Storytelling With Cowbird Adds A Personal Touch To Them

cowbird-logoCowbird a new startup aims to change the way we express ourselves on the web. With time, the emails changed into messages, messages were trimmed to SMS, then came status update and finally we are more happy tweeters. Storytelling was an art, an art that’s about to be forgotten as we tend to speak less, more often. Cowbird plans to change that.

A new network for storytellers who still love to tell a story, get involved in a conversation or express a moment as a poem. True there are quite a few places you can share your proses, blank verses etc or express your literary skills. Yet readers can’t truly interact with you and your words. Cowbird is here to bridge the gap. It offers a brilliant way to share your writings, an audio where you narrate it as well as present them with a great snap that says it all. Impressive, isn’t it?

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Start a story, write your words, speak it out, let the emotions flow as you take a trip to the past or savor a moment. A picture is worth a thousands words. Cowbird takes note and lets you add an image that represents your words in the best possible way. Assign tags, add locations and people to your story. Like other social networks, people can engage with your stories by loving them or by being your audience.

Comparing to Facebook’s way of storytelling (with Timeline feature) this is completely different. On Facebook, the storytelling revolves around an individual, whereas this startup combines stories from different people in form of a Saga or collection. The saga is curated with an interest specifically motivated by a happening or a thought while the collections are stories regarding random ideas.

Jonathan Harris, the founder, also gives a perspective where he aims to document people’s lives in the form of storytelling. A Wikipedia for life’s experiences. It is quite interesting to see a startup taking the risk of going off the trend which presently encourages using fewer words to share. Despite all odds the startup has a sizable amount of storytellers. The startup yet again proves that developers still need to focus on a more substantive approach for their apps to make them more engaging.

So now that you have a way to tell it, what’s your story?

Elevation Dock for iPhone Breaks Kickstarter Record, Raises $1 Million through Crowd-funding

Today is a rather momentous day for the crowd-funding website Kickstarter. Elevation Dock – a stunningly well designed iPhone dock, broke LunaTik and TikTok’s record for the highest amount of funding for a single project, and also became the first project to raise more than a million bucks from Kickstarter.

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Elevation Dock is a high-end iPhone dock that is designed with the kind of precision and care that would make even Apple proud. It is precision engineered from solid billets of aircraft grade aluminum, and then hand buffed, glass bead blasted, electro-chemically micropolished, hard anodized and sealed. Elevation Dock features a unique low friction connection that allows hassle-free single handed undocking; all you need to do is pull the phone up. Even more impressively, Elevation Dock works equally well on iPhones with or without a case. Elevation Dock adheres to Apples design principles to the T, and in doing so makes Apple’s own iPhone dock look cheap and shabby. It is simple, elegant, drop dead gorgeous, and intuitive to use.

It is worth noting that the previous record holder on Kickstarter was also an Apple related project. Scott Wilson managed to raise $942,578 for his iPod Nano watch. The TikTok project also paid meticulous attention to design and construction. The iPod watches were engineered from premium material, and were both beautiful and convenient.

Elevation Dock is the first to reach the $1 million mark; however, its reign at the top will be fairly short lived. Indie video game Double Fine Adventure, which was announced earlier today, has already shattered the record for the most funds raised in 24 hours with more than $800,000, and it still has 33 days to go.

Create your Startup in 54 Hours

The Startup Weekend presents an opportunity for all you procrastinating  entrepreneurs.

Imagine being able to start up the enterprise, which you have dreamed about for the last 10 years, in 54 hours. That is what “Startup Weekend” is all about. Anyone can participate.  This incubator  is  run by an energetic group spread across the world. It targets the clutch of developers, designers, and anyone who has a great idea.

This non-profit organization was founded by Andrew Hyde, and came into being in 2007. It brings a  whole  new meaning to a “weekend getaway”.  It shows you how a lot can happen in 54 hours. Teams have been known to work through the night just to get their idea ready for the final show down.

The weekend starts with a conference that allows the participants to show case their ideas. After the attendees vote for their  favorite  ideas, at the end of the night,  the top 24 groups present their demo model to an elite panel. The winning idea is always practical, well thought of, and presents a wonderful  opportunity  in business. The teams that win are awarded  incentives  to help them along their journey to becoming big successes. It is important to be able to think out-of-the-box and differentiate your ideas from the hundred’s that might be judged along with yours.

The biggest USP is not the prize at the end of the event, but the wonderful  opportunity  that the participants get to build new networks and pick up new skills. Its an opportunity for the participants to ”  ignite more entrepreneurial activity and map and connect the world’s startup ecosystems.”

Here are the 5 steps to the finals in the  Startup  Weekend.

Step 1:

Have a great (and practical) idea. Remember that you have just 54 hours to make it work.

Step 2:

Get a team.

Step 3:

Prepare an impactful 5-minute presentation. The attendees will decide if you go through for judging to the elite panel.

Step 4:

Prepare your demo model.

Step 5:

Blow the  competition  away.

The Startup Weekend website hit the nail on the head again when they quoted,

It’s rarely the idea that is the winner, but the people and the execution behind it.

It has been well attended in several cities all over the world. In fact, the next Startup Weekend may be coming to a city close to you.  It has been organized in 35 countries for over 25,000 entrepreneurs-in-waiting.

Humble Bundle Inc. Receives By $4.7 Million In Venture Capital

When I read the report for the first time, I was surprised that it was an entire corporation called Humble Bundle Inc., and not Wolfire Games that actually ran the Humble Indie Bundles. I blame my sudden loss of memory on the jaw-dropping amount of funding that the company has received from investors the incredibly large sum of roundabout four point seven million US dollars.

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The Humble Indie Bundle is basically a non-regular deal of a conglomeration of developers (except the latest) selling a bundle of their games together without any Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection at the incredible price of $pay_what_you_want. The model has has tremendous success in all of the iterations, since the indie games on offer are typically very well known and liked and also because the customer can decide where his/her money will be going whether to the developers or any of the participating organizations as charity.

All the games run on the recent versions of the three major operating systems (Windows, Mac OS and Linux) and recently redemption codes for the game on other platforms such as Steam or Desura have also been introduced.

There have been three Humble Indie Bundles so far, with the latest still on offer with Frozenbyte’s well known game Trine being one of the games in the bundle.

Gamasutra says that Sequoia Capital has led this series A funding round. The firm is well known to have backed other video gaming and entertainment startups such as Unity Technologies and GameGround.

Betali.st Tells You About Startups Before They Launch

If you think you are an early adopter when it comes to internet startups or if you simply want to be ahead of the game so you can sound cool amongst your peeps, Betali.st is a resource you must check out. It is not an app or web service, rather a Tumble based blog that provides information about yet-to-launch internet startups.

Most of these startups are in the process of giving final touches to their product and sending out limited beta invites. Betali.st is updated daily with new startups accompanied by a screenshot of their current landing page, a brief description of what they are about and of course a link to their homepage. If you think you have a startup worth being on Betali.st, you can simply submit it via this form.

The listing, as of now, is pretty scant, but given the neatness of the idea, it’ll be no surprise if Betali.st soon takes off as one of the primary resources for yet-to-launch startups.

[Via TechCrunch]