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Arts and Entertainment

LAist Interview: Joe Glaser, Co-Founder of Moontoast

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Last month we had a ton of LAist folks at SXSW-interactive and via the grapevine we got hooked up with Joe Glaser, co-founder of Moontoast, direct from Austin.Moontoast is an online collection of experts who can provide instruction and face-to-face consulting via the webcams built into most computers these days. Glaser was initially inspired by his relationships with professional musicians, several of them LA-based, who in between recording sessions and touring, were looking to connect with people interested in learning but might be remotely located.

Glaser and his team saw beyond the music instruction category and realized that by opening up the platform to all experts they had the opportunity to create a much larger community. With West Coast investors like Wynona Judd, Vince Gill, Amy Grant and Kip Winger behind them, Glaser and his developers were able to launch their platform at SXSW's Accelerator event in mid-March.

If you are an expert or consultant, signing up to Moontoast is free. Moontoastprovides demo sessions, secure payment processing, and free browsing of all the experts who have already signed up.

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Listen here for the complete interview with Joe Glaser:

LAist: You just had a very successful launch at SXSW but how has Moontoast that you launched changed from your original concept?

Joe Glaser: In the very early days of Moontoast, we were music oriented because we knew all these incredibly talented people who, because they were stuck in one place, they couldn't reach out to the people that would have loved to meet with them. We thought: Why not do something so that they can connect online?

People are usually experts at more than one thing. I have a ton of experience in musical instrument restoration. I also have an amazing recipe for smoked trout. And for years I worked on developing complex irrigation systems. I can create these areas of expertise on Moontoast and give back to the world to those that might be interested in these things. This is about sharing human knowledge. We think we've opened up a new channel for communication between people.

LAist: Your tagline is "Together We Know Everything" - so the idea is to get as many people from as many different disciplines as possible?

Joe Glaser: We are very fortunate in that we have the philosophy that "people are the world" which is particularly the truth for us because without the knowledge of these people, we wouldn't have any content on the site and therefore no reason for people to visit Moontoast to interact with these experts.

LAist: In looking over your pool of investors, are you interested in building a network of celebrities and famous musicians to participate on Moontoast?

Joe Glaser: We'd love for this to happen. Some of us have connections in that respect. We can see Moontoast being used as a charity platform where our network of friends could raise money for their charities by participating with those who want something special.

We're also seeing Moontoast as an opportunity that people can act on in these tough economic times. People who are out of work still have expertise that they can share and they can use Moontoast as a place where they can get experience and income by sharing what they know.

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