[The Audiofiles] ‘Listn’ Up, Music Lovers – There’s A New App For You

One of the many amazing benefits to growing up in an excessively digital age, is our constant accessibility to music.  Whether it’s by our choice or not, it feels like our brains are being bombarded by beats on the daily: it’s the hold music on your company conference calls, the muzack playing in the elevators between the floors at the doctors office, your iPod at the gym, the SiriusXM radio in your car, the Spotify app you hooked up to your Facebook account or the occasional stop off on Soundcloud.  Believe you me – I’m not complaining by any means; in fact, if possible I would have an ongoing soundtrack to my life and I would always be in charge of the volume.

Listn’s Dashboard

Throughout the years of being expertly plugged into the interwebs, I’ve developed a network of sites that I use to feed my thirst for tunage.  Back in it’s inception, I dove right into Soundrop.fm – which is a great social resource for new music; slowly but surely, all that came from that was a reintegration into Spotify.   I currently dabble in Hypem and Soundcloud when I’m on the prowl for something new, Spotify when I’m curious what my friends are groovin’ to and then the occasional YouTube video for some visual treats.    The only downside to having multiple music platforms is that there hasn’t been a quick or easy way to streamline all of the sites into one. Thankfully, with the growing popularity of websites like Klout that aggregate your social media presence it only makes sense that some group of music loving techies thought to do the same with all of the streaming media around the web.  So, world – meet your new best friend, Listn: a social way to aggregate your audio and find out about the latest and greatest in the music scene.

photoTrust me when I say  – you don’t want to know how many tabs I have open in my browser right now and about a third of them are devoted to the pursuit of music. There are a host of stites that Listn uses to manifest user data, and right now that’s iTunes, Spotify, Hypem, Youtube and Soundcloud. The latest and greatest to addition is Rdio – a website that lets you stream high quality audio for a minimal fee: after 6 months of free listening, $4.99 a month or $9.99 for unlimited listening capabilities. If you’re like me, you’re thinking- WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER – and if you’re not, we might want to rethink the future of our relationship.

The brainchild of Montreal’s MFive Labs, Listn is currently being funded through Kickstarter – where creative endeavors (like Apps, Movies, etc) go for funding.  As of right now, they have raised approximately $500,000 and have released the application for free!   Right now the application is only available for the iPhone (le sighso if you’ve been eating your Apple a day, you’re in luck.  As with most everything in life, good apps come in due time for Android.  The iPhones have an essentially seamless interaction between their applications that Android simply doesn’t have yet,  so hopefully there will be a a version that can work with the upcoming Android KitKat 4.4 OS installation in January (fingers crossed).

Listn’s Userpage

   

 

[Doing it Right] A Night Out with the Bev Cen + Klout

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years in LA – it’s that there’s a very real power behind social media.  It’s an idea shared by many, especially the beautiful minds over at Klout.  I touched on the company a bit last year – almost a year to the day, if you want to get ironic about it! So here’s a refresher if you don’t feel like time traveling through my page:

Embedded image permalink

Klout aggregates your social relevance  by measuring your reach across multiple platforms, including – but not limited to – Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Youtube, Instagram, Tumblr, Blogspot, WordPress; ‘m sure you get the picture.  Then it spits out a score from 1-100 based on how influential it thinks you are.  How does this benefit you, you might ask? Well – Perks; Klout Perks if you want to get specific.  From small things like a $5 McDonalds Giftcard to care packages with Crest Toothpaste, a To Go Container of Scope and a $10 Wal Mart Gift Card, Klout rewards us social media whores connoisseurs in kind for our hard work and cult like devotion.

Last night I was invited to an event at the Beverly Center with fashion aficionados from far and wide.  They were diving into photo booths, digging through goodie bags and frolicking through the mall with some of the hottest in the fashion and blogging industries.   The purpose?  The Beverly Center “Show us Your Style” Challenge.  The entrants –  submitted pictures of their hottest fall fashion for under $125 and the winner was gifted a $1000 shopping spree to the Beverly Center.  And thanks to Klout, selected people with scores of 65 and up were invited to rub bows with the best of ’em.  The event was hosted by three of LA’s hottest fashion and lifestyle bloggers: Shea Marie of Peace, Love, Shea , Chriselle Lim from The Chriselle Factor and last but definitely not least Liz Cherkasova who pens the Late Afternoon.  Now, I blog about lots of things – life, laughter, my love of music, cats and photography – but clothing and accessories, eh – not as much! So it was fun masquerading around under the guise of fashion blogger all night.

They had a live DJ,  yummy specialty made cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes, delicious sangria thanks to Pavan Liqueur and some awesome swag to take home.  Thank you a thousand times over to the lovely staff of the Beverly Center and Klout for throwing such a classy event, a day later and I’m still feeling truly honored to have been a part of it.

Swag bag, what!

More coupons and gift cards; can't wait to go back to the Bev Cen!

More coupons and gift cards; can’t wait to go back to the Bev Cen!

Forever21 Goodie Bag with Gloss and Tweezers

Forever21 Goodie Bag with Gloss and Tweezers

New journal; love the binding!

New journal; love the binding!

Tech Tuesday: Do You Have Klout?

550socialmediavenn

Venn Diagram of Social Media

In this day and age, it’s become slightly tiresome to stay on top of all the Social Media Trends; there are just so many ways you can connect with people that websites can either become redundant, overwhelming or in the most severe cases – both.  Several of my friends coyly admitted that they’ve become discouraged to use social media because it’s just “too much” for them to want to handle (their words, not mine).  And to a point, I completely agree with them.  How you pick and choose your social networking sites is slightly analogous to picking where to sit at lunch during your first day at a new school; your environment, the information you choose to share and the connections you cultivate are all indicative of this choice.  Each Social Media site that I use has their eerie similarities, but also pronounced differences.

Everyone and their mom’s dog has a Facebook and at a very base level understands the purpose: sharing your life and ideas with a predetermined group of people and one rarely exceeds the 420 character limit of a status update.  With the new “Subscribe” option, one could make their Facebook relatively public – but I know very few non-Celebrities that have ascribed to this.

A website like Path is similar to Facebook with the types of things you can share – music, links, photos – but you’re limited to engaging a group of roughly 150 people. Why this number you ask?  Well, I’ll tell ya – it’s because of Dunbar’s Number, which basically states that the number of people one can maintain a social, stable relationships with is somewhere between 100 and 250, but scholars believe it’s at about 150.

And then there’s Twitter – you can elicit control over your audience by toggling whether you want your page public or private; at a basic level, hink of these two options as either the Facebook option or the Path option.  When public, anyone and everyone can read, and search for, your tweets – while private, your tweets are only seen by a select audience that you allow. Twitter is wonderful for being succinct and witty, but any and all responses are limited to 140 characters.

I love examples, so let’s throw a few out:

Let’s say you want to share a link to an important cause (the upcoming election, Superstorm Sandy, adorable kittens, etc)….

  • Do you have an opinion you’d like to share?  If so, something like Path, a blog like WordPress or Tumblr (or Blogspot…or Xanga…or, well, you get the picture) or Facebook is your best bet. If not, you could simply post your link to Twitter with the title of the article.
  • Do you have an audience that you’re trying to reach (or, avoid)?  If you want the biggest reach, I’d lean towards a public Twitter profile;  if you’re only interested in your pre-existing social circle, go for Facebook; and if you want your post to reach a niche crowd, go for Path.

Let’s say you’re out to eat at an amazeballs restaurant and want to share your meal with your friends…

  • Do you want to post a picture of it?  Then navigate towards Instagram – snap your shot and share away at your leisure.
  • Are you eating with long lost friends? Check the group into Foursquare or Facebook – hell, even post that picture you took with Instagram while you’re at it.
  • Did you have the best time ever and want to tell everyone how ridic the food and service were?  Log into Yelp and write a formal review of your swanky time

When you’re part of one or two sites – it’s fairly easy to understand the entirety of your audience:  if your Twitter account is private and you don’t allow subscribers on Facebook, you have an excellent idea of who your target audience is when you post.  But what if you’re playing a juggling act with social media accounts here there and everywhere?  That’s when you use Klout.  Klout takes someone from a Social Media Queen to the Social Media Queen Bee by aggregating data from a number of measured social networks

When I joined Klout a little over a year ago, I had no clue what I was getting myself into – and adding another social media site that was an aggregate of the others seemed more than redundant.  But, what I’ve discovered over time is that Klout is to Social Media what Google Analytics is to Webpages.  By factoring in multiple social networks, Klout’s goal is to discover how many other users are engaged with each and every post you make, regardless of the source.  Your Klout score is between 1 and 100 and takes into consideration two factors: the topics you’re considered influential on and your social network (the people that influence you as well as the people that you influence).

As of today, these are the Social Media Networks that Klout considers relevant (and as a sidenote, I believe because of it – these are also the most important social media sites to be involved with): Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Youtube, Instagram, Tumblr, Blogspot, WordPress, Last FM and Flickr; however, they’re currently looking to integrate Quora, Yelp, Posterous, Livefyre, Disqus, Bit.ly and BranchOut.

Last, but most definitely not least, there are perks of being involved with Klout.  Those perks aren’t whimsical, idealistic badges (*cough*foursquare*cough*) – they’re actual, tangible, physical, hold them in your hand and covet them Perks and all because you are considered influential!  Below are some of the wonderful ways Klout has thanked me for being a social media maven and I’m beyond blessed to have the opportunity to both enjoy and share them.

Argo Premiere with treats, drinks and delectable snacks!

Fair Trade USA & Klout Perk:
Allegro Whole Coffee Beans
Alter Eco Mini Dark Noir (chocolate bar)
Choice Organic Teas Roobios
Coco Cafe Cafe Latte with Coconut Water and Espresso
Honest Tea Half and Half Organic Tea with Lemonade
Lärabar Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough food bar
Near East Quinoa Blend Rosemary and Olive Oil
Stash Roobios Tea

Klout Perk from Fit Frappe: Samples of each flavor and a huge container of my choosing. Plus, a jumprope!