Venmo – Fee-free payment app

After the weekend at Lake Tahoe, there were some expenses to be split.  Fortunately, some friends had started using Venmo – a service that allows you to pay friends with your phone (or online if you don’t have an iPhone, Android phone, or Blackberry).  You can use your bank account or credit card, much like PayPal.  However, best of all, there are no fees.  How can I say no to free?  Especially when the app is so easy to use.  Venmo’s mission is to make payments between friends easy and fun

IMcreator – drag and drop web editor

Discovered this extremely easy-to-use webpage editor:  You can start a design from scratch but there are some templates available as well.  I fiddled around with this app a bit and found that besides pictures and text, I can quickly add page menus, video, picture galleries, and contact forms.   Social media widgets such as Twitter and Facebook feeds are easy to add and customize.  Pictures can be cropped directly inside the editor, and text can easily be layered over images.  Resizing pictures is also foolproof – I find that no matter what I do, the image is resized or cropped a bit so that the aspect ratio stays the same.  This means no more stretched-looking images no matter who uses this editor (a constant pet peeve of mine).  It’s free to create websites, but if you want to connect the site to your own domain, IMcreator charges for hosting services (between $7 to $10 a month).

Cool new web app: BO.LT

At Alt Summit, I met Christine Harmel who is in charge of marketing at BO.LT, a cool site that allows you to save whole webpages.  At first glance, it looked like another Pinterest to me, but Christine showed me that it was so much more.  Pinterest allows you to save an image or video that you “pin”, directly onto their servers.  The link associated with the image is pinned as well.  However, once the webpage is modified or taken down, all you have left is the image.  BO.LT, on the other hand, is different – you can save entire dynamic webpages in an instant.  Once you enter the page you want to save, or “bolt,” the page is recreated in seconds on their server, with active links and all.

What does this mean exactly?  I used to save websites that I liked onto my hard drive by clicking File>Save from my web browser.  I was teaching myself web design and wanted to know how the good websites worked.  I would then get a folder with a bunch of images and files inside, and an additional .html file that was the recreated website.  It became too confusing to pair the right .html file with the right folder, especially if I reorganized the files on my computer.  But with this application, all of that ‘fun’ stuff is done for me, online, not to be lost again.

You can also add comments to each saved webpage (called bolts) and share your discoveries with friends, as well as see what other users are sharing.  I’ve already discovered some cool new-to-me websites and spent about 15 minutes bolting some of my favorite sites.  It’s incredibly easy to use.  Don’t you just love it when cool technology and good design intersect?

One of the founders also has a lifestyle site – where he shares bolts of pages that reflect a certain refined rustic aesthetic.  Check it out!