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Internet Freedom Bus Tour: Day 3 Part 1: The Farm

It was 1am on Day 2 when I got back to my hotel room. Which is precisely when I realized I had left my phone charger in my backpack… on the bus. Which was at a different hotel. And my phone battery was reading 8%.

Oops.

Also, we had to get up at 5am to start the next day.

Double oops.

I set a wake up call – but I didn’t trust it. I’ve been waking up to my phone alarm clock for the past decade – I know that works and I don’t particularly trust wake up calls. Luckily, it worked. I woke up at 5am, met up with the documentary crew who is tagging along with us and away we went.

The first stop of Day 3 was breakfast at a farm in Missouri about 90 minutes away from Kansas City. As we were driving across the last dirt road in this big van, there were two huge white dogs sitting on the side of the road. As we approached, they stood. We slowed down, unsure what they were going to do.

As we passed them, they TOOK OFF running next to us and paced us at 25 miles an hour for a solid 20 or 30 seconds. Then they turned off and went back to their spot. I guess that’s how they get their exercise!

 Internet Freedom Bus Tour: Day 3 Part 1: The Farm

The Internet is on Farms Now

We pulled into the farm and it was awesome. I didn’t grow up on a farm. I grew up in suburbs and live in a city. It was awesome to see lambs, goats, chickens and cows roaming around 180 acres worth of grass, fields, and forest.

 Internet Freedom Bus Tour: Day 3 Part 1: The Farm

I’M (petting) A GOAT!

This was a proper farm. We were here to talk to a farmer, Tom Parker. He is incredibly passionate about raising grass fed animals. He told us a story about how due to a drought this season, he had more animals than he could feed. He could have supplemented their diets with grains.

 Internet Freedom Bus Tour: Day 3 Part 1: The Farm

Tom Parker from Parker Farms Meats

Instead, he culled the herd and took a loss rather than feed them grains. Tom is a true blue American farmer, through and through, and that is why we were there. This was a small business, the kind the political candidates are saying are the backbone of our economy. But… how does the internet effect small farms like Parker Farms Natural Meats?

Our theory is that everyone knows that there are a ton of tech companies on the coasts, but people tend to forget about the middle of the country. But the internet is here, too… and it’s just as important (if not more) in the Midwest.

Tom told us he checks his email two or three times a week. And yet, 95% of his business comes from his website. We interviewed him and his family for a long time about their business, about farming, and about how the internet has effected how they operate.

Many people think of farmers as simple, primitive, or uneducated – but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Tom is super sharp, recognizes when technology can help him, his business, and his family, and is frustrated when Big Agriculture lobbies for laws that hurt small farmers and spoke elegantly about these issues.

He then treated us to an amazing breakfast of sausages (from recently slaughtered pigs), fresh made quiche, raw milk (milked that morning from the cow you see below), and some sort of desert that could only be described as a heavenly combination of cheesecake and cream cheese.

 Internet Freedom Bus Tour: Day 3 Part 1: The Farm

A Cow Named Bambi. I drank from you!

I got a picture of a backflip in front of some cows (accidentally scaring them!), and then the bus head to leave to head to St Louis…

 

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Internet Freedom Bus Tour: Day 2: Kansas City

Day 1 of my experience on The Internet Freedom Bus Tour was amazing. Day 2 started with an early departure from Iowa City. The gang was up most of the night playing Werewolf (a party game similar to Mafia where someone is the werewolf and you have to figure out who it is… before they eat you!) It was a very long bus ride to Kansas City which actually took up most of the day.

Life on the bus is interesting. I now have some serious appreciation for bands that go on the road. I also understand how they can say “HELLO KANSAS CITY” when they’re actually in Iowa City. The scenery of driving through the Midwest is amazing, but between the internet (ironically) continually cutting out, old reruns of MacGuyver, and just general travel exhaustion… it was pretty hard to get any work done.

I spent a lot of time talking with my busmates. I really enjoyed talking with Betsy from The Internet Association and listening to some of the embedded reporters talk about some of the crazy stories they’ve been pitched on.

After a 7 or 8 hour bus ride, we finally arrived in Kansas City at The Kauffman Foundation. For those who aren’t familiar with Kauffman, they’re a foundation dedicated to studying and researching entrepreneurship (full disclosure: Startup Weekend, where I work, is partially funded by Kauffman). They do some awesome stuff, and when we got there they had a small reception at Kauffman Labs.

 Internet Freedom Bus Tour: Day 2: Kansas City

The Kauffman Foundation

This is a place where they let startup teams come and work. There’s a lot of perks to working out of the Labs, but the catch is it’s sort of a science experiment. You see, they have video cameras and microphones set up all over the place. They are trying to study what happens in early stage startups through direct observation. Definitely an interesting experiment!

They were throwing a big dinner that night for us, and Alexis was moderating a panel of four other entrepreneurs. The CEOs of AgLocal and Local Motors, two of our partners and busmates on the tour, were on the panel.

There was an awesome discussion, ranging from advice to new entrepreneurs (“Get some sleep!” was one of the top suggestions) to how awesome the internet is and how it’s changed everything.

I think one of the best quotes of the night was from Alexis. He was talking about how hard entrepreneurship is, but then qualified that with “There are much much much worse things than being an entrepreneur.

 Internet Freedom Bus Tour: Day 2: Kansas City

Kauffman Panelists

Other great quotes from the night:

“We are products of our access [to the internet.]”

“When this country got started it was one big entrepreneurial adventure, and it’s worked out pretty well so far.”

After the amazing dinner provided by Kauffman (they gave us ribs and BBQ from the three best Ribs places in town… then told us to decide which one was best!) and the great panel, we headed out to a mixer at a bar called Sno and Co, where they serve boozie smoothies.

We had a fascinating discussion on minority founders and how, in one founder’s eyes, the startup community is color-blind.

It was a great evening, but we stayed out waaay too late. We had to get up at 5am the next morning for a very special breakfast….

Read the next chapter: Day 3: Farms and St Louis

 

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Internet Freedom Bus Tour: Day 1: Startup Weekend: Iowa City

Last post I talked about Startup Weekend: Iowa City in general, and why I enjoyed it so much. But one thing I skipped out on was Sunday, the Day the Internet Showed Up.

 Internet Freedom Bus Tour: Day 1: Startup Weekend: Iowa City

The Internet 2012 Bus Tour bus

[Editors note - I'm joining the Bus Tour because in January, I co-produced an anti-SOPA video called The Day The Lolcats Died. 700,000 views in a week, this was called The Protest Song of the Anti-SOPA Movement.

After this, I wanted to stay involved in fighting for issues I cared about, and started to develop Startup Weekend's Government vertical. In addition to having Gov't themed Startup Weekend events, we're trying to invite elected officials out to Startup Weekend's to help show them that startups and tech entrepreneurship is happening in their constituencies, and that it's something they need to care about.

Alexis announced the Bus Tour, and the Iowa City event happened to fit perfectly in their schedule. Once the Startup Weekend event was finished, I'm hopping on board the bus to travel with them the rest of the way!]

It was about 1pm when the elevator doors opened, and 15 people poured out. It was the crew from the Internet 2012 Bus Tour. There were a few Reddit admins, Ben Huh (CEO of The Cheezburger Network), a representative from The Internet Association, a comedian, a documentary crew, and a ton of reporters from Forbes, Adweek, The Verge, and more.

Standard.

So they piled in (the Startup Weekend teams were so hard at work they barely noticed) and shared lunch with us. They ended up leaving shortly after to do a radio interview, but they came back before the final pitches.

We ended up having Ben Huh and Erik Martin (General Manager of Reddit.com) as guest judges. They asked some great questions and really challenged the teams.

After the winners were announced, Erik came up and talked a little bit about what this tour is all about. They’re bussing through the Midwest to raise awareness that the Internet is not just important to entrepreneurship, small businesses, and startups in Silicon Valley and NYC… it’s important here, in the Midwest, as well!

They’re also carrying a massive scroll – a Declaration of Internet Freedom – that they’re asking people to sign along the way. They have 100s of signatures by now on this huge 36 foot long scroll that requires a dufflebag and two people to lug around.

Declaration of Internet Freedom Internet Freedom Bus Tour: Day 1: Startup Weekend: Iowa City

Declaration of Internet Freedom (image courtesy of Free Press)

After the Startup Weekend event, we went to an Italian restaurant to eat dinner (paid for by GrubWithUs – thanks guys!). At one point, Ben noticed that there were 13 of us… and that there were 13 people in The Last Supper painting.

t lastsupper Internet Freedom Bus Tour: Day 1: Startup Weekend: Iowa City

The Last (Internet) Supper

So this happened.

Then, as one of their fundraising perks, donors could select to be drunk dialed by the group. So we ended up drunk dialing a few redditors… and Craig. From Craigslist. We sang songs, we told them about the cool stuff that was happening, and we told them they were awesome for supporting The Internet! We also pranked Alexis Ohanian (cofounder of Reddit), who may or may not have been asleep. Sorry Alexis! (but not really)

We walked back to the hotel, I went back to stay a final night with Mark – the amazing local Startup Weekend organizer – and that was the end of my Day 1 of the Internet Freedom Bus Tour.

Go ahead and read about Day 2: Iowa City to Kansas City.

 

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Internet 2012 Bus Tour: Day 0: Startup Weekend Iowa City

I just finished facilitating Startup Weekend: Iowa City. This is the 5th Startup Weekend event I’ve facilitated, but probably the 14th or so I’ve been to.

I’ve mostly been to larger events – New York City, Seattle, Atlanta, DC – that draw 100+ people. But this was a smaller event, about 25 attendees. (This was actually my second “small” event, my first being a few weeks ago in Louisville, Kentucky.).

And I think I like the smaller events better.

On Friday night, I went through the usual facilitator song and dance. We had some great local speakers, we played Rock, Paper, War, and then we kicked off the pitches.

 Internet 2012 Bus Tour: Day 0: Startup Weekend Iowa City

My one worry with smaller events is that we don’t get enough Friday night pitches (for those not familiar with the format of Startup Weekend: anyone who wants to gets 60 seconds to pitch an idea to the audience. Then we vote on all the ideas and the top voted ones move forward). Things were slowing down after 6 or 7 pitches, but I think we ended up with 12 or 14 – which was a pretty good number.

We accepted 6 ideas, which quickly dropped to 5, and by Saturday we had 3. This ended up being the perfect number – each team had a nice “critical mass” of people. The three ideas were:

1) A grocery list app. This one ended up pivoting several times, and they ended up as a team called Shindig – they wanted to make a social network based around events.

2) An app that helped record stories from the elderly, to preserve and share them after they’ve passed away.

3. A book for immigrants and foreign exchange students to help reduce culture shock and teach them about the societal norms and mores in America.

Because there were only 3 teams, over the course of the weekend I was able to spend so much time with every team. And this is why I like those smaller events better. I was able to spend a few hours with each team over the course of the weekend – get to know them, help them develop their idea, and get to see the evolution of their work over the course of the weekend.

I also got to talk with a lot of the mentors and local entrepreneurs who are making moves in Iowa City. Another reason I love events in smaller cities is I can help the people in these communities figure out how to improve and strengthen their entrepreneurial community.

The things I talk about aren’t rocket science or particularly complicated – they’re just things like www.seattletechcalendar.com or the STS mailing list – things like

There’s a ton of things I’ve seen in Seattle or New York or San Francisco that can be applied anywhere… if you know it exists. It’s silly for Iowa City to have to reinvent the wheel and make all the mistakes other cities did, so if I can chat with 5 or 10 people there and make suggestions or give advice… that’s awesome.

When I travel for Startup Weekend, that’s what I love to do. Facilitating an event is awesome, but it’s almost just an excuse to go places, learn about their communities, and figure out how I can help improve things after Startup Weekend is over.

(Read the next post about when The Internet arrived at Startup Weekend: Iowa City!)

 

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Google Image Search... Image Search?

I discovered a nifty feature in Google Image Search last night. If you go to Google Image Search…

1gis 300x135 Google Image Search... Image Search?

This is Google Image Search

… drag an image onto the search bar…

2gis drag 300x152 Google Image Search... Image Search?

Drag an image into Google Image Search

… upload the image…

3gis upload 300x154 Google Image Search... Image Search?

Uploading an image to Google Image Search

Google Image Search will find that image posted other places online…

4gis results 300x253 Google Image Search... Image Search?

Google Image Search “Image Search” results

… and visually similar images.

5gis similar 300x197 Google Image Search... Image Search?

Google Image Search “Similar Images”

Then you can even search within the results to narrow them down further.

6gis filter 300x257 Google Image Search... Image Search?

Filter Google Image Search’s Similar Images

I don’t know how long this has been around, but seems like a very cool feature!

Possible use cases:

  • You have a picture, but can’t remember where you downloaded it from.
  • Looking for people who are copying your artwork and reposting without permission.
  • Looking for different pictures of a place without a well known name.

What would you use this for?

 

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Zac's Meatloaf Recipe, or "How I Learned to Stop Cooking and Start Creating Art"

From an email to my Grandmother, who asked for my Meatloaf recipe:

There are two kinds of cooking. Science based, where you follow a specific recipe with exact ratios and measurements and ingredients, and art based, where you just kind of slap stuff together and go with your gut.

I am much more of the artistic chef.

Ratios:
One egg and one slice of bread (shredded) for each pound of ground beef. Then throw an extra egg in (example: 4 pounds of ground beef, 4 slices of bread, 5 eggs). Also, I prefer 90% or higher ground beef, otherwise there’s waaaay too much fat that cooks out and it turns into a mess.

Ingredients:
Add a “healthy” amount of ketchup.
Spice heavily with whatever is around. I like Salt, pepper, oregano, some cinnamon, maybe some paprika.
Add in vegetables. Onions, peppers, carrots, asparagus… kind of whatever you want here.

Procedure:
Drop it all in some sort of container with reasonably high walls (so the fat doesn’t leak out when it’s cooking) and mold it into a “loaf” shape.

Take some very thin slices of butter and place them liberally across the top. These will melt and keep the top from drying out.

Set oven to 350. It probably needs about 45 minutes, but check it after 35 minutes or so, cut into it, and use your best judgement.

Take it out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes (if you move it too quickly it will lose structural stability), then move it to a new container. (If you leave it in the current one, it’ll sit on the fat that burned off and that will be gross when it cools)

Cut a slice, splatter some more ketchup on it, and eat!

Enjoy!

 

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A new sport: Brainball (rules v1.2)

I’m interested in activities that require a lot of physical exertion and a lot of mental focus. Chessboxing, for example, I think is fascinating. My friend Jesse Danger and I once played Bananagrams… but the bag of tiles was at the bottom of a forested hill covered in 3 feet of snow. It was a 2.5 hour game of alternating between the worst hill sprints ever and concentrating on building anagrams. Brainball, I suspect, is the natural evolution of this type of game.

Here is version 1.2 of the rules. If you have any feedback or want to play (and live in the Seattle area), please leave it in the comments or email it to me (zaccohn@gmail.com). I’ve italicized some of the rules that should be playtested and might need tweaks, but the fundamentals I suspect this is pretty close to the final version of the rules.

Summary of the Game:

There’s a square field comprised of 36 smaller, numbered squares. There are 2 teams, each have two players on the field at a time. Players have to pass a ball around and avoid being tagged by the other team while listing answers to a question (Example: Name 8 State capitals). Once they’ve called out all their answers, they try to “claim” a numbered square by placing the ball on it (again, without being tagged). 1 square is worth 1 point. Teams can also recapture opponent’s squares if they capture all the surrounding squares (similar to Go or Othello). The game is over when all squares are captured or 60 minutes is up.

Brainball Rules (v1.2)

Field:

  • Field is a grid of 36 4′ squares. Each square is numbered.
  • Basketball is used as the ball.
  • Projector or a whiteboard with a 36-square grid drawn on it. This is used to keep track of the score and who has captured which squares. If not digital, you could use post it notes or dry erase markers to fill in the squares.
  • 2 teams of 5 or 6 players.
  • 2 or 3 players per team on the field
  • Each team has a team captain who develops strategy about which squares to capture.
  • 1 or 2 referees. They read the questions, enforce rules, and listen to confirm all answers are called out.

Play:

  • The game is split into 3 20-minute periods.
  • To start the game, Team Captains are asked a question with ranked answers (example: Which European country has the highest GDP?). The first one to hit the buzzer gets a chance to answer, followed by the second player. Player with the top answer or closest answer wins possession.
  • A question with a list of answers is asked to start the round (example: Name 8 state capitals)
  • A player from the offensive team starts in Square #1 with the ball. Their teammate starts diagonal from them, while the two defensive players start at adjacent corners of the field.
  • As soon as the question is done being read, play begins and players can move.
  • The offensive player with the ball begins to list answers while avoiding being tagged.
  • Tagging uses Flag Football rules, with one flag on each side of the hip. It is considered a “tag” if a defensive player pulls a flag out of the Offensive player’s belt while they have possession of the ball.
  • “Tagging” a player who no longer has possession of the ball has no effect. Purposely tagging a player who does not have the ball results in a foul.
  • Players can avoid being tagged by running around the court and dodging defensive players and by passing the ball to teammates.
  • Only the player with the ball can answer questions, but the ball can be passed to other players on the field.
  • Once all the answers are given, the Player can capture a square by placing the ball within it. Both hands must still be in contact with the ball when the ball hits the ground (no throwing).
  • If the ball touches the ground while both of the Offensive player’s hands are on it, that is the square that is captured.
  • Possession changes by:
    • Interception of a pass
    • A Defensive player tagging the player with the ball.
    • If a ball is thrown or knocked out of bounds, the round ends and possession changes.
    • After 5 rounds with no possession changes.
  • Players can be subbed out from the bench in between rounds, but it must be before The Question is asked.

Trivia Questions:

  • There are 4 available categories. Each category has 5 hidden questions in it. Once a category has been chosen, the questions are asked in a random order, regardless of possession changes, until all 5 questions have been asked.
  • Once a category is chosen, it is removed and replaced with a new one.
  • Each question has between 5 and 9 answers that must be called out. Harder questions will tend to have fewer answers, easier ones will tend to have more.
  • If a wrong answer is given, the round ends.
  • If the offensive team cannot list all the answers in 60 seconds, the round ends. Once all answers are listed, a round can last as long as necessary.

Scoring:

  • Scores are based on how many squares a team has captured.
  • 1 point per square owned. If you lose a square, you lose a point. Highest possible score is 36 points.
  • Squares can be recaptured based on Go rules (basically, if a square or group of squares is surrounded by enemy squares)
  • Game ends when all squares are captured or at the end of 60 minutes, whichever occurs first.

The first game is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, June 9th in Seattle. If you’re interested in playing, email me and let me know! zaccohn@gmail.com

(Aside: Brainball is inspired by Mindgame, which is a fictional game featured in “Eggheads,” an episode of Sliders.)

 

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The Day (after) The Lolcats Died

Screen shot 2012 04 27 at 10.42.58  620x250 The Day (after) The Lolcats Died

Why, why are laws a thing you can buy?
They got paid off, should be laid off, re-election denied
Our web means more than lawyers, lobbies and lies
So speak up before the internet dies

Thursday, January 12th.
Six days before tens of thousands of websites blacked out, before thousands would take to the streets of New York and San Francisco, and before the biggest online protest in history. SOPA and PIPA were being rammed through Congress, and it threatened to restrict freedom of information and destroy the Internet as we know it.

I was spending a lot of time on this fight. I had spent the week juggling my full time job and planning a protest rally in Seattle (which ended up getting snowed out), when a line to a song suddenly popped into my head. Sung to the tune of Don McLean’s “American Pie,” it went “the day the lolcats died.”

I’m part of Laughpong, a Youtube channel where my circle of friends make viral comedy videos about popular topics like Kinect or Siri. Most of our videos break 100,000 views, several have broken 1 million. Cumulatively, we have over 10 million views.

As soon as that line popped into my head, I knew we had to make this happen. I sat down, wrote a rough draft of the lyrics, and forwarded it to Rob and Alexander, two of our writers, with the instructions “DROP EVERYTHING AND WORK ON THIS.” We went from idea to final script in less than 24 hours.

Friday, January 13th.
While Rob and Alexander were writing, I contacted Forest, the director. We recruited our friend Chris Parker to sing and play the song, secured a cameo from Ben Huh, CEO of The Cheezburger Network, and set up a shoot for the next day,

Saturday, January 14th.
Chris, Forest, our cameraman Gabe, the assistant Molly, and I arrived on set at 9am to start shooting. It was a cold, rainy, miserable Seattle morning, and we were shooting in a garage. We got there and while Chris was warming up we experimented with the camera, sound, and lighting setup. By 10am we were finally ready to do the first take.

Watching Chris play gave me the chills. We finished the first take, and everyone on set was stunned in silence. We looked around and just thought “Oh my god… this is phenomenal.” It would later be called “The official Protest Song of the SOPA/PIPA Movement,” and remembering how I felt in that moment, I’m not surprised.

We shot a few more takes with Chris, and then we were done with the musical portion. Forest, Gabe, Molly and I then drove down to our “Office” set to get the other shots we needed (Ben Huh and the calendar, Molly tearing up paper, Forest and I on the computer). Ben Huh actually BROUGHT a printed out copy of SOPA (which was MASSIVE), and we decide to have Molly ACTUALLY rip up the bill. It took a little while to get the shot right, but we were pretty satisfied with the final result.

We wrapped shooting for the day around 5pm. Subtracting transit time and lunch, we spent about 6.5 hours shooting the video.

Sunday, January 15th.
Forest locked himself in his room and edited the video together. I recruited our friend Tara to join me as the marketing team, and we made a list of all of the news sites, blogs, and influential people we wanted to reach out to and have promote the video.

Monday, January 16th.
More research, and we started crafting the messaging to use in our outreach., and we started planning the launch.

Tuesday, January 17th.
Launch. The next two days were two of the craziest days of my life. LaughPong has had big launches before, but nothing like this. The video was successful and was picking up steam on a lot of smaller blogs and websites, but then it hit TechCrunch. And that’s when ALL the other sites picked it up. Wired. Fark. The Huffington Post. The Washington Post. The Wallstreet Journal. MSNBC. (Twice) We were trending globally on Youtube and on Twitter. Youtube’s Autocomplete was even suggesting us for “The day the-”. At one point we were getting 30 to 40 tweets a minute.

Wednesday, January 18th.
This was the day of the big blackout. Wikipedia was down, Google’s logo was censored, Craigslist was redirecting. The Internet had gone nuclear, and so had The Day the Lolcats Died. The viewcount was exploding. We were getting requests for interviews internationally. The organizers of the New York City rally wanted to know if Chris could come and play the song at the event for the protestors.

This is the day that our video was played on The Today Show, and the song was played throughout the day on national NPR. It was also the day that College Humor downloaded our video and reuploaded it to their site without permission, linkback, or attribution (under SOPA, we totally could have taken College Humor offline!). When College Humor steals your stuff, that’s when you KNOW you’re successful!

The Next Week:
The Day the Lolcats Died burned across the Internet, breaking 800,000 views in just a few days. There was a never ending stream of tweets, articles, blog posts, and comments saying “This video drove me to call my Congressman.” There were even positive Youtube comments – WHEN HAS THAT EVER HAPPENED BEFORE!?

Many amazing organizations were creating incredible content detailing why SOPA and PIPA were bad and why people should fight it. For the people who are passionate about this and recognize the importance, it was perfect. But for the masses who aren’t in the tech industry or didn’t understand the importance, our video was the catalyst to get them to act. It was video content, it was short, it was funny, it was damn catchy, it was easily sharable, and it had a strong, but simple, call to action.

The video was extremely topical, so as expected once SOPA and PIPA were declared dead and the blackout was over, views dropped off rapidly. But that’s fine – the video served its purpose.

It showed that nine people (Zachary Cohn, Forest Gibson, Molly McIsaac, Gabe Conroy, Chris Parker, Alexander Theoharis, Rob Whitehead, Tara Theoharis, and Ben Huh) could come together in five days with a budget of zero dollars and create something that had a significant impact on the future.

I’m proud of my friends for what we created together, and I’m proud that in 50 years I’ll be able to pull up “The Day the Lolcats Died“ on HoloTube and show my grandchildren that I fought for what I believed in.

Oh, and just wait until you see what we’re doing next.

 

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The Day the Lolcats Died - SOPA PIPA Protest Song

I’ll have a full write up of this whole thing later, but a brief writeup of the last week:

We’ve gotten press coverage from MSNBC, The Washington Post, TechCrunch, The Guardian, NPR, Wired, and many many more. They’re calling this “the protest song of the anti-SOPA/PIPA movement.”

You can watch the video below.

gg son.

 

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Seattle Startup map

A few days ago, I was working with Nick Hughes planning out the next Seattle Startup Crawl. One common bit of feedback about the last event was that the four locations were way too spread out (Queen Anne to Pioneer Square to Downtown to Cap Hill…), so we wanted to find four startups who wanted to participate, but were all pretty close to each other.

Seattle2.0 has an awesome list of Seattle based startups, but there’s no addresses or location data associated with them.

So last night I wrote a quick google apps script to scrape the Seattle20 Startup Index, run all the companies through Switchboard.com, and then export them to a Google map.

And here is the final product!

View Seattle Startup Map in a full screen map

A few interesting things to note. Of the 476 startups in the Index, Switchboard was only able to find addresses for 155 of them. Of the remaining 321 startups, some don’t exist anymore, and some just didn’t come up in Switchboard (For example, I know the Cheezburger Network exists, and I know their address, but Switchboard couldn’t find it).

So this isn’t an exhaustive map, but it’s still interesting to see. If you want your startup added to the map, fill out this Seattle Startup Map Submission Form and I’ll add you.