06/04/2014

2014 Update: Building A New Dance Site Called DanceLand

It's been a while since I updated folks at Cultural Research.

For the last few years I've been working on and off on a dance blog called All World Dance.

I'm now taking what I learned there and applying it to a new site called DanceLand.

I'm again starting with blogging dance news and videos but I've got much more in mind for the future.

Come on by!

 

08/19/2012

Current Project: Crowdfunding For Musicians

I'm currently focusing my indie blogging efforts on Crowdfunding For Musicians, a blog on the way to a book about crowdfunding music. Check it out!

Connect with Crowdfunding For Musicians:

Facebook - Crowdfunding For Musicians

Twitter - Crowdfunding Music

Email - Daily Posts

Email - Special Announcements

RSS - Crowdfunding For Musicians

10/18/2011

Google Researchers Design an "Infinite Digital Bookcase"

Chrome Experiment - WebGL Bookcase

"A digital interface needs to be familiar enough to be intuitive, while simultaneously taking advantage of the lack of constraints in a virtual space. In this case, we imagined something that looks like the shelves in your living room, but is also capable of showcasing the huge number of titles available online—many more than fit on a traditional shelf."

"With this in mind, we designed a digital bookcase that’s an infinite 3D helix. You can spin it side-to-side and up and down with your mouse. It holds 3D models of more than 10,000 titles from Google Books."

Source: Designing an infinite digital bookcase

04/23/2011

Reboot: All World Dance & Flux Research

Currently my two main projects are:

All World Dance: Dance News

Flux Research: Web Business

All World Dance is my primary focus but I've decided to maintain Flux Research as a hub for my business writing including my music industry posts at Hypebot.

03/19/2011

Flux Research: Tyra Banks, Daily Deals, RewardVille, OWNI, StumbleUpon, Micropreneurs, Business Plans, Adisa Banjoko, Fred Wilson

I'm starting to dig in at Flux Research: Online Business Models. Here are the recent posts:

typeF.com: Tyra Banks Helps Demand Media Trump Content Farm Accusations

Daily Deals-a-Day: Endless Growth Ahead!

Zynga's RewardVille Already Gamed Before Big Launch

22Mars & OWNI: High Quality Free Media Content Markets Paid Services

StumbleUpon Launches Paid Discovery: A Discovery Marketing Ad Platform

The Micropreneur Manifesto & MicroConf 2011

David E. Gumpert: Burn Your Business Plan!

Adisa Banjoko: Exploring Online Business Models

Business Planning: Marketing Tips from Fred Wilson, A VC

01/14/2011

Hip Hop Research Domain Change

Hip Hop Research can now be found at hiphopresearch.org.

01/07/2011

Building to the Launch of All World Dance

2010 was quite a year.  Lots of changes involving slamming oneself against the wall and seeing if that helped make the picture clearer!

I spent a big chunk of time in 2010 working on a project called College Textbook News, a b2b website designed for the industry itself.  I was excited about the topic and about the fact that there was no comparable service, a rarity in b2b publishing even before the web.  But, at the end of the day, the possible business models that I wished to pursue appeared out of reach because I think it would take too long to sort out and grow given my current resources.

Current resources?  Yeah, I sold a couple of hip hop websites that had defined much of my life for the last 5 years.  That opened up the space to launch something new as well as giving me a modest chunk of money to allow me to get off the ground without worrying about immediate income.

Though I hated to shut down College Textbook News and still feel a twinge everytime I see a new potentially game changing announcement, I have to admit that my own learning curve about the topic also became an issue.  As long as I didn't overreach my knowledge, I felt I could learn and develop the site without undermining it long term.  But after attending my first conference of textbook retailers, I realized that sorting out who was who, what they needed from a service, what they needed that they would pay for, and so forth, would take way more time than I could allow given my financial constraints and emphasis on bootstrapping.

After a recent trip to Asheville in which I was looking for housing in preparation for my relocation (settling in as we speak!), my situation with College Textbook News suddenly clarified and somehow the idea of launching a dance portal focused on resources for dancers and dance fans, including social networking and daily news, came into sharp focus.

Given that dance has been a huge part of my life, I think I can do an excellent job on diving into content creation and hope to be able to build on audience interest to add features as the site develops.

After ten years of maintaining a distance from most of the dance world offline and selectively pursuing personal interests online, I think I'm ready to dive back in and see how the world of dance is developing beyond my own areas of specialty.

Stay tuned for the launch of All World Dance!

10/15/2010

UberStudent: Open Source Learning Platform Combines Linux OS, Moodle and Numerous Research and Productivity Apps

UberStudent announced its first non-beta release this summer and that's potentially great news for academics interested in open source operating systems and learning platforms. Uberstudent is a:

free, user-friendly Linux distribution for learning, doing, and teaching academic success at the higher education and advanced secondary levels. It is supported by a free Moodle-based virtual learning environment...

UberStudent fundamentally redefines what it means to be an operating system for education. At core, it is a cohesive academic success curriculum integrated into an installable, easy-to-use and ready-to-go learning platform.

UberStudent is developed by professional educators around a core skills approach. These are research and writing, study, and self-management skills, essentials to students regardless of their academic major. UberStudent can additionally be extended for specific academic disciplines using its on-board tools to finding and installing additional software.

ProfHacker takes a look at UberStudent:

Those who are committed to the open source philosophy and/or those in the market for a new OS, however, will find much to like here. The price (free) can’t be beat, the OS can run on older equipment (the minimum memory requirement for the full version is 512MB) and I honestly can’t think of any application I’d absolutely need to work with on a regular basis that doesn’t come preinstalled. Though the applications in UberStudent are mostly available for other platforms, it takes far less time and effort to install the entire OS than it would to download and install each application or FireFox extension individually. If you’re in the market for a new OS, this one’s definitely worth a look.

Dedoimedo has an even more complex review illustrated by quite a number of screenshots and an overview of available apps. Though D. found a few glitches, he too has a positive response.

I don't use an open source OS but I'm certainly an open source advocate and open source software underlies much of my daily web experience. Direct use of open source products always seem to involve a learning curve that becomes a stumbling block for me. However, I am drawn to the concept of UberStudent and see it as one likely entry point given the enticing combination of research apps and learning platform.

Furthermore, higher ed is heading towards such integrated systems from multiple angles and, if one doesn't go open source with such critical infrastructure, one will find vendors benefiting from the pricing advantage that comes from lock-in.

Official Site: UberStudent

Student Loans: A Bubble Waiting to Pop?

From 10 Monster Bubbles Currently In The Making:

Student loan debt now exceeds revolving credit facilities as Consumer Enemy Number One...The massive loan market and the quiet web of underwriters and collection agencies doing their best to reel in cash-strapped young adults now boasts an average default rate of 17.9% (for-profit institution attendees) and an average of 40% for 2-year college graduates who received their diploma in 1995.

How did this happen? A federal and private student lending system with almost no consumer protection for students (student loans cannot disappear with a bankruptcy filing or even with a death certificate) and limitless leeway for debt collectors to slap fees on those who default on their monthly payments. All of this lays the ground for predatory lending from loan originators whose rewards are divorced from the risks of potential defaults.

Oh...it costs more than FOUR TIMES as much to get a degree today than it did in the early 1980's while median income has only increased approximately 150% since then.

Related Links:
Here's The Awful Reality Of America's Student Loan Nightmare
Student-Loan Debt Surpasses Credit Cards
Government Vastly Undercounts Defaults
When Student Loans Live On After Death

09/29/2010

Resources: Open Access Videos, Alliance for Taxpayer Access

Open Access 101 from SPARC

More Open Access Videos on Vimeo.

Advocacy: Alliance for Taxpayer Access

Via: WA Open Educational Resources

Related Cultural Research Coverage:
Open Access Week & The Right to Research Coalition