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Conversational Passport: An Interview with App.Net Founder Dalton Caldwell

In which I discuss social platforms and technology culture with entrepreneur Dalton Caldwell.

Originally from El Paso, Texas, Dalton cut his tech teeth by building streaming networking imeem. At imeem Dalton experienced great success, and tremendous setbacks. At it’s peak, imeem had close to 30 million users. After years of legal battles, the company folded in to Myspace.

Dalton was discouraged, but learned how to adapt in Silicone Valley. In addition to being a passionate evangelist  for transparent business, Dalton is the founder of App.Net, a developer and community-focused social platform. After observing Twitter’s shift from a developer model to an advertising model, Dalton launched App.Net as a for-pay platform. Today, App.Net supports a vibrant community, and more closely resembles a social app ecosystem than a Twitter clone.

In this interview, recorded initially as a Google+ Hangout video, Dalton and I discuss his evolution as a technologist and business owner, and dive deeply in to his feelings about the current state of the social web.

Learn more about App.Net.

Find more great shows like this on KoPoint.

Thanks for listening.

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Ready Check: Inside World of Warcraft Raiding with Gaming Researcher Ladan Cockshut

Ready Check: Inside World of Warcraft Raiding with Gaming Researcher Ladan Cockshut

Every night, massive teams of battle-worn experts gather, organize, and battle through intense and complex challenges. Often they die. Sometimes they win. World of Warcraft is nothing if not massive and complex. While the world at large has a perception of video games as simplistic pastimes, raiders define an intense pursuit of excellence.

Yes, Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games can be fun, undoubtedly. But as experienced players know, the play style, challenge, and commitment to excellence of gamers closely resembles the values of competitive and collaborative sports. Even the word ‘casual’ in World of Warcraft simply refers to those not entirely devoted to pursuing end-game content.

Raiding refers to act of completing difficult content only available to players who have completed an arduous and time-consuming leveling challenge. Leveling a character typically takes seven through nine days (24 hour cycles) of in-game play. Once a character reaches a level plateau, a series of far more difficult challenges known as Dungeons are unlocked. In an elaborate dance, these dungeons can require up to 40 players to coordinate performance for several-hours. Raiding typically occurs a few nights per week and the most hardcore raiding guilds will often treat raiding like a professional job.

ladan_cockshutResearcher Ladan Cockshut of Durham University studies these guilds and is attempting to quantify the act of Raiding.

In this episode, Ladan introduces the basic mechanics of massive games, and explains why raiders matter.

About Ladan:

More on MMOs:


Thanks for listening.

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RSS is dead! Long live RSS! An Interview with The Old Reader

RSS is dead! Long live RSS!

This interview was recorded the week after Google announced the death of beloved feed parsing app, Google Reader. The headlines regarding Reader’s demise  have been predictably and wonderfully hyperbolic.

Elena Bulygina and Anton Tolchanov, two of the three co-founders of The Old Reader, help us make sense of a post-Google Reader world.

Props to @ChazFrench for his help in understanding the true power of the old Google reader.

Thanks for listening.

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Interview with Maciej Ceglowski of Pinboard.in

Interview with Maciej Ceglowski of Pinboard.in

Maciej Ceglowski is the founder of Pinboard.in, an “anti-social” bookmarking site. As the social web evolves, some trends mature past the initial commodified service value to become strong cottage industries. A for-pay service inspired by the original del.icio.us, Pinboard.in takes a holistic approach to personal data tracking. The service integrates smoothly with the contemporary web of indie apps, and excels at truly frictionless clickstream cacheing.

Dan talks with Caciej about the vision behind a truly personal, counter-social service.

Find more interesting podcasts on KoPoint.

Thanks for listening.

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KoPoint Conversations

KoPoint podcasts will return Monday, April 29th! I’m excited to release the first non-commercial series KoPoint episodes. Spring shows will focus on simple structured conversations with interesting people.

In the can and ready for a final mix are interviews with a few tech and media innovators:

These episodes will be released on Mondays and Fridays for the next several weeks. After a short break in late-May, KoPoint will resume show production with The Murdoc Jones Show, Beer Diplomacy, Win the Room, and The Comic Book Podcast. We’ll also introduce a new travel show mini-season called The Landing Strip Show.

Structured conversations and interviews with interesting characters will be KoPoint’s focus through the summer. Starting in May, I’ll be joined by SumAll‘s Hoyd Breton for discussions with technology and startup innovators. In May, Hoyd and I will interview the smart folks behind Fuzzco‘s Defense and Maimery zombie gear, as well as Sean Howe, author of Marvel Comics: The Untold Story.

This past March I was hired as a data journalist by SumAll.org, the non-commercial arm of SumAll.com, a New York data science startup and KoPoint’s studio host and sponsor. Working for SumAll.org allows me to to work with the team that initially sponsored KoPoint and focus on great content, rather than business development. Creating podcasts non-commercially removes KoPoint’s commercial constraints and allows us to push our ambitions to reach new and exciting creative goals.

On a personal note, I’ve never been more excited than I am now about the potential of KoPoint content.

As always, stay tuned!

- DHP