Copyrights and the Internet: Where are things going?

It has been a few weeks with a lot of buzz around copyrights and the Internet. Many of us have read about SOPA and/or PIPA, and as many people asked us about our opinion, we wanted to share it.

We believe in copyrights, and the right anyone has to receive royalties for work they’ve done: sound, video, literature or any kind of expression of art or science, among others. We also truly believe in freedom, the total absence of coercion, as the ultimate expression of human development, and how it is non-negotiable. And we also believe in balance, and when we say balance, we mean a solution that can suit the different parts that affect a system – in this case, creators and consumers.

The truth is technology is moving fast, and even though it doesn’t solve all of the world’s problems, it does generally provide better chances to learn and live. The Internet is part of this technological trend, and as with every technology in the past, it’s changing the economic and social model that we live by. At the end of the day, the truth is that we all have to adapt to this new reality – creators, consumers, media companies, and any other related entities.

As it stands now, SOPA and/or PIPA may not pass, but it’s important to still be aware of this for the future. More than ever, we need to have an appropriate legislation that will give us protection as well as the freedom to choose, learn and understand.

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

PS: If you feel you want to know more about the implications of SOPA and PIPA, check out the following video, it’s one of the best explanations we’ve found recently:

In addition, here are two interesting blog posts from well respected personalities in the technology industry:

An Open Letter to Pearson about SOPA/PIPA by Martin Fowler

It’s time to stop PROTECT IP by Matt Cutts

Happy Holidays from Streema!

Hi! It’s getting close to the end of 2011 and we can’t believe how quickly the last 12 months have gone by! This year has been a busy and rocking one for us, with improvements to our site Streema.com, our first steps in mobile, a growing community of users, and a growing team of awesome people.

Before the year is over though, we wanted to thank all of you that have been there with us – family, friends, colleagues, and of course, you, our community of radio listeners. Thanks for the support.

We wish you a wonderful Holiday Season and a great start in 2012 – see you in the new year!

Yours truly,
The Streema Team

PS: A small present from a man who knows to rock!

User Experience Improvements: Search, Radio Streams and Radios Without Stream

Today we want to send out a quick update about three user experience improvements we’ve released:

Search

We’ve improved our radio directory search using Indextank, an outsourced search service for web applications. This should provide faster and better results when you search by radio, city, country, etc. on Streema. We’ll soon be releasing other features, such as: Faceting and Autocomplete. Consider this is a recent implementation and might need some fixes, it’ll keep getting better. 🙂

Radio Streams

As part of the process we started a couple months – which we mentioned in a previous post – the streams of thousands of radio stations in our directory have been fixed. This should definitely result in a better user experience, because there’s nothing worse than trying to tune in a radio and not being able to listen to it. We want to continue working on this area, so please, help us by letting us know when a station doesn’t work.

Radios without Stream

You’ll find our directory has many stations without streams, this is either because the station doesn’t stream online, it doesn’t work, or we don’t have it stored in our database. For those stations, we thought it would be great to provide our users with similar options to listen, so in case you click on the “play button” of any of those radios, a message offering other streaming stations will appear. We want to specially thank Emiliano Castaño who has given his good advice on building this part of the user interface.
Disclaimer: this is a feature we are currently testing, so you’ll probably won’t see it every time you visit Streema.

That’s all for now, we hope you enjoy these improvements. 🙂

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Reviews for Radio Stations!

Here’s a neat little feature we recently released and wanted to let you know about: Radio Reviews.  Now you can rate and review any station on our site!

We uploaded this feature a few days ago and we’ve already noticed some interesting activity. Check out these examples:

That’s all for now – we look forward to seeing your radio ratings and reviews!

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

PS: Soon soon very soooooon we’ll bring the present we promise!

New Design for the Radio Widget!

We have some good news for our lovely users who are embedding (or will like to embed) the Radio Widget on their blogs, websites and social profiles: we redesigned the widget we launched last year!

Based on user feedback, the redesign mainly consisted of giving the widget a more lively and fresh look. Additionally, now you can customize the background color with the following options: Vintage Grey, Streema Blue, Freaky Fuchsia, Sassy Orange, and for the audacious ones out there… Yoshi Green. 😉

Go ahead and check it out for Fusion Radio Chicago:

The redesign not only involved the Radio Widget for a single station, but also the Radio Badge for stations that don't have a streaming URL as well as the Radio Widget for multiple radio stations that appear on the right column of the Radio Station Directory.

As we mentioned in our previous widget post, that was a first version of the widget - so you can consider this the second one. We look forward to hearing from you and making new changes in the future, like offering more colors and even bigger dimensions.

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

PS: Just in case you're wondering: if you have already embedded the previous widget, in order to get the new design, you'll need to copy and paste the new code.

PS2: With regards to the "surprise" we mentioned previously, we promise it will be on our next blog post! 😉

Happy Holidays for all of Us

It’s the end of the year, a time for reflection, wishes and projections. But before we get into that, we would like to talk about “us” as a whole: people who listen to radio, people who express their ideas, people who develop features, people who report bugs, people who fix them… there are many of us and today we want to talk about us all.

YOU are the most important part of all this. Every day on Streema, you listen to thousands of stations, write comments on the station’s profile walls, send us loads of suggestions via the contact form and Facebook application, and even tweet about Streema!  Without you nothing would make sense.

WE have been developing this project since 2007 and we’re pretty happy to say it’s been a great journey. Streema has been a big part of our lives with lots of successes and failures. We’re still a small team (that’s why more than once we ask you to be patient with us) but the four of us are as committed as ever to make Streema a success.

Streema Team, from left to right: Juan, Martín, JC and Ricky.

WE are Streema and YOU are Streema. So, to all of the Streema fans out there: THANK YOU for being part of our journey. We wish you a great holiday season!

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

PS: We’ve got a little surprise for you in the works, but you’ll need to wait till early 2011 to find out. 😉

Streema’s personal appeal for Wikipedia

If you’ve recently been to the Wikipedia website, you may have seen a big banner at the top asking for donations.  While there are many websites that ask for donations, please allow us to explain why this one is different.  This is not only a donation to Wikipedia, but rather a great way to invest your money – yes, that’s right, we said *invest* your money… and we mean invest it in your future and everyone else’s.

To start off, here’s a bit of context:  Wikipedia is run by the Wikimedia Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that supports itself with donations.  In spite of this limitation, Wikipedia is the 5th most visited website on earth, beating Amazon, Blogger or even Twitter – and the best part is that it’s run by only 57 people and, very importantly, millions of volunteers.  Do you know many institutions like that? We certainly don’t!

This year Wikipedia is turning 10 years old and it’s doing a fund raising campaign. The major goal is to keep Wikipedia free of charge and free of advertising; and even more importantly, keeping it open, with the possibility of using the information in any way we want to and spreading it everywhere – see more on how the donations will be spent.

So, why is it better to give your money to the Wikimedia Foundation rather than to other organizations?  Or why is it better to donate it $20 to support Wikipedia instead of just saving (or spending) that amount?  Well, the truth is that we don’t live alone in this world… and while many of us have been lucky to have had many opportunities in life, not everyone has had those same opportunities.  Frankly, one of the best ways to help improve the world and level the playing field is through education… and fortunately, “learning” is something that human beings are generally good at.  Now, having access to information is core to learning… and information is exactly what Wikipedia offers, providing the most open, free and accessible window to knowledge in the world:  for you and everyone else.

Let’s all work together to help Wikipedia grow and improve people’s lives around the world.  Let’s invest in our collective future… what are you waiting for?

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Support Wikipedia