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It’s the big day for Sonnet Models, a very clever Facebook application that I’ve been beta testing and incredibly impressed with. While they’ve been in a private beta for the last few months, they’ve finally launched to the world today at 11am GMT.

I’m generally very wary when it comes to anything related to modeling – not because it’s not an exciting, appealing and strangely fascinating industry but because I, like the majority of real women in the world, just don’t fit a stereotypical model profile.  Sonnet Models, however, seeks to match individual looks with the model agencies and clients who need them.

Here’s a bit more info about the company:

The ‘Sonnet Face of the World’ competition will allow any aspiring Kate Moss to be voted by the public into the attention of top modelling agencies around the world; Sonnet currently has partners in 33 locations. All finalists will secure contracts with leading agencies like Elite, Diva, Scene and Click. The winners will fly to one of the fashion capitals for a shoot with a top photographer to launch their modelling careers.

Although simple and intuitive, the application is also incredibly powerful. By gathering millions of consumer opinions from around the world, the patent-pending sorting algorithms will allow modelling agencies to instantly find the best models – even if they have to meet very specific criteria. For example, a scout from an LA-based agency may be looking for new face to meet a client’s request – a female who is at least 5’11”, aged 16-18, living in California and considered beautiful and elegant by men aged 25-35, living in New York, who are interested in technology and fashion. This may seem like an impossible task – but a simple search on Sonnet will locate the best candidates in seconds.

You can also find more about Sonnet Models here:

We know you think of yourself as a bit of Betty (and don’t be modest, we certainly don’t mean the Ugly one). But when it comes to getting the recognition you deserve, it can be tough. Fortunately new Cambridge, UK based startup Sonnet Models knows exactly how to catapult you to the front cover.

Read more about Sonnet Models from Sonnet Models on Techettes.

Knowing one of the guys behind the project and having seen it for myself, I’m quite excited to see where Sonnet Models can go, and the opportunities it can provide for men and women who might not otherwise have been able to break into the modelling industry.  It’s free, it’s fun and it’s a great application – check out the Sonnet Models Facebook application today!

Mobile Monday London

Last night I had the chance to attend Mobile Monday London and wrote a review, Opinion: Mobile Monday London Showcases Mobile Industry Challenges –

It’s a typically rainy London summer evening and ten stories above ground, in a conference room overlooking the Thames, Tate Modern, St. Pauls and the London financial district, a mobile developer is having technology troubles.

He shouldn’t feel badly, it’s been a fairly rough night for some of the presenters at Mobile Monday London, or MoMoLo if you’re someone who likes to throw the world dongle around in casual conversation….

Read on

DormWise Revisited

I’m going to indulge in a slight bit of bragging (as if that’s different than what I normally do here) for a moment in honour of a recent feature in my high school’s alumni publication.  In the most recent edition, the website I founded while at Colby, DormWise got it’s very own write up.  I couldn’t be more chuffed.

Castilleja's Around the Circle Magazine

Although the info is slightly outdated (I believe I originally got in touch at the end of my Junior year of college and since then have been quite busy with other projects and been unable to develop DormWise as much as I would have liked) it incredibly flattering to get the attention for my first big online project.

It’s Wednesday night and somehow I’ve gone from being embarrassingly punctual to the late side of fashionable. No one will care particularly – once again I am off to a London tech meetup to, well, meet a whole host of complete strangers – however I am a bit ashamed of the fact that I’ve managed to get lost in the most central part of London less than three blocks away from the bar I’m trying to find. But, I’m a girl so I’m prepared. My A-Z is in my bag. And I am not ashamed to ask for directions from my coworker, Alice, who wrongly assumed I knew where we were going. Being prepared, willing to ask for help and female are traits I will share with those I am about to meet and finally the bar is in sight. Silicon Stilettos, here I come.

Silicon Stilettos, organised by Zuzanna of Huddle.net, is a chance for techie women of London to gather, sip some sponsored drinks (in the case of tonight’s event, the beverages are being provided by Sun Startup Essentials and the few men in attendance are for the most part responsible for the plentiful food and drink so we don’t give them too hard a time), chat about business and technology and meet share ideas.

There are a number of brilliant women in attendance, but one of the entrepreneurs in attendance whose company really caught my attention was Anna of CompletelyNovel. CompletelyNovel is an online platform for writers to publish their stories and readers to find new online reading material. While using the web as a way to share creative writing is nothing new, CompletelyNovel offers ways for writers to manage their fan base and articulate readership to partner publishing houses, basically making a case for their book’s success before the publishing houses take the risk and expense of publishing the story. As CompletelyNovel puts it, “would a band be signed to a record label without fans, record sales and a tour?” Now, authors have the opportunity to prove they will be a success and increase their chances of getting picked up by a publisher. Additionally, readers get the chance to access all sorts of brilliant fiction in one online library for free, and support their favourite authors.

Anna and CompletelyNovel represents just one of the many interesting stories I hear at Silicon Stilettos and anyone who thinks that women are not a driving force in technology would be forced to reevaluate in the presence of the strong, entrepreneurial women I meet tonight. Thank you so much to Zuzanna for organising the event and Sun Startup for sponsoring the night. I look forward to future Silicon Stiletto events.

It also seems fitting that my recap of an evening with this wonderful group of women marks the 200th post here at The Top Floor Flat. I’d like to thank friends and family who have been reading since my fateful flight from JFK to Heathrow. To be in the company of these women is just one small indication of how far I’ve come. Thank you for reading, commenting and being a part of my adventure!

It’s become increasingly popular to “donate your facebook status” to various charities and causes. And overall, it’s a great idea – you show your support, you can quickly raise awareness amongst all of your friends and you get that warm fuzzy feeling of having done something good. Karma points all around. But amidst the general chatter and noise of Facebook, a status update for charity is, literally, the least you can do. So what’s the next step?

Lovebox, a new London startup and brainchild of The House London, thinks they’ve hit on a new way to spread the word about charities and show some internet love for various causes all through a little pink box. In their own words,

Lovebox is a digital wristband to help raise money and awareness for different charities around the world via the web. Each month we add another good cause and featured charity for you to support…. Social networks and the internet help us share information quickly. Lovebox is a simple but effective way for you to show your support for charities.

Imagine checking out your favourite social network and all you see is Lovebox! Swap your profle pic for a Lovebox avatar.

As Lovebox is still in Beta stage at the moment, their features are pretty limited. All that is currently available is the downloadable Lovebox image – for ease of use when you’re ready to swap it in place of your current profile pic on various social networks, and their current charity of choice, Cancer Research UK.

There are a couple of issues with the service that hopefully will be addressed as the site grows. The selection of only one charity per month as the Lovebox supported cause is slightly problematic as not all charities appeal to all supporters. Also, convincing us self-involved web users to change our digital signature, that is, our ever-present profile picture, might not be quite as easy as convincing us to change our profile statuses. Also problematic is the fact that profile pictures are not clickable links so a sea of Loveboxes is all well and good, but if others don’t know what they mean and have no way of finding out, it can be a bit of a challenge to get the word out.

Yet issues and growing pains aside, Lovebox certainly has a lovely vision: a sea of pink hearts, Loveboxes, covering the face of social networks across the planet. From Twitter to Facebook, MySpace to Bebo, Hi5 to IMVU, a Lovebox just might become the universal sign of giving and charitable donations if the Lovebox team has anything to say about it. And the appearance of one box can cause hundreds of others on the network to sit up, take notice and consider supporting a charity themselves.

So what are you waiting for? Download your very own Lovebox and start showing a little love today.