Archive for June, 2009

LiveMocha – Learn a new language or brush up on one

Posted on June 8, 2009. Filed under: Career & Work, Education, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized |

Livemocha is a free service that allows its members to become conversationally proficient in an ever-growing number of popular languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Icelandic, Italian, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Russian. Since launching in September 2007, the Livemocha community has already grown to over 2 million members, a clear indication of the growing demand for an engaging, collaborative approach to language learning.

The British Council estimated that there will be 2 billion people worldwide learning English as a foreign or second language by 2020, fueled by rapid globalization, immigration and travel. For more information about Livemocha, please visit www.livemocha.com.

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3 New or Noteworthy Things with Freecycle.org: Growth, Mobile Access, and Browser Plug-ins

Posted on June 7, 2009. Filed under: Home & Garden, San Francisco Bay Area, Software & Technology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

freecycle_logo

Freecycle.org is a “globally local”  online network helping millions of people to recycle and keep stuff out of landfills. This nonprofit gifting movement enables individuals to gift items in their local communities rather than to throw them away.  If you’re not already familiar with Freecycle™,  I wrote an article back in July, 2008 about how Freecycle works.  Here is a very cute Flash slide show about using Freecycle (click on a slide to advance it)

So what’s new and noteworthy with Freecycle.org?

1. The Growth of Freecycle

According to Freecycle.org, it has now  expanded to more than  6.5 million members and over 10,000 volunteers who devote their time and energy to this worthy cause.  Freecycle creates a circle of giving in each of its local communities around the world.  Members are gifting over 20,000 items every day.

The Freecycle Network™ is currently growing at the rate of over 45,000 new members each and every week.  In 2007, Yahoo first noted that Freecycle became the third most searched environmental term on the planet just behind “global warming” and “recycling” and ahead of “earth.”

2.  Freecycle.org Has Gone Mobile – “No Computer Required”

In May,  2009 Freecycle announced it is now available to use on mobile devices following an agreement with Nokia, the world’s largest mobile device company.  The move expands the global gifting network beyond the constraints of the computer to
people’s mobile phones in over 85 countries around the world.

Founder, Deron Beal states that, “The goal is to make it easier to give an item away than to throw the item away, thus keeping good stuff out of landfills and helping Mother Nature. Nokia’s design and support of our new mobile phone functionality makes it easier than ever – no computer required!”

You can access Freecycle’s mobile website simply by typing mobile.freecycle.org into your mobile phone’s browser.

3.  Freecycle Now Has Support for Browser Plug-ins

These plugins are free software which make it easier to use Freecycle groups and get your messages right the first time. There are two versions of this plugin for the two most common browsers: Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. You can find out more and download the plug-ins on the wiki page here.

The project is a collaboration between Edward and Nigel Mundy,
moderator on Eastbourne Freecycle.

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From Edtv to Justin.tv

Posted on June 5, 2009. Filed under: Entertainment | Tags: , |

From Edtv (1999) to Justin.tv (2006 – present)

Justin.tv is the largest online community for people to broadcast, watch and interact around live video. Anyone can broadcast live on Justin.tv network. All you need is a computer, a web cam and an Internet connection. Justin.tv provides the rest.  You can create your own channel across a range of categories (Producers, Sports, Gaming, Social, Entertainment, News & Events, Science & Tech, Animals, Educational) to create broadcasts, including:

  • Lifecasting: Share your life online 24/7.
  • Backstage Pass: Become “almost famous” as you get an insider’s look at a band’s life on the road.
  • News: Take blogging and reporting to the next level
  • Live Shopping: Enhance your online store by interacting with your customers live.
  • Cooking: Broadcast your inner “Iron Chef.”

I guess in this case, life sometimes imitates art, though as the Businessweek article below states, some lifecasters, “simply want to connect with a community, while others merely want to broadcast special moments, such as weddings, graduations, and even Sunday Mass, to family, friends, and neighbors who can’t be there.” — BudgetMaven

Justin.tv’s New Reality

Web star Justin Kan plans to launch new real-life video blogs on the site. The first: “iJustine”

by Catherine Holahan

It’s past noon, and Justin Kan is still exhausted. The 23-year-old star of video blog Justin.tv has been awake until around 6 a.m., busy moving into his new apartment. Of course, thousands of dedicated fans of Justin.tv probably already know this. Every breathing moment of Justin’s life—except, perhaps, the rare intimate one—has been broadcast live on the Web since Mar. 19, thanks to the cameras positioned around Kan’s apartment and fitted to his ubiquitous cap.  For the complete Businessweek article, click here
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Meetup.com – Connect with Like-minded People

Posted on June 3, 2009. Filed under: Entertainment, Low Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Software & Technology, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Meetup.com is the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face.  Meetup leverages online technology to allow like-minded people to self-organize to get together offline.

Meetup groups exist in over 4000 cities and 100 countries, making it a truly local and global phenomenon.  Other key statistics as of this posting:

  • Monthly visitors: 5 million
  • Members: 4.7 million
  • Monthly RSVPs: 1.7 million
  • Monthly Meetups: 102,000
  • Local groups: 46,315
  • Meetup Topics: 4,916

Meetup members are creating impact in their communities via activism, volunteerism, social interaction and just good clean fun.  Meetup is free to join and if you don’t see a group focused on what you’re interested in near where you live,  you can start one or join a waiting list.  Categories and example types of groups include:

  • Arts & Entertainment (Book Club, Dance, Movie Fans)
  • Business & Career (Networking, Entrepreneur, Small Business)
  • Community & Lifestyles (Personal Growth, Vegetarian)
  • Culture & Languages (Law  of Attraction, Spanish Language)
  • Health & Support (Meditation, Fitness)
  • Hobbies (Travel, Dining Out, Scrapbooking)
  • Internet  & Technology (Web Design, Digital Photography)
  • Parenting & Family (Stay at Home Moms, Play Groups)
  • Pets & Animals (Dog Rescue, Small Dog Breeds)
  • Religion & Beliefs  (Spirituality, Metaphysics)
  • Science (Alternative Energy, Consciousness)
  • Sports & Recreation (Adverturers, Hiking, Mountain Biking)

Depending on the nature or location, some group get togethers and activities might cost money, some are free.  For example, if you join a movie buff group, and the group is meeting to see a new film, you would be expected to pay your own admission at a theater.  If you join a Board Gamers group,  they may meet at a local restaurant (so there may be a minimum dollar order required for use of the space) or meet in a host’s livingroom  (where snacks or refreshments may or may not be served, BYO or something to share).  If you joined a local women’s clothing, shoe and accessories swap group, you’d have to bring gently used items or that NWT outfit, two sizes too small that you never wore to swap.  Gotta love that closet shopping.

Maybe I’ll see you at one of the Meetups!

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BudgetMaven is now on Twitter

Posted on June 3, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

You can now get updates and follow me on Twitter as BudgetMaven.

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Smithsonian FREE Museum Day: Saturday, September 26, 2009

Posted on June 1, 2009. Filed under: Entertainment, For Parents, Low Money Fun, No Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Save the date!

The participating museums around the country are not listed yet, but once again, Smithsonian is sponsoring a FREE museum day, on Saturday, September 26, 2009.  Check back here for more details and how to get your museum pass.

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