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Royal Opera House uses Twitter to crowdsource a libretto

Add / Remove Micro-blogging service Twitter and London’s Royal Opera House may not be seen as birds of a feather. Founded hundreds of years apart, one represents a stronghold of traditional high culture, the other the fizzing surface of contemporary communication. But the tendency of culture to respond to new technology should never be underestimated—over […]

Instant & personalised winning-goal commentary for soccer fans

Add / Remove Most sports fans have probably dreamt of scoring the winning goal for their national team. Now, thanks to a new UK enterprise, Be A Football Hero, football / soccer fans have the chance to hear a true-to-life commentary of that dream game, with themselves in the starring role. Designed as a gift […]

Firefox add-on helps plan trips and find travel deals

Add / Remove Travellers planning a trip can already tap a variety of sites for creating guides and itineraries, including TripIt, Offbeat Guides and Tripwolf—to name just a few. Focusing more on travellers’ own search process, however—specifically, the time they spend scouring the web for ideas—comes Gliider, a Firefox plug-in aimed at organizing all the […]

Handmade greeting cards by monthly subscription

Add / Remove For all but the most organized consumers, greeting cards are something that tend to get purchased in a hurry when a special occasion looms. Jack Cards—which we covered a couple of years ago—uses a prescheduled service to remove some of that haste and help customers get their cards out on time, and […]

Connecting restaurants and bloggers for ‘tastecasting’ via Twitter

Add / Remove If vintners can conduct wine tastings via Twitter, it stands to reason that restaurants could do much the same thing to promote their foods. Which is just where TasteCasting comes in, facilitating the use of social media for taste tests and other promotional events to help restaurateurs get tongues wagging about them […]

Fighting poverty through microloan guarantees

Add / Remove We’ve written about a number of microfinance organizations in recent years, including not just oft-cited Kiva but also Wokai and Jolkona. Whereas those ventures all strive to help entrepreneurs in the developing world by facilitating direct microloans and donations, however, California-based nonprofit United Prosperity is taking a different approach by focusing on […]

All-in-one kits for style-sensitive knitting novices

Add / Remove For some knitwear enthusiasts, the best sweaters, socks and hats are those someone knits for you—perhaps even one of Golden Hook‘s knitting grannies. For others, however, there’s just nothing like the gratification of doing it yourself. Enter Wool and the Gang, a Swiss venture that sells all-in-one kits complete with everything that’s […]

Hand-sketched city maps feature drawings and local advice

Add / Remove Travellers looking for city maps and advice face an overwhelming array of alternatives, all competing with a slightly different approach. Whereas recent entrants such as Tripwolf, Offbeat Guides and TripIt all strive to provide some tailored package representing the best of what’s on the web, however, a new Swiss startup aims to […]

Bedtime story events for grownups in pajamas

Add / Remove Regular Springwise readers may remember the reader-in-residence program London’s Andaz Liverpool Street hotel ran last year during the London Book Fair. Picking up on a similar idea, renowned interior designer David Carter recently hosted a series of “Bedtime Stories” events for grownups at his townhouse-turned-boutique-hotel in East London. Carter opened up the […]

Crowdfunding for creative endeavours

Add / Remove Crowdfunding has already received considerable ink on our virtual pages thanks to all the innovators out there who have applied it to bands, software projects and public schools, to name just a few. Now Brooklyn-based Kickstarter has picked up the concept and created a new site where artists, journalists, entrepreneurs, explorers and […]

Design-them-yourself trousers for men

Add / Remove Despite covering plenty of design-it-online sartorial services for women, such as Studio 28’s dresses and Elemental Threads’ handbags, there’s been a comparative dearth of men’s DIY design services. Aiming to remedy that, LA-based clothiers Franklin + Gower let style-savvy men customise their trousers with an eye-catching (or subtle) trim in a fabric […]

Angry green girl targets eco-laggardly lads

Add / Remove As many incentives as there are for consumers to go green these days, ‘hot girls’ strikes us as fairly novel. A new eco-site called Angry Green Girl is celebrating its launch with a car wash featuring five models sporting teeny green bikinis, who’ll sud up eco-friendly cars for free using waterless cleaners. […]

Remote-controlled farming for city dwellers: tailor-made, no-fuss vegetable gardens

Add / Remove “Have you forgotten where the vegetables on your table come from?” It’s a question agricultural firm Azienda Agricola Giacomo Ferraris asks potential customers. Offering Italians the opportunity to reconnect with the origins of their food, the company’s innovative online offering—Le Verdure Del Mio Orto (‘The Vegetables from my Garden’)—lets anyone build an […]

Free medical insurance for Mexico City tourists

Add / Remove In an effort to defibrillate its tourist industry after the shock of the swine flu outbreak, Mexico City is reaching out by being generous. Under a scheme launched late July, the city’s tourism office is offering free medical insurance and tourist assistance worth an estimated USD 30 per person to every tourist […]

Design-your-own bicycle in rainbow colours

Add / Remove Where British Specialbike creates unique bicycles by refurbishing old ones with custom components and a colourful flair, Florida-based Republic Bike achieves a similar end with new bikes by allowing customers to design their own in a rainbow of hues. Now, through a partnership with Republic Bike, global retailer Urban Outfitters is bringing […]

Heathrow Airport installs Alain de Botton as writer in residence

Add / Remove Airports in August are generally heaving with tourists, delayed flights and the occasional strike. London’s Heathrow Airport, however, seems to be focused on moving forward, judging from two innovative services it launched this month: first its new driverless personal transport pods, and now a writer in residence. And not just any writer: […]

Morphed photos help dieters visualize a thinner self

Add / Remove Dieters seeking extra motivation can already pay a professional nag to keep them in line, but those who prefer a less in-your-face approach now have a new alternative: a service that helps them visualize how they’ll look if they stick to their fitness plan. Launched in late May, ThinnerView is a service […]

Functional bracelets feature map of NYC subway

Add / Remove Jewelry is all about self-expression, and that can include highlighting what makes us unique—such as the little scars we’ve come to bear—as well as our lifestyle and affiliations. A new bracelet from Design Hype now targets über-urbanites by featuring a map of the New York subway. Design Hype’s NYC Metro Cuff is […]