Forget Spotify, SoundCloud, or listening to old-fashioned radio. With Grooveshark, you can upload your own music, listen to your friends’ uploads, or listen to other’s broadcasts. While reading the blog below, why not start listening to one of my personal favorites right away?
Not only a great platform for launching your own garage-based heavy metal band, but also a nice way to listen to the same music as your friends, no matter where you are. Founded in 2006 by Sam Tarantino, a student and musician, and the more technical Josh Greenberg, Groovehark states to be an online ecosystem, bringing together fans, bands, labels and brands. It currently has over 30 millions users world-wide, and over 15 millions songs available .
So, what’s new in Grooveshark in comparison to all others? Grooveshark offers a range of possibilities, extending beyond most online streaming music services. First of all, the music that is available ranges from the current most popular songs (a top 500 is provided conveniently under ‘Popular’) to your personal band, looking for a broader fanbase. All available music is uploaded by the users, opening possibilities for bands with established fanbases and newly started musicians. Second of all, every user has the possiblity to create playlists, broadcasts or share music with your online community. Continue reading Grooveshark – Search. Play. Discover.→
In the backpacking world Hostelworld has become a household name, which makes sense considering the fact that www.hostelworld.com is the world’s number one hostel booking website, and “the leading provider of online reservations for the budget, independent and youth travel market.” With the mission: “to become the fastest-growing online provider of great value accommodation, using innovative technology to inspire independently minded travellers everywhere,” the company has certainly done just that, now listing over 35,000 properties in 180 countries, with over 3.5 million guest reviews.
The website was created by a hostel owner and IT entrepreneur who realized that at that time, 1999, there was no way to book and pay hostel reservation deposits online. The company started out as a platform connecting backpackers in need of cheap accommodation with budget hostel owners but has the platform has grown to include other types of accommodation including campsites, self catering accommodations, B&B’s and budget hotels.
Hostelworld created “the network effect, with value growing as the platform matched demand from both sides…increasing returns to scale,” (Eisenmann, 2006). One of the ways the website attracted so many users was through their affiliate program with over 3,500 distribution partners, including big names in the travel industry such as Lonely Planet and Ryanair.com.
Nowadays world becomes more and more international. People travel more, have more international colleagues, even international families became more common. Therefore, being able to speak many languages is more important than ever.
In 2006, the educational platform Italki that helps people to learn foreign languages was introduced. The educational platform solves many of the most common problems that arise during language learning. The post will analyze problems, which may occur on each step of learning language road starting from picking a language to lessons themselves, and how Italki deals with them.
Firstly, a person chooses a language that she wants to learn. However, it is very hard to find teachers of languages that are not very common. As Italki works as a platform, which connects teachers and students, it has a huge pull of teachers. Therefore, it is possible to find native speakers of any language.
Being a student is the best time of your life. You don’t have to follow your parents orders, you can decide whatever you want to eat and you can party all night long, everyday of the week. However, all this fun isn’t for free. Especially not if your student association wants to organize the most awesome events and parties. In order to be able to pay all those amazing events and parties, student associations try to acquire sponsors. Nowadays, student associations face the problem of low acquisition levels because companies cut back on their sponsor expenses due to the economic crisis. How can student associations (but also other kind of associations and clubs) still gather all the money they need for their events and parties?
Inspired by the topics of crowfunding, I began to wonder: Is this pure science fiction for companies in Croatia or could this actually lead to some results? The current economic situation is not in favour of entrepeneures and searching for a project funder is like finding a needle in a haystack. But does it have to be like this?
I certainly tried to search for some existing platforms, but all I could find is one named ‘Doniralica’ (in rough translation this is a derivative from the verb donate) which currently has only the main page with no signs of projects of any kind. I tried to understand why this is the case, as crowdfunding has been proven to be an extremely helpul way of financing throughout the world. Skimming through some related posts, I ran into the fact that in the surrounding region, Slovenia is the leader by the amount of money raised through crowdfunding and it got me thinking: Is it because they are more multidisciplinary or they exchange more experiences? And why can’t we do the same? Continue reading Crowdfunding in Croatia: a dream or a possible reality?→
Internet is changing the way economic actors perceive themselves. Nowadays, the web allows people to be less and less passive consumers, and to become active ones. Even more interestingly, sometimes people can cross the bridge and become themselves producers of goods. An example of this is ITASA.
ITASA is a web community which produces and publishes Italian translations of foreign TV-Series. These translations can be paired to video files which can be downloaded from the web (illegally, unfortunately, and so you guys shouldn’t try this at home). In this way, ITASA allows many Italian users to enjoy Tv-Series months before they are dubbed and broadcasted on Italian television.
Interestingly enough, ITASA is an entity operating on the market, but not playing according to the traditional market rules. Indeed, its products (subtitles) are not sold, but donated. This means, in the first place, that translators will not get a single cent for their work. They have to regularly dedicate their spare time to translate subtitles, and on top of that do it quickly (nerds are indeed ravenous when it comes to their beloved TV-series). In addition, there is no monetary (or even non-monetary) exchange between the producers and the consumers. ITASA offers to its users the possibility to donate an amount of money of their choice to contribute to the survival of the community, but this is contribution is non-mandatory.
Nowadays, human life mainly relies on electronic devices, including computer, cellphone, and television. Internet plays a role of catalysis of increasing connection between people and electronic devices. Because of this, more and more brick-and-mortar stores/services are gradually digitalized or replaced by on-line store/service, karaoke industry is not an exception. iKala, an online karaoke service provider, develops new way for people singing the song with low cost and convenience. It operates at multiple platform- cellphone, computer, and television- that connected by internet.
On the night of 4 October 2013, SK Telecom T1 completed a rout of analyst’s favorites Chinese Royal Club to take home the whooping prize money of 1 million $ net, but more importantly the title and bragging rights of being the world champions 2013 of the multiplayer online game League of Legends. It was a night in which SKT1’s Lee Sang-Hyeok, better known as “Faker”, produced a performance of a lifetime that assures his position in the Hall of Fame of LoL with other midlaner greats such as former Taipei Assasin’s Toys. His expert Gragas play that helped secure the first Dragon in every game, coupled with excellent lane control and mind games lead the team to victory in the sold-out Staples Center Arena (Los Angeles Lakers NBA team Arena): “We put in so much work, and we really trained well […] We expected to win.” Faker said at the end of the match. 
For most people, all of the above still sound like an excerpt from a SF novel, but professional video-games streamed live for an extensive audience are gaining momentum and this is mostly due to Twitch.tv.
Twitch.tv is an active co-creation platform where amateur and professional video-gamers can stream the games they are playing live and interact with viewers. According to Qwilt (a broadband measuring tool), Twitch.tv “is driving more Web traffic than live videos from Major League Baseball, WWE’s popular wrestling matches, or even the news.”  What’s more, Twitch.tv attracts over 45 million unique visitors a month who watch an average of 100 minutes of livestream a day , numbers that seem unexplainable when we imagine the target is a niche. Beside individual broadcasters, the website has also made partnerships with Riot Games to stream the trending eSports championships and with Sony and Microsoft to bring Twitch.tv’s facilities to consoles, thus increasing their reach. The company earns money through personalized ads on the website and through add-free ‘partner program’ subscriptions. Through Twitch.tv, gamers also receive income through donations from their followers or brand sponsorships. The website provides the basis for what seems to be a future valuable area of business – the growing eSports scene. Through its innovative concept, the website created a new business world where passionate people without a traditional career path in sight can now have a proper ‘job’ by being professional gamers or eSports commentators. Continue reading Sports for the New Generation→
Watch out, Generation X, Y and Z – a powerful new force in culture and commerce is emerging: Generation C. User generated “Content”, “Community”, “Creation”, “Connection” and “Curation” are its defining features. Spanning the generations its members are digital natives and exceptionally tech-adept, using the web to search for and create new content across all platforms – everywhere, everyday.
Within Generation C everyone is a blogger, everyone is an artist and everyone can be a designer. This phenomenon leads to an increasing dilution of the distinction between audience and speaker, consumer and creator. Therefore the desire for personalized products and services has never been greater. Tapping into this trend companies like M&M or Nike provide their customers with the opportunity to adjust designs and colors to their individual needs and thereby create their own personalized product versions within a given framework. Meanwhile mass customization is commonplace.
The need to express individuality particularly applies to high-involvement products like art or design. Many trends, such as the DIY (“Do-It-Yourself”) movement, also build on this phenomenon. DIY communities provide inspirations, guidelines and advice to create individual items, without any commercial intermediaries involved. But even if the creativity of Generation C members seems to be endless, their skills and also their time are finite. Productivity is restricted by the technical skills of the creator.
Kickstarter is a website that helps developers of a wide range of products get their project up and running. Whereas normally the producer would have to find (expensive) outside funding, by using Kickstarter the producer can reach out to its audience. Kickstarter provides a platform where producers can present their ideas and initial models to a large audience, providing them with a chance to ask people for a pledge of X amount of dollars to further develop their product. Popular products include documentaries, videogames, clothing, and tabletop boardgames, like one of the Kickstarter’s most popular projects, Dogs of War;
Those that pledge an amount of 50$ (or 45$ for those that acted quickly) get access to the game when it is fully developed and ready to be shipped. Mass market versions availabe in retail would cost more, in this case 60$, so there is a monetary incentive to pledge. Those that advertise their project on Kickstarter often include different amounts of money the consumer can pledge, which accordingly yield different exclusive extras that would not be made available to the public. Another feature on Kickstarter is that of “stretch goals”, these are added features of the product delivered only when the funds reach a particular level, in the case of Dogs of War the stretch goal is $50,000, at which point an additional character would be added. Continue reading Kickstarter; a better, more efficient way to fund projects→
During my last job, one of the most useful tools I found was 104 Human Resource banks. 104 Human Resource Banks is the top online platform to search for job or talent in Taiwan, depending in which side of the coin you are. This website has 310,000 daily active users and a market share of 85.5%. The human resource department in my company works in close relation with 104 and recently became the main labor force searching source for the company. Whenever there was job vacancy, a job offer is posted in 104. The results are outstanding: in just one week, there will be around 10 to 20 applicants asking for this job. Posting a job offer is not the only way to look for talent in 104, the platform also offers the possibility of proactively contact the talents you interested in by searching the skills or qualities you are interested in. Continue reading 104 Human Resource Banks→
Our houses are full of perfectly functioning objects that we do not use, cannot resell or give away as gifts. When something is not used and left in the basement or the storage closet it is automatically losing its value and will probably be thrown away. Of course there are many second-hand/swap stores and online platforms, but sometimes it might be difficult to place and sell an object and assess its market value.
Reoose is trying to solve these problems. This Italian online “eco-store” is based on what the funders call “asynchronic barter” to promote sustainable consumption and avoid waste. On this website it is possible to exchange items that have no value for the owner, even if new, and give them a “second life”, all without the use of money.
But what does “asynchronic barter” actually mean? And what is the difference with other second-hand websites?
Etsy, in a nutshell is a website that connects sellers and buyers on the field of handmade products, vintage and crafts. A long time ago people who wanted to buy crafts had to go to markets there were held not that often and had to have the luck that someone was selling what they were looking for. These times are passed now that Etsy is online. On this platforms sellers can put their products on the website for $0,20 and only 3,5% of the selling price goes to Etsy. There are sellers who make crafts or vintage in a wide range, from jewels till special handmade cutting boards. The buyers are people who search for something special and find it here as all products are one of a kind and/or handmade.
– hipster behind a Macbook –
The search for something that is unique is something that a lot of people want these days, there are certain social groups where this is very important (of course the hipster community: http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Hipster). This is in line what Saarijärvi et al. (2013) wrote about value co-creation; customers demand a more active role in production. Buyers are proud of what they found via this website. Not only the big and well known artists are there to buy, but there is a lot of room for small sellers for example girls that make their own juwelery in their room sell their crafts here (very pretty: https://www.etsy.com/nl/shop/SpringToFall ). Continue reading Etsy – selling crafts online→