Are you starting to feel like there’s no real winning investment strategies these days, at least for the average investor? Make some gains one month, only to lose them all the next.
Well, maybe it’s time to invest a little something in efforts that might not pay you back in dollars, but in online badges, acknowledgement of your contributions or donations, maybe even in a chance to provide input into a solution that can advance semantic web, Linked Data, or discovery technologies? Or maybe the ROI is just about feeling that you did something good.
Recently we wrote about Sebastian Trüg’s fundraiser to keep the Nepomuk semantic desktop alive, for example, which this month reached its 9000€ initial goal (though he’s still in search of long-term funding). Turns out there are – or recently have been – other opportunities to put some of your pocket change to work for a smarter and more meaningful web of data. Projects on Kickstarter.com, for instance, run the gamut from fashion ($1 to fund chic 3D glasses), to theatre (you can help launch the LA production of Spring Awakening for $10 or more), to technology.
Kickstarter builds itself as the world’s largest funding platform for great projects, and whiling away the late-night hours wandering through the crowd-funding forum, it surprised me to learn that among its successfully funded projects were efforts including hypothes.is, the brainchild of online travel industry pioneer Dan Whaley. This is described as “a distributed, open-source platform for the collaborative evaluation of information. It will enable sentence-level critique of written words combined with a sophisticated yet easy-to-use model of community peer-review. It will work as an overlay on top of any stable content, including news, blogs, scientific articles, books, terms of service, ballot initiatives, legislation and regulations, software code and more-without requiring participation of the underlying site.”