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Kiva Loans Capital to World's Poorest

Kiva.org is an innovative non-profit organization that takes entrepreneurs from some of the most poverty-stricken areas of the world and essentially gives them the capital to start their own business.  Kiva uses their website as a marketing tool, a weblog, and a means by which members can monitor how much money they’ve lent and to whom.

One aspect of Kiva.org that I believe is a very useful marketing tool is their “Community” tab.  Kiva allows members to join various “Lending Teams” and pool the money they’re lending together towards whatever cause or dogma they uphold (i.e. Kiva Christians, Team Obama, Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender, Team Europe, etc…).  Each respective team is ranked against other teams by how much money they’ve raised.

I like the way Kiva’s purpose is to help the poor by creating virtual VCs in order to create accountability, and their site does an excellent job of turning the cause of raising money into a competition between various regions, belief systems, and (in the case of GLBT) sexual preference.

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Fantasy Sports = $$$

I never had much interest in fantasy football, let alone any other fantasy sport.  This all changed after one of my buddies from home hit my interest in fall of 2008.  I was immediately hooked and determined to learn as much as I possibly could about the subject.  I asked my friend if he knew of any good websites about fantasy sports.  Enter WalterFootball.com

Walter Football is the ultimate source for any and all fantasy sports rankings, mock drafts, tournament picks, etc…  There is a virtual smorgisbord of information on current fantasy sports to be found at this site, which when combined with his wry humor and good advice creates a winning recipe for catching the interest of any fantasy sports enthusiast.

Walter, the author and webmaster of the site, is a Penn State alum who lives in Philly and does little more than watch sports and write about them.  His website WalterFootball.com is also one of the most well-known and respected fantasy sites on the Web.

This is a perfect example of an internet entrepreneur who took something he loved, turned it into a website, worked his butt off, and now makes a comfortable living off of nothing more than a little sports-writing and mock fantasy drafts.

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Texas Punk Gone Entrepreneur

I lived in San Antonio, Texas from age 7-10, and this past summer I went back to an old friend’s wedding.  While visiting got to hang out with Sean, one of my close friends from my days in Texas.

In catching up with him, I found out that over the past two years he has developed his own computer repair service.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is not your average “I reset my neighbors wireless router” repair service.  This kid has clientele all over the city, gets away with charging $50/hour, and drives a 2007 Ford Mustang.

Sean uses both a personal website and Facebook Page to market his business.  He has over a dozen personal reviews on his own personal site attesting to his greatness.  This guy has no employees and doesn’t contract out any of his advertising because he does it all himself.

As a result of his hard work and successful marketing, Sean is working 10-20 hours a week and making around $35000/year while playing in a Christian rock band that’s about to get signed to a major record label.  Pretty impressive what a 21 year old with no college experience can do when he puts his mind to something.

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Creative Commons Builds and Protects

Creative Commons offers the tools by which people and companies can legally share their work with others while still abiding by copyright laws.  The point of Creative Commons is to allow people to build on each others’ work while still giving just credit where credit is due.

One example of CC usage is ClearBits.  ClearBits was known until March 16, 2010 as LegalTorrents, which pretty much sums up the function of the company.  ClearBits is creating a torrent community where all the media uploaded is 100% legal and licensed using Creative Commons.  This is an interesting contrast to most torrent sites which offer illegal content up for download.

The problem with most torrent sites up until now is that there hasn’t been an easy way to license your own media.  The utility of Creative Commons is that it provides a means to license a work of art (music, pictures, videos, etc…) while still allowing others to modify and improve on their work.

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RazerZone Gaming Peripherals

Computer gaming and various e-sports have gradually become popular and thus the market for various gaming peripherals (i.e. gaming mice, keyboards, headsets, etc…) has been rapidly increasing over the last decade.  This has meant only good news for Razer USA, a private enterprise founded in 1998 whose target market is gamers who have a need for better computer accessories.

Razer’s website RazerZone.com has proven to be an integral part of their success over the past several years.  Razer branded itself with its tri-fold twisted snake insignia and gaming mice named after deadly snakes, and as such their website reflects the same snake graphic.  This is complemented by a black background and neon green print.

Razer’s site is set apart from its competition by the crisp graphics and silicon-smooth touch and feel the site possesses.  In addition, Razer has done a fantastic job of marketing itself by creating lines of accessories for popular games such as League of Legends and the upcoming Starcraft 2.

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