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“Discovering music through people.” This is the motto of 8Tracks. This free music streaming service is a blend of Pandora and Spotify with much more diversity. 8Tracks was founded in 2006 with the idea of a social networking site based around sharing playlists. The site gives people a legal and easy way to listen to all kinds of music, found in playlists of at least eight or more songs. You are able to search by genre, artist, activity, mood, and more!

One of the most interesting aspects of this site is that you are constantly connecting with people through their playlists. You have to listen to the playlists in order and you can’t go back to a previous song until you go through the rest of the songs. They also only give you a few skips, so you either take a chance on liking the whole playlist or go find another.

Everyone I know uses some sort of music streaming service, be it Spotify, Apple Music, or even YouTube, but none of these services focus so much on using music to find people who like the same music as you, or are going through the same sort of things as you in their lives. 8tracks gives you the option to look not only into the music, but into the person who brought it into your life.

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Sean Parker

Sean Parker the co-founder of the music service Napster and the former founding president of Facebook started his internet entrepreneurial days a little bit differently than most. Parker showcased himself in the tech world by hacking into computer networks and companies around the world. This led to the FBI to his front door when he was only 15. Sean was forced to do community service with other trouble makers.

During his time doing community service, Parker would meet Shawn Fanning. Together they would start a small internet-security company that helped firms get rid of hackers. This business would ultimately be unsuccessful but would create a successful friendship.

Parker’s next project put him on the map for the CIA. It earned him an internship with them and a check for $80,000. Parker would use this to convince his parents to put college on hold while he pursued yet another internet project.

Parker along with Shawn Fanning would start a file sharing service called Napster in 1999. Napster quickly became popular with music lovers. The music sharing aspect of Napster attracted tens of millions of users. This made Napster a target of the music industry which led to its fall. This would leave him without a place to live and with very little money.

Parker was saved when he noticed the new online service called Facebook. Parker saw so much potential in Facebook that he met with the founder, Mark Zuckerberg. They instantly became friends and Parker was named the company’s founding president.

Some of you may have seen the movie The Social Network and know how this story ends. But if you haven’t seen it. It does not end well. At least the Facebook part of the story. Parker had a long history of partying, which led to him being arrested for suspicion of possessing cocaine. This would be what made him leave Facebook.

Although his time at Facebook was cut short. It didn’t completely end his career. He would later help bring Spotify to the U.S. Which we all know was a massive success and still is.

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Patreon: Sustainable Income for Creators

The Internet has introduced many new career opportunities into our culture. However, it wasn’t until recently that “YouTube star” was a viable career. Thanks to an internet based startup, content creators can have a truly sustainable income. Patreon is a platform that connects content creators with their fans financially. Creators retain 100% ownership of their content and Patreon keeps a 5% fee of all revenue brought in. This is a great way for fans to support artists and creators they love. Fans can pay a few dollars per month or per post to support and thank the creators for their work. John Green, host of the YouTube channel CrashCourse, said, “Patreon is our only source of funding where passion matters more than views.” This is a revolutionary model that reaches across the boundaries of views and ads – connecting artists to their audiences and involving them in the creation process. Patreon isn’t limited to just video content – artists, photographers, writers, animators, comedians and musicians have all used Patreon to successfully connect with their fans in a way that encourages them to keep producing art.

As the Internet becomes more and more engrained into our culture, it will be interesting to watch how entrepreneurs channel its characteristics into business models. A business like Patreon would never had been possible before the interconnectivity offered by the Internet, and there wouldn’t have been as strong of a need for it before the Internet, either.

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What’s Everyone “Yammering” about?


Yammer is a social network that’s entirely focused on your business.  The service operates under a freemium model that delivers most of its basic features away for free, but assesses a monthly service fee for access to its advanced group or administrative controls. It is a cross between Twitter And Facebook. What makes it interesting is it is set up to be used as a private space for companies and institutions as opposed to Twitter and Facebook which is open to the whole world.  In order to get involved with the site, your business’s Yammer network, an applicant must have a working email address from your company’s domain.  You can also create external networks to allow non-employees, such as suppliers and customers, to communicate with your company.


Yammer is set up like Facebook: a newsfeed for posts, you can “like” posts, create groups which is helpful for segregating talk that’s relevant only to specific internal teams, private messaging, and share photos as well as videos.  What I like about the created groups is that if you come up with a situation and your group requires assistance from other employees, you can share it with a specific person via instant message or with another group entirely.


The social media aspect of it is what I like and I think it solves an issue within the workforce.  It brings people together within a company or institution.  Yammer provides a way to close the gap and has the potential of bringing people together in virtual communities of practice.  I know there is the issue of people being too nervous to join social medias because they don’t want to put themselves out there or for the Government to have more information on them *cough my mom cough* (just kidding my mom has nothing to hide and is very involved with all social media…it’s a blessing and a curse).  This gives people in the company the ability to see what their fellow colleagues are up to without being nervous that other strangers will see their stuff.  It is not so much of a risk if your audience is just within your organization.


The main problem that Yammer has it that not a lot of people know about it, or if they do know about it, they don’t want to give up the system they already have.  One of Yammer’s goals is to help get rid of the clogged up email inboxes and put everything in one place.  However people are still unwilling to let go.

“…enterprise workers are holding onto email for dear life and are not prepared to give it up”

I am unaware of what exactly they are looking to do, but I am aware that they are looking to improve their site and try to get more organizations involved.


In the future when I’m all grown up and working for a company (or have own of my own) and they are looking for a way for the whole company to get more involved with each other, I will remember Yammer and possibly suggest it to them if Yammer is still up and kicking.  I find it to have many great qualities and it will be interesting to see how they decide to improve.

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What’s Up with WhatsApp?

My family is majorally based in Hong Kong. That is almost 8,000 miles and 24 hours of flight time from my house in Albany, New York. My parents have been separated from their families for more than 27 years. Back then communication was through hand written letters and international prepaid calling cards that charged by the minutes. Today we use a handy little messaging app known as WhatsApp.

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Pinterest: An Alternative Marketing Approach

Pinterest: An Alternative Marketing Approach

With an $11 billion valuation and 100 million monthly active users in 2015, Pinterest is a one stop shop for creative inspiration, recipes, travel tips, advertisements/marketing, household tips and so much more.

Originating in 2010 as a social media network of “visual bookmarking” (similar to Tumblr), the internet sensation has grown to be the second largest social media network, following Facebook. Pretty impressive, right? So what does this website offer that people can’t get enough of?

Not only is the website and mobile app user intuitive, it also supplies new content after the page is refreshed. Because the user activity is so consistent, the website it always adding new content to your feed. This feature is quite similar to other social media networks in how the networks can become addicting. When there is always new content to see, users have the urge to continue browsing the app until there is no more to read.

But there is so much more that adds to Pinterest’s greatness.

Beginning as a platform to save “visuals,” Pinterest still holds the concept of sharing ideas. Within the past few years, this concept has developed into a goldmine for advertisements, marketing and e-commerce. Companies now use Pinterest as a tool to reach their target audience in a different approach. Instead of a flashing advertisement, companies mold their marketing strategies to the Pinterest style.
For example, Wix–a website development platform.


This is a pin that was on my personal Pinterest feed. Notice the design and wording of the advertisement –the trendy floral design, bold typography, the creative buzzwords such as “design” and “stunning”. These characteristics would stand out to a Pinterest user because it appeals to the general Pinterest aesthetic. In addition, notice how the pin attributes–“Promoted by” Using a softer and positive word like “promoted” is more approachable for the target user instead of harsher words. Although this is a Wix advertisement, it masks itself to be more interesting and welcoming.

Another alternative marketing feature is the Pin it button extension. A user can download the Pinterest button on Google Chrome and pin photos from any website. This creates extremely high traffic for both the pinned website and Pinterest.
For example: Free People–a woman’s clothing retailer

After downloading the extension, the Pin It button will appear on your browser’s right side bar.

pin button

Simply click it when you would like to pin a photo from a website. Here, I clicked the button while browsing Free People’s new arrivals page.

Pinterest FP

Once choosing a photo to pin, click the red “pin it” button, choose a board and viola, it is saved to your Pinterest board!


Using this feature not only added content to Pinterest’s platform, but it also pulled content from Free People’s website that may have never appeared on Pinterest without the pinning button feature.

Pinterest’s consumer influence is undeniable and its internet presence is unavoidable, who knows what will be next for it!


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