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Word of Mouth
11:18 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Rethink 2014: Paying For Creative Content

Credit Sara Plourde

This is “Rethink 2014”, presenting ways of challenging our habits and assumptions and the status quo. Today: paying for creative content. It’s the axiom of the era: you can find anything on the internet--for free!  The challenge has been figuring out how artists, writers, musicians and content makers get paid for their work. Take the music streaming service Spotify. Sure, users can discover new artists and find a lot of great music, but Spotify is under fire for failing to compensate the artists who make that music. In an opinion piece for the The Guardian last October, David Byrne wrote, “If artists have to rely almost exclusively on the income from these services, they'll be out of work within a year.” Maybe the big-name musicians have it wrong. We bring you the story of an unknown songwriter who is raking in the Spotify royalty checks, one song at a time. PJ Vogt of On The Media’s new TLDR podcast and blog, has the story.

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Word of Mouth
9:51 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Why Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) Failed

Credit Corie Howell via Flickr Creative Commons

Sebastian Thrun, the man behind perhaps the most disruptive idea to hit higher education -- massive open online courses or more commonly... MOOCs -- has decided to pack it in. While some traditional educators might be saying “I told you so”, proponents of online education are worried about what this shift means for its future. Rebecca Schuman is education columnist for Slate and adjunct professor at the University of Missouri. She wrote about Sebastian Thrun -- the acknowledged godfather of MOOC’s -- and his pivot away from them.

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Word of Mouth
11:18 am
Wed August 14, 2013

When Women Buy Cars

Credit offleaseonlyfl via Flickr Creative Commons

A 2012 study from the University of Michigan shows that female drivers now outnumber male drivers for the first time. At the same time, there is some evidence revealing that buying a car at a dealership can be a much harder experience for women than men.  What about when shopping for vehicles online?  Writer Jamie Page Deaton is managing editor of US News Best Cars, and talked with us about the role gender can play when buying a new car, in person and online.   

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Word of Mouth
11:03 am
Tue August 13, 2013

John Kim Gives Online Help As 'The Angry Therapist'

Credit theangrytherapist.com

Like many aspects of contemporary life, therapy is available online. An estimated 2.5 million licensed marriage and family therapists meet with clients using internet tools like Skype, Google Hangout and now, Tumblr. John Kim claims to be “the first ever licensed therapist to build his entire client base from patients he first met on the internet”. He has a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and counsels hundreds of patients online under the moniker “The Angry Therapist.” John spoke with us about his work.

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Word of Mouth
9:22 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Online Poker's Big Gamble

Credit Mr. L via flickr Creative Commons

More than two years have passed since the Department of Justice seized and shut down three major American online-gambling websites, charged site executives with bank fraud, and froze millions of dollars in player funds. Since then, social gaming from Zynga and the like has been thriving on social media sites, attracting millions of players to their digital tables, using only fake money. At the same time, real money gambling is also back on the internet - on April 30th, Station Casinos in Nevada became the first site to offer real online poker since the 2011 shutdown.  The questions are: will the for-profit sites draw millions of social players and will they put real money on the line?  Michael Kaplan is a contributing editor for Cigar Aficionado and has been covering the return of online gambling.

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Word of Mouth
9:27 am
Wed June 12, 2013

The Dirty Truth Behind Idyllic Farm Photography

Credit modernfarmer.com

As farming takes off for a new generation of hip young homesteaders, beautifully crafted farm photos have made an impression in digital media – who hasn’t seen an adorably old-fashioned photo of sun-drenched pasture on Facebook… or a picturesque sunrise over a dewy, field of grazing grass-fed livestock on Instagram?

As a goat farmer and freelance photographer based in Vermont, Stephanie Fisher worries her own idyllic farm photos might be sugarcoating a job that’s often tougher than it looks.  She spoke with word of mouth producer Taylor Quimby about her recent article in Modern Farmer, “The Side of Farming You Won’t See on Facebook”.

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Word of Mouth
12:11 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Higher Ed Gets an Online Overhaul

Credit MomMaven via Flickr Creative Commons

As more and more students head to American colleges and universities to advance their education and economic prospects, there is dwindling faith in the quality of a four-year degree, especially given the high price tag. Meanwhile, a whole new model of learning is quickly gaining ground. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) offer education to anybody with a reliable internet connection, often for free.  MOOCs are attracting massive amounts of students, investment capital, and accolades.


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Word of Mouth
11:00 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Rent Crackdown

Photo Credit James.Tompson, Via Flickr Creative Commons

Increasing numbers of tourists turn to websites like craigslist and airbnb.com to find cheaper and more intimate lodging, the short-term vacation rental industry has exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry.  For a while, these home B&B’s and low-key online arrangements slept under the radar, but now lobbyists for big hospitality are encouraging states and cities to crack down, with New York City issuing over 1900 violations in less than a year to homeowners who rent out property for less than a month.

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