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October 2nd, 2014

‘Hello World’ Fundraising Update

A little over two weeks ago, I told you about the Brothers Nielsen, Jared and JR, who produce short educational videos which teach Linux and other tech skills to nine to thirteen-year-olds under the “Hello World” banner — a name which should be familiar to anyone who’s ever taken a “programming for dummies” course.

At the time of that article, the Nielsens were just a few days into an all-or-nothing Indiegogo fundraising campaign, hoping to raise the small amount of $2,048 to replace worn-out equipment. That’s it. They aren’t trying to raise money to cover a year’s worth of expenses; they’re not trying to get the public to finance their salaries for the next year; all they want is a little bit of cash for camera’s, lenses, lights and the like. When that article went online, they’d already raised $680, nearly a third of their target amount.

helloworldSo, how are they doing?

The good news is since that time they’ve received an additional $600 in pledges, bringing the campaign total up to $1,280 — meaning they’re nearly two-thirds of the way there. The bad news is, they still have $768 to go, with only nineteen days left in the campaign. Remember, this is an all-or-nothing effort, meaning if they don’t hit the magic number, they walk away empty handed.

Just a day or two after I wrote about their needs, there was a discussion over on Reddit which focused on the quality of these two brothers’ product. There was pretty much a general consesus that the technical quality was excellent, but a few of the commenters thought that the content was somewhat lacking.

Yup, there’s room for improvement, to be sure, an issue which Jared addressed when I interviewed him:

“Our production value continues to improve with each video and tutorial we create,” Jared wrote. “‘Superusers: The Legendary GNU/LINUX Show’ is leagues ahead of our first episode, ‘What is a Robot?’ The ten computer science videos proposed in our Indiegogo campaign will only be better. We will focus on improving our script writing, fine-tuning the balance of education and entertainment, incorporating more animations, and refining our audio/visual production techniques.”

In other words, Hello World is still a work in progress — no argument there. But it’s also a work which shows great promise. Give them time to develop and one day the videos currently on their site will be there only as examples of their humble beginnings.

If these guys were asking for tens of thousands of dollars, I’d say take a pass. As it is, they only want a few bucks to upgrade their equipment so they can continue developing their ideas. I say, give them the chance. If you’ve got twenty or thirty dollars lying around — even a hundred — you could do worse than investing it into this educational experiment. Hell, many of you probably spend twenty bucks a day at Starbucks…

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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