Tag Archives: purchase

Swipely Turns Your Purchases into Conversations

Swipely from Swipely on Vimeo.

Swipely has launched as a invitation-only beta service right now and, according to Venture Beat, is “more than just a Blippy clone.” The primary difference from Blippy is that Swipely does not share the precise amounts of each purchase, likely soothing some of the privacy concerns that some would have over this service.

Many people aren’t sure they understand the logic behind the service. The goal is to turn your purchases into conversations by pulling in information about all of your purchases. The amount you spend may not show up… but the place you shopped definitely will.

This can be a good way to let your small circle of intimate friends and family members know what you’re up to, where you’re shopping and what you’re buying. But why would the World at large need to know these things? Are we so starved for interesting conversation that we all need to share everything we spend money on? Isn’t that what location-based services already do for us?

Services such as Foursquare already let us tell everyone where we are at any given moment of the day. Is it necessary, then, to let them know we spent money while we were there? If I were to check in from a restaurant, it’s likely a given I’m going to swipe my credit card when I’m finished.

I guess I’m with the majority of bloggers whose stories I’ve read this evening… I just don’t get the importance of this. However, you can watch the video for yourself and then let us know what you think. Is this something you would find useful?

Want a Personal Digital Shopping Assistant?


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ClayValet ClayValet was a presenter at Live Pitch 2008 in Seattle. ClayValet provides a service for shopping websites that allows them to give personal attention and advice to their customers. Their shoppers are normal people who are experienced and comfortable with online shopping. They are not experts themselves, but they know where to look, how to compare prices and whom to trust. Right now, the service is completely free! You can submit up to five requests per week, at no cost to you.

ClayValet

  • Business Category: Tech Startup
  • Founder: Mikhail Seregine
  • Inspiration for Product/Service: We saw our friends who shop online being frustrated by overwhelming choices and difficult websites. In helping them find what they wanted, and watching ourselves shop, we observed behavior patterns that could be translated into a scalable service.
  • Target Customer/Audience: The end users of our service are online shoppers, but our customers are comparison shopping websites that emphasize selection and choice.
  • Synopsis of Product / Service: We provide a service for shopping websites that allows them to give personal attention and advice to their customers. A shopper can submit a form or email to the website with a request written in plain English, such as “I want a toy for small children to develop manual dexterity”. Behind the scenes, our software orchestrates automated research and human attention to produce simple, useful recommendations.
  • Main Company Contact: Darcy Camden

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What do you think about this business idea? Leave your thoughts!

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Tips for Buying Hardware

Since I already posted the top five tips for buying a new computer, I thought I’d pass along Alex’s tips for buying new hardware.

  • Make sure your PC is compatible with the hardware you’re considering. This is perhaps the most critical part of buying new hardware. If you’re in the market for a new video card, know if your computer has AGP or PCI-Express when you shop for your card. Nothing is worse than getting home with a nice new video card only to find out you have a different slot. Also keep in mind power requirements. If you didn’t build your PC, you probably aren’t aware of your power supply outage unless you’ve had to check before. This can be critical information when buying a new piece of hardware.
  • Ensure that the upgrade will actually boost performance. There are times when you buy a nice new piece of hardware because you believe it will increase performance only to discover once installed that your PC performs no better, or, worst case scenario, your PC is actually running worse than it started. Research any parts you’re thinking about replacing plus the parts you’re looking to replace with. This knowledge will be extremely helpful in ensuring that you’re not blowing your money on an upgrade that will slow down your PC instead of speeding it up.
  • Shop around. Prices for PC hardware can be very flexible. Just because a price looks good doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the cheapest. Take your time and shop around. In the long run, you’re bound to discover there are competitively priced retailers out there to whatever price you thought was good when you first saw it.
  • If you’re shopping on the internet, know your vendor. There are a few shady vendors on the internet. Some internet stores will send you either nothing or a product they know is defective when it’s shipped. To avoid this, check around for reviews about any vendor you’re considering shopping from. If you cannot find any reviews, ask around various forums to get different opinions. Remember that it’s important to get a good number of opinions about any given vendor, as the worst vendors are still likely to have a small handful of good experiences. Also, if you’re shopping for hardware on eBay, check the reputation of the seller. Any seller with any negative feedback in the past year should be avoided at all costs. Pay the extra and ensure you’re not getting snaked.
  • Know what you use your PC for. If you’re a lightweight user who uses their PC to type email and browse the web, you most likely do not need the newest, top-of-the-line graphics card. If you do music or audio editing, you also won’t need the top-of-the-line graphics card, but perhaps you should consider the top-of-the-line sound card. Gamers will probably want top-of-the-line everything to ensure their PC is up to date for whatever game is thrown at it. If you’ve never really paid any attention to how you use your PC, you’re much better off knowing this information before you consider any purchases.
  • Know how to install your component before attempting to install it. It’s a bad idea to go guns blazing into attempting to install a component you’ve never installed before. Don’t be too proud to read the manual or go onto the internet for assistance. It will save you lots of time, effort, and possibly money.

Tips for Buying a New Computer that is Just Right for You

Trevmister sent me an email with the following tips on picking the right computer for yourself. There are a lot of excellent points here that you should try to keep in mind when you purchase your next computer.

  • Don’t just get something that just meets your needs. Go a little above just in case you decide sometime in the future that you want to do something that requires more than your computer can offer. If you don’t you will have to buy more computer parts later on and spend more money than if you got it when you got the computer.
  • You won’t always want to go for the newest operating system. If you want the new OS, wait about a year after release, that way they have some time to work out most (if not all) the bugs.
  • Do NOT download everything that you think is cool. Chances are you won’t use it for more than 3 days. Sure, you can delete them, but there are still small traces of memory left from the files that do add up.
  • Make sure your mouse will be compatible with the new computer. If you want a wireless mouse, make sure your computer can use it. An example is when you buy a bluetooth mouse and your computer doesn’t have bluetooth you will have to go back to the store and spend more money for an adapter which could have been avoided if you just got one with a USB receiver. If it is a wired mouse, see what it needs for it to be plugged in. Most likely you will have what it needs, but in some cases you won’t.
  • If you don’t want to get an external harddrive maybe you should get a CD or DVD burner to save important files. If you get the burner though you will have to buy blank discs. The external hard drive may save you money in the future, but the discs are a little more portable. It depends on what you need. If you need about 25+ GB of storage, get the external hard drive.

How to Buy a Laptop (Notebook, Portable Computer)

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No matter which name you prefer to call it, let’s look at some ways to help you decide which one is right for you.

  • Get a laptop stand. Having the laptop on an angle and allowing air to move underneath will dramatically reduce the heat your laptop runs at! The stands can be expensive so a large book or piece of wood will do. I have a Targus port extender. It is a wedge shaped hub that has all kinds of connections and goes into my laptop via USB two. Its portable and handy as well as allowing my laptop run cooler by sitting under the back edge and raising the it up. Plus this is a better angle for typing.
  • Go for integration! Built in webcams and card readers are a god send! Chances are you won’t have loads of USB’s so the less external devices the better. This will be better for traveling, battery life and general desk clutter. Built in tv tuners can be great if you end up in a hotel room with decent tv reception. A laptop with bluetooth can be handy for syncing with a phone.
  • Get a good Laptop bag or case. If you have a mobility-based laptop, a good bag is essential. I have seen friends laptops die way before their time because they travel without sufficient protection for them. Often, the free case supplied won’t be up to the job.
  • Insure your laptop! I have nearly dropped mine a million times. They get moved around a lot, and the law of averages says sooner or later it will be dropped. Make it a less expensive mistake by having it covered. Also if you travel with it theft is a real threat!
  • Peripherals complete the package. Get decent headphones and a good mouse. Chances are, no matter how much you’ve spent on your laptop the speakers won’t be much good for watching films or listening to music. So, good quality headphones are a must. As for the mouse, track pads are great for keeping the laptop a “one price device”, but you’re going to want to use a mouse whenever its convenient, so a small travel mouse is a good idea.

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Buy a Computer

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Joseph sent in an excellent top five list of tips to keep in mind when preparing to buy a new computer. Keep sending in your top five lists… whether they are technology related or not!

  • Be sure to invest in an external hard drive. This is critical to keeping excellent backups of all your data. Think of how devastating it could be for a computer to suddenly die with no warning… and you lose several gigabites of data.
  • Carefully check into the terms and conditions of your warranty. Know when it expires to prevent misunderstandings down the road.
  • If you are a new user to the computer’s particular Operating System, read the user guide that comes with the computer to familiarize yourself with it. You can also go to the manufacturer’s website, and check out their FAQ’s and/or Help system. You can also wander over to the Lockergnome Help Forums.
  • If you haven’t bought the computer yet, and you will be changing Operating Systems, consider trying it out first. Check to see if a friend or colleague may have the same O/S you are wanting to buy. This way, you can try it out, and make sure it will be a good fit for you.
  • Make sure the computer suits your needs, but don’t go overboard. If you buy something with a lot of horsepower and then don’t use it all… you wasted money. Also, the way a computer looks should be your last consideration. Worry about what’s inside, and whether it fits your life.

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