Consortium for Local Ownership and Use of Data, Inc.

CLOUD, Inc. Announces CLOUDCircles to Return the Internet to Its Users

Update #1 (February 16, 2012) | CLOUDCircles: The Roll-Out Begins (#HITsm)

"The Power of People. Connected." First Unveiled at TEDxAustin 2011 Takes the Next Step Forward at TEDxAustin 2012

[Austin, Texas] February 11, 2012

CLOUD, Inc. today announced CLOUDCircles (http://www.cloudcircles.org), a fund-raising campaign to support CLOUD’s work to return the power of the Internet to its users.  
 
CLOUDCircles, like donations to Wikipedia or other causes, is designed to be a people’s IPO, the ability for individuals to contribute to a cause, in this case the future of their Internet. CLOUD – the Consortium for Local Ownership and Use of Data – is not a charity but is a non-profit (filed for 501(c)(6) status).  
 
“With so many unique communities globally in which CLOUD is engaged, one campaign was too general, and thus CLOUDCircles was born. Each CLOUDCircle represents a community of interest harnessing its members to be donors and advocates to contribute not just funds but ideas to the future Internet and business paradigm CLOUD is building,” said Gary Thompson, CEO and Co-Founder.
 
“We're excited to launch this new initiative, and our long-term plan includes allowing supporters to create their own circles in support of CLOUD.  For now, we've picked a combination of our most active twitter hashtags and communities.  Pick your circle, pick your hashtag, make a donation and help us spread the word,” said Katherine R. Tavitian, Interim President and COO, CLOUD, Inc. Starting next week, beta testing of various CLOUDCircles will begin, with a full rollout at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin at the beginning of March.
 
With Facebook set to command an almost $100B valuation with its IPO in the next few months, we are faced with the same question now as when CLOUD was launched: Just because I’ve entered data into a website, does that mean that the information is no longer mine? And, shouldn’t I set my privacy policy rather than be faced with hundreds of different ones at each site I visit?
 
As Gary said on stage at the Austin Music Hall a year ago at TEDxAustin, “The Internet is not working to its full potential, not yet… The Internet and the World Wide Web are not the same thing. The Web is a presentation layer, but it is not the only way.” After sharing “Reweaving the Fabric of the Internet to Transform Humanity” at Right Here. Right Now., the 2011 installment of TEDxAustin, Gary has traveled from Brussels to Munich to Toronto in the past year telling the CLOUD story.
 
“My wife’s cancer is what started me on the path to creating CLOUD,” Gary says. “In early 2009, we found ourselves driving from Austin, Texas to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, carrying a DVD with her PET/CT scan on it, because there was no other way for her doctors to access that information.  The experience made me realize that for all the advances in technology, the Internet wasn’t working to help people in the way that it should.”
 
This connection to health has brought CLOUD into contact with leading organizations and communities promoting the use of health information technology, like @HealthStandards, that hosts a weekly #HITsm twitter chat.  Jon Mertz, Vice President of Marketing, Corepoint Health, and one of the curators and leaders of the #HITsm chat shared this, “The voice of CLOUD in health, @CLOUDHealth, is not only one of our recognized top #HITsm contributors but a member of the #HIT100, a group of leading bloggers and tweeters on health IT.” 
 
Reflecting on CLOUDCircles, Jon continued: “Building a CLOUDCircle around #HITsm will give this community a chance to support CLOUD in its efforts. We’re excited about being a part of the journey to a new Internet that serves the interests of health and patients.” 
 
Joshua Duncan, Director of Product Marketing and Community at Noesis Energy and MBA from the Kellogg School of Management said this, “When I was in the audience at TEDxAustin last year, I not only loved CLOUD’s perspective for the future of the Internet but the fact that Gary was a Kellogg MBA, like me.”  Josh continues: “With the launch of CLOUDCircles, we in the #Kellogg community can join with Gary and CLOUD to contribute the financial resources and business acumen to build that Internet.”
 
Beyond healthcare, CLOUD’s approach to the sharing of information will have profound implications for other fields as well.  "From healthcare to education to finance,” says Thompson,  “we need to re-think the way the Internet functions to ensure that technology serves people, not the other way around.” 
 

About CLOUD

CLOUD is the Consortium for Local Ownership and Use of Data, Inc., a non-profit technology standards consortia, that has filed for 501(c)(6) status and is based in Austin, Texas.  CLOUD’s goal is to address the issues of privacy, security and data on the Internet, advocating not only a new view of these issues but simultaneously drafting and moving to full adoption the various CLOUDStds that makes this new vision possible.  CLOUD is supported through foundation grants, corporate members and sponsors, as well as through individual support.  www.cloudinc.org

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