Lanyrd – Social Conference Directory

Lanyrd

Lanyrd is a conference directory searchable by geographical locations which offers a layer of social and collaborative features to easily share and track conferences online.

The service allows users to sign-up using a Twitter account. In addition to searching conferences by location or ordered by date, Lanyrd allows users to follow-up participants or speakers, discover trends or catch up on potential materials they might have missed.

The site currently gets 10’000 monthly unique visitors according to Compete.com.

The company was founded in August 2010 by Simon Willison, a co-creator of the Django Web Framework, together with his wife, Natalie Downe. The company got accepted in the YCombinator funding program after flying from Cairo (where they were having their honeymoon) to San Francisco for their interview. In September 2011 the company secured $1.4 millions in funding from several angels as well as Index Ventures Seed and PROfounders Capital.

Google+ For Businesses and Organizations

Google+ for Businesses and Organizations

Google+ announced on 7th of November 2011 the immediate availability of Google+ Pages, a feature enabling businesses and organizations to create their own “space” on the Google+ network. The name of this feature has the potential to create some confusion among those that remember the now-defunct Google Page Creator, but for most people it won’t be an issue as they probably didn’t hear about it in the first place.

Since the initial launch of the service on 28th of June 2011, the ability of organizations to create their own space on the network has been a saga for corporations and social media professionals as they initially created company accounts only to be disabled by the Google Policy team (by stating that those accounts are forbidden in the initial phase of the service). Now anyone can create a page in the name of his organization, without restrictions.

In connection with this launch Google announced Direct Connect – a feature due to which brand names entered in search queries with the + sign as a prefix will return the Google+ Pages associated with the respective terms. This is currently working only in a limited number of instances but the company plans to make it more universal in the near future.

By enabling organizations to connect with their followers, Google+ addressed one of the service’s main missing features. Its continued success now largely depends on the array of benefits that both organizations and individual users will perceive once they’re connected via their favorite pages. For small business owners, this has the potential to become their first online presence by replacing the need for a website, especially if Google achieves seemingly integration of the feature with Google Maps, Google Sites and its other related services.

Yola – Interactive Site Builder

Yola - Site Creator

Yola allows non-technical people to easily create a professional looking site from within the browser by using an intuitive builder interface. It offers hundreds of site templates, customizable design, online forms and Google Maps integration. Yola also features blog tools, e-commerce support and it acts as a domain registrar.

The site consistently receives hundreds of thousands of visitors on a monthly basis. According to Alexa.com, it is ranked in the top 5’000 sites world-wide.

In addition to the freemium model, Yola offers paid pricing plans with additional features. Yola Silver costs $99.95 per year and offers a custom domain name with private registration as well as additional traffic statistics; Yola Premier costs $499.95 and gives users the ability to have a one-on-one consultation with a professional in order to create a unique 5-page website design that can be expand as needed.

The service was initially called SynthaSite and it was founded by Vinny Lingham in March 2007. It raised $5 million financing in November 2007 from Columbus Venture Capital. An additional $20 millions was raised in Series B funding in February 2009. Shortly thereafter, the company was renamed to Yola (March 26, 2009); Lingham declared that they needed a name which is easy to pronounce and resonates well no matter the language.

Weebly – Create Powerful Websites

Weebly

Weebly allows users to create a free website using a powerful and intuitive set of online tools. Their builder includes a drag-and-drop interface, hundreds of professional themes, easy blogging, lots of multimedia features as well as fast and helpful support.

Although traditionally their service has been free of charge, in June 2008 Weebly added the paid pricing plans, allowing the creation of password-protected pages and larger file size limits.

Compete.com shows that the site has been visited in the last year by at least 2 million unique visitors each month. The site is ranked by Alexa in the top 500 sites of the world.

The site has been created by David Rusenko, Chris Fanini and Dan Veltri, who met during their studies for an undergraduate degree at The Pennsylvania State University. The company received its initial funding from Ycombinator, a micro-seed funding organization for entrepreneurs.

YouSendIt – Digital File Delivery

YouSendIt is an online file publishing service that allows users to send big files to other recipients without worrying about hosting issues, bandwidth consumption or other problems that are associated with this topic.

The service offers 4 pricing plans:

  • lite, a free ad-supported service which limits the maximum file size to 50 MB,
  • pro, $49.99 per year, which increases the maximum file size to 2 GB,
  • pro plus, $149.99 per year, which makes the total storage size unlimited,
  • corporate suite, aimed at multi-user configurations (starts at $999.99 per year for 5 users).

The site was launched in July 2003 and they’ve had a phenomenal growth since then. Compete shows an average of 1 million unique visitors per month in the last year.

The company was created by Amir Shaikh, Khalid Shaikh and Ranjith Kumaran. It managed to raise over $50 million dollars across several funding series. Although YouSendIt links are frequently shared on websites, the company has recently marketed itself as a method of business communication to differentiate itself from RapidShare and other similar tools.

280Slides – Online Presentations

Bizodo – Online Form Builder

Bizodo

Bizodo is a free point and click online form builder that helps users collect and manage forms with ease. Users can create online forms, surveys, event registration or contact forms to be used either with a custom web address from Bizodo or to be easily embed in an existing site. Once the forms are filled, that information can be easily used to create mailing lists or to follow up on specific tasks.

Bizodo offers related tools that help small business owners to stay organized and productive. The project management tools keep people effective, while a cloud document manager allows users to easily store, organize and share documents collected from online forms. The contact manager ensures easy collaboration and proper follow-ups on contacts.

The site offers a freemium model where no credit card is required. The paid plans start at $29/month and offer a money back guarantee as well as complete customer support.

Bizodo was founded in February 2011 by a team of lead generation and online marketing veterans, having Jonathon Ende as CEO. It recently exited out of beta. While external sites have limited traffic information about the service, the easy tools offered and the degree of integration between them position the project for sustainable growth in the near future.

Socialcam – Share Mobile Videos With Friends

Socialcam

Socialcam is a mobile app available on both iPhone and Android which allows users to record videos from their mobile phones and then tag, upload and share them with the world at large (as well as browse, comment and like videos from their friends).

Socialcam was created by the Justin.tv team, which proved immensely useful to them in terms of expertise, reputation and infrastructure. Work on the site began in 2010 and it launched officially at the beginning of 2011. Until now it enjoys tens of thousands of users on a monthly basis.

The app can be installed for free from both the iTunes and the Android markets, where it enjoys a 4-star average rating (out of a maximum of 5). The app had 1 million downloads in its first four months, and one third of the users who have signed up for the service have also created at least one video in their account.

In October 2011 the company announced the addition of video filters to its list of features. The list of available filters includes Bohemian, Noir, Sepia and Rouge, along with experimental filters like Electronica, Acid and Foil. The company also announced that it reached over 2 million total downloads, which puts it in a great position for further growth in the near future as it continues to develop the app.

Flickr – Host Your Images Online

FlickrFlickr is an image-hosting site that allows its users to upload and share with their friends and the world at large their favorite photo albums.

Flickr offers two types of accounts, Free and Pro. The free accounts don’t allow the option of downloading the image files, and only the most 200 recent photos are indexed in the account’s homepage. Free accounts are also subject to deletion after a period of 90 days of inactivity. Once upgraded to the Pro plan, users gain the ability to download the files for previously uploaded images, and they are no longer subject to the inactivity deletion rules.

Flickr was initially launched in February 2004 by Stewart Butterfield with his then-wife Caterina Fake. The site was acquired by Yahoo! in March 2005 (the reported acquisition cost was $35 million). On 16 June 2007, Yahoo! Photos issued a press release stating that its service would end on September 2007, in order to focus the company’s efforts on Flickr.

In 2008, Stewart and Caterina resigned their Yahoo jobs. At the end of November 2010, Yahoo was on the verge of a major layoff affecting 10%-20% of its workforce and Flickr was specifically named as a target for these layoffs. In August 2011 Flickr reported that it continues to see strong adoption for the service; it stated that the site hosts more than 6 billion images and that this number continues to grow steadily.

Xtranormal – Online Movie Maker

Xtranormal

Xtranormal is a site that allows users to create short animation videos based on a text script. The text can be annotated with additional information, such as a background scene, custom appearance details for the involved characters or emoticons which reflect character gestures.

Xtranormal allows users to create 3D scenes via a drag and drop interface. There are hundreds of actor models to choose from, as well as different backgrounds, lightning configurations and camera setups.

The company offers both downloadable software products as well as a web-based video creation service. Until 2011 it claims to have created over 10 million videos, and the counter keeps going. The site managed to attract a strong audience with hundreds of thousands of visitors in each of the last 12 months.

Xtranormal was funded in 2006 having Richard Szalwinski as one of the initial co-founders and CEO. He left the company in 2010 and Graham Sharp took over as the new CEO. The company currently has 30 employees according to CrunchBase.

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