Myspace w. ADD

Funny video on Wallstrip about facebook's various attempts at making money from their users, and with each step alienating those users.

Via techcrunch

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Play with colours with Idée

Idée, a very cool startup with great visual search technology launched their multicolour image search lab with flickr images - check it out!

You just pick any colour(s) and it finds you all the pictures from flickr that contain that colour.

Idée has some amazing technology and is really at the forefront of this space. (It'ss also where I work now :)

Check out their site to check out their other visual labs..

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Standout Jobs - Any movement?

Not sure what's going on at Standout Jobs..their site still says Coming In Fall, their latest job post is from mid November, and their blog (planet) tells me to check out past posts!

Hope it's the calm before the storm for them..

I like the concept but I think they're missing some things I would think job seekers are interested in. One thing I don't like about their site is that they're a job site, but the Jobs link doesn't stand out from the others..in fact I don't know if it's for job videos or for jobs AT Standout Jobs..

...and videos on the home page don't have dates etc, to show me if the openings are new or old (I can tell some are old by the summer clothes people are wearing)...

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Twine - It's here! *

Interesting video about Twine on PodTech, which I've heard about for a while - long enough to sign up for the beta and have the site tell me I already signed up.

Great to get a look at it and see it in action, although it looks a lot of work to populate it to the point that it's useful. I hope it's nice and pre-opulated (or I'm just not tech savvy enough to understand if that beats the whole purpose or note).

It took enough time and uploading to fill up something like a facebook or wikipedia with content. Imagine doing that all over again but for a combo of all those content sites...

* it's not here yet.

PS - I just saw cloned, living glow-in-the-dark cats on tv..

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Asterpix - add navigation to your videos

Funny I thought about this when I was watching the epic-fu videos with all of their interesting links on the screen. I wanted to click on the links and be taken to those sites. Enter Asterpix! You can link to sites, or other places within the video.

This Astrix video shows how you can build really cool navigation in a video. You can embed links within videos and let people skip all over the place (you could actually get lost within a video!) Now I think the design of it still has some room to improve (choosing the look of your 'beacons', making skipping around a video more visual so you don't get lost)

Via Scoble Show

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LinkedIn Video

Video of LinkedIn interview where the CEO talks about how well they're doing, how they're not looking to be acquired, how they're opening up the site for 3rd party developers, how there'll be new features in the coming weeks...yaaaaawn...

Sorry, but the video actually says nothing new - it's actually sort of a boring video press release. Check it out as an example of an uninspiring video...

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epic-fu (if you're above 30 proceed with caution)

Eipc-fu is a great trend vlog with a strong following for the kids out there :)

Interesting how my collection of vlogs has grown in the last few months as my list of blogs, hasn't.

I also like that they list all the links beside he screen.

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Ad to content ratio: is 1 to 4 too much?

I was trying to watch a video about Facebook's ad platform from last month - I don't mind watching an ad when I watch free content, and do it all the time on nytimes, etc, but the way Forbes does it is fairly annoying.

First you watch your standard 15 second spot, totally expected..then you go to a preview of the Facebook video where the Forbes announcer just said what the piece is about and that they'll show it to me soon (not sure if that's necessary)! That takes another 15 seconds...then comes ANOTHER ad that was 30 seconds long. Then finally came the 4.5 minute interview.

That's 1 minute of ads (and the useless preview) they're hoping I'll watch to get to my content.

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Came across this as I look more and more for video content on statups - not a Canadian site but there are some good Canadian startups featured..Idee, Now Public, etc

Here is one one Idee, a very cool software company out of Toronto that is in the image monitoring and image search space.

Take a look..

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Defensio Prez - MTL

This is from a while ago but still worth putting up. A pretty comprehensive overview of how Defensio plans to be the new default blog spam fighter. They claim 99.5% accuracy with a system that improves with time. Check it out..

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Mint.com interview - You save money, they make money!

This is a good demo of the site (launched a few months ago) and info about their business model.

(about 8 minutes long)

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Biz Idea - texting house price

I saw a post about housefront recently on springwise and thought it could be a great tool in the hot Toronto property market.

I think it could be a great service to offer. There have been many times when I have seen a house, liked it, had to 1. call a number, 2. leave a message for the agent, and 3. he/she would call back with the price of the house.

I think that's too many steps. This service would be very simple: You see a house, you text the address or a number on the plaque, and you get its price sent to you.

Technology has been adopted fairly quickly in housing. viewit.ca brought video to this space and myhood.ca has the mashup + user reviews - but both are online tools, to be used at home. I think a text service could complement these for people who just want to get the price quickly and easily.

Anyone think this could fly?

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OPEN Forum - Seth Godin - Tonight!

This isn't Canada-specific: Tonight on Open Forum, Seth Godin will be online for a live webcast on design, after which he will also answer questions through a live web chat.

The session starts at 9pm EST. You can find out more info at OPEN Forum.

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Jelly - Canada?

I had to share this because A. I think it's a really cool and fun event, B. It shows the positive energy/community of people working at startups in other cities like NYC, and C. To see if people would be interested in co-organizing it here.

Jelly was started by Amit Gupta a little while ago - you can check out their video.

Sure there are spaces like Indoor Playground and Centre for Social Innovation, but I think this type of fluid sharing of work-space and ideas is something entirely different and takes things like democamp to a whole new level.

What is Jelly? from Amit Gupta on Vimeo.

So..anyone?? :)

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Another social networking site...

facebook + LinkedIn = Probook - do we really need this?

probook.ca - I saw their group on facebook recently - it looks like it was started by Queens grad students. I normally try to focus on the positive side of new ventures but I honestly don't see this going far.

I'm trying to imagine their strategy for this site. I assume they feel that LinkedIn is not fun enough or social enough. I agree with them there...


LinkedIn is well established in Canada so they're not serving an un-met market. If they're trying to go after new-grads I'm not sure what the use would be for a bunch of recent grads to have their own community when they want to be on LinkedIn trying to connect with people who can GIVE them job leads.

Site design is ok but pretty basic. They don't really have any features that facebook does not have, and I think people use FB and LinkedIn for different purposes. I've seen more and more people taking their work info off their FB page, which tells me they don't want to mix work and play.

PS - If my info is wrong I am not really at fault - I tried to get in touch with them to do a question/answer post last week, but no response yet.

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CLUTCH by auto/ONE - BC

Clutch is the sister-company of auto/one, the high-end alternative to your usual car dealership. What auto/one offers to guys, clutch does with females...for females. Their dealerships are in BC.

When it comes to improving consumer experiences, buying a car has a lot of room to improve. Clutch provides services to make the experience better..improved customer service, zero dealership footprint, full-day test-drives are all part of the deal. Not sure how their pricing compares to traditional dealerships.

I guess in the high-end used car market such services will be of value where price isn't the main purchase driver.

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FP - Small Biz

The National Post has started a dedicated weekly Small Business focus in their FP section (every Monday). I read the first one today and found it pretty interesting. I'm not a seasoned entrepreneur by any means, but I've read enough top-ten-rules or best ways to be a successful entrepreneur so that portion didn't really add much value for me. I imagine they are great for people who are thinking of starting something new.

We will see how wide of an area this section covers. No matter what, it's a good a good sign that it has started and it will be a great channel for startups to get exposure through.

The odd thing was that online, there wasn't much (any) promo about it.

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Unlimited Magazine - Calgary

Saw this new addition on the shelves today. Their timing is a bit unfortunate but I was very intrigued!

The cover says it's "Canada's Hottest New Business Magazine", which I found a bit un-true since it was all about Alberta. This is either a strategic decision, or they don't have writers elsewhere in the country..or they think all new business worth talking about is happening in Albeta. All points for discussion I guess, which I won't get to here.

Some interesting content in the magazine, and I like that it's about new business in any field, not just web 2.0 startups, which is what most people think of new business these days. I do think they really need to cover the whole country if they want to keep it relevant - there is only so much I want to hear about what people are doing in Calgary ;)

I think magazines and blogs will co-exist and each have their own place in terms of content, but I'm sure they're also wondering if biz 2.0 is a sign of things to come.

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early reminder - (likemind) to

PFSK-started coffee-event is happening next week.

It's described as "an opportunity to enjoy coffee and conversation because drinking good coffee with likeminded people is fun"

I went to the first one and it was a nice get-together and I made some great contacts. Looking forward to this one next week.

Date: Oct 18
Time: 8am
Place: Over Easy, 208 Bloor Street West (at Avenue Rd), Toronto

(I think I'll talk to the organizers about changing up the location next time)

Sort of sad that this is the only city in Canada to take part. Montreal, Vancouver - anyone want to organize?

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Playing games at the movies - t.o.

People playing games as a group in movie theaters - this is what Time Play is hoping will take place in every theatre in the country. I haven't personally seen it at any theatres around town, but hope they start picking it up. I also hope it's not one of those great ideas that in practice just doesn't work well.

Cool concept, should have cooler site unfortunately - www.timeplay.com

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HOT Fi'tty

Profit posted their HOT 50 emerging growth companies recently - two things crossed my mind. It's amazing how you can get caught up in the tech sector and forget that there are a lot of startups in non-tech related spaces that are growing just as aggressively. Maybe I'm getting tunnel vision..

Second thing Simply Audiobooks #36 on the list. Are audiobooks that popular to generate revenues of $6.5MM? And are the Indigos and Amazons of the world really not covering this niche? Granted, their proft margin is negative on those revenues.

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rankthisjob.com - t.o.

A friend of mine launched rankthisjob.com recently. A rankmyteachers.com for job hunters. While it's not a new idea, this application if done right, could be very valuable to job hunters. This is a really the one missing piece in the job hunt - you never REALLY know what the company is like until you start working there.

Check out the site and write a review, or look up old colleagues. Let's hope people are open enough to share their opinions on the site.

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Standoutjobs.com - mtl

Ran into this site a while ago - youtube meets monster? Sort of, but there is a lot more value for people who want to find out what companies are REALLY like before joining.

I agree with their About statment - the job (search) market is broken and really inefficient. I liked what I saw - although I think some of the videos looked too amature to me and they might hurt chances of the recruiting company. Does that make sense?

So I know there are other video mashup b-models in the works - youtube+myhood.ca, youtube+autotrader?

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Pownce begging for some dough?

Pounce is asking me to Go Pro! on my account - what do I get? I can send 100MB files and not have to see any ads, all for $20 a year. Let's look at the proposition - I looked for some ads on the page to see how much cleaner it will be - there were none. I can use yousendit.com for free for large files - it involves a few more steps but is pretty easy. $20 a year - this is almost too LOW to think it brings me any value.

I had the same issue pricing my MP3 products - sure you have to price above your variable costs, but you also have to think about the message it sends. After my costs, I wanted to make sure people understood the quality of our tours in every aspect of the product (its sound, look, feel, AND price)

If I pay too little for something, I will think that it's, well, crap :)

I have to preface this note with the fact that I'm pretty big social outcast on Pownce and don't have the network to see the value of this.

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Red Canary - a site I found recently. It has a good collection of posts and profiles of startups, mostly in the software space.

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City Surf - Waterfront Project

We launched our first large-scale project this past weekend. Audio tour kiosks were set up along the waterfront of Toronto and people could take them for the day for free. Consumer feedback has been really positive - people who try them love them and had a LOT of positive things to say.

It’s just a matter of getting more people to try them!

Also, our tours were compared to Tourcaster tours, which is a pretty big player in this space. Good PR for us!

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nine 2 five

I stopped my climb in the corporate world a few months back. It wasn’t that I hated working for large companies. I just wanted the work I was doing and who I was working with to inspire me. I had been promoted to Account Director at BBDO - a pretty good position to be in with room to grow. I was uninspired, disillusioned, and never looked forward to waking up in the morning or looking at my blackberry.

So I stopped..

City surf is my first project - I call it a project because I always saw myself working on a few different businesses - City Surf creates MP3 audio tours for city neighborhoods. It’s very early stage, but it’s been interesting to see how it has evolved and where the money is.

On the side, I’m looking for new projects.

My ultimate goal is to find the lifestyle I am looking for, and to make a good living, not through the traditional way of climbing the ladder.

I’ll let you know how it’s going :)

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