July 2010

Perry Chen on Kickstarter

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Perry Chen, co-founder and CEO of Kickstarter, an online platform for funding creative projects, discusses the enterprise. Chen talks about the inspiration behind Kickstarter and its business model, how project creators convince backers (not investors) to fund them, funding success rates, and the most interesting projects funded so far.

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Catherine White on the Noisy Idiot Dilemma

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Catherine White, graduate student at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, where she is researching productive participatory discussion, talks about her thesis on the Noisy Idiot Dilemma. White explains the dilemma — how to foster productive online conversation when certain speakers exhibit noisy, unproductive, or unhelpful behavior — and discusses her research on various online forums, weblog comments, effects of humor, anonymity, and empathy online, and characteristics of elastic, oily conversation.

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Eric Frank on openly-licensed textbooks

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Eric Frank, Co-Founder and President of Flat World Knowledge, the leading publisher of commercial, openly licensed college textbooks, discusses the company and its business model, which he compares to that of Red Hat. In the podcast Frank addresses moral hazards of the traditional college textbook publishing model, the company’s genesis, products and services it offers, how it makes money, and why it appeals to students, professors, and authors.

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