Lockerz: When Pinning Pays Off


I hope since my earlier post Can Pinterest Make you Healthier? you have become a Pinning Fein just like the rest of the world. Now, not to burst your bubble, but like most things in tech something newer and better is always close behind. For Pinterest, this new competitor is Lockerz.

One and the Same

Using these sites is overall the same experience. The idea is to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You start off by creating an account name and then proceed to placing a bunch of pictures, either originals or obtained from the Internet, into different categories. Then you can repost pictures to your collections from other members’  collections. The people you choose to follow can range from friends from your social networks, to celebrities and brands.

The Similarities Laid Out

As you can see, the look and feel of these social sites is very much the same, as well as the functionality. The only thing that changes is the name given to the alike action.

What Makes it Better

Now I love Pinterest as much as any girl who loves to spend hours pinning with no purpose, but there was one thing that convinced me to make the switch to Lockerz. The PTZ factor. Lockerz members earn what the network calls ‘PTZ’ for nearly everything they do on the site, which are used to get discounts on hundreds of products offered in the Lockerz Store.“  This allows users of Lockerz to get a better ROI (Return on Investment) than pinners ever will.

 

For every hour you spend on this site, you are working your way towards getting super discounted items, as opposed to spending time on Pinterest where all I have seemed to accumulate is a lot of pretty pictures. On Lockerz they have brand name clothes, shoes, and electronics where you can use your points to hack off part of the price.

Now I think this is a great idea because this concept of getting rewarded for your time gives posting photos a purpose. I enjoy doing it, and it doesn’t hurt that if I continue I could get these $55 earrings for half off!

If you’re thinking that this is too good to be true, check out the Lockerz 101 page for a full explanation of how this process works.

Learn the Lingo

Before you’re saying Out with the Old, In with the New, it is important to know what your talking about. Here is a little Pinterest to Lockerz translation sheet.

  • When you are referring to each picture in a category Pin= Decalz
  • The action of putting the pictures into categories  Pinning= Grabbing
  • What you call each category filled with pictures Pinboards= Collections

Where Your Influence Actually Matters

Lockerz revolves around the idea that influencers within a social network can become brand and content advocates and affect the behavior of their friends. On Lockerz you earn a lot of points based on how many people grab and love your pictures, so the bigger your network is, the greater chance you have of earning points. On Twitter it doesn’t matter how many people follow you (aside from bragging rights), but on Lockerz you could be earning PTZ in your sleep if you have people following your posts.

Mobile is not so Mobile

One aspect that I am not very satisfied with is this mobile version of this site. I downloaded the mobile app thinking that would be a great way to score some extra PTZ on the go, but every time I go to open the app it crashes. It seems I am not the only one with the problem, as many people have taken to review the app with the same complaint. Now, if this could be fixed I think this app could rival the Pinterest app as well.

So What Do You Say?

Are you going to keep up with the latest technology and move to Lockerz, or is this social train moving to fast for you? Let me know in the comments !

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Who Are the Contenders to Be the Next Instagram?


Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has gone viral. They have over 30 millions users and their acquisition by Facebook made front page news. Now, their worldwide success is what many startups aspire to obtain. I thought I would take a look at companies that have the potential to achieve the same level of success, and came up with a list of 3 companies that I think are the contenders to be the next truly massive success story.

Viddy

An app called Viddy takes on a very simular concept to Instagram. It has the same idea framework, but instead of sharing photos, Viddy allows users to captures 15 second video clips. The next steps remain the same as Instagram as you take the captured media, add a filter, and share with friends. Some might find the 15 second mark “insanely short,” but it forces you to cut out any unnecessary footage and get right to the point.

Why do I think this copycat app won’t just be thrown aside?

Because it already hasn’t been. Celebrities have already taken an interest in Viddy as a way to let fans into their lives through little video snippets.

With music icons and even Facebook’s own Mark Zuckerburg using the app, it sets off an influx of new users.

This kind of free advertising creates a buzz large enough to give Viddy the possibility to become the next Instagram.

Pair

I found out about this app from an article on mashable, and I think it has real potential. Pair is an app that makes it easier to stay in touch with that one person who you send 90% of your text messages to. Instead of sending messages to a single person using tools that were designed to send messages to everyone you know, Pair allows you to send photos, video, your location, and even things like sketches to one person in a single message.

(picture from here)

Beyond the basics, they have some cheesy features for couples to enjoy.  ThumbKiss is a feature that lets you see where your partner’s finger is on the screen, and when your thumb meets theirs, both of your iPhones will vibrate.  If that’s a little too much tech love for your liking, you can relax when you’re miles apart by sharing a live white board. Some possibilities to use this are to play games, share drawings, or create a mutual shopping list.

Why I think this App will gain momentum

I know so many people in my life that have the need for this app. I could see people in middle school all the way through married couples finding use for this app and loving the features it provides.

Pose

This app takes on photo sharing from a fashion perspective. Pose enables you to snap a photo of an item of clothing, tag it with the item’s price, brand, and store, and post it to Pose.  Your followers can “heart” an item (a la Instagram) or discuss their opinions in the comments.

Now, the practicality of this app is that brands can use it to drive business. The most common way to use the app is when you’re in a store and you come across and item of clothing you may want to buy, Pose invites you to take a snapshot. You can then tag it with your current location and the item’s price, and share it with friends. While a lot of popular brands have their own accounts where they can post professionally styled outfits, anyone can take a shot at styling the pieces and then share the same way.

Why I think Pose is a strong contender

The idea is really attractive to anyone interested in fashion. You get to share your style and the looks you create with fashionistas all over the world. People you don’t even know can approve of your style. There are also brand names already on the site such as LevisCoco Rocha, and Jewelmint. Getting the experts in on this app has driven all their fans to start posing themselves!

Free is the Key

Something all these apps have in common with each other and Instagram is the price, as they are all available for free in the Apple App Store.   When the app is free there is no reason not to try it out, so see what you think.

Who do you think is the strongest contender? Is there an underdog that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments!

Clicks for A Cause – A NonProfit Search Engine


Think about how many times a day you use Google. Any time you want to look up a new recipe for dinner, or check for the hundredth time if you should be using there, their, or they’re in the paper you’re writing, you always end up with the same conclusion to just “google it.” I sometimes believe in the phrase

Since everyone takes the same course of action for any question they might have, Google makes billions of dollars off advertising. Normally that would just be called becoming successful, but what if another site provided the same service, but donated all the money they made to help the world. Now that success could be shared with the world.

Introducing Benelab

Benelab is a student startup that does just that.

A Genuine Creator

So who is the creator of this startup that takes a billion dollar idea and tweaks it for good? That would be none other than Jack Kim, a student that used his skills from a high school web design class to create the non profit search engine. He even gives an honest and relatable reason why he started it as he explains, ”The reason for the nonprofit was that I really didn’t care much about making money – I mean, I didn’t have to feed myself, and experience was the only thing to gain. Alongside Kim is a small team of 10 of his classmates, each of which he lured into the project by sayingyou know it really wouldn’t hurt to say in your college apps that you helped found a nonprofit web startup in high school. I think something about that statement really hit home with the potential teammates and thus Benelab was born.

Minimal Effort Required

Why does this idea have such great potential?  Benelab generates funds while we do something we all do each and every day: search. It barely requires you to go out of your way to make an impact in the world. Everybody takes the time to do a simple search whenever they don’t know the answer to something, so why not just bring that act to a different site. This way you put in no extra effort, but if many people make the switch all the money made will be reinvested in our world.

Starting Off Small with Room to Grow

While this may be the first you’ve heard of Benelab, users have already flocked to it and have shown how powerful this tool can be. In the month of May, the Benelab team took to their blog to show how much of a profit was made, and where they decided to donate the money that month. For that month they choose the Ronald McDonald House, and were able to donate $330.

And in June they raised $400 to purchase and send 20 hand-powered LED lanterns to Peru.

(Images from here)

Although that is not nearly as much as what Google makes in a month, it is a start. They were able to help out some great causes and will only continue to grow and donate.

Room to Improve

You may be thinking, “if this invention is so great then why is everyone not already using it”? Well, I always thought the idea was great, but during the time I took to test out Benelab I did notice a few shortcomings. Some of these weaknesses stem from that fact that Benelab uses Bing’s API instead of Google’s API. Now, people already use Google over Bing because they like it better, so a new product that builds off the lesser of the two is not an easy sell. This search engine is not as lightening fast as Google, as I found it takes about 2 seconds to complete a search on Benelab as apposed to .36 seconds on Google. Now after researching the benefits that Benelab can bring to our world, I think that is a small price to pay.

Why You Should Still Give Benelab a Chance

The technicalities of each search engine will very likely improve as time goes on, but what they stand for will remain the same. I believe that Benelab can grow and compete with the “big dogs” because if more people become aware of their site and what it stands for, they will want to make the change. If you are willing to make the change, change your homepage to Benelab and continue to search away.

What is Etsy & Why Your Startup Should Join


Etsy may be well known to the 16 year old girl who is obsessed with buying vintage jewelry, but do you have a clue what it is ?

Etsy has been up and running since 2005, but has recently been getting a lot of hype with online shoppers. It is an online store thats mission is “enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers.” Now this may seem to appeal more to the artsy part of society,   but I can attest that those who posses zero artistic talent can still enjoy what the site has to offer.

Selective Selection

Now, the difference between Etsy and the big dogs, such as eBay or Amazon, is the type products that are sold. “Etsy is an online buyer and seller community of strictly hand-crafted or vintage goods” Etsy is putting the importance back on quality over quantity. Now, if you outsource your product to a factory in Indonesia, then you should pass on getting set up on this site. They look into how the products are made and want to ship out one of a kind products.

Not Just a Little Fish in a Big Pond

The Internet is a giant space filled with millions of people trying to sell you products. The likelihood that somebody will notice your product without advertising is very small, and in essence you are a small fish in the world’s ocean. With Etsy, everything is a little more centralized. You are still a new brand, but this website removes a lot of the clutter from the Internet and has your products competing with fewer others. The Etsy website also already has a large community built, so before you even think about adding your business the customers are already there. This gives you a much larger platform to be discovered than just your own independent website floating around.

If you want to attract more attention, check out these Etsy tips for getting your goods noticed and sold.

A Site that Wants You to Succeed.

Now because Etsy puts such value on selling homemade and vintage products, I already get the feeling that there are not heartless business people at the forefront of this company. It seems that they want each merchant to succeed because there are a lot of accesible tool to make this happen. Using an Etsy store is a lot easier than manually setting up and maintaing your own website. Now removing work is great, but I think the Etsy blog is where this company really goes out of the way to help the sellers. They feature different sellers and create blog posts on how to acheive success on their site. The Etsy team clearly knows what works and sells on their site, and share these tips through posts such as Etsy Success: Product Photography for Beginners.

(Picture from here)

It Doesn’t Stop at E-commerce

Etsy’s youtube channel provides a long list of instructional videos including the “How-Tuesday” playlist which shares use do it yourself ideas.

So are you convinced ? Before you go over to Etsy to start shopping check out 6 Ways to Save Money on Etsy !

Summer Beauty Picks


Hey Guys! Today I am going to share my favorite beauty products for Summer. Some of these have been my favorites for a long time, but other I just recently picked up and feel are perfect for the summer months.

Image

To start off, a bronzed face is perfect for summer. I don’t really wear any foundation during the summer because honestly it is way to hot and will just sweat right off. Because of this, I love my faithful erase paste concealer by Benefit. It works so well and you really only need a little bit, and the rest will last you until next summer. Now to get that bronzy glow, I love the cheap, but functional NYC bronzer in sunny. To give you a highlight on your face I have a baby high beam that I put right at the tops of my cheek bones and it gives your just the right amount of luminosity. A little while back Sephora had a deal where you get all three Benefit minis for $10 or $15, and because I use so little each time I don’t see the need for me to buy the full one at a large price tag. For the rest of you besides your face, I use the Jergens gradual tanner. Because I have super pale skin, I can see results with the lightest shade, but they also come in darker shades if you so desire. Moving on, I love fun colored eyeliner for the summer. I think adding in a little pop of purple or blue makes a look fun for summer ! Now I got my Urban Decay liner when it was on sale for like $2 online, but there are many cheap alternatives at the drugstore. If that’s not your thing, I love my Jordana Fabuliner that is way cheaper than a lot of others, and is much easier to use. Now my favorite eye shadow selection for the summer is from the Urban Decay Naked palette. I bought this a few years ago as a birthday present to myself, (everyone does that right? :) ) and I still love it. Every neutral shade you could possibly want in one little compact rectangle. Now, the rule is you pick one or the other to do bright colors with… either your eyes or lips… so for the days when I choose the latter I love a bright lip color. Lipsticks have always felt to old for me ( Nothing against it, just for now I haven’t gotten into them). So I love other options such as the Revlon lip butters and the Tarte Lip Surgence. They don’t dry your lips out, and also provide great color.

So as you have some fun in the sun, maybe you want to try some of these out ?

Let me know what your Summer Beauty Picks are !

How Pinterest Can Make You Healthier


If you haven’t taken the time to check out Pinterest, you really should. 

If you are now finding yourself saying what is Pinterest, I am a little disappointed in you, and suggest you get caught up right away.

Now this site has a reputation for causing girls to spend hours pinning away pictures of their dream weddings, but if that’s not your niche I would like to hypothesize that using Pinterest can lead to a healthier life.

Your Digital Cookbook

 (and here)

Pinterest is heaven for all the foodies on the web. There are tones of recipes for healthy meals right at your fingertips, so it makes looking for recipes a very visual process. No reason to fall back on the same old recipes that quickly become boring, Pinterest makes it easy to step out of the box and try something new. It is said that we eat with our eyes as well as our taste buds and tummies, so when healthy fare is visually appealing, it can help you get excited about eating well and staying on track.

The Cheapest Gym Membership You Could Ask For

Don’t tell me you have the money to join a gym this year because that excuse doesn’t work anymore. There are boards that offer free workouts that can be done right in your living room. Everything ranging from a 30 minute workout, to a little more creative Harry Potter gym session will get you moving without leaving your house. Replace a personal trainer with step by step instructions available in many little pins.

One that is very inspiring is the Couch to 5K workout plan.

This 10 week plan gives workouts for everyday and strategically places days to relax in-between. This reaches out to the everyday person and makes a very large goal seems obtainable by starting off slow and growing in intensity every day. It is crazy what you can accomplish with the right tools and a little Pinspiration.

Need a little Pinspiration?

(picture from here)

Quotes, and Videos, and Magazine clips OH MY.

Pinterest provides endless boards of inspiration that can act as that “kick” you need to get off the couch, and start working out. If you feel down from a rough day and make excuses about why you don’t want to work out, Pinterest can provide a little extra motivation with just the click of a button. The phrase “A picture’s worth a thousand words” is taken to the next level here because every picture can act as an instant pick me up, or give you the motivation trade in your bad habits for a healthier lifestyle.

If you know the tools are accesible, but still need a little motivation, go right back to Pinterest to create some. Make a pin board to act as your “wish list” so that you can reward yourself after completing a goal, or use it to remodel your ideal body image. But remember to resist the urge to ‘pin’ images of models with airbrushed, unattainable bodies and instead choose images that are realistic and healthy.” 

But you have to be proactive about it because…