Startup CrowdMed is showing that the collective intelligence of the crowd can be a powerful tool in getting to the bottom of medical mysteries.
The word that describes the in-development independent series Drifter, on pretty much every level, is ambitious — ambitious in scope and ambitious in approach. Set to begin production in mid-July, the sci-fi/comedy/drama project is crowdfunding its pilot online — but setting its sights on television.
Since Kickstarter’s launch in 2009, 3,500 film and video projects have been funded by donors — over $35 million has been raised for documentaries, independent features and web series. But what is it about Kickstarter that works, and what should creators know before seeking out funds?
What do you do when you release a single from a posthumous album? To promote the new release “Behind the Mask,” Sony Music and Radical Media turned to Michael Jackson’s fans — literally — for an epic crowdsourced music video featuring contributions from 103 countries.
Around the end of the year, the hype surrounding Quora kicked into overdrive. The Q&A site founded by ex-Facebook talent first raised eyebrows with round of financing last March that valued it at $86 million. When it went into public beta last summer, the tech and business press got excited, but lately it’s being called the savior of search and the next Facebook. Is Quora worth all the fuss?
eBay could probably get a pass on environmental issues considering that much of its business is generated by folks giving new life to their old stuff. For instance, logging onto eBay to buy a used smartphone “saves 94% of the carbon associated with going to the mall and buying a new one,” according to Amy Skoczlas Cole, director of eBay Green Team. But that’s not enough. The company is going further by not only slashing its own corporate emissions, but also by building an online community (currently with 125,000 members) that is helping the online giant green up its act with some good old crowdsourcing.
Programmers can compete with journalists if they like, but they’d be wise to instead arm journalists with the power of their programming. Reporters and editors shouldn’t need to know how to code web apps any more than they should know how to create word processing apps or blogging platforms. Developers should create simple but flexible tools for creating the interactive and personalizable applications that will allow journalists to not only give their audiences the information they want but to also tell them stories they won’t hear anywhere else.
How’s this for a deal? Amazon.com (s AMZN) is starting a public contest for its next TV commercial, and the two lucky winners will both get Amazon gift certificates for $10,000 each. The web retailer is soliciting 30-second video spots until July 17, after which both a jury and the general audience will crown one winner. Voting for the audience price will begin mid-August, and the final winners will be announced Sept. 21.
Granted, Amazon isn’t exactly the first company to crowdsource its TV or web video commercials. In fact, video contest site Vidopp.com regularly lists dozens of contests from major brands and online startups alike. Some offer pretty substantial cash prizes, while others promise anything from a backyard barbecue set to a month of free rent. However, Amazon doesn’t seem to go down the contest route just to save money by not hiring a professional production company. The company clearly wants you to go all out. Why else would it reference the Three Wolf Moon shirt?
It is indeed a wonderful little device, but you know all those little niggles we have about the iPhone? Like, the lack of landscape e-mailing, the omission of Flash-support and video-recording or hiding those pesky unused apps?
Now there’s a special place for all you disgruntled folk who want a little more from your iPhone, there’s even a chance that Jobs (or one of his minions) might be listening. The site is called Please Fix The iPhone, it’s open for business right now and optimized for iPhone too (naturally).
The idea is that you visit the site, look through a big list of iPhone problems and vote for whatever you want to be fixed. There’s no registration and voting up a problem takes a single click. Furthermore, you can add your own iPhone fix requests too. Top of the list at the moment seems to be, “Copy and paste,” closely followed by, “Ability to view Flash content in Safari.”