just added it to our FAQ section. Here’s what I wrote:
Will The People’s E-Book be open source? Yes! We just haven’t worked out the details of how much (maybe all) or under what license. As soon as we do, we’ll post more here. Regardless, it’s our mission to free e-books and we believe that means in content and creativity, as well as in creation.
That is good (maybe great). The people making the software are in Oakland, a firm called The Present Group. If they end up going with sane licensing, which is basically any FOSS license as long as it applies to the whole thing, then I am going to fund them, but even more so, I am going to evangelize on their behalf locally, since it would be a great project to gather around and hack.
I don’t think this fills the same niche as Booktype, as it seems more like a polishing platform. It will be neat to see how other orgs use it. I could imagine this replacing the current engine that powers Smashwords, which requires an author or publisher to upload a Word document.
Tropes vs. Women in Video Games is a project by Anita Sarkeesian, to discuss the roles in which women are cast in video games. It is a cool project, and e has been harassed for it. gg, hate gamers.
I am a dork, I forgot to mention this until I was just reminded… by the message thanking me for funding the project.
Anyhow, Tropes vs. Women in Video Games is a web video series by Anita Sarkeesian, the person running Feminist Frequency. It is important to me, because by examining these tropes, we have a tool to expose people to what they mean, and give us a chance create new and positive ideas that encourage equality, as well as just being more creative.
There are a lot of great projects on Kickstarter, but this one was in particularly interesting and disturbing. You can read the full post on the harassment Sarkeesian received, here is an excerpt:
The intimidation and harassment effort has included a torrent of misogyny and hate speech on my YouTube video, repeated vandalizing of the Wikipedia page about me, organized efforts to flag my YouTube videos as “terrorism”, as well as many threatening messages sent through Twitter, Facebook, Kickstarter, email and my own website. These messages and comments have included everything from the typical sandwich and kitchen “jokes” to threats of violence, death, sexual assault and rape. All that plus an organized attempt to report this project to Kickstarter and get it banned or defunded. Thankfully, Kickstarter has been incredibly supportive in helping me deal with the harassment on their service.
The sad thing is this kind of backlash happens all the time whenever women dare to speak up about gender and video games.
That is unacceptable! It is difficult enough to have an active voice and share in a culture that marginalizes your contribution by default, but this is so over the top, it is painful to hear. In order to improve our collective quality of life, it is essential that we are able to hear everyone’s voice. This cast the broad and diverse gaming community is a shameful light, mostly because all the chilled folks are having fun and increasing their hand-eye coordination, rather than spewing hate speech at people.
Anyhow, be on the lookout for these videos, and next time I will be better about posting early enough for you to support a great project like this! ^_^
Kickstarter updates have a particular feel to them, and it caught my interest.
I am, of course, a fan of Kickstarter. I’ve thus far backed seven projects. It is fun, and a cool way to support interesting people, and I like getting things that I’ve forgotten I “bought”. However, the thing I am really impressed by are the updates.
The first thing is, it is essentially a blog for a given project. I am used to these, since I subscribe to a gazillion, one for each software project, interesting person, and web comic. However, this particular implementation is pretty interesting. It probably has to do with the fact that there are two contexts in which nearly all the messages are published, pre-funded and post-funded. So, they are either powered by the need to generate support, or they are just happy to drop some updates on the host of strangers who want them to succeed.
I wonder if there is a way to instill that same sense into other blogs. I have come to dread client fund-raising, because I often get drafted to proofread appeal letters, which is time-consuming for me, and takes up a lot of mental capacity. However, the main thing is that I don’t see them having the same energy as a Kickstarter update. It feels desperate, no doubt because it is desperate. Maybe appeals hidden inside of transparent updates, sent out with more frequency, would do the trick. Huh.
Anyhow, two projects of which I particular like the updates are Lib-Ray: Non-DRM Open-Standards HD Video Format and Wollstonecraft. Lib-Ray is by Terry Hancock, and the updates are both detailed and welcoming; it is a great example of how to engage your community. Wollstonecraft is by Jordan Stratford, and has great insights into the process of creating a product (which is really awesome, by the way! I can’t wait to read it to Emma!).