September 30, 2013

Ansa: Text friends safely, securely & without regret

Go ‘off the record’ when sharing sensitive messages

Target audience: Startups, network managers, college students, privacy experts, mobile users, educators, journalists, Web publishers.

JD LasicaMobile is taking over the world, as tens of millions of us migrate from desktops and laptops to smartphones and other mobile devices. Today I’m attending Launch Mobile in San Francisco to get a sense of the latest trends (see my tweets by following @jdlasica on Twitter). And earlier this month I attended TechCrunch Disrupt, where a number of young social and mobile startups were on display.

One of the startups that caught the eye of the judges was Ansa, a messaging app that gives you control over the messages you share. One judge called it “Snapchat for grownups.”

I interviewed co-founder and CEO Natalie Bryla in this 6-minute video:

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March 27, 2009

Unigo: Student-powered college advice

JD LasicaAt South By Southwest Interactive in Austin Texas, earlier this month — inside the bloggers lounge — I ran into Julia Kaganskiy, the social media and community manager for Unigo.com.

If you haven’t heard of Unigo, you will. It’s a crowdsourced college guide that offers honest appraisals of life at hundreds of U.S. colleges, including the ability to find out what it’s like to major in a particular subject on a college campus.

Crowdsourcing doesn’t always work, but when users know their subject — and college students know their campuses — it can produce a more useful, authentic and accurate picture than that produced by traditional information sources. Julia says putting an editorial filter on crowdsourced content “sets it apart” and increases the signal level, and I think a lot of sites are finding the same thing.

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