Posts tagged woohoo

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MITX Innovation Awards Snippets

by Dave McLaughlin, Co-Founder & CEO of Vsnap 

A great night for the whole tech/creative community. Here are some of the highlights from the program.


That was the opening admonition from MITX President Debi Kleiman that started off the 2012 Innovation Awards program.


Debi followed that up by saying that the award plaques were still in a warehouse in Ohio, so her team had scrambled and were going to give out old school cheerleader megaphones to each of the winners. It was clever, fun-spirited, and captured the sense of community that was at the heart of the event. As well as the feeling that everyone was rooting for each other, and the idea that along with winning comes the responsibility to champion the community.


The awards were hosted by Jeremy Weiskotten of Terrible Labs (aka @doctorzaius and host of Scotch-O-Clock) who rocked a super-original, very funny riff in which he used 75 or so words that ended in “-ation.” Like, “Innovation is the salvation of our nation” and “any limitation is a figment of our imagination.”


That’s what I’m calling the voice-over guy whose disembodied voice read off the finalists, Oscar-style. Company name and product name. But for probably 75% of the finalists, those names were the same. So there was a lot of, “And the finalists are: Vsnap. Vsnap. Privy. Privy.” And so on. Pretty hilarious.

By the way, my personal favorite voice-over is the one on Frontline. (Okay, I love Ron Howard on Arrested Development too). And FYI, that actor who does the Frontline voice is based in Cambridge. Will Lyman. Maybe hire him next year? Not only is he an awesome performer with an instrument for a voice, I think it’s also very hard to imagine the whole room snickering at the Frontline guy.


I think everybody’s favorite part of the night had to be Bill Warner’s speech after being inducted into the MITX Hall of Fame. Here’s the audio for those who missed it.

Bill made this amazing statement that he invests only in intention. He actually finds looking at the product a distraction from his ability to understand a founder’s intention. He used the Declaration of Independence as an example of how powerful a statement of intention can be, how inspiring. To read more about Bill’s use of the Constitution as a metaphor for what happens with a startup, check out this post. And to learn more about his ideas about building your startup from the heart by checking out these videos here. (Thanks, Bobbie!)


Finally, props to MITX Chairman and Mullen CEO Joe Grimaldi, who got pretty damn fired up in the remarks he made before giving out the last few awards. The quote I liked was something like “The future of everything is starting right here in Boston. Just like it has in the past.”

Amen, Joe. Amen.

Huge massive congrats to the MITX team on a great night, and thanks to all of the sponsors. Congratulations also to all the winners, and to all of our fellow finalists. We’re really honored to be working alongside you in this amazing startup community.

And let’s none of us forget the words that framed this whole night: GO BIG!

(For a list of the evening’s winners, check out MITX’s Winners Circle.)

Filed under MITX dave blogs innoawards vsnap woohoo MITX Innovation Awards

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Signature Vsnap 101 

by Trish Fontanilla, Community Manager at Vsnap 

We’ve been getting a few questions about the signature vsnap, so I figured I’d give y’all a quick rundown of the whats, wheres, and hows: 

What is a signature vsnap? 

It’s our take on the standard profile pic. A video gives life to the usual headshot that people post, and it’s a better way of identifying the person because you can hear their voice and maybe even catch some of their hand gestures. 

Where does my signature vsnap live? 

Your signature vsnap lives on your profile page and it’s your only public facing vsnap (unless you share one of your vsnaps via social media/the web). An example of a signature profile link is: Your profile link, like all Vsnap links, is case-sensitive, so for example, wouldn’t work since my username is “trish”. 

How do I create my signature vsnap? 

Currently, creating and setting your signature vsnap is web-only. 

You can access your signature vsnap on your feed page. If your browser window is maximized and you haven’t set a signature yet, you’ll see an “Update your profile” link to the right of your feed that’ll lead you to your “Profile” page. 

You can also create your signature, by clicking on your name in the top right corner of the window (again, if it’s maximized) and then clicking “Profile”. From the “Profile” page, you can record or remove your signature vsnap (although it’ll still live in your feed) as well as write in a little description about yourself. 

Lastly, you can take an existing vsnap and make it your signature by clicking on the “Signature” button in the left-hand corner of any vsnap that you’ve created. 

Where is my signature vsnap linked? 

It’s linked to your username, which appears on every vsnap you create. 

Why make a signature vsnap? 

  • When you record a signature vsnap, that vsnap’s thumbnail appears in the notification for each vsnap you send via email. Seeing your lovely face increases the likelihood of people clicking on the link and watching your video.

  • I also like to link my signature vsnap in my email signature too. It helps people get to know me better and it’s been a great icebreaker for when I’ve met up with users, clients and partners for the first time. 

What should I say in my signature vsnap? 

It really depends on how you’re using it. Sometimes it’s more of a video business card where I talk about what I do and how to contact me. Sometimes I’ll talk about what events I’ll be speaking at or a project I’m working on. Sometimes I’ll take folks on a little tour of the co-working space. Change it up! 

If you have any other questions about your signature vsnap or anything else Vsnap, please let me know! Send me an email, a tweet, or comment below. 

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Community & the Future of Women in Tech

by Trish Fontanilla, Community Manager at Vsnap

Think about a job you love(d). Who was the first person to talk to you about it? Where did you find resources to help you? What are you doing now to pay it forward? Those questions rattled around in my head this past week while I was at the Boston Technovation Challenge Pitch Night at MIT. 

The pitch was the culmination of an incredible ten weeks. The Technovation Challenge, an Iridescent program, aims to “promote women in technology by giving girls the skills and confidence they need to be successful in computer science and entrepreneurship”. Students are guided through the entire mobile app process, from conception to a marketing/business plan to building a prototype in Google App Inventor. The Boston winner will compete against regional winners from NYC, Berkeley, Mountain View, and San Francisco tomorrow evening at Intel in Santa Clara, CA. Google will develop the app of the national winner. Amazing. 

TC was founded in 2009, but 2012 was its first year in Boston. I came on as a mentor to a group of young women from New Mission High School. My team had started off with five girls, but due to various circumstances, by pitch night we were down to two: Isabel and Katelyn. Being the shy kids in their Chemistry class, they were inspired to build an app that gave students extra credit through Chemistry games while keeping teachers up to date with the student’s progress and building the student’s self esteem.  

To say that I was proud of the girls would be an understatement. They’d always been thoughtful, but the young women I saw present in front of TC keynote Jean Hammond and the panel of VC judges (a great group made up of Elyse Cherry, Geraldine Alias, Rob Go, and Wayne Chang), were composed, sans notecards and armed with their love and knowledge of their app. They were inspiring.

It reminded me how important community can be in professional growth. This achievement was largely in part due to the girls themselves, but with the Technovation team and Boston director Tahani Zeid, their teacher Jennifer, their technical teaching assistant that helped them build their app, the speakers that took time week after week to come in, all helped elicit qualities the girls themselves had in them all along. As I watched all ten teams present, they showed me the beautiful reflection of what a mosaic of community support can provide. 

Now back to the questions I started with. 

  • Reach out to the people that have influenced your career and let them know how and what you’re up to. They took time to help you, let them know how beneficial they’ve been. 
  • Be a resource. Get involved with your community, both professionally and civically. Attend an event, organize a panel, or chat with some up-and-comers in your industry and pass along best practices. 
  • Become a mentor. There’s the National Mentoring Partnership site which we’ve mentioned before, but If you need some help jumping in, let me know. I’m trying to figure out a way people can get started that respects their time but also maximizes impact.

If we want to stop people from questioning where the women in tech are, we have to support girls in tech and youth in general, for that matter. We all should step up and let them know that there is opportunity and community closer than they might think. 

Filed under community building technovation technovation challenge trish blogs vsnap women in tech girls in tech woohoo mentoring Boston

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Update: Changes to Details, Recording, & Feed

by Trish Fontanilla, Community Manager at Vsnap

We may have taken some time out to launch our mobile apps but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been continuously working on updates for our website. Who loves ya? Vsnap does. In all seriousness, we love to listen and we do take your suggestions to heart, so we hope you’ll enjoy some of the new little features we’ve added to the site. 

  • When you go to the details page, it now has entries for tweets as well as the number of views for each tweet. (This is in addition to the existing ability to see whether an email-share recipient did or did not view a given vsnap.) 
  • The details page now also lists any attached links as an attachment and indicates whether the URL was viewed. 
  • The vsnap recording page now has 1) a sound slider to let you know your voice/volume level (green is good!) 2) an easy way to switch between mics and cameras. 
  • Vsnaps are now sorted within your feed by 1) the receive date for received vsnaps 2) the create date for new vsnaps
  • Note that for the same vsnap you will see multiple entries if the vsnap was shared to yourself or if it was shared with you from multiple sources
  • The source of all received vsnaps as well as who created the vsnap are now clearly identified

 And a note from CEO Dave: 
While recording a vsnap is already super-easy, some users have asked us for a little coaching on when are good times to vsnap someone, so we’ve introduced twice-a-week tips, short and sweet. You can see these tips, and sign up to receive them, right here. Also, we are working on some simple constructs to invite users to publicly share some of their more effective vsnaps so that others can borrow best practices. More on that soon. 

Keep the feedback coming, either by commenting on this blog, sending me an email, or tweeting us.
Happy vsnapping!

Filed under vsnap updates trish blogs video message video messaging vsnap woohoo Twitter

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New feature: Drafts

by Trish Fontanilla, Community Manager at Vsnap

Hey vsnappers! 

You may have noticed when we launched our Android / iOS apps last week, that a new tab popped into your life: drafts. Drafts can be found on the web interface, mobile web, and on our mobile apps. Overall, drafts simply mean that you’ve recorded a video, but want to save it for later to edit the title, description, and/or attachments.

On the web…

After you record your video and click next, if you click on the little home button on the top of the screen, your vsnap will be saved as a draft.

Vsnaps can also be saved to your draft folder by clicking on the home button on your “Attach” and “Share” screens. If you click on “Send” or “Skip” on the Share page, you will no longer be able to edit your vsnap. 

On the mobile web… 

While you can’t record a vsnap from the mobile web, you can still edit all the details (title, description, attachments, and who to share it with). 

On the iPhone / Android / tablet apps… 

After you’ve recorded the video and pressed “OK”, you may click out of the vsnap creation process at any time to make it a draft, although instead of pressing the home button you’ll need to hit cancel. You’ll be prompted with this screen:

Something to keep in mind: Only 5 drafts can be stored on your phone, but you can have unlimited drafts on the web. 

I’ve had some people ask me to check their accounts because they recorded a vsnap on their phone and it didn’t immediately appear in their web accounts. This may be because of the size of the video file (if you shot in HD, etc) and because it takes longer to transfer over a cellular network. Give it a few minutes and if your vsnap does not appear in your drafts folder on the web or in your feed, feel free to email me. You can also jump on a fast wifi network to transfer. 

So, are you digging drafts? Have any other questions? Feel free to comment below! 

Filed under trish blogs vsnap features video message video messaging woohoo mobile apps video