Mi Casa Es Su Benincasa with Sara Benincasa (Episode 90)

Sara Benincasa is an author, comedian, writer, and outspoken advocate of LGBTQ youth, among many other hats she's worn. She is an expert impressionist and parodist of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. Sara is the author of the novel Great and the memoir/confessional, Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom, and her third book, the novel Believers, is due out in early 2016, while a fourth book is already underway. She's interviewed Reggie Watts and Amanda Palmer in her bathtub, and posed as a nun with adult performer Stoya. We spoke in person in Seattle when she was visiting during This Tour Is So Gay, recently funded on Kickstarter.

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

Show notes

This interview was conducted at The Office, a co-working space above Ada's Technical Books and Café; the owner, Danielle Hulton, was a previous guest of the show.

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.

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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.

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.

Freelance To Be You and Me with Katie Lane (Episode 76)

Katie Lane is an attorney who writes a blog called Work Made for Hire. She advises creative freelancers and artists on how to protect their rights and get paid fairly for their work. She recently took the plunge herself, going full-time as a self-employed person. We'll talk about what led her into this specialized career and the kinds of things that people who want to or are pursuing work on their own should consider. We take a brief, deep dive into copyright, too.

Sponsors & patrons

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

We're sponsored this week by 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.

 

Thanks to patrons Bryan Clark, GravityFish, and Brain Rutledge 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

The US Copyright Office has a circular that defines work-for-hire rules (PDF). Katie notes that regardless of what contract you sign, you can reclaim rights after 35 years. It's a very specific process. This has been an ongoing issue with the rights related to early creators of well-known comics characters, like Superman.

The phonogram right is a set of audio rights separate from copyright. I explain it at length at the Economist. For extensive and interesting details about the duration of copyright in America, depending on what kind of thing is under discussion, when it was created or registered, and other factors, consult this chart by copyright guru Peter Hirtle at Cornell University's site.

I wrote a pile of words on the tax and licensing issues (in America) around crowdfunding. You can apply for and receive an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS through a simple online process -- no, I'm not kidding! It's great!

The @for_exposure Twitter account is a riot, posting messages about people asking for work from others for free.

Katie recommends taking a look at these sites:

  • Zencash: Helpful best practices (and a service) for getting paid and on time.

  • Docracy: An open-source contract site, where you can examine others' contracts and upload your own.

  • Shake: It's a way to create, sign, and send legally binding agreements via an iPad or iPhone.

  • Contract Creator: A tool from the Freelancers Union that guides you through creating a model for most or all of what you need.

Sailing in Brackish Waters with Maggie Vail and Jesse von Doom (Episode 73)

Maggie Vail and Jesse von Doom are the co-executive directors of CASH Music (Coalition of Artists and Stakeholders) a non-profit organization that brings an open-source approach to music distribution and production. CASH focuses on educating around those ideas through online resources, stakeholder events, and face-to-face workshops, as well as offering a software platform.

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

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Thanks to patrons George O'Toole, Jonathan Mann, and Sean Wickett 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

Maggie mentioned two early groups that helped independent artists and labels handle digital distribution: the for-profit Merlin and the trade group A2im. Maggie worked with bands at Kill Rock Stars for 17 years before becoming the co-head of CASH.

Jonathan Coulton is on CASH's board, and I spoke to him about his career in "Baby Got Back Catalog," March 2013. Back in 2000, Courtney Love explained how the sausage of music-industry accounting in big labels is designed to rip off artists.

I visited the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in 2012, and wrote "The Sound of Silence" for The Magazine about the issues of preservation and rights. Pandora has a good explanation of how music rights have to be licensed in America.

Jesse received a fellowship from the Shuttleworth Foundation, which has freed them a bit from the endlessly cycle of fundraising to move forward and grow the staff. Dan Sinker is in charge of the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project for the Mozilla Foundation, and the founder of Punk Planet, an underground culture magazine.

Girls Just Want To Code Apps with Jean MacDonald (Episode 52)

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Jean MacDonald was formerly best known for her role as a software marketing and public-relations guru for a major Macintosh software developer, but her work to create App Camp for Girls has eclipsed that. Jean and her colleagues raised over $100,000 on Indiegogo to fund an initial two sessions of a week each in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, and the next step is national. Jean talks about the particular challenges of bootstrapping a non-profit from zero through crowdfunding, and the group's efforts in navigating their way to the next steps.

Sponsors & Patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons. Thanks to Stack for sponsoring this episode! Stack sends you a different magazine every month, selecting from among the best English-language publications in the world. With coupon code DISRUPT13, 3 months is $45 (normally $50), and a full year is just $170 (normally $190)!

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And thanks to our patrons, supporting us by pledging an amount via Patreon for each episode we produce. Thanks this time to GravityFish and Elliott Payne! You help make it all happen.

Show notes

Jean is a principal at Smile Software, makers of PDFPen Pro and other Mac and iOS products, which has been a past and is a future sponsor of this podcast. But we're just talking in this episode about her non-profit work.

Jean's main partners in this endeavor are Kelly Guimont and Natalie Osten. Christa Mrgan, who participated in teaching at the camp, designed The New Disruptors logo and has written and illustrated for The Magazine.

WWDC is Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference for Mac OS X and iOS programmers. Jean was inspired by Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls.

While App Camp works its way towards independent nonprofit status, it's under the fiscal sponsorship of TechStart Educational Foundation. The 99% Invisible podcast is under the auspices of a non-profit, PRX. TechStart had already performed this function for ChickTech.

Jean discovered that if you need bulk snacks, go to Costco.

If you didn't follow our discussion about how Kickstarter processes payments: Amazon Payments handles charging credit cards. When you sign up at Amazon, you agree to give 5% to Kickstarter. Amazon then processes the charges on your behalf, as if you had done them. It then releases that money to you or your company and sends you a 1099-K, which for American taxpayers is also reported to the IRS (if above $20,000 or 200 transactions in a calendar year). It is like a bunch of charges, not a single monolithic amount.

Matthew Inman, the cartoonist behind The Oatmeal, raised over $220,000 for charity to spite a firm that threatened Inman over a strip he did critiquing the firm for using his cartoons on its site without permission.

After video circulated of a schoolbus monitor being ridiculed by teenagers on the bus on which she worked, someone started an Indiegogo campaign to buy her a nice vacation. Instead, over $700,000 was raised for her on Indiegogo. She started a group called Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation with some of the money.

Colleen Wainwright said for her 50th birthday, she'd shave her head if she raised $50,000 for WriteGirl, a writing program aimed at girls in Los Angeles. She called it 50 for 50. She shaved her head.

Registering as a non-profit with a state government in America doesn't confer federal tax-exempt status. Many organizations are seemingly confused about this. A separate filing with the IRS is required and the tax agency has to approve it; it's not a rubber stamp.

Dean Putney, a previous guest (Episode 48) on this show, raised over $110,000 to print a version of an album of photos his great-grandfather had taken before and during World War I in Germany, including shots from the trenches. Dean just got advance copies, and he's now accepting pre-orders for post-Kickstarter fulfillment in a few weeks.

The percentage of women obtaining degrees in computer science and engineering fields has dropped substantially since the 1980s, when the ratio was at its peak. While the number of degrees on those fields has ebbed and fallen in that period, the ratio has steadily shifted toward men.

Xcode is Apple's programming and development environment for Mac OS X and iOS apps. Summer camp costs about $250 to $300 a week in the Northwest.

The New Yorker wrote a piece specifically about App Camp for Girls this summer. The New York Times has recently run two articles about the topic of getting girls and women into programming; in August about Girls Who Code and other programs, and in October, a piece about creating media role models.

"Computers" were historically women working at calculating machines. The field shifted to men when the pay rose, true in many fields still today.