Depth Takes a Holiday with Amanda Warner and Brianna Wu (Episode 84)

Giant Spacekat, founded by Brianna Wu and Amanda Warner, released their first game today: Revolution 60. It's a cinematic-style, live-rendered game with rich dialog and interaction that employs strong female characters. Brianna is also a co-host of the Isometric podcast. We talk about illustration, independence, and meeting (and exceeding) expectations.

Sponsors and patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

Swiftly.com, a new service of 99designs.com, gets small design jobs done fast. For just $19, they match your small design job with a professional graphic designer and complete it in less than one hour. All designers handpicked from the talented community at 99designs.

Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which is helping underwrite our indie ads. CAH just launched a site where you can buy directly from them, including their Bigger Blacker Box and their 2012 and 2013 holiday packs, the profits from which are donated to charity.

Our indie advertisers this week are:

  • Casterly, a podcast app released today that combines discovery of episodes through your Twitter feed alongside support for regular subscriptions.

  • How To Create an Ebook, a video course that teaches you the simplest way to create and publish an ebook using iBooks Author.

Thanks also to patrons Kay Schumann, Ted Timmons, and Mike Mansor for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

Show notes

Conjunction Junction with Oni Hartstein and James Harknell (Episode 83)

Oni and Harknell founded Intervention (Internet + Convention) after constantly fielding questions from creators looking for advice; it's now in its fifth year. The partners created the event aimed at people trying to make their own opportunities to express creativity, often with a commercial angle as part of a career, while keeping it affordable, accessible, and inclusive. It's grown from a surprising 500 participants in its first year to over 1,000 attendeees expected in 2014. They're launching a second event, a Doctor Who fan event called (Re)Generation Who, in 2015. We talk about creating an event, serving an audience, and building a community.

Sponsors and patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

Swiftly.com, a new service of 99designs.com, gets small design jobs done fast. For just $19, they match your small design job with a professional graphic designer and complete it in less than one hour. All designers handpicked from the talented community at 99designs.

Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which is helping underwrite our indie ads. CAH just launched a site where you can buy directly from them, including their Bigger Blacker Box and their 2012 and 2013 holiday packs, the profits from which are donated to charity.

Our indie advertisers this week are:

  • Bee, an issue tracker and timesheet app for the Mac.

  • Nearly Impossible, an event for people who make and sell physical products.

Thanks also to patrons Andy McMillan, Ready Chi, and George O'Toole for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

Show notes

In a surprising move, no show notes are needed for this episode, as all the references are self-contained or in the introduction above!

Into the Bellwoods with Lucy Bellwood (Episode 82)

Lucy Bellwood is a Portland cartoonist who started her working life with a crowdfunding campaign. She's a member of Periscope Studio, a loosely affiliated working space and collective of which I've interviewed other members. True Believer was the outcome of her Kickstarter project, and she's built a career from there.

Sponsors and patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

Swiftly.com, a new service of 99designs.com, gets small design jobs done fast. For just $19, they match your small design job with a professional graphic designer and complete it in less than one hour. All designers handpicked from the talented community at 99designs.

Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which is helping underwrite our indie ads. CAH just launched a site where you can buy directly from them, including their Bigger Blacker Box and their 2012 and 2013 holiday packs, the profits from which are donated to charity.

Our indie advertisers this week are:

Thanks also to patrons Ben Werdmuller, Alex Bond, and Garry Pugh for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

Show notes

Jony Ive in an interview with the New York Times: "We all see the same physical object. Something happens between what we objectively see and what we perceive it to be. That’s the definition of a designer – trying to somehow articulate what contributes to the way we see the object."

In Tom the Dancing Bug, Pablo Picasso is told to stick to his popular clown paintings. Lucy's mentor during her formative pre-college years was Eben Matthews. Erika Moen's mentor was Lin Lucas. Erika appeared on Strip Search, a reality web TV show created by the folks behind Penny Arcade.

The monthly comics newspaper Funny Times was an awesome window for decades for me into all the cartoons published independently, in alt weeklies, and beyond. It's where I first read Alison Bechdel's Dykes To Watch Out For, long before her Bechdel Test had become a popular trope.

Savannah College of Art and Design offers a sequential art program that Lucy considered attending. She went to Reed College instead. We also talk about the Independent Publishing Resource Center’s Certificate Program in Comics and Independent Publishing and her attendance at the Center for Cartoon Studies summer session.

Here is my obligatory link to Kevin Kelly's "1,000 True Fans" essay. He and I had a great talk for this podcast in February 2014, of which there is a complete transcript.

You can find Lucy's talks on cartooning in audio form on SoundCloud.

Be Kind, Fast Forward with Jamie Wilkinson (Episode 81)

Jamie Wilkinson is the co-founder and CEO of VHX, a service that delivers movies online to the customers of filmmakers. They exist in sharp contrast to many video sites — operated by the likes of Amazon, Apple, and others — in that they only deliver films free of digital rights management, take a sliver of the purchase price, and truly facilitate filmmakers reaching their audiences.

Sponsors and patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which is helping underwrite our new indie ads: inexpensive, short advertisements designed for independent artists, makers, programmers, and others. Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which just launched a site where you can buy directly from them, including their Bigger Blacker Box and their 2012 and 2013 holiday packs, the profits from which are donated to charity.

Our indie advertisers this week are:

  • GaymerX, the inclusive gaming conference for everyone, celebrates the diverse culture and history of gaming. Get $20 off registration with the code "newdisruptors."

  • Pixelwits: hand-crafted pixel portraits. Listen in the show for a chance to win a custom portrait by following @jesselane.

  • DrinkControl helps you to keep track of moderate drinking and your drink expenses.

  • And an ebook novella, Scolding the Winds, is currently being funded, and you can help make it happen.

Thanks also to patrons Ben Werdmuller, Alex Bond, and Garry Pugh for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

Show notes

Alex's co-founder is Casey Pugh. He directed Stars Wars Uncut with which Jamie was deeply involved. Jamie also built the Know your Meme system. Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail mentions how many screens on which movies are shown when they are in wide release. The number of movie screens in America has increased in recent years! Andy Baio is one of the guys behind XOXO, which just announced its 2014 line-up and registration. Dave Sifry coined the phrase, "the Magic Middle."

Shane Carruth shoots sometimes on inexpensive gear. I and Jamie mentioned the Red camera and Black Magic Camera.

Julian Velard used PledgeMusic to fundraise for a recent album. Jack Conte of Pomplamoose explained how poorly YouTube pays even with massive traffic in his talk at XOXO 2013. Louis CK solid a concert for $5 and changed the economics of that forever.

I spoke to Adam Cornelius and Chris Higgins about their movies The Tetris Masters (2011) and Coined (upcoming) in last week's episode. Lisanne Pajot is the co-creator of Indie Game: The Movie. Aziz Ansari handled his comedy concert with VHX.

Kickstarter has started to produce reported features on creators, starting with this terrific one about Max Tempkin, friend of the show and one of the creators of Cards Against Humanity.

Jamie and I compared notes about the movie Stripped, which used iTunes, VHX, and Google Play during its launch. The creators of that film were guests on this podcast a few weeks ago. The redemption process for the Veronica Mars movie was kind of a mess, but it all got worked out. They relied on Ultraviolet. VHX posted a case study called "Stripped and the Power of Bonus Content."

It's Like Money You Can't Hold with Chris Higgins and Adam Cornelius (Episode 80)

Adam Cornelius and Chris Higgins are making the film Coined, about the rise of cryptocurrency. They previously worked together on Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters. Adam is a documentary filmmaker; Chris, a journalist. They've just launched a Kickstarter to fund Coined, and have shot quite a bit of footage already. We talk about what they learned on the last film and how they plan to make the next one.

Sponsors & patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which is helping underwrite our new indie ads: inexpensive, short advertisements designed for independent artists, makers, programmers, and others. Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which just launched a site where you can buy directly from them, including their Bigger Blacker Box and their 2012 and 2013 holiday packs, the profits from which are donated to charity.

Our indie advertisers this week are:

  • In Flux, a new compilations album from Brave Wave by video-game composers. Get 10% off with coupon code DISRUPT.
  • Storming Mortal, an interview podcast with technological celebrities
  • Rainblocks, a fast-paced iOS puzzle game featuring charming pixel art
  • Bee, an issue tracker and timesheet app for the Mac
  • Chroma Videos, a professional promotional video service for Mac and iOS app developers
  • Wordundrum, an iOS game that's like Sudoku with words
  • The Novelist, a quiet introspective game, currently 50% off

Thanks also to patrons GravityFish, Mike Mansor, and George O'Toole for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

Show notes

Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency that "forked" from Bitcoin, and uses the same open-source underlying code. It was meant as a bit of a joke, and now represents a somewhat illiquid equivalent of tens of millions of US dollars. The Dogecoin community, highly active on Reddit, threw a party in New York in February that Adam and Chris attended to film. Billy Marcus forked Dogecoin.

We talked about a bunch of documentaries:

The inimitable Jason Scott documents (in NSFW language) the extent to which King of Kong was problematic in its narrative and treatment of its subjects. A Harper's article about the controversy is locked in its archives. Twin Galaxies, the definitive video game achievement site, is currently up!

Adam Cornelius not only made a movie about competitive Tetris, he co-created the Classic Tetris World Championship, which returns for its fifth iteration in Portland this October. Chris wrote an article for The Magazine, "Playing to Lose," about the event.

Dogecoin has a tipbot on Reddit that makes it easy to be generous. Berkshire Hathaway is $190,347 a share at this writing (for its "A" shares; its "B" tracking shares are $127 each). When Dogecoin's "reward" — the coins received for mining — halves, it's called the Halvening.

Creativity, Inc, a great book by Pixar co-chief Ed Catmull about dealing with failure, documents how the animation studio nearly lost all of Toy Story 2 because of a failure to have good backups.

VHX works with filmmakers to distribute their work digitally. Next week's episode (81) of The New Disruptors is an interview with co-founder and CEO Jamie Wilkinson. A monopsony is a market in which there is a single buyer for goods or services that can dictate terms to sellers. This is like Amazon being the dominant seller of DVDs and Blu-Rays on line holding Warner Home Video over a barrel (as it is now) to negotiate prices.

Humble Bundle creates packages of digital media (games, books, movies, and more) and lets buyers set their price, a portion of which goes to charity. If one pays above the average price, one gets additional parts of the bundle.

Lisanne Pajot, the co-creator of Indie Game, recently was hired by VHX as its filmmaker ambassador. She and James Swirsky, her partner on the film, finally had the time to get married after years of constant work on the movie!

Sara Benincasa is nearing the end of her Kickstarter for her "This Tour Is So Gay" project, which is a live storytelling show.

T Minus Zero with Gary Chou (Episode 79)

Gary Chou launched Orbital Boot Camp to accelerate people's product ideas into reality in a 12-week intensive session. He knows from startups from his work at Union Square Ventures and The Product Sessions, but his particular interest is making sure that people with traditionally fewer opportunities are included.

Sponsors & patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which is helping to underwrite our new indie ads: inexpensive, short advertisements designed for independent artists, makers, programmers, and others. Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which just launched a site where you can buy directly from them, including their Bigger Blacker Box and their 2012 and 2013 holiday packs, the profits from which are donated to charity.

Our indie advertisers this week are:

  • The Cotton Bureau, enablers of well-designed screenprinted shirts.
  • The Velocity app for faster reading — up to 1,000 words a minute!
  • Ensembles, a Core Data sync framework, which works with iCloud and Dropbox, and is extensible
  • Games by Play Date, an indie tabletop game development studio supporting their new game, Pack the Pack
  • Sparkle, a Mac app for painless Website creation
  • Promoter, a Web service for indie game developers — get 10% off by following the link

Hey, Cotton Bureau has a special one-day sale, its first, on June 12: $4 off every shirt on its site! And, from June 12 to June 18, New Disruptors listeners can be entered for a drawing by tweeting #disrupt to @cottonbureau. Five winners will be picked on June 19.

Thanks also to patrons Alex Bond, Rönne Ogland, and Andy Baio for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

Show notes

Gary taught a School of Visual Arts with Christina Cacioppo, once a colleague from his venture capital days. Here's a picture of the old Kickstarter offices that Gary's occupying.

Stewart Brand's How Buildings Learn is a favorite title for understanding the utility and drawbacks of informal and formal spaces, told through the lessons of how buildings evolve over time.

Gary posted information about the breakdown of applicants that shows he met his goals for inclusiveness.

I Never MetaFilter I Didn't Like with Matt Haughey (Episode 78)

Matt Haughey founded MetaFilter, a well-moderated forum for discussions about interesting things that expanded to also answer questions. At just a few months over 15 years old, it's a veterans of many Internet lifecycles. In the last couple of years, however, MetaFilter began to face an existential challenge, which we'll talk about in this episode, along with its history, nature, and future. (Photo by Chris Ryan.)

You can download this episode directly, too, or find it at iTunes.

Sponsors & patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

Thanks to Harry's for sponsoring the show: A great shaving experience for a fraction of the price of its competitors. $15 gets you a set that includes a handle, three blades, and shaving cream shipped to your door. Use coupon code DISRUPT for $5 off your first order.

We're also brought to you by Cards Against Humanity: We've started a new kind of sponsorship: "indie ads"! If you're a solo creator or small firm, we're offering discounted short ads with the kind underwriting of Cards Against Humanity. (CAH just launched a site where you can buy directly from them, including their Bigger Blacker Box and their 2012 and 2013 holiday packs, the profits from which are donated to charity.)

Thanks also to patrons Bryan Clark, Rönne Ogland, and Mike Mansor for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

Show notes

Atex was the first digital composition system, used widely in the newspaper and magazine world into the 1990s, when PageMaker, QuarkXPress, and other software superceded it. Matt worked at Pyra Labs on Blogger for a short stint in its early days with Ev Williams, Meg Hourihan.

We mention Tim O'Reilly, a publisher and thinker who invested in Blogger and a number of other interesting early-stage ventures. He founded Global Network Navigator (GNN) in 1993, which was sold to AOL in 1995. He is part of O'Reilly Alphatech Ventures.

David Carr, the New York Times' media critic, used the terrible, terrible term platisher to refer to Medium, which is a combination of a platform and a publisher in a recent article.

An OC-12 line is up to 622 Mbps of throughput. MAE-West was once the major interconnection point for ISPs on the west coast. The MAE stands for Metropolitan Area Exchange. In 1995, I wrote "The Experiment Is Over," about the how the National Science Foundation was shutting down its contracts for NSFNet, because commercial organizations could now directly operate the Internet backbone.

A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a virtualized instance of an operating system running on a host alongside potentially many others, each of which is allotted guaranteed amounts of CPU usage, storage, and the like. VPSes are just like running a virtual machine on one's own computer, but designed for efficiency and reliability.

Glenn uses Linode, which recently switched all its drives to SSDs and doubled many system parameters. Digital Ocean is slightly cheaper (it used to be much more so). Amazon EC2 is another alternative for rapid scaling.

After years of pictures of cats in scanners, MetaFilter set up cat-scan.com to house those and its memories.

BREAKING! Cat-scan is dead and its file lost forever!

BREAKING! File were found and it's fixed. As you were.

The community at Ask MetaFilter produces some remarkable answers. A poster asked for help deciphering coded messages her grandmother on index cards before she died in 1996. Within 15 minutes, there was an answer. Andy Baio asked about an image he used a decade ago for the soon-to-be-revived Upcoming, and Boing Boing's Rob Beschizza had an answer four minutes later.

Einstein probably didn't tell a story about "no cat," but it's an interesting history of where the apocryphal quote came from; and my original Google Answers query, for which I was willing to pay $15 if someone had an accurate reply.

Jessamyn West is part of the lifeblood of the interesting part of the Internet. Matt blames his PVRblog for the rise of content farms.

On Medium, Matt explained MetaFilter's Google search and AdSense predicament. But the good news is that even after we recorded this episode, donations continued to pour in. They've now received about $40,000 in one-time donations and a commitment of $10,000 per month in recurring ones. That monthly figure is about one-third of the site's Google ad revenue, and thus a good cushion against future drops.

Wedding March to One's Own Offbeat Drummer with Ariel Meadow Stallings (Episode 77)

Ariel Meadow Stallings is the proprietor of several "offbeat" sites about weddings, home and life, and families under the rubric Offbeat Empire. She started the wedding site in 2007 to promote a book on creative alternatives for brides, which built an audience hungry for much more of the same. She obliged and has been building her empire full-time since 2009.

Sponsors & patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

We've started offering a new kind of ad: "indie ads" for independent projects and people. If you're a solo creator or small firm, we now offer discounted short ads with the kind underwriting of Cards Against Humanity. Find out more about indie ads.

Thanks to CAH! They just launched direct sales via their site, where you can purchase their Bigger Blacker Box. You can also buy their 2012 and 2013 holiday card packs, the profits from which are donated to charity.

Our indie advertisers this week are:

Heat, a new card game by Dave Chalker that's quick to learn and takes about 15 to 30 minutes to play. Players plan heists and try to keep the "heat" off themselves. It features snazzy art and is being funded on Kickstarter. Visit the campaign for more details.

The surreal and sublime Andrew Ferguson. He has no product to sell you and he has no URL for you to visit.

Thanks also to patrons Bryan Clark, Rönne Ogland, and Mike Mansor for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

A new podcast!

I've launched a podcast on the future of publishing: The Periodicalist. I am co-hosts and guests will discuss and dissect all aspects of publishing: digital and analog, offset and print on demand, periodicals and blogs, and much more. Listen to our first episode, "The Netflix of Ebooks," and subscribe via our RSS feed or through iTunes.

Show notes

Teresa Valdez Klein and Noah Iliinsky met through Ignite Seattle and got married during an event in May. My wife, Lynn, and I were married in a chapel at Fort Worden and had our reception in a former dirigible hangar (now a theater).

Ariel's book is Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides. My Economist article explains why people leave the 3,000th review on a popular book or item. Facebook's director of product ranted about the trivialization of news.

Marisa McClellan runs the Food in Jars blog, and found her following of nearly 150,000 "likers" on Facebook resulted in 80 people seeing a recent post. Huh. She and I spoke last summer for the podcast. The Oatmeal is a popular webcomic; its creator is based in Seattle.

Offbeat Bride covered a wedding at reBar in Brooklyn, which shut down shortly afterwards. The article went up after its owner had been charged with tax evasion, and the site dealt with criticism rather superbly in the comments.

We ran an article in The Magazine about BuzzFeed's use of images that they often don't license, and discovered that their methods likely fall within fair use.

Co-working has become hot again. In Seattle, Office Nomads is the veteran shop and is expanding. Ariel and I met at We Work, a new high-end space for startups that's quite affordable given the amenities. I'm looking into co-working at Ada's Technical Books and Café, the owner of which I interviewed in a podcast not long ago.

(Photo of Ariel by Jenny Jimenez for Tugboat Yards.)