shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: International Defoundered Man of Mystery, Plus Alexis Ohanian Wrote a Book

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Front Page Printed Pages of the Internet Just before taking stage at SXSW to talk his crowdfunded Internet 2012 tour, Alexis Ohanian emailed out a link to his new book, Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed.

Since you asked, Mr. Ohanian, we dig the cover, but “without their permission,” sounds a little iffy in the context of Reddit’s Creepshot scandal, no? Read More

Mad Data Science

Data Scientists From Tumblr, Kickstarter Confess One Big Goof

The dataists gather. (Screencap)

DataGotham is currently unfolding downtown at NYU Stern, and around lunchtime, a roundtable gathered for a discussion of what it’s like to be the first data scientist at a company. Panelists included Tumblr’s Adam Laiacano, Kickstarter’s Fred Benenson, and Etsy’s Roberto Medri. The common denominators, according to moderator Hilary Mason? “A love of math, a curiosity, and a lot of stubbornness.”

Much of the discussion revolved around the weediest of data science topics, dwelling on R and SQL and so forth. But the best part was when each of the panelists–at the prompting of Ms. Mason–admitted to something that had gone horribly awry. Not just because everyone loves a good blooper reel, but because they provide a pretty good snapshot of what data scientists actually do. Read More

Funding Fun

Kickstarter Hits 10,000 Projects With $60 M. Raised – Funding Accelerating Fast

New York’s finest funding platform, Kickstarter, has helped its 10,000th project secure backing this month. On July 6th a Toledo, Ohio-based band called Citizen raised $830 from 28 backers to produce a new seven-inch. This was $30 more than the band had hoped to raise and came mostly from pledges of $30 or less. It was micro-financing for creative expression at its finest. Read More


Red Bull Tried to Make ‘Largest Donation on Kickstarter Ever’ but Kickstarter Shot Them Down

Update to this morning’s post about the motion-sensitive iPhone air guitar pick, which we thought for a moment had set a record with Red Bull’s $20,000 largesse constituting the largest single donation on Kickstarter yet, and worried that the indie champion was selling out.

Looks like our fears were unfounded. Red Bull wanted to make the largest Kickstarter donation ever, but Kickstarter’s Fred Benenson declined, saying the company isn’t “currently seeking partnerships,” according to the email exchange forwarded by air guitar pick co-creator Ronald Mannak, and “can’t offer any support or participation in media outreach.”

We thought Red Bull was claiming its donation was the largest ever; actually the project creators publicized that tagline. Mr. Mannak: “We exchanged emails with Fred Benenson at Kickstarter to give him a heads up that Red Bull was about to [donate] what we assumed to be the biggest Kickstarter donation ever. Since Fred didn’t correct us, I (not Red Bull) decided it was safe to claim the biggest single donation ever. Kickstarter hasn’t reached out to us since we announced the Red Bull donation.”

Kickstarter told Betabeat it has received larger lump sums before, but didn’t cite specifics.