Kickstarter: Crowd Sourcing Project Funding

A few weeks ago, I was checking Stephen Fry’s Twitter feed and this tweet peaked my interest:

Fry is Offering Some Investment Advice

After I clicked on the link, I was directed to the “OpenVizsla” Open source USB Protocol Analyzer funding page on Kickstarter, The project aims to create a hardware USB signal reader which Stephen Fry invested in. And that was my first introduction to Kickstarter.

So What Is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is one of the largest funding platforms on the web; on any given day you will find a variety of creative, exciting and sometimes downright bizarre projects trying to get funding on the website. Practically anybody with an idea, yet cash stripped to implement it, can place take a chance and place his idea on the website.

So How Does Work?

Some of the Projects That Are Open For Funding

Signing up and posting an idea for funding is completely free of charge. To post a project, you have to agree to the website’s terms and services, and they are pretty articulate about what kind of projects they will allow on their website. Their guidelines explicitly refuse charity fund raising or start-up funding, and emphasize that the main goal for the funding is that it be a finite project rather than a business venture. They also reject funding for the sake of hiring others to implement your idea, for example hiring programmers to design your killer website.

Bringing Social Media to the Classroom – Open Source & Free

Social media didn’t get the warmest welcome from the educational system, and it was always looked upon as total waste of time and a distraction. There are various reasons of why the use of social media tools in the classroom is still frowned upon by many educators, from the worries of content privacy and the over sharing nature of the classroom to others that rise out of lack of understanding of the social media environment itself. They might be valid reasons but they try to stop the wheels of time rather than go along with them.

Ironically students have been on the band wagon of social media adoption since the hay days of Myspace. The gap between them and their educators has been widening to the extent that when they try to educate their students in “internet” they are the ones taking notes of what is being said.

But things have been consistently warming up for the adoption of social networking as an education tool, and the wheels of the education system mammoth seems to be heading in the right direction. Hopefully ushering in a day where the computer in schools will move beyond its status of an over glorified workbook. So here are some of the tools that will provide the classroom and school with a lot of utilities and still address the concerns of privacy and the lack of control educators feel when using sites like Myspace and Facebook.

Does Yahoo! Mail Applications pose a challenge for Google Wave?

Both Yahoo and Google seem to realize that opening their email platforms would be their way to compete in the social networking arena. Using their email user-bases is not a bad approach to conquer areas that are only possible with platforms like Facebook and MySpace. Competition is good, it brings us – the users – revolutionary technologies! We want to hear your opinion, how much of a challenge do you think Yahoo! Mail Applications poses to the upcoming Google Wave?

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