Monthly Archives: November 2007

Startup #98 – iFundraisr

 cookies

How’s that for the ultimate Facebook Web 2.0 app name? 

Before I explain today’s idea, let’s first go back in time to my good ol’ middle school days.  Several times a year some high-energy salesman would come into our classrooms and hand out ultra-glossy pamphlets full of chocolates, cocoas, and popcorn wrapped up in delightfully tacky packages.  Our job was to spit-shine up our faces, bat our pre-pubescent eyelashes and con our relatives into buying for a bunch of crap they didn’t really want in the first place.  Of course, the end goal was to raise money to replace the profanity-laced vinyl seats on our buses or some other similarly worthy cause.  But for me, after a few times going door to door around our neighborhoods or spending an hour stuck on the phone listening to some distant relative discuss their medical history, I gave up on my dreams of becoming a professional fundraiser and instead settled for 30 mins of detention for “accidentally” leaving the pamphlet in my desk for an entire week.

My idea is a simple Facebook/Social App that would allow students to run a fundraising campaign via their existing social network.  Here’s how it would work.  First, the kids would be able to list the items that are for sale (either manually or by searching for participating fundraising companies).  Then, the kids could fill out a template that would send a message out to all of their family members letting them know about the fundraiser and giving them the option to order products.  In addition to ordering products, the family members would also have the option of listing the items on *their* profile pages and sending messages to their friends/family to support this campaign (and so on and so on).

OK, as a reward for reading through this long-winded and kind of lame idea, I’ve got three words for you: Girl Scout Cookies.  Now that is the real killer app!  :)

Startup #97 – The Contrarian Blog

voteno

Want to write a killer blog post?  Just fill in the blanks of the following sentences:

Open Letter to <CEO of major company>: Your Product Sucks

Should <major company> Kill The <latest product>?

<some words> Facebook <more words>

Baiting users of a particular technology by saying something negative is a great way to generate traffic.  And in the Web 2.0 world, traffic = cash.  So why wouldn’t a blogger go to extremes to generate a little extra exposure? 

Today’s idea is a response to this phenomenon – a blog that would respond to the most popular and one-sided posts of the day with a level-headed contrarian response.  The blog could be written by several people and could address all types of blog content, such as politics, tech, celebrities, gadgets, gaming, etc..  The beauty of this blog would be the ability to piggyback off the traffic from the most popular blogs, which should result in pretty good traffic for the contrarian blog.

Startup #96 – Text the Best

alarmAnyone read “The Four Hour Workweek”?  There’s a nice little productivity tip in there around stopping all daily news consumption.  No blogs, newspapers, or the evening news.  I tried it for a while and I have to admit, it’s very refreshing.  The only problem was that I had a nagging feeling that there might be something huge happening that I was missing out on.  Hence, today’s idea. 

My idea is a service that sends you a text message every time there is a *major* news story around a particular genre of interest.  Think high-level categories, like tech, politics, entertainment, world news, etc..  Instead of some annoying service that sends you text messages every time Kevin Rose sneezes, this service would only send out alerts if a news story hits a certain threshold (say, over 10,000 diggs or over 25 links on techmeme).

The best part?  It’s not a Facebook app!  Yes, the curse is broken!!!  :)

Startup #95 – eCards for Facebook

wee_37.jpgOne of my favorite sites out there is someecards.com. Instead of a cheesy eCard with cats dancing on polar bears or other such ridiculousness, you can send your friends an eCard that is genuinely funny.

My idea is to create a Facebook application that lets you send humorous eCards to your friends. Recipients can post the cards on their profile and pass cards along to their friends.

Startup #94 – More Free Rice

freeRiceLogoToday’s idea is a quiz site where every correct answer results in a donation of rice made to the United Nations World Food Program.  I know, I know, this is the exact same concept as the incredibly brilliant FreeRice.com site, where they donate 10 grains of rice for each correct answer. 

Here’s the twist: every right answer on More Free Rice results in a donation of 11 grains of rice. 

Think about it.  :)

Startup #93 – Social Wish List

hulu

OK, before I get to today’s idea, I just have to give a little credit where credit is due.  I just got a chance to play with Hulu.com, the new You-Tube-For-Network-TV site.  Despite all the negative press around this, I have to say, it is ridiculously awesome.  The interface is intuitive and fun to use without being gimmicky, and the best part is that all of the shows started full-screen streaming within several seconds of being clicked.  The ads are non-intrusive, skipping around the video was easy.  All in all, it’s still early but I can easily see this thing being huge. Like, get rid of your monthly cable bill huge.  Anyway, on to the idea.

Today’s idea is pretty basic.  It’s a Facebook app where you can import your Amazon wish list and give gift suggestions to specific friends and family.  For instance, I could drag a picture of my mom onto my wish list item of Guitar Hero 3, a picture of my dad onto the new 80 GB Zune (coming tomorrow!).  For the rest of my friends or family, I could just share out the entire list and they’d be able to secretly mark items off the list once they are purchases (similar to a wedding registry, so you don’t end up with duplicate gifts).

I’m in second place with just one day left – please check out my idea over at Cambrian House and cast a vote to help me win:  http://www.cambrianhouse.com/idea/idea-promoter/ideas-id/VyfFE0D/.  Thanks!

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Startup #92 – Dysfunctional Family Tree

familytree.jpg

<editor’s note:  this idea is currently in the running to win an idea contest over on the ridiculously fabulous Cambrian House site.  If you like this idea, click here to vote and help me win!  And now, on to the idea…>

This site would be based on the very popular and highly viral family tree sites (i.e. geni.com) – but with a twist. Instead of creating yet another boring “Mother” “Father” “Sister” “Brother” tree, imagine having the ability to cast your friends in a fake family tree, featuring such notable dysfunctional family members as “Innappropriate Uncle Kevin” and “Batty Aunt Betty”.

Users would create the tree using their existing friends list from a social network of your choosing, and any friend you add would be encouraged to add on their own branches – eventually creating a massive forest of dysfunctionality.

Jump on over to CH to read the comments and learn more.  Thanks for your help! CambrianHouse, Home of Crowdsourcing

Startup #91 – Song Stuck

  Please forgive me for what I’m about to do.  I want you to start singing the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.  All together now: 

“A weemaway, A weemaway,

A weemaway, A weemaway,

A weemaway, A weemaway,

A weemaway, A weemaway,

 

Near the village, the peaceful village,

The lion sleeps tonight,

Near the village, the peaceful village,

The lion sleeps tonight”

 lionking

 According to science, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is one of the most likely songs to get stuck in your head, alongside other such classics as “Who Let the Dogs Out”, “Whoomp, There It Is”, and Micheal Scott’s favorite jingle “I want my baby back baby back baby back ribs”.  Today’s idea is a (what else?) Facebook application that allows you to send short clips of the world’s most irritatingly sticky songs to all of your friends.  Nice, huh? 

Besides being inherently viral and realitively simple to build, there’s a surprisingly solid monetization strategy built in as well.  Once the user listens to the clip and gets infected with the song, they would then be presented the cure:  listen to the full version of the song, which would be conveniently available purchase via affiliate links to iTunes or Amazon.  :)

I’m trying out a new feature – if I’m logged into IM, you can send me a message by clicking on the IM icon over in the widget section.  It’s pretty sweet, you can tell if I’m online or offline, and you can send me a message even if you don’t have a Live Messenger account.  Please test it out and say a quick hi!

Startup #90 – Facebook + MySpace = FaceSpace

facespaceOK, looks like I might have to find another URL.  Anyway, in case you’ve been living under a rock lately, you may have heard the news about OpenSocial, the cross-network initiative that will provide API access to sites like MySpace, Hi5, Orkut, Ning, and about 20 other networks that you’ve probably heard of but will never sign up for.  Some pundits are declaring this a fatal blow against Facebook, but here’s an idea that may prove otherwise.

My idea is a Facebook app that acts as a bridge between your Facebook and MySpace contacts.  Here’s how it works.  After installing the app, users would authenticate with their MySpace credentials.  The system would use the OpenSocial APIs to pull in a list of their MySpace friends, and do a quick search for these friends to see if they are already in Facebook.  For those who are in Facebook, users have the option to add them as friends.  For those who are not on Facebook, the app would create a box on the user’s profile displaying the names and pics of the user’s MySpace friends. 

And here’s where things get interesting.  From the profile, users can choose a MySpace friend and perform basic actions like send a message or share a photo.  The message would be sent to the MySpace user’s inbox, and the MySpace user could respond via a message that would be sent back to the Facebook inbox.

Any devs out there gotten a chance to play with OpenSocial yet?  How’s it stacking up?