Fit to Print with Andy McMillan (Episode 92)

Andy McMillan makes things that bring people together: the Build conference, the XOXO festival, and The Manual, a series of books with thoughtful essays about design. After producing three print volumes of The Manual, he's trying to take it to the next level, and produce something openly, broadly available across many media, that's a collaboration with those who want to make it happen — and is funding it on Kickstarter. We'll talk books, ebooks, community, and hugs and kisses.

Sponsors and patrons

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

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get a $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Thanks also to our Patreon backers Gordon McDowell, Ready Chi, and Bryan C. Clark for supporting us directly.

(Photo by Ian Linkletter.)

Plug Me In with Mara Zepeda (Episode 91)

Mara Zepeda is the co-founder and CEO of Switchboard, a site that lets you ask for what you need and offer what you have within a trusted community. It's a way to more efficiently interconnect generosity, and is sometimes described as Craigslist without the creeps. I'm used to reading personal histories that have windy roads, but Mara's can't be summarized. Suffice it to say that she's a writer, calligrapher, entrepreneur, and student of knowledge who has worked as a reporter and teacher. We recorded at her offices in Portland, at Wieden+Kennedy's Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE).

Sponsors and patrons

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

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get a $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Thanks also to our Patreon backers Ben Werdmuller, Bryan Clark, and GravityFish for supporting us directly.

Show notes

Set Your Radio Dial to Maximum Fun with Jesse Thorn (Episode 88)

Jesse Thorn is a polycast — a polymath of podcasts. He helped define the form by taking a show that he developed with others on a college radio station and making it into a podcast in 2004. That show, the Sound of Young America, now called Bullseye, focuses on interesting cultural trends and sports in-depth interviews, and is distributed by NPR as of last year. He also hosts and produces Jordan, Jesse, Go with Jordan Morris, co-hosts and produces Judge John Hodgman, owns the site Maximumfun.org, produces and contributes to the men's style site Put This On, run a cruise and a conference (MaxFunCon).

Sponsors and patrons

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

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Thanks also to our Patreon backers for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can help keep this podcast going 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

We talked about a number of things, of which here are some:

Welcome to the World of Tomorrow with Nicole Dieker (Episode 85)

Nicole Dieker wears a lot of hats, as well as a brown coat. She's a freelance copywriter and ghostwriter, pens fiction, and writes essays. She's also a musician who bootstrapped herself out of a convention to which she returns every year, a rock climber, a Firefly fan, a whiskey drinker, and much more. Nicole wears her earnings on her sleeve, too: she discloses in regular posts precisely how much she's made in her freelance career.

Sponsors and patrons

Our show is made possible through the generous support of sponsors and patrons.

We're sponsored this week by:

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Harry's: Disrupting the conventional razor piece, Harry's bought a 93-year-old German factory to produce its high-quality razor blades, which it delivers straight to your home at a fraction of the cost of cheaper blades you purchase at retail. For $15, get a set with a handle, three blades, and shaving cream. Use coupon code DISRUPT for $5 off your first order!

Thanks also to our patrons Ben Werdmuller, Bryan Clark, and Tarun Gangwani 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!

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.

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.