Most online retailers keep a safe distance from their customers (unless they're asking for credit card information). ModCloth, an e-retailer of vintage women's fashion founded in 2002, is deviating from this model by creating a community of fashionistas included in almost every part of the company.
Without the customer-company separation, ModCloth is more like a best friend who gives you fashion advice, shares her favorite recipes, and joins your book club. Wait, we're still talking about a clothing store, right?
Right. In October 2009, Modcloth launched its "Be the Buyer" program, an initiative that lets visitors vote on clothing samples. If an item gets enough votes, ModCloth will sell it. Sound familiar? Threadless was founded on a similarly democratic principle, but Modcloth is the first to add crowdsourcing as a supplement to a traditional storefront.
ModCloth takes its customers' fashion advice to improve its buying decisions, but it's also about building community. Customers leave comments on clothing samples and vote, but can also share their views with friends via Facebook or Twitter. It results in a group of people who may not know each other, but share in common an interest in fashion and a desire to talk about it.
These fashionistas are a part of a community more complex than garments, though. ModCloth's blog, ModLife, covers everything from fashion to recipes, and provides "cool links" on the Web. There's even a link to a Flickr account where customers upload photos of their favorite ModCloth outfits.
On March 8, ModCloth announced its reading contest, in which users who share the title of the book they're reading on the social-networking site GoodReads enter for a chance to a win a copy of ModCloth's book of the month. It's unclear whether ModCloth has officially partnered with GoodRead, but the partnership represents a significant shift in online retailing.
Online shops generally have a narrow frame of thought, assuming their customers came to them for only their products. But Web 2.0 is about community, and ModCloth was right in assuming that its shoppers have more in common than clothing.
I caught up with ModCloth founders Eric and Susan Koger via e-mail to find out more about the community they've built. … Read more
Computer security company Trend Micro has an offer for any teen or adult who cares about Internet safety and security and wants to become an award winning filmmaker. The company has launched a contest called "What's Your Story?" where the person who submits the best short video (no more than 2 minutes) can win $10,000. There are also four $500 prizes.
The deadline is April 30th and only residents of the U.S. and Canada who are 13 or older are eligible to win.
Entries must be about one of these four topics:
Keeping a good … Read more
They say that once you've had two displays, you'll never walk away. (Well, I don't know if they actually say that, but i think you get the idea.) From my time spent with the EVGA InterView Dual Monitor System I'd tend to agree. Having two screens at my disposal really does seem to increase my productivity. Being able to write on one screen while referencing another--as I'm doing now--really makes for an efficient working environment.
The most unique feature of the display is its ability to rotate each screen back 180 degrees. While the casual … Read more
And by closer look, I mean that literally. I put the camera almost uncomfortably close to the monitor and pressed the picture-taking button. I got so close at times that I think I may actually owe the monitor dinner now.
Check out these shots of EVGA's Interview dual-screen monitor that was announced last week.
The screen is crazy reflective, so I can't really be held responsible for the secrets you find in the shots.
I'm hoping to have a review up soon, if there's demand for one, that is. Is there?
I look at a lot of monitors. So many, in fact, that these days I immediately notice the smallest differences between them. Almost instinctively, I notice the bezel width, whether or not the panel slopes, and how easy the connections options are to access. I don't say this to brag; it's just that most monitors look so similar that I'm forced to find the smallest differences just to keep my job exciting.
So please forgive my utter elation and downright giddiness at EVGA's just-announced InterView Dual Monitor System.
The InterView is a dual-screen monitor with two … Read more
Artist and newly crowned TV show host ANDREW WK joins The 404 today in what might be the crowning moment of our careers. We run the gamut in our extra-long show--we chat about his music career, an upcoming album, his new show "Destroy Build Destroy," and Jeff and I actually reveal our two chance encounters with the man. IT'S TIME TO PARTY!
After pimping out his appearance on the show for the past two weeks, we're very, very excited to welcome Andrew WK to our humble studio. Unsurprisingly, Andrew's super posi vibe gels well with the group and we get right into the interview, beginning with a story about how Andrew got into the piano as a kid and how it shaped his music today.
If you haven't had a chance to see Andrew play live, do yourself a favor and check it out with The 404's highest recommendation for a guaranteed good time. Also be sure to listen for a very special clip from Andrew's newest sold-out record, "DAMN! The Mixtape Vol. 1", currently only available for download on iTunes or Amazon. We also pick Andrew's brain for his opinions on the current state of music, including the overuse of auto-tune and his newfound appreciation for Dave Matthews Band.
After the break, we launch right into a conversation about Andrew's newest endeavor, a brand new show debuting on the Cartoon Network this Saturday, 8:30 p.m. EDT called "Destroy Build Destroy." The premise is simple: two teams of teenagers (with plenty of guidance and safety measures) compete to destroy a large structure, build the remnants up into something else. The winner of the competition gets to obliterate the loser's! You had us at "destroy," Andrew, the premise sounds like a mix between Double Dare and Battle Bots.
AWK's all over the place! In addition to Santos Party House, his successful bar in downtown Manhattan, Andrew also talks about his next solo album entitled "55 Cadillac" that's a pretty wide departure from his normal rock and roll. Listen to a few clips on his MySpace, give him a call, and let him know how much you love it!
Click on the slideshow above for candid shots from our interview with Andrew WK, courtesy of Sara the Woah-mantern, and a big thanks goes out to Anna David for introducing us to AWK! Wait, is it time to party yet? Yeah, it's time...LET'S GET A PARTY STARTED!EPISODE 365 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
I've been in Austin for less than 24 hours and I'm already exhausted but Ben Huh the founder of I Can Has Cheezburger woke me up--I meet up with him for my first interview at SXSW. He was a speaker on a SXSW Interactive panel called "UR Blog Sux and Print is Dead." The panelists discussed the pros and cons of being Internet famous and gave advice on how to be an successful blogger. Speakers included Christian Lander from Stuff White People Like, Kerry Miller from Passiveaggressivenotes.com, Heather Armstrong from Blurbodoocery Inc, and Ana Marie … Read more
It's been quite some time since the glory days of the arcade light-gun shooter. One of the franchises that rested comfortably atop the seemingly endless list of such games was House of the Dead by Sega.
Surely anyone who has spent any time at an arcade is familiar with the name, including the various sequels that followed after the 1996 original. Since then, House of the Dead has found its way onto the home console, debuting in 1998 on the Sega Saturn.
Thanks to the unique control style of the Nintendo Wii, Sega has found a new home for … Read more
EnterpriseDB CTO Bob Zurek was kind enough to have me on the his Database Radio program, with the audio feed here and the transcript here (PDF), which proved to be fun to record and hopefully an enlightening listen.
Bob asked me to name the top trends in open source. Here's my answer:
There have been two big ones that I've noticed lately. One is the opening up of the Web. Traditionally the Web (infrastructure) was open, but increasingly we have things like applications moving to the Web, things like Facebook, that were proprietary--maybe built on open source, but … Read more