Heyya, Andrew here with a long overdue update. My last email of this kind was eight years ago (or maybe never for some people) so sorry for the delay! I’m going to try to get these out more often.
The main reason for my call today is to let you know about a new site I launched that I believe will become the best work of my life.
As you will see below, I’m up to all kinds of endeavors and there are many more not listed that never panned out. I’m going to stick to this one and evolve to make it happen.
Humanwire is a new way to provide support to refugees, one-to-one.
Instead of sending your money into the void, Humanwire removes the charity organization from the equation and brings the donor and the recipient together.
This relationship can provide a deep level of effective support while enabling both parties with an opportunity to bridge the culture gap.
I have been sending out these emails over the last week, before the tragedy in France, and wanted to say that it is becoming ever more clear why refugees are fleeing in greater numbers. Most just want to go home and Humanwire is a way to help until that can happen:
The cause I hope you will donate to:
Contributors to this first campaign will be invited to be listed on the “Founders Page”, for your first adopter support. You will be signaling to the world that you are willing to innovate and be a part of something new that will help benefit the world for the better.
As a founder, you will receive ongoing benefits that will give you direct, free access to many future campaign rewards, first invites and resources.
Now, since I’m here, I’ll give you an update on other work I’m involved in and myself, personally.
1. I got married to the most wonderful person in the world (sorry to everyone else who is married), Rima Khoukaz. We have an album of pictures from our wedding at Maroon Bells I can send if you would like to see. After meeting in NYC and being engaged for two years, the wedding was July 15, 2012.
2. We have a son, his name is Frederick Baron, named after my great father who passed away in 2008. Freddy was born on April 6, 2013. Look no further than my Facebook profile for pictures at: https://www.facebook.com/andrew.baron/photos_all
3. After living in Manhattan for thirteen years, I moved to Boulder Colorado two years ago. Boulder is a wonderful, unique kind of American town that I did not know existed: https://bouldercolorado.gov/newsroom/best-of-boulder-community-honors IMO, Boulder is an ideal town to raise my son and establish a HQ for Humanwire.
The below updates are from this year:
4. I become a founding director of The Founder Institute in Denver/Boulder, a great organization that provides potential entrepreneurs with a better understanding of what’s involved in running a business. FI is all over the world so if you have an idea for a business and are wondering, for example, if you should quit your job and make the leap, FI is a great place to start. It can help to validate your ideas, develop your plans, refine your product, build an advisory board and prepare for funding. Let me know if you are interested in talking about it: http://fi.co/
5. I am so disappointed with the direction the internet has swung regarding the centralized, silo effect that interferes significantly with the the free flow of information. Now intermediaries like Facebook control much of what you see based on factors that include their own personal, competitive interests. Much like Comcast, and against net neutrality, Facebook charges you to connect with people in your own network and out. This causes those with money the ability the buy their message out over others.
So I created the social network I wanted, Julia Set.
Julia Set is a mix between Facebook, Medium, Ello and the original link sharing site, Delicious with other unique features including one called Gem. I have not told anyone about this before as I don’t ultimately think it is something most people care about, but now you know. [UPDATE – June 2016 – this newtwork has been moved now to here https://www.juliaset.org with a focus on refugee resources, but to date I am still experimenting with just a few of us on the network.]
6. I have been working closely with Joanne Colan to relaunch Rocketboom for broadcast. We have developed the show for a new level of distribution with a significantly larger, more-experienced-than-ourselves production staff. If you are interested in getting involved please contact one of us. We are in search of just the right entertainment company to show run it. If you are unfamiliar with Rocketboom, Rocketboom was shown on stage by Steve Jobs twice during his famous product releases, once for the the first video iPod to demonstrate what you could do with mobile video and a second time during his famous release of the first Apple TV to show off the best of TV over I.P. For more, see: http://www.rocketboom.com/about/ Also as a part of Rocketboom, I created Know Your Meme which you may be more familiar with today. Know Your Meme, a top 1000 site, has remained the undisputed, preeminent resource for the study of internet memes: http://knowyourmeme.com
7. This leads me to mention for the first time one of two books in the works. I’ve never written a book before so it is a big to-do that is taking quite a bit of time to complete, especially now. Still yet today there is not a “definitive” book on memes and this is meant to serve that purpose. The book goes in-depth on many of the most popular memes and meme types in a way that is not regularly understood.
Whereas Know Your Meme is effective at documenting the environment in which internet memes spread, it does little to explore the intrinsic properties of memes and that’s the basis of this book: not just the how, but the why.
When I first decided to write a book I thought it would be easy, just like writing a Rocketboom script, or a Know Your Meme article or episode. All I needed to do was designate the time to sit down and do it and miraculously, I would come up with a script right on time that I liked and people responded to positively.
In this case I thought it would be even easier – a book of classic internet memes in chronological order, explained.
As I sat down to write it, I found myself researching, as one does, and was not as excited as I would of been five years ago.
It led me to conduct a study of the top 1000 memes on Know Your Meme and I found that over 90% fall into a single category of ‘response memes’ which typically follow the same general pattern of viral spread. I also found just a few other typical patterns that comprise almost all the rest.
Due to the lack of diversity with how internet memes come to be and then spread, even more so today due to formulaic marketing forces and the silo effect of the internet, the general understanding of memetics is seen as simple.
Though the majority of people still do not know the word ‘meme’, as the term is beginning to reach the mainstream, the most common definition of a meme has become reduced to ‘a funny image with text on it’.
In fact, people from all over the world are applying their best models of psychology, philosophy, math, chemistry and physics to the study of information spread.
I’ve put together a book that makes it simple to understand, empowering people with information about information. The more you understand how and why information spreads the better able you are to asses the value of the information you obtain or spread yourself.
The book is digital and takes full advantage of video, images, text and hyperlinks. The moment I realized a printed book would be tedious for what I wanted to convey was rewrite after rewrite of trying to describe the Winnebago Man video. There is a way to describe it, but I couldn’t help but always add “you’ve just got to see it”.
You can preorder the book here http://www.rocketboom.com/tradecenter/ or, if you make any donation to Humanwire on this first campaign, I will get you a copy for free.
As I mentioned above, I have a lot to say today but the nature of my call is Humanwire. I hope it will be the one you remember the most.
Here is the link again to the campaign, will you please contribute just $5 or $25? In exchange you will receive a new kind of experience like no other:
Thanks for enduring my update!