Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Meet Notable Topiat User JohnCandyfan

JohnCandyfan sets the tone of his profile with a calming picture of a lake at dusk as if he were to say, "come, and enjoy this moment with me" made all the more convincing with his avatar of a friendly puppy. Who wouldn't want to come visit? And there are many curated moments to visit indeed. In addition to attractive photos of many varities, JohnCandyfan has tackled unique curatorial challenges such as One actor, One Movie where, as the title implies, he takes one actor and pairs him/her with one movie of note. From there, he opens up the horror genre with a selection of Great Serial killer Movies (where he is ranked 1st) and then makes a deeper sub-genre investigation with 70's horror. Haven't seen a classic action movie in awhile? Check out his cut of Great 90's action movies and Great 80's action movies.

Curation is limited only by your imagination and passions and it's exciting to see many passionate and creative people on topiat. I look forward to getting to know more of you.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Win a $5 Starbucks Gift Card for the best topiat collection this week

Win a $5 Starbucks Gift Card by making the best collection on topiat over the next week. Collections will be judged based on attractiveness, creativity, and utility. All new collections created during this competition week will be automatically entered and eligible to win.

The week long competition starts this Friday, September 7th. We are running several of these. Check out these great collections for inspiration: A 20-Something’s Guide to Surviving, Design, 90’s Alternative Rock. We look forward to seeing your wonderful collections!

Competition Start: Friday, September 7th 2012 at midnight
Competition End: Friday, September 14th 2012 at midnight

Competition Start: When the email is sent out
Competition End:
One week later
Winner Announcement: within 7 days of the end of the competition.

Gift Card Delivery
The winner will receive their gift card via email from the Starbucks eGift Card service. The Starbucks eGift Card will be sent to the email address used to register with topiat.com. You can update your email address is your account settings if you need to.

For a collection to be eligible:
- it must be created during the competition week. Previously created collections are not eligible.
- it must contain new content added by the collection owner. Using previously added content or content added by other users will disqualify the collection.
- it must not be made by a member of the topiat team.

Please post in the comments field with any questions. If you are particularly proud of the collection you make during this competition period, post a link to it in the comments field too.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Savannah Jaine - Rising Nashville Singer-Songwriter


Do you like grilled cheese?  Or Singing in the Rain? What about getting emotionally involved in the music you're listening to?  Oh, you do? Well, luckily for you, we’ve been listening to someone that  answers all your questions and a little more.
But as Jaine grew up writing, singing, and playing piano, so did her passion for all things music. Jaine went to college for Dance and Acting in Oklahoma City, which was also home to her favorite place to play. You could easily find Jaine at a small, local coffe shop known as Coffy's CafĂ©. “I used to walk there to play every week, trying out new material and honing my performance skills. It was such a great atmosphere, everyone was so supportive, and I honestly think it helped shape me into the performer I am today.” But coffee shops aren’t the only place you’ll be able to find Jaine. On her future she says “ I want to play living rooms, birthday parties, summer fests, performing arts centers, literally anywhere that someone wants to hear my music, I'd love to play there.”

Jaine loves performing for people that get “involved” in her music. Her favorite crowd is one full of people singing and dancing. Want to get more involved in Savannah Jaine’s music? Check out her latest single Maybe Love. It’s the story of her present relationship and is about that “awkward, blushing phase where you are really crushing, and so are they, but neither of you know how to express it.”

We think she nailed it, how about you?

See Jaine's inspirations here

This is home to Jaine
Visual art inspires here. See some of her favorites here
Everybody comes from somewhere. Here as some of the memories from her life
As far as role-models go, see the people that she loves here

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What's New: First State Films

You know those really typical films made by college students? A black and white feature paired with obvious metaphors matched with a Nickleback soundtrack?  This isn’t it. 

Meet Nate Riegel of First State Films. A junior at the University of Delaware, Riegel captures the college experience with a sincere and intimate twist.  Riegel started First State Films with just his brother and cousin with his first film “No Particular Place to Go”.  And from there, well, the whole brotherhood theme grew.  First State Films’ handsome male actors (ahem, to the right) are almost entirely members of Sigma Chi, Riegel’s fraternity. In fact, it was fellow Sigma Chi member, Will Rodowsky, who, having been a fan of "No Particular...," then collaborated with Riegel on
 his second film, "Come Dancing". 

Nate Riegel, ladies and gentlemen. 
       Let me be clear, this isn’t water down version of CollegeHumor. You’re not going to see guys like Tom, Matt, Mark, or Will crushing beers and banging chicks, bro. Just like how Riegel isn’t just some college kid with an iPhone filming parties. This 21 year old is able to brilliantly capture an extremely raw view of college life without getting caught in stereotypes.
 After watching “The Kells Avenue Christmas Special”, I asked him what inspired, and the answer surprised me. American Literature. Reigel says “It's so rooted in personal experience, just like my movies, and so I think of the world with authors like Sherwood Anderson, William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy, and Herman Melville, all of whom have written about topics they were intimately acquainted with.”  And for those hoping to catch Nickleback on Riegel’s soundtrack. Guess again. He uses Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground, and the Drive-By Trucker’s for musical   inspiration.

Trust me, this is a guy to keep an eye out for.  Check out his trailer for his fourth and latest project. 

Want to see more of Nate's films? Check out my First State Films  Collection. 

Your Partner in Discovery,
Kat Healy 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Announcing Topiat “Find It For Me” Feature

We are excited to announce our latest feature for finding great content! Introducing the new Find It For Me feature. Now you can ask the topiat community to make recommendations to your specific requests. Interested in a new song, shoe style, or book to read that is like the ones you already like? Click on the brand new Find it For Me button located beneath each of your collections on your profile, and you can request exactly what you want based on what you already know you like. You can also respond to someone else's request if you have a good recommendation for them and rack-up recommendation points. Now instead of having to browse, you can get a personalized recommendation for something new and exciting from your fellow Topiat.com members. They may show you something you’ll love and help you discover all kinds of new content. Watch the video below to see the Find It For Me Feature in action. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Need For Match Makers - Richard Nash from Cursor

Richard Nash is founder of Cursor, a platform that powers independent publishers. In an article and video by TechCrunch, he depicts today's publishing environment in America as a situation where we've got millions of writers and about 60 million readers. The process by which writers are discovered by readers is difficult and he sees this discovery problem being solved by passionate intermediaries. I could not agree more. See the video interview below:

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Rise of Content Curators

Steven Rosenbaum, CEO of Magnify.net, recently published the the article Why Curation is Just as Important as Creation on Mashable where is stiches together an argument for why curators will become internet power-brokers.  Of particular note is his Seth Godin excerpt:

“We don’t have an information shortage; we have an attention shortage,” Godin said. “There’s always someone who’s going to supply you with information that you’re going to curate. The Guggenheim doesn’t have a shortage of art. They don’t pay you to hang paintings for a show — in fact you have to pay for the insurance. Why? Because the Guggenheim is doing a service to the person who’s in the museum and the artist who’s being displayed.”

As Godin sees it, power is shifting from content makers to content curators: “If we live in a world where information drives what we do, the information we get becomes the most important thing. The person who chooses that information has power.”

Leaders on topiat are democratically appointed curators.  To become a leader on topiat, you have to curate collections of content that other people like after you.  A leader becomes increasingly powerful the larger their audience and the more frequently they add likable new content before other people in their audience.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Leaders and Followers

Adam Klein, CEO of eMusic, articulated their main focus as a company right now: developing social tools that enable communication between leaders and followers: "There are people who want to lead and there are people who want to follow. You need to create tools for leaders to lead and for followers to follow." This dynamic underpins everything we do here at topiat.com. If you have ideas how we can better empower leaders or make it easier to follow, let me know.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Track Your Statistics and Influence

You can now view statistics for your content.  Each collection has a “stats” button and, when pressed, displays the following metrics for each piece of content in the collection:
  • Total Views: times the content has been viewed on all of topiat
  • Click Throughs: times users have clicked on the content to visit the original source
  • Views on Your Pages: views of the content on only page that you own
  • Direct Views: views of the content on only pages that users own
  • Your Influence: percentage of views on pages you own as compared to total views for that content.
  • Recommendation Engine Views: views displayed via the discovery interface.

Promote your Content by Giving a Free Download in Exchange for a Review

Now you can give gifts to topiat users that engage with and review your featured content on topiat. Gifts can take the form of a digital file that a topiat member is allowed to download after reviewing the content. Examples of digital gifts include:

-A song
-A high resolution image
-A high resolution signed image
-Copies of a book, story, or galley for a book
-Anything digital

If this featured gift format is successful in digital form, we will develop the ability for content creators to send physical gifts to users.

Don't forget to become a fan on facebook or follow us on twitter.  We would love the support.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The first filters on the web have to be trusted people

Jac Holman, founder of Elektra Records, discusses the future of music discovery. In many ways, the principles underlying music discovery greatly inform other discovery processes because the problem, finding something you like, is similar for other products where price is not as important as personal preferences. Music however, has been struggling with this issue and the opportunities lost and afforded by the digitization of their product and the discovery process for a lot longer so it's imaginable those adapting in the industry are further down the learning curve then say, for example, those in the publishing industry. Check out his thoughts below, the first 1/3 is the best.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Get Featured on the topiat Homepage - Artists and Sellers Wanted

Feature your content on the homepage - Get your content featured on the homepage for 3 to 7 days. This gives your content maximum exposure to the topiat community. There are only three things you need to do. In the example picture here, the featured content is the grassy garden sculpture shaped like a sleeping woman.

Feature your image as a background image on the homepage - Get your photograph or art featured on the homepage as a background image for 7 days. Every featured background image comes with a link on the footer of the page that gives credit and links to the owner. There are only three things you need to do. In the example picture here, the featured background image is the photo of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Don't forget to become a fan on facebook or follow us on twitter.  We would love the support.

Make Your Profile Beautiful: Customize your Profile with a Background Image

Custom Profile Background Images - In addition to a general site-wide visual enhancement, you now have control of your own profile background images. The custom image you choose appears as the background image on your profile page and on your collection pages. Make your profile beautiful!

Don't forget to become a fan on facebook or follow us on twitter.  We would love the support.

Login to topiat with Facebook

Connect With Facebook - You can now login to topiat with your facebook account. Give it a shot. You can create a brand new account just by using Facebook, or you can link your current topiat account using Facebook. Either way, once the two accounts are together, you can then signin using either Facebook or your topiat credentials.

Post to your Facebook wall when you like or love something on topiat - If you are signed into topiat via Facebook, you can post the things you add to topiat that you like or love automatically to your Facebook wall. Now, when you discover something awesome, your friends will know who discovered it first.

Don't forget to become a fan on facebook or follow us on twitter.  We would love the support.

Find and Follow People in which You are Interested on topiat

Follow People on Topiat - Now you can bookmark people that you like on topiat to keep their profiles available for easy access at any point.  So now, if you like what a user posts, or if they are cute (you know how it goes), you can bookmark them.

View and find people on topiat - There is a new "people" tab in the header of every page that let's you view new users, users you are following, and users that are following you.

Don't forget to become a fan on facebook or follow us on twitter.  We would love the support.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Site Update #5

A new feature went live on topiat today!

"Remix My Content" interface: The "remix" interface enables you to rearrange your collections anyway you want.  You can select any two collections and copy content from one to the other.  You can also copy content from a current collection into a brand new collection.

Have you made a collection and you realize it would be better as two separate collections?  Do you want to make a new collection that comprises individual pieces of content from lots of other collections you have already made?  Don't re-add the content, remix it! :)  Thank you to topiat user DannyDont for originally pointing out the need for this feature and giving me great feedback on how it should best work.

Don't forget to become a fan on facebook or follow us on twitter.  We would love the support.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Site Update #4

A 4th set of new features went live on topiat today.

"New Recommenations Available" button, notification, and email alert:  Topiat now alerts you via email when there are new recommendations available to your collections!  No longer do you need to login to see if someone in your audience has discovered something great.  You will automatically be notified.  Now you can sit back, relax, and let the recommendations come to you.

"Add This!" button: You requested this feature in our feedback forum, so we made it and launched it today. This button allows you to add any piece of content you find on topiat immediately to one of your current collections, a new collection, or to any number of your current collections and even a new collection, all at the same time.  Thank you alejo_fonck for this feature suggestion.

Don't forget to become a fan of topiat on facebook or follow us on twitter.  We would love the support.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

For Fun: Topiat TV show Promotional Footage

Here is some promotional footage shot in anticipation of the "StartUp" TV show series featuring topiat.com.  Any resemblance to the actual topiat team is purely coincidental unless the actor/actress is really attractive.

StartUP PSA: Staff from Plywood Pictures

StartUP PSA: Good & Evil Chris from Plywood Pictures

StartUP PSA M+M from Plywood Pictures

Site Update #3

A third round of new features went live on topiat today. These updates include:

Indexes on the Profile, Collection, and Edit Collection Pages: Profiles with lots of collections and collections with lots of content can become harder to navigate. Indexes solve this problem by providing easy access to all the content within.

Request Fulfilled: No more concise titles! The original intent behind concise titles was to allow more control over the text that displays when the content is in thumbnail format and less than 30 characters are displayed. It turned out to be more annoying than it was worth and, by popular request, we have removed it!

Collection Pages show how many "liked" and "not liked": The filters on the top of each collection page that allow you to view liked or not liked content in a collection now show how many pieces of content are either liked or not liked next to the filter.

"Delete" and "Edit" buttons: collection pages not have delete and edit buttons on the page itself, if you are the owner of that collection

Custom View on Content pages: now, if you view a piece of content you submitted, the option to edit/change picture appears on the content page itself and the option to rate it does not (as you've already rated it).

Google video embed support: Now those google videos, that sometime get served up by the video API, will display flawlessly.

Show your support by becoming a fan of topiat on facebook and following us on twitter :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Second Update!

The second update to topiat went live this weekend. In this update we launched audience pages and calculate time differences on content pages.

Audience pages: If another user on topiat has a similar collection of content to you, you will both become part of the same audience. The audience page shows who has collections in common, what content they share in common, their leadership scores in the audience, among other audience related information. See it live here.

Time Differences: On content pages, we now display the order in which people rated content (e.g. 1st, 2nd, 3rd) and the time difference between ratings (e.g. Sue liked this 1 hour before Sam). See it live here.