Earlier this week, JB Hi-Fi hinted at a new direction for the company: a more digital focused future that would (eventually) encompass video games. Is JB Hi-Fi planning to open up its own online store ala Steam? It’s clear that ideas are being explored, but there’s nothing concrete as of yet. Today, however, JB H-Fi has launched an Ultraviolet driven storefront in Australia, allowing users to stream video content they’ve paid for to any device they own. More »
Start-up website promises to have bread, eggs and milk in the hands of Londoners from Tesco and Sainsbury’s in less than an hour after they click ‘send’
Financial Times - Entrepreneurship
The platform combines elements of social media sites, open source software, and the Open Educational Resources movement. Over 10,000 resources are freely available to anyone to download from a catalog. Meanwhile, users who create Facebook-style profiles can create new worksheets, quizzes/tests, and lesson plans, and can share with or collect from other users. Users can also collaborate on projects and comment on other’s work.
“OpenCurriculum creates access to better educational materials, more authentic local educational discussions, and easier dissemination of ideas and best practices,” says Varun Arora, Founding Director of OpenCurriculum.
Over the past week, the National Broadband Network Company has held no less than five launch events to mark the switch-on of its fibre network infrastructure in Queensland and Western Sydney, locations which will be critical to the Australian Labor Party if it is to retain power in the upcoming Federal Election. All of the events have been dominated by the attendance of Labor politicians, and have been broadly interpreted by the media as being election campaign events. NBN Co claims the events are just business as usual, but even if that's true, Labor is still using them to gain a massive election boost.
NovoEd launches a dozen online courses from top US business schools for would-be entrepreneurs and venture capitalists around the globe
Financial Times - Entrepreneurship
Brief news items of note for Lifehacker readers including: Razer outs new membrane gaming keypad, 10 cider favourites compared, Meta Smart Glasses set to challenge Google Glass. More »
Wattpad, the Toronto-based social network based on writing and reading, has just announced a new crowdfunding platform called “Fan Funding” which offers authors on its network the chance to leverage their huge followings for raising capital towards creative works. It’s like a Wattpad-housed Kickstarter for creative projects, but there’s good reason Wattpad users would use it over the more established alternatives.
“For us, we are one of the first if not the first creative social networks that’s utilizing crowdfunding as one of our business models,” Wattpad founder and CEO Allen Lau said in an interview. “The reason that we’re different than Kickstarter is that if you want to start a project on Kickstarter, you basically ask your relatives, neighbors and friends to fund you, and then expect strangers to chip in. In our case, because we’re a social network ourselves, the writes that are participating in Fan Funding most likely have fairly sizeable fanbases already.”
Wattpad has a very active community, with over 16 million unique monthly views and around 4 billion minutes spent on site per month by users, according to the most recent numbers from Lau. And authors on the site have amassed considerable readerships: user MercyRose (Tara Sampson), for instance, who is one of the pilot users of the Fan Funding platform, has 55,316 followers, and managed to fully fund her project already, before the site has even had a public launch.
Fan Funding projects work on an all-or-nothing funding basis, and run for a standard 30 day term. Wattpad members pledge to the projects, and the story that is funded will always be made available for free on the Wattpad platform, so the core identify of the network as a place for the sharing of free stories remains intact.
“In our case, the product doesn’t necessarily have to be e-books or paper books that result,” Lau said, explaining how the platform might lead to other things as well. “It could be a movie script that you’re funding, and the end product could be a movie.”
Lau says that Wattpad has been considering a crowdfunding model for a while now, and the startup will take a 5 percent fee for every successfully funded project in revenue, after payments partner Stripe takes a 2.9 percent fee, plus $ 0.30 per transaction for each pledge made. It may be Wattpad’s first foray into earning revenue, but Lau says it won’t be the last, and there are other options the company is considering alongside Fan Funding.
So far, Wattpad has launched campaigns with three authors, including two currently in progress. For self-publishers, it’s a great way to fund projects without having to essentially “cold call” the way you often would on Kickstarter, and for the huge existing Wattpad user base, it’s a natural next step towards earning money from what might be a hobby or occasional pursuit. Rarely are late-stage revenue models such a natural fit, but we’ll see if the community is willing to pay.
TechCrunch » Social
According to reports flooding the web today, Apple will show off its next iPhone (or iPhones) and possibly other devices in a month’s time, heralding silly season for the press and possibly impacting the launches of other devices. Just one tip for Apple, make it interesting!
The American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council's (ACT-IAC) Institute for Innovation announced a new award program,“Igniting Innovation 2013 Showcase and Awards.” The program’s objective is to recognize IT innovations throughout government including hardware, software, services and solutions. In addition to accepting a wide variety of nominations, the “Igniting Innovation 2013 Showcase and Awards” program stands out among other industry awards in several key ways:
-Combines an IT innovation solution showcase with an award program delivering a collaborative educational forum for all participants;
-Uses a unique judging process that integrates public social media voting and the live Showcase.
Those of you who’ve been paying attention to the developing situation with respect to IT inside the NSW Government will be aware that the state is currently attempting to consolidate its far-flung IT infrastructure down to just two datacentres, operated by Leighton subsidiary Metronode. This morning, Metronode tells us in a media release, one of those facilities launched to great pomp and ceremony.