Crowd Funding 101: Kickstarter and More

Crowd Funding 101: Kickstarter and More

Looking to learn more about crowd funding, including how you can get started using the best websites and services like Kickstarter, IndieGogo and RocketHub to launch new startups and businesses? We’ve just launched new book The Crowdfunding Bible: How to Raise Money for Any Startup, Video Game or Project, which is completely free to download at www.CrowdFundingGuides.com. A complete expert guide that explains how to crowdfund any idea or project from start to finish, it offers hints, tips and advice from today’s top campaign creators. Best of all, you can enjoy it on a variety of formats, including smartphones, tablet PCs and eReaders, including Apple iOS, Android, Nook and Sony Reader devices.

Thanks to crowd funding, today’s hottest form of high-tech investment, suddenly anyone can bring any idea or invention to life on the Internet. The world’s most comprehensive guide to raising money online, The Crowdfunding Bible shows you how to launch, market and successfully run a high-tech fundraising campaign, regardless of industry or budget. It reveals the secrets to catching the media and public’s eye, and attracting donors, in a language that everyone can understand. From books to films, albums, events and consumer products and video games, we recommended that you check it out if you’re interested in discovering the new world of venture capital waiting at your fingertips.

Featured Crowdfunding Topics Include

  • Best Crowdfunding Websites and Services
  • Complete Guides: How to Start and Promote Any Project
  • Expert Tips: Crafting Pitches, Rewards and Marketing Programs
  • Advice from Today’s Most Successful Creators and Campaigns
  • Handbooks to Building Powerful PR and Social Media Strategies
  • Key Lessons and Takeaways from Top Hits and Failures
  • Reviews and Post-Mortems: An Inside Look at the Business

The first title from our new book publishing label READ.ME, we sincerely hope that you’ll enjoy reading it as much as we did creating it. And be sure to look for more books about technology and business coming soon – we’re on the hunt for talented new authors!

Streaming Music Services: Which Rock?

Streaming Music Services: Which Rock?

Music is the primal (and thoroughly awesome) force that moves us all, and the Internet has substantially changed the way we listen to the songs we love. Did you know that there are several music streaming services online? Better still, several of the best streaming music services are free to use, and they let you listen to select songs from your favorite artists, albums and genres, hassle-free.

The services typically vary in function. While some will analyze your favorite music and use those tracks to recommend new artists and albums, others provide a variety of preset channels to pick from, and a compelling mix of sports, commentary, and even live events. Still others let you upload your music collection to the web so you can access it from any computer. All of them are web-based, but many are available as apps as well.

If there’s one drawback to these digital services, it’s that they require an online connection to work fully. In other words, if there’s a blackout, good-bye musical distraction. Still, it’s a great way to connect with like-minded fans, and/or simply space out to your own personal Top 10 lists.

Following are five of the best music streaming services that you can listen to on-demand at home or work:

PandoraPandora is a front-end for the Music Genome Project, which is a massive effort to “capture the essence of music at a fundamental level” by using algorithms to  brew up recommendations for listeners. In other words, Pandora’s online radio service turns up recommendations that are “genetically” linked to your favorite songs. As such, Pandora is an excellent music streaming service if you’re in the mood to expand your listening. It has some shortcomings, however: The free version of the service only allows for 40 hours of listening a week, and it’s only available in the United States.

Last.fmLike Pandora, Last.fm is something of a frontrunner in the realm of music streaming. It also gives you recommendations based on your favorite listening selections, and lets you build playlists. The site is loaded with social networking options, which has helped build a rich and busy community around the service. Last.fm is a great choice if you’re looking to share your musical interests with your pals.

GroovesharkIts name might bring up a mental image of the mellowest killer in the sea, but Grooveshark is actually one of the most popular music streaming services on the Internet, thanks to its ease of use. Unlike other services, you don’t need to sign up for a subscription: You simply dive right into the site and begin building a playlist. If you’re at a loss to find anything you like, you can even upload your own music collection to help build up the Grooveshark database.

SpotifySpotify is an excellent streaming service that lets you share your playlists with ease. Premium users can access an offline mode to store music locally. The service recently launched in the United States, and is also available in much of Europe and the UK. Sorry, Canadians. It’s quickly risen to become the most prominent of the streaming music services, at least from the standpoint of awareness and media coverage, even if Pandora has it beat in terms of ubiquity on connected devices such as WiFi-enabled TVs and Blu-ray players.

Slacker RadioYou should check out Slacker Radio—and don’t come back with a response like, “Ehhh, maybe later.” Slacker Radio has great audio quality, and tons of customization options. That’s worth getting up off the couch for, right? But don’t believe us: Take it from top critics, who continually label it as a favorite pick on their best-of lists.

For more about the best music streaming services on the Internet, visit:

The Best Streaming Music Services at PC Mag

The Five Best Music Streaming Services at LifeHacker

Top 5 On Demand Music Streaming Services at VentureBeat

Best iPad Cases and Accessories for Business

Best iPad Cases and Accessories for Business

Small Business Expert

Essential hints, tips & business advice for startups & entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses are increasingly turning to Apple’s popular iPad tablet PC as an alternative to traditional laptops. Given the mobile device’s gorgeous touchscreen display, user-friendly interface, and infinite selection of downloadable apps, which bestow the ability for the system to double as a growing range of gadgets, we can’t say we blame them. Of course, getting the most out of the gizmo often requires investing in some of the best iPad cases and accessories for businesses available out there as well – a point that shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re pondering adding the system to your IT budget.

Important to consider: While the iPad isn’t right for all businesses or industries, it can make a reasonable complement to or replacement for desktop and laptop systems in certain cases, meaning that it’s vital to consider your firm’s needs and high-tech usage patterns before buying. And, of course, recognize the device’s limitations, as its virtual keyboard, limited battery life and suite of software programs (in some cases less robust than those you’d enjoy on a traditional computer system) may not suit your company’s requirements. However, the following add-ons can help mitigate some of these issues, and bestow additional features onto the iPad, which may make the decision somewhat easier.

As you’ll see in our latest column for Inc. magazine, the range of iPad cases, accessories and add-ons continues to grow and expand in new directions – many highly beneficial for today’s business owner.

Sena Keyboard Folio

Cost: $149.99

This leather carrying case has an integrated Bluetooth keyboard and folding kickstand. Beyond the obvious benefits of protecting your device and giving you a more comfortable way to type, it’s also elegantly designed. Heck, it’s even fashionable. Be prepared to pay for the style, however: Units don’t come cheap.

Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit

Cost: $29

Digital cameras still produce better images than smartphones and tablets on average, especially under dimly-lit conditions. That’s why you might want to pick up this connection kit, which can import photos and videos onto the iPad via your camera’s USB cable or SD card. Support for JPEG and RAW images, and SD and HD video formats (H.264, MP4, etc.), make it especially handy for social media campaigns or those needing to capture low-light shots at product demos or events.

iHome iDM5 Executive Workstation

Cost: $129.99

An all-in-one solution for mobile professionals, this “Bluetooth keyboard speaker system” (read: full-service workstation) provides a physical keypad, stereo speakers, and two USB ports for device charging. Using it, you can videoconference, play music while working, and recharge mobile gadgets all while you’re getting work done.

For more of the best iPad cases and accessories, please visit Inc. magazine.