“It’s a Monkey” – New Tech Podcast from 89n

Congratulations to our friends at 89n on episode one of their new tech podcast, “It’s a Monkey.”

It’s a Monkey Podcast aims to provide regular discussion on all issues relating to the tech economy and how it affects our lives. Discussion is lead by Kevin Garber and James Peter, co-founders of 89n – the team behind ManageFlitter and other leading web-based apps, which brings a unique developer perspective to the conversation.

The podcast will also feature interviews with thought leaders and innovators from the tech community. Episode one featured Harvard Business Review writer Steve Faktor, and California State University professor and international expert in the “Psychology of Technology,” Dr Larry Rosen.

Catch episode one and watch for episode two coming soon at the It’s a Monkey Podcast website.

Go KC – The Future of Mobile Payments

Earlier this week, we attended a special discussion on the future of mobile payments, presented by KCnext - The Technology Council of Greater Kansas City. Participants included:

The event was live streamed by Silicon Prairie News. Their recording of the live stream is embedded below, and we would recommend you take time to view the discussion. You can also read SPN’s recap of the event for key takeaways from each speaker.

For additional insights and audience perspectives, read our Storify recap made up entirely of attendee tweets and photos.

Want beta access to the latest social and mobile apps? Check out BetaBait, a new website connecting startups with early adopters

Today’s post is a guest post from Cody Barbierri, c0-founder of BetaBait, a new website connecting startups with early adopters interested in testing and being the first users of new web, mobile and social apps.  The post continues Social: IRL’s new series spotlighting startups in the tech, social and mobile space. Contact us to have your startup considered for a future post.

A while back I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about how there are so many startups out there that never see the light of day because it’s so hard to get noticed with today’s clutter online. To date, the only real way to get enough exposure to reach the early adopters who can help get a startup off the ground is by hounding reporters and spending countless hours within social media trying to engage people.

We wanted to remove the gate keepers making the decisions on who gets spotlighted and give that power to the early adopters – the people interested in testing and being the first users to many of these startups. With that, BetaBait was born. The service started out as a simple email service, spotlighting the latest startups looking for early adopters. Users could click-through on any startups that were of interest and be directed to their websites to learn more.

After just a few weeks, the response was incredible and we quickly ran into an issue – the email was getting too long with startups. We needed a place to house all of them and still give users a way to browse, share and test. We then launched an app directory online, which segmented the startups into categories, such as business, social, lifestyle and more. The email then only spotlighted the startups submitted from the past 24 hours.

Shortly after launching the app directory, we decided that we needed to give our community more of a voice. These early adopters have incredible ideas and can bring tremendous value to the startups looking to deliver a better product. We then shortly rolled out individual app pages for each startup, which gave additional information, sharing features and a commenting section meant to leave feedback based on the user’s experience and general thoughts on the idea.

BetaBait has been live now for almost 2 months and has close to 1,000 startups, 5,000 early adopters using the service, which remains free for both parties. We are currently generating revenue through email sponsors, which are able to create a welcome message to our daily email with a link to their website. Sponsors enjoy being the first thing our community of early adopters sees when they open the email.

In the near future, as the community continues to grow, we will be launching a redesign of the site to make it even easier to discover new startups, share them with friends and family, including a voting mechansim to push startups to the top of the page as well as leave feedback. In addition, we will be offering more sponsorship opportunities online for startups and other advertisers.

If you’re an early adopter or early stage startup looking to use the service, please sign up at www.betabait.com.

Gentlemint. A Pinterest for men. “Manly men”

Like the concept of Pinterest, but prefer more “manly” content? Gentlemint might be the site for you.

Just launched in beta, Gentlemint is a website that evolved from a personal challenge set by two Lawrence, Kansas, web designers Glen Stansberry and Brian Mckinney. Feeling burned out after another project they had worked on together, they set themselves a challenge to build a new website in just 12 hours. They wanted to create something that not only challenged them technically but that they could also have fun with. 12 intense hours later Gentlemint was live.

What started as a personal challenge has grown quickly in to a website  featured by the likes of Mashable, Time, and The Daily Dot, with a rapid growth in both traffic and registrations.

Social: IRL spent time with Glen Stansberry and Brian McKinney to learn more about Gentlemint and had a great time chatting about the original design and concept, how the site was built as an open source project using Django, the obvious comparisons to Pinterest, and future plans for the site. Check out the video of our conversation below.

Want a beta invitation for the site? No need to wait. We have a limited number of beta invitations we can share for immediate access. Just Tweet us @socialirl or send us a message here.

The Silicon Prairie

The Silicon Prairie

Click to Enlarge.

While we’re fortunate to work with clients and host conferences across the United States, we’re proud to be based in Lawrence, Kansas, in the heart of the Midwest.

We love to showcase the incredible innovation and technology emanating from the local area so were glad to see our neighbors in Kansas City get some well deserved recognition in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week, being described as the “Silicon Prairie” and a national hub for information technology.

Great recognition not just for Kansas City but for the entire region.  You can read the complete story here.