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Indie GoGo

One part audience engagement, one part marketing, and with a few techniques from Barack Obama’s online outreach team’s playbook thrown in, Indie GoGo could be a Godsend for independent filmmakers. After filtering by location and topic, the social marketplace invites film fans to learn more about projects currently being developed (not to mention throw a few dollars their way). Not only do films generate an early fan base before release, but the site creates a simple way for producers to know who their audiences are and the kinds of perks they’re interested in, whether it be widgets or visits to the set. IndieGoGo opened shop earlier this year but has already helped a Polish film about a Jewish dwarf who hid in garbage cans to survive the Holocaust and a mockumentary web series about 1970s rockers achieve their fundraising goals.

Danae Ringelmann, one of three co-founders who spearheads film finance efforts, calls the network’s Do It With Others (DIWO, a collaborative approach with DIY spirit) outlook a good way to be proactive since distributors aren’t solely responsible for generating fans anymore. While people who liked a film could previously only support it by buying a physical copy, this model encourages transparency to create a more inclusive relationship between filmmakers and open source-familiar fans. Consider it mini patronage at its finest.

Startuply

One of the main components in getting any company off the ground is staffing. While sites like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com have a way of muddling the process, forcing the new businesses and experienced job seekers to wade through a sea of options to find each other, Startuply is a niche job site that focuses solely on the startup. In an effort to improve the user experience and get your idea off the ground, the site features an easy interface (view listings by passing over them, rather than clicking through) and desktop apps that (hopefully) make the process a little less painful.

SpearTalks: Andrew Hyde for Startup Weekend

Up until a few weeks ago, there were only a few words that I associated with startup companies. One was “balls,” another was “brains,” another was “heart attack.”

There are elements that lead up to those associations, first and foremost being that I was probably in diapers when I was initially exposed to startup culture. My father, an entrepreneur to the core, would be on his gigantic cell phone spitting stress into the mouthpiece; I’d be strapped into a car seat drooling into the mangy mane of a Cabbage Patch Kid and even then, I swear I was thinking, “F*&$ this, dad, I’m going to be a writer.”

However, if things had been going then like they are now, there’s a chance that the words that I currently associate with entrepreneurialism might have formed differently &emdash; maybe even in the shape of “addictive,” “creative,” and “thrilling.” To a great extent, this can be attributed to the Internet, and to the now increased rate at which new concepts can become tangible products. However, to another smaller, but potentially as powerful extent, this can be attributed to Startup Weekends d i.e., 54 hour-long, high-intensity events dedicated to melding minds and starting companies.

We chatted with Andrew Hyde, Startup Weekend’s Boulder-based founder — and brand new community manager for Techstars.org — about the now globally occurring events, but never really found the answer to our main question: When &emdash; and how in the hell – did startups become so much fun?

Joshspear.com: Tell us about your history &emdash; how is it that you love entrepreneurialism so much?

Andrew Hyde: I remember learning how to count money from my favorite teacher, an elementary school volunteer of 40 years, Nellie Zook. At the end of the lesson she said that when we all started businesses, she would be our first customer, to check on our money counting skills. That stuck with me a bit. (more…)

VCWear

There’s some venture capitalists who’re ready, willing and able to throw their money at whatever crackpot idea that comes their way. Then, there’s the kids with the crackpot ideas who think it’s okay to pitch anyone, anywhere, anytime for their money. As a result, you have a giant freakin’ mess of bad manners, products and attitudes. Nobody is more aware of this than entrepreneurs Andrew Hyde of StartupWeekend and Matt Emmi from OneButtonTouch. Hearing one too many bad pitches (and a rather unfortunate incident in a bar) at the StartupWeekend in Bloomington, Hyde and Emmi figured they could develop, in entirety, a company from start to finish on a single plane ride. After a game of rock, paper, scissors, the two to fleshed out the idea, built it on WordPress and voila, VC Wear was born. Each shirt comes at a price that only a venture capitalist could afford love — $100 a piece — and the option’s open to whomever’s ready to buy the company for a sweet $100K. Ladies and Gentlemen, Get your Amex Black cards ready!

Chime.tv: Because The Internets Need More Video

As if there weren’t already enough ways to waste time on the internet, here comes Chime.tv. It’s a website that brings the videos hosted on Youtube, Veoh, Dailymotion, Google video amongst others all to one place. Sounds great, right? With a database that big, you should be able to find anything on Chime. You should be able to watch yourself eating breakfast this morning as captured by spy satellites. You should be able to watch Lebron James’ junior high school games. You should be able to see every episode of Transformers in its entirety. Theoretically, anyhow.

As with all first incarnations of web start-ups, there’s some kinks to be worked out, but how the site works is explained by a blonde hottie in a short instructional video. As for the videos themselves, rest assured that if you search the same term in Youtube and Chime, Chime will bring you different results. It’s especially useful for hard to find videos. For instance, my roommate and I were trying to find videos of an old SNL sketch called “The Chris Farley” show. In one “episode,” Chris interviews Sir Paul McCartney (“hey, remember when you were with the Beatles?”); Chime found it in a Google video, but no one’s uploaded it to Youtube yet. In that sense, Chime is to Youtube as Dogpile is to Google. It doesn’t need to be your first resource — who’s to say it doesn’t have the potential, though? — but it’s nice to know it’s there anyway.

–Dan Steckenberg

Sell What You Say: Ether

I believe that everyone is an expert in at least one subject. The common problem is that it’s not always easy to leverage your knowledge in the form of advice and make money from it. Well that problem is all but extinct now thanks to this brand new service called Ether, which makes it easy to sell what you say. When you sign up for Ether, you get a free Ether Phone Number that you configure to forward calls to your actual home or cell phone. You then set your rate, which can be on an hourly basis or flat fee. Next, you set the hours that you are willing to take calls, so you don’t get a call in the middle of the night. The great thing about Ether is that you can put your Ether Phone Number anywhere – on your website, business card, blog, whatever! Ether’s commission for Beta sign-ups is currently 10% and there are no setup, connection, or monthly fees. Sign up now and start makin that money.

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