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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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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Target sponsoring FREE Admission Passes to Museums Across U.S.

Posted on May 31, 2009. Filed under: Entertainment, Low Money Fun, No Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Free Admission Passes To Museums Across The Country
Target is sponsoring free entry to select museums and activities on certain days in Arizona, California, Colorado, D.C., Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington

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Coupon code for 5 FREE games, books, and activities from KidThing!

Posted on May 28, 2009. Filed under: Babies & Children, Education, Entertainment, For Parents, Low Money Fun, No Money Fun, Software & Technology | Tags: , , , , |

kidthing is a secure internet-based global learning platform for children, parents, teachers, family and friends. This is an awesome program to keep kids busy over the summer.  kidthing is kind of like iTunes for kids.  You download the free digital player onto your desktop from www.kidthing.com and then once you start it, you just go to the store and add the products you want.

If you put the code ktpromo-summerfun into the search field of the store,  it’ll bring up 5 free products – just add them to your cart, and then go through the checkout process – you won’t be charged for them.  If you check back every week through the summer, they’re going to have new products each week.

One Mom I know says, “My son loves kidthing – he asks to go on it all the time – and I think we’re going to be able to build up a really good stock of games and activities for him this summer – all for free!”

kidthing’s proprietary distribution, publishing, and social networking platform provides a safe, ad-free, environment that insulates young children from the Internet. kidthing’s free, downloadable, digital media player integrates purchased content from the kidthing online store with personal media in custom mixes that can be shared. Parents can preview and purchase learning and entertainment content, create custom mixes of kidthing and personal content and make their children the “star” with content that can be personalized. Children can play kidthing content offline. Personalized content and custom play mixes can be shared among friends and family through private sharing communities in the kidthing environment.

“Today’s children are growing up in a high-tech, connected world, and are exposed to the Internet at younger ages than ever. The Internet is a part of everyday life, but it isn’t a safe place for young kids.” stated Larry Hitchcock, kidthing’s CEO. “kidthing is Internet technology, but it isn’t browser based, nor a white-list tool. It’s a secure, safe environment for kids to explore, learn and share; and parents can be confident that their children aren’t one click away from the open Internet.” kidthing’s professional open publishing platform enables content owners, authors and publishers to offer their digital content for sale throughout the world at the kidthing store, allowing kidthing to offer a wide variety of learning content available in multiple languages including digital books, games, videos, and music. kidthing content is inexpensive, starting as low as $0.99, making kidthing accessible to a broad international audience.

About kidthing:

kidthing delivers the next generation Internet-based learning environment through its proprietary distribution, publishing and social networking platform. kidthing provides a safe, ad-free, global learning environment that insulates children from the World Wide Web. Parents and teachers can purchase, customize and personalize content for kids and can share this in private sharing groups. Publishers and content creators around the world can make their works available in the kidthing store in an enhanced electronic format.

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Create Your Own Printable Personalized Coupons for FREE

Posted on May 27, 2009. Filed under: Cooking and Eating, Entertainment, Holidays, Low Money Fun, No Money Fun, Pets, Shopping, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Select from the coupons here to send or print out and give as a gift.  There are many cute ideas  for low or no money fun and thoughtful ways to show someone (romantic or platonic) you care whatever their love language:

Acts of Service –  like Personal slave for One Night coupon or offer to walk their dog or run personal errands

Quality Time – like a romantic dinner prepared or enjoy a FREE concert coupon

Touch – like a FREE foot rub or back massage

Words of Affirmation – how about a FREE advice or Win An Argument coupon?

Gifts –  FREE  shopping coupon or FREE tickets to a ball game

Just in time for Father’s Day!



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How My Friend Elyse Stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Jamaica for FREE by Teaching Yoga Classes

Posted on May 5, 2009. Filed under: Health & Beauty, Travel & Leisure | Tags: , , , |

I met my friend Elyse about 15 years ago at a health club in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  She was my aerobics instructor and we also became workout buddies.  Her warm, friendly personality clicked with mine and when I found out Elyse also had a career in high tech marketing, I knew we would become good friends. I was even a bridesmaid at her wedding.

Elyse has her own PR consultancy.  One of the things I have long admired about Elyse is her ability to juggle and balance all the aspects of her life – her busy career, her husband and two kids, her extended family and friendships, and time to take care of herself.   She is very organized and efficient so she finds ways to combine her lifestyle and interests whenever possible.  For example, she teaches yoga and spinning classes at her local healthclub in the suburbs a few days a week and her entire family of four enjoys a free club membership.

In February, Elyse went on a fabulous week long vacation to Jamaica with her family without spending a lot of money.  They were even able to stay at the Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort in Rose Hall for free.  How, you ask?   Elyse signed up at a website called http://www.fitnessprotravel.com which facilitates the exchange of services between specialty professionals and numerous all-inclusive resorts and vacation destinations.  Resort locations currently include the Caribbean, Brazil and Mexico.

The website helped match her skills as a certified yoga and fitness instructor with resorts that offer teaching opportunities in exchange for a comped (i.e., free) room for Elyse and one guest (kids under 12 at no additional charge).  In this case, she also received a $150 daily food allowance which they usually used for dinners. Another way they saved money was by shopping at the local market and using the fridge in their room.  They were also able to use frequent flyer miles for 3 of the 4 tickets to Jamaica.

The teaching contract was for 3 one hour classes a day, 7 days, Sunday – Sunday. Elyse taught 2 classes each morning, a core training for abs and and back, and then a vinyasa flow yoga class and was done teaching by 10:00 am.  She also taught another yoga class at 5:00 pm.  She had the bulk of each day to spend with her family.  Elyse was able to swap classes with another visiting instructor to have a full afternoon free to go on a longer day trip, to  Ocho Rios and Dunn’s River Falls.  They saved money on the day trip by negotiating a flat fee with a local taxi driver and hired him for the day, which also gave them much greater flexibility over the tour bus option.

Elyse said it was one of their best family vacations  and the first one she has taken where she ate really well but didn’t gain any weight.  Click here to see photos of Elyse teaching her yoga class outside overlooking the beach and some from their vacation in beautiful Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Kind of inspires me to want to go get certified in something.  You should register on the fitnessprotravel.com site if you are any of the following:

CEC Provider Chiropractor
Club/Studio Operator Dietician
Fitness Enthusiast GFI & Yoga Combo
Golf Pro Grp Fitness Inst.
Health/Fitness Biz Masseuse
Nurse Personal Trainer
Squash Pro Tennis Instructor
Yoga / Pilates
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Visit the Intel Museum – free admission and free classes for kids

Posted on April 29, 2009. Filed under: Education, Entertainment, No Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure | Tags: , , , , , |

Fun Filled Explorations at the Intel Museum

If you live in or are visiting the San Francisco Bay area or Silicon Valley, visit the kid friendly Intel Museum.

Explore what it’s like inside an ultra-clean, highly automated silicon chip fabrication facility (fab); travel through Intel silicon history from Intel’s first microprocessor, the 4004, to today’s processors based on Intel’s 45nm High-k silicon technology; write your name in binary code; “get digitized” by creating a digital postcard; and more!

Experience the exciting world of silicon technology at the Intel Museum. Explore binary code,circuits, robots and more with fun filled classes! After your class, take a self guided tour of the Intel Museum to learn how silicon is at the heart of an ever expanding, increasingly connected digital world, changing the way people work, learn, play, and communicate.

Participate in hands-on Saturday science classes designed especially for children such as:

  • Schematics, Switches, and Circuits (ages 9 and up) Learn to decode schematics and understand basic circuitry as you build items such as a cool doorbell chime or active burglar alarm.
  • Binary Beading (ages 7 and up) What is binary code and how do computers use it? You’ll find out and have a chance to code your initials in a beaded key chain.
  • Musical Greeting Card (ages 7 and up) Learn about open and closed circuits while making a musical greeting card you get to take home.
  • Build a Remote Control Rover (ages 9 and up) Successfully build a circuit and you’ll be able to test drive and race a remote control rover.

Class times (check website for updated info):
Tuesday and Thursday Sessions: 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Saturday Sessions: 10:30 a.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Space is limited, reservations required. To make a reservation, call (408) 765-0503 or send an e-mail to museum@intel.com. Include child’s name, age, and telephone number and date and time of the session you would like your child to attend. Reservations close 48 hours in advance of the class. Parents must remain in the museum during the class. Classes last approximately45 minutes.

Admission and parking are free.

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Swap Used CDs for FREE

Posted on April 21, 2009. Filed under: Bargain Shopping, Entertainment, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

SwapaCD is a great way to share CDs with people all over the country!

How it works

  • You have original, playable CDs that you do not want to keep.
  • You post those CDs to your “CD Tower” to offer to other members
  • You add funds to your swapacd money account (this pays the 49-cent transaction fee for each CD you request)
  • After you have posted the first 10 CDs to your CD Tower, you get a “gift” credit from SwapaCD to get you started swapping.  After that, you earn credits by sending out CDs to others.
  • You may order any available CD for 1 credit per disc (multidisc/boxed sets cost 1 credit per disc included)
  • If you want a CD that is not currently available, you can place it on your Wish List and we will notify you by email when it is available for you to order.  You can even have it sent to you automatically when it becomes available, with no email necessary.
  • When a CD is requested from you, we notify you by email, provide the address for you to send it out, and even provide a wrapper!
  • Wrap and mail your CD.
  • When the requestor receives it, you earn 1 credit. Yes, you pay the postage to send out your CDs, but when you request a CD, the sender ships it to you and you pay only the 49-cent transaction fee (plus 1 CD credit per disc)!
  • The CDs you receive from SwapaCD are yours. We hope that you will repost them to share with other members when you have listened to them, but you can certainly keep them, or give them away. Similarly, the CDs you send out to others belong to their new owners.

<a href=”http://www.swapacd.com/index.php?n=2&r_by=budgetmaven%40yahoo.com”&gt;Join the CD club and swap used CDs for FREE – SwapaCD.com</a>

When you join and are asked for a referral email, please use budgetmaven@yahoo.com

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SwapaDVD.com – Swap DVDs for FREE

Posted on April 18, 2009. Filed under: Entertainment | Tags: , , , |

Swap DVDs with other club members and get movies mailed directly to you! Movie junkies, you are finally home!  Learn more about this online movie club so you too can get in on what thousands already love doing, swapping DVDs!

Join now and swap used DVDs for free – SwapaDVD.com

If you’re asked for a referral email – please use budgetmaven@yahoo.com

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