News Cellar - Biz Models
SAN FRANCISCO — Jeff Smith is a diligent social-networking user, but he doesn't own a PC.

"I prefer a cellphone and a service for a cellphone," says Smith, 40, a postal worker in Detroit who served as an Army Ranger in Desert Storm and Somalia.

For about a year, Smith has used MocoSpace (for "mobile community space") to chat, meet people, search the Web and play games. "Anything else feels like too much."

The majority of people who participate on social networks do so from their PCs. Yet a growing number — many of whom can't afford a PC or would rather not use one — are using mobile devices to tell their friends where they are and what they're up to and for sharing pictures.

News Cellar - Biz Models

Your Home Can Be the Star of an Online Show

November 11, 2007

IF you’re shopping for a new home, it’s easy to take a virtual stroll through the ranch house at 640 Hobart Avenue, San Mateo, Calif., asking price $1,049,000. The house has its own Web site, complete with a soundtrack ( Click on it and a real estate agent welcomes you in the voiceover, as crisp digital photographs of the sunny rooms flow past on the screen, with each photo neatly dovetailed to the narration.

A house in San Mateo, Calif., was sold within a week after its own Web site was posted, using the VizzVox service to create a smoothly narrated tour.

The commercial may make you want to move in instantly. But, too bad, that house is sold. Joanne Norris, an agent at Alain Pinel Realtors in Burlingame, Calif., who created and narrated the commercial, found a buyer within a week of advertising it that way. She sold another house, too, within a few days of posting a Web commercial, despite an overall slowdown in the local housing market.

To make the commercials, Mrs. Norris used a new Web-based service, VizzVox ( For $149 a year, VizzVox offers a package that includes domain name registration for the property, hosting of the commercial on the Web site for a year, and the use of the Web-based software that lets real estate agents create the presentation.

News Cellar - Marketing

Teens buying books at fastest rate in decades

Last updated March 7, 2007 10:25 p.m. PT
New 'golden age of young adult literature' declared


Like a lot of teens, Leslie Cornaby has a crowded schedule -- her days crammed with homework, hobbies and an array of techno diversions. When she's not checking e-mail, she's cruising YouTube or scrolling her iPod to tunes by Pink or Christina Aguilera.

She's also reading -- just for the glorious fun of it -- and says, "Most of my friends are readers, too."

The Shorecrest High School sophomore may not realize it, but she's enjoying the fruits of one of the most fertile periods in the history of young adult literature.

News Cellar - Startup / Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneur eyes profits swinging on the internet

Al Lewis, New York
January 12, 2008

SWINGERS. There, I just had to break the ice.

Today, I'm writing about a successful internet entrepreneur who is tapping an affluent demographic. But the demographic happens to be people who frequently swap spouses.

I learned about this from a news release on the PRNewswire, which was automatically picked up by several news organisations' websites including Forbes, Reuters, Los Angeles Times and even The Denver Post. It read:

"In the United States alone, the number of people involved in the swinging lifestyle is estimated to be as high as 8 million; the majority being highly educated and affluent young white-collar professionals. Yet swinging … has had a decided lack of accurate PR, and most Americans' views on the subject remain steeped in stereotypes and moral judgements."

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