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Crowdfunding fascinates me. Its allowing everyone to make informed decisions about what projects and people to support. It creates a healthy open environment in which people looking for support, strive to demonstrate to the world that they are capable of delivering on their promises. Its about building credit within the community by being an active contributor in it rather than by gaming some automated scoring number by taking out two credit cards and using them to pay each other off.
I would love it if much of what we did at Jaaga was about helping people put together well thought out funding proposals to the crowdfunding sphere. In this way the community could decide what students, projects and startups to support. And this whole process could move towards some version of democratic sustainability.
Spot.Us is a successful project founded by David Cohn and funded by the Knight Foundation. David hired a high end Ruby On Rails development house HashRocket to develop an open source platform for crowdfunding journalism projects.
It feels like a great gift to have such a prestigious team publishing all this code onto GitHub for all the world to use and appropriate for their own crowdfunding projects.
Last year I wanted to use Spot.us for crowdfunding educational video projects. I downloaded the code and quickly came to the edge of my Ruby abilities. I thought I'd be able to walk through the code, but found I had problems linking in the additional libraries they use and just getting things configured to begin with.
Now, I'd like to get one or two fellows on who dedicate themselves to going thru the Spot.Us code for 3 months. During the 3 months I'd like them to review the code and blog about the different elements, what they do and how they're used. And I'd like to get at least one additional implementation of Spot.Us running for crowd funding projects at Jaaga.
To support the fellows I'm also looking for one senior Ruby developer who can help out very part time online answering questions, and helping the fellows thing through problems they encounter.
Fellows get room and board in the Jaaga dorm and a 5k / month stipend during the program. We also ask them to spend a couple hours a week mentoring people in programming fundamentals. More info on the program go to our Fellowship section.
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