Andrew (perspectivism) wrote,

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"Nouveau Niche"

I devoured every last morsel of that novel. Fun and smart!

The author himself seems totally awesome for many reasons:

Meet Cory Doctorow: Disney freak, science-fiction novelist and self-described "happiest geek on Earth." His peer-to-peer dream is to help obscure artists find their audience.

He lives in Toronto, but owns an annual pass to the Anaheim theme park, owns the URLs,, and, and scours eBay (EBAY) daily for Disneyana. His business card looks like an old-fashioned Disneyland E-Ticket, labeling him "the happiest geek on Earth."

Why so happy? Two reasons. First, after years of writing for obscure science-fiction magazines (even the world's biggest science-fiction magazine is obscure - can you name it?), Doctorow won the prestigious John W. Campbell award for his collected body of short fiction. Second, Doctorow is giddy with the prospect of being "wildly oversubscribed" for the $15 million in second-round funding for his company, OpenCola, which he and 25-year-old John Henson started in 1999. As chief information officer of the open-source software developer, Doctorow believes he will make it possible for consumers and creators of niche media to make a living without resorting to temp work and sponging off parents.

The company's flagship product - also called OpenCola - is a peer-to-peer file sharing and search-engine technology...

Doctorow says, "the real problem of this millennium: resource discovery, finding the good stuff. Because everything is out there and available, but how do you find it?"

According to Doctorow, three domains of knowledge exist: the stuff you know, the stuff you know you don't know, and the stuff you don't know you don't know. The stuff you know is like, 'I know how to make brownies,'" he explains. "The stuff you don't know is, 'I don't know how to make nut brownies,' and the stuff you don't know you don't know is there's another confectionery you might like better than brownies." It's this last bit OpenCola offers users. "That's the critical problem," says Doctorow. "How do you find the stuff you don't know you don't know?"

Buzzwords aside, the aim of OpenCola is to replicate that infinitely hip friend of yours who points you to songs, video clips and articles he just knows you'll love.

(The Standard)
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