Time Magazine has given us their list of the Top 50 "bright ideas that just didn't work out". Check it out here. But for those quick scanners out there, the list is:
Facebook now allows you to select which avatars or photos show up on your profiles as your "friends". This is a useful tool, particularly if you want to drive new traffic to one of your associates. Twitter however does not allow this. Isn't it about time that they did? Write to them and let them know you'd like this. I did. This is that tweet I wrote:
@Twitter Could you make it so I could select which avatars show up in my Twitter profile? Thanks. I would appreciate that.
In 300 square feet, this apartment has 24 rooms. It makes me want to get smaller.
MCN tipped me to this article in Barrons on Creative Capital's practice of investing in the artist, and not the project.
BRENT GREEN WAS 25 AND ABOUT to relinquish his dream of becoming a filmmaker when he discovered Creative Capital.
Green had been looking high and low for a $14,000 grant to finish an animated film. Creative Capital, a nonprofit based in New York, sized him up and offered something entirely different: $43,000 to help support his career over the next three years. It would go toward everything from equipment to transportation to the cost of a publicist. In return, Green would give Creative Capital a small cut of any profits.
In the five years since then, Green's work has been shown at the Sundance Festival and a number of museums and film festivals in North America and Europe. He has even found himself turning down galleries eager to represent his work.
Borrowing ideas from the venture capital industry, Creative Capital is encouraging their grant recipients to become Artrepreneurs, and it is literally paying off. Out in in the general world of every-day entrepreneurs, several folks have joined together to create Thrust Fund, an online marketplace precisely for such personal investments.
There's only so much creative work any of can do without funding. Sure, I can cut my overhead and take jobs for hire, but I know that my best work comes when I am collaborating creatively at the earliest stages. The difficulty with this approach is I DON'T GET PAID FOR IT. I can not keep doing development because I can't afford to do it.
Producers these days are forced to look for ready to go projects that they can earn a quick production fee on. Sometimes you can get lucky and find those projects that are aligned with your sensibilities, but that is nothing more than good fortune. This approach used to work under the idea of "one for them, one for me", but as an agent recently said to me in an effort to explain why I should be happy to receive less than half of my regular fee for similarly budgeted projects "precedent is not even a word we know anymore". When rates are dropping, what's one to do? Take more jobs. When one is forced to work on project after project that they did not development, what happens to the quality of the work? It gets worse, a great deal worse.
VentureBeat has a good profile on the Thrust Fund including their involvement with at least one filmmaker. The film biz should take notice of these new investment strategies pioneered by both Creative Capital and the Thrust Fund. Filmmakers should move off of the one project at a time approach and start looking for investment in the ongoing conversation.
Suffice it say, I am open for offers... although I do think this sort of thing can move us even closer to a world of indentured servitude. For better or worse, I have always avoided any debt beyond my mortgage and single picture finance, but hey, there still is such things as good deals.
It's about time. Now if they only would do it for subways too. And maybe people can be trained not to walk down into the subway when they see people coming up (don't they know a train has just arrived and left the station?!).
I have been frustrated how DVDs do not exploit their technology. It is a long list as to what they could do to make better use of it, and hopefully one day I will build that out. In the meantime if you have any suggestions please forward them on to us here. And to tide you over until the day comes with the mega-uber list:
"It seems when you give people easier ways to share information, more good things happen"
Okay, this contradicts what we said here, but why not let the crowds find the answer for you?
I got this email from my sister Abbey:
Well, not new. I mean recycle something you have never recycled before. I am going to start with some of those old cell phones that I haven't ever been able to figure out what to do with.
We're a non-profit coalition of Police Departments, Sheriff's Offices, Battered Women's Shelters, Neighborhood Watch Groups, Community Service Organizations and Senior Citizen Centers. We take your donated phone and convert it into a 911 emergency only phone and give it back to our coalition partners for distribution.
If you don't want to stop there and want to start to e-cycle the rest of your electronics, the EPA maintains partnerships with a whole bunch of retailers where you can take your stuff to discard of properly. The list is here.
Now that would be a good idea that I am sure a lot of children would like. In fact I think there already is a few reality shows mining that topic.
Free Rice is one of those sites where you click on it and you do something good. Although with Free Rice you do more than just click. You play a game and the more answers you get right, the more people you have fed. You leave with knowledge and the UN has supplied more hungry people with more food. Everybody wins!
When the NYTimes publishes its Year In Ideas issue, its time for rejoicing. Outside of an election year like this one, nothing helps me get excited for the future like this little round up (well, on a non-personal level that is).