Ian Clarke, Freenet, Revver and Thoof

Ian Clarke
Freenet and Revver

Founded Revver to help copyright holders get paid for their work. copyright cannot be controlled onthe web – the web is all about communication and Copyright is to prevent communications.

Revver gave an incentive to create and spread videos. Has raised 10m$ in A&B rounds of financing. Many people have or are using Revver. LG15 used it for about a year, Zefrank used. At some point another almost every well known videoblog has used it.

After I left Revver, I wanted to work on figuring out what people are interested in and then showing it to them. Not a new problem, one that anyone in the content business has to solve. Started to look at collaborative filters – eg Amazon, Netflix – based on friends recommendations and other things. One of the problems is they either work or they scale,, they typically don’t do both.

We built Daedulus to do the collaborative filter for Revver (also licenced to Reddit). When working on this, noticed that CFs have to get a lot of information before they start working well for you. So saw a gap in the market – the genesis of Thoof, which uses base info to make generalisations from the start to start with recommendations. mac vs PC, browser, geography. Also built so that you can change things on site, you can propose change that then gets voted on

New project is Thoof. Launched in June, growing 20%/week. Ideology is to let people find info about stuff they did not know they wanted as well as what they thing they want.

Freenet – is moving towards a dark network, so that you only connect to people who have freenet – friends. this can protect your usage in areas where there are problems about using such software or surfing anon.

Q: What do you say about the charge that Freenet can be abused?
A: Any tool can be abused. But the freedom of being able to communicate is more important than the potential of abuse – it’s democracy. In less democratic countries huge amounts of resources are spent on preventing communciations. We believe the benefits outweigh potential abuses.

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