Pandora is an internet radio station that offers automated music recommendation. You can type in a song or artist that you like and Pandora will generate a continuous playlist for you. During a song, you can click whether or not you like it. If you like that song, Pandora will play more songs that are similar in style. If you do not like that song, then Pandora will not pick that type of songs. It was brilliant. Everybody at my work listened to Pandora. You can also listen to Pandora on your smartphone. Pandora relies on ads and the ad-free subscriptions for its revenue.
The downside? You can only skip a certain number of songs per hour and playback is not allowed. The most important downside of Pandora is that it only available in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. I missed Pandora a lot when I moved away and Pandora was no longer available. But then, along came Spotify.
Spotify is a commercial music streaming service. You can download the player and listen to the music on your computer, tablet and smartphone and it is free, or, at least, in the Netherlands. On Spotify, you can search for your favorite songs and artists and listen to the whole album or create your own playlist. The coolest thing is that it also offers the exact same service as Pandora, except on Spotify you can do much more. Since I have Spotify, I stop using iTunes on my computer. The annoying thing about Spotify is that if you use the free version, you have audio ads and the visual ads on the player but you can pay a premium package to have the ad-free version. Spotify is available in Europe, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and a few countries in Asia and South America. It also looks like Spotify plans to expand its service to many more countries.
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Craigslist is an internet-based platform where people can sell their personal stuff. Not only that, but you can also share news, post a photo of your lost pet, look for a partner/a house/a job, find a ride to somewhere, advertise the service you offer or advertise that you need one, participate on a discussion board and much more. If you go to the Craigslist website, you will see that it keep things very simple. There are no ads on the website. It earns revenue by charging for job classifies in some cities. Craigslist encourages that users deal locally to prevent scams and frauds.
Nevertheless, we still hear about the horrifying stories happened via this platform. In October 2007, Micheal John Anderson killed a woman who answered his ad for a baby sitter on Craigslist. This was the first murder case involving Craigslist since it was found in 1995. In April 2009, Philip Markoff was charged with first-degree murder of a masseuse who advertised her service on Craigslist. In June of 2011, a woman bought a car on Craigslist for her daughter. After the money was transferred, she found out that the deal was a scam. The woman lost $2,900. In the same month, a woman in California who worked as a housekeeper was raped by a man. They came in contact through Craigslist. Another example of Craigslist-related crime: a man agreed to buy a cellphone from someone and when they met up, the man was robbed at gunpoint.
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Over the past few years, crowdfunding platforms have become more popular. Just within 5 years, the number of the platforms had risen from 21 websites in 2007 to 143 websites in 2011 (a). Crowdfunding platforms offer the opportunities for people to pursue their dreams or to raise money for good a cause. On the other end of the spectrum, these platforms also provide opportunities for investment. However, as the popularity goes up, controlling this growing community is challenging since there are no concrete law or regulations, as can be seen in fraud cases occurring across crowdfunding platforms.
Take for example the Kobe-red project on Kickstarter, which was intended to raise money for beef-based jerky made with 100% organic and beer-fed Japanese cow. This project was supported by 3,252 funders generating over $120,000! Being as successful, it was approached by two filmmakers who would like to include this project in a documentary called Kickstarted. Looking back on hindsight, it was then discovered that many features provided by the project creators on the page were suspicious, raising concerns about the legitimacy of the project. Continue reading Warning: Fraudfunding →
A wedding ceremony is one of the oldest traditions. Every culture around the world celebrates a union of love. We have seen wedding ceremonies evolve throughout the years; from a traditional religious wedding to a destination wedding, an engagement photo shoot to a wedding video presentation. In the digitized world, the wedding industry has taken yet another turn. There are many wedding platforms on the Internet that offer service for planning a wedding. These platforms offer value co-creation between consumers and vendors/merchandisers.
Recently, especially in the US, wedding websites have become very popular among the couples. Continue reading The World Wide Wedding Web: Curse or Gift? →