kluster Puts Social-Networks to Work



    
    kluster Goes Live Days Before Their Unveiling at the TED Conference
    

    BURLINGTON, Vt., Feb. 20 /CNW/ -- kluster (http://www.kluster.com)
launches its free public beta and ideas are welcome.
    kluster is a web-based platform that enables communities to collaborate
and decide. kluster's philosophy is that development and decision-making is
better served by engaging groups.
    kluster's founder, Ben Kaufman (21), proved the success of this model in
his first venture, mophie, an iPod accessory company.  mophie engaged
consumers and retailers to participate in product design and development.
Designs were chosen by the community, manufactured, and sold in retail outlets
in 28 countries.  mophie was successfully acquired in August 2007. The
undisclosed proceeds of the sale were invested in kluster.
    mophie's success convinced Kaufman and his team to build a diverse
platform that would enable consumer-influence across organizations worldwide.
kluster participants will work on a variety of initiatives including product
development, marketing and advertising, event planning and virtually any
decision-making activity better served by asking a group.  Community members
will contribute based on their experience and interest. Decisions within the
site are made algorithmically by assessing the weight of each community
member's vote based on their participation, past successes and risk.
    The project architecture is extremely flexible, focusing on four key
concepts:

    
     -- phases - phases break down projects into small manageable
        deliverables. Phases also allow users to define an audience, either
        public (allowing the entire world to influence the decision) or
        private (allowing just a select group to participate).
    

    
     -- sparks - sparks are ideas or proposed solutions to a phase. sparks can
        be text, photos, graphics, audio/video, CAD, animation, etc.  Users
        may express themselves however they are most comfortable.
    

    
     -- amps - amps allow participants to collaborate by proposing enhancement
        and refinements to a spark.
    

    
     -- watts - Community members show support by investing watts into sparks
        that they believe in. watts are kluster's internal currency. Members
        can earn and grow their watts based on sound judgments and positive
        participation.  watts encourage users to participate and stay on
        target, keeping the community productive.   Participants who invest in
        phases that carry a "reward" have the opportunity to turn their watts
        into cash.
    
    Today, kluster is launching the platform and encouraging everyone to jump
in.  "There are too many people who walk the earth with groundbreaking ideas
that will never see the light of day," said Kaufman. "We strongly believe that
the world should be working together to figure out what's next, rather than
just buying what's new."
    Later this month, kluster will run its first major project at the TED
conference in Monterey, California.  Attendees, who consist of some of the
world's "greatest thinkers and doers," will collaborate with kluster's online
community with the goal of developing a totally new product within 72 hours.
    "kluster represents a new way of designing products, services and
communications, and we're proud to debut the company at our conference next
week" said Tom Rielly, TED partnership director. "TED's attendees and
http://kluster.com members will work together during TED to create something
amazing in a beat-the-clock style experience."
    For additional information on kluster or to become a member of the
community, visit http://www.kluster.com.
    
    About Ben Kaufman:
    
    At 18 years old, Ben took an idea for an iPod accessory and founded
mophie in 2005. He designed and launched mophie's first product while still
attending high school in Long Island, NY.  By 2007, mophie was selling its
products in 28 countries worldwide. mophie was successfully acquired in August
of 2007, allowing Ben to focus on the development of kluster. Ben was recently
selected as Inc. Magazine's #1 Entrepreneur in the 2007 30 under 30 category. 
He is proud and honored to be a college-dropout, holding a high school diploma
from the Portledge School.




For further information:

For further information: Tiffany Markofsky for kluster, +1-917-748-1138,
 tiffanymarkofsky@maxborgesagency.com

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