New Kickstarter Call-Out: State of the Re:Union

state of the re:union kickstarter

UPDATE: Just got an email that my funds went through! After a whole month SOTRU hit its Kickstarter fundraising goal with just two minutes to spare! Congrats!

Having just heard that one of my recent Kickstarter investments, CicLAvia, has been funded, a new project has conveniently crossed my path and if you’re into it too, you’ve got a few days left to chip in a few bucks.

State of the Re:Union (SOTRU) is a public media show that seeks to unify its audience by telling the stories of real people through an innovative exploration of a city, detailing how things come together and what pulls them apart. Each radio episode, host Al Letson travels to a different American city or town and explores how community is created. Who are the people who help bring it together? What are the issues they face? How does the culture of an area shape the people and vice versa? Through a unique mix of storytelling, cultural excavation, music and multimedia, SOTRU brings community to life. — Read more | website | Facebook | Twitter.

Kickstarter is a groundbreaking concept in microdonations and in awesome website and community. You pledge to donate the amount you choose — with great incentive rewards for various dollar amounts — and the money is taken via your Amazon.com account only if the fundraising goal is met.

State of the Re:Union is closing in on 50% funded with only 4 days remaining (after a month on the site) so let’s give it a boost by August 21st!

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New OECD report on “The future of news and the Internet”

The death of the newspaper is greatly exaggerated — generally speaking from the point of view of the OECD. Aside from in the U.S., the decline in revenues is on par with the general financial decline in recent years.

Figure 1. Estimated newspaper publishing market decline in OECD countries, 2007-2009 (in per cent)

…[A] new OECD report looking at “The Future of News and the Internet”. It contains new data and analysis on the global newspaper industry and the challenges presented by the Internet. Its main message is that “large country-by-country and title-by-title differences and the data currently do not lend themselves to make the case for “the death of the newspaper”, in particular if non-OECD countries and potential positive effects of the economic recovery are taken into account.” The full report, including data and charts, is available at http://www.oecd.org/document/48/0,3343,en_2649_34223_45449136_1_1_1_1,00.html

After very profitable years, newspaper publishers in most OECD countries face declining advertising revenues, titles and circulation. The economic crisis has amplified this downward development.

About 20 out of 30 OECD countries face declining newspaper readership, with significant decreases in some OECD countries. Newspaper readership is usually lower among younger people who tend to attribute less importance to print media. In OECD countries, the general, regional and local press have been hardest hit and 2009 was expected to be the worst year for OECD newspapers, with the largest declines in the United States, the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy, Canada, and Spain (but much a much smaller impact on countries such as Austria, Australia (See above).

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PBS Newshour’s Deepwater BP Oil Spill Widget

I’ve been tracking and writing about the tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for Live Earth but I thought I’d note the excellent widget that PBS Newshour created to help users track and visualize the apparently unstoppable horror that has been ongoing for more than a month off the coast of Louisiana. Great work by one of the finest multimedia teams in the land.

It’s horrible and embarrassing that we’d give oil companies such extensive liberty so as to contaminate our waters knowing that there was no available technology to avert the inevitable disaster that we are facing right now. Personally I hope to see Obama get serious and put his foot down even more — this is the ultimate cause for concern about climate, energy, and the future.