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June 2012
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Crittenden grad's social media app promotes sharing of photographs

The Crittenden Press

MARION - The reecnt worldwide launch of a new social media platform is the culmination of months of work for one former resident of Crittenden County.

SocialCoaster, a Nashville, Tenn.-based tech startup, launched its highly anticipated mobile app. Founded by 25-year-old entrepreneur Jonathan Burdon, a 2006 graduate of Crittenden County High School, the app will provide the world with a new way to share experiences through photos.

"We have a lot of great social networks in the world that allow you to view your friends' photos; however, I wanted to create an easy and organized way to share memories with the entire world," said Burdon. "I think the inventor of hashtags had this goal in mind as well; unfortunately, the concept has its fundamental flaws which cause it to be overused and often in the wrong context. Our team at SocialCoaster has solved this problem."

SocialCoaster has received more than $250,000 in seed funding from founder and CEO Burdon, as well as from two people who bring a high level of expertise to the team's board of directors. Joining SocialCoaster's board is James Grierson, vice president of business development for Bluehost, a subsidiary of Endurance International Group. Also joining the board is Robert "Bart" Frazer, a Marion attorney who is an investor in the startup.

The app itself is very simple to use. SocialCoaster works by utilizing mobile devices' location services to provide users with a tailored view of what is happening around them. Members who have downloaded the free app are encouraged to create spots (pages) and events on SocialCoaster. At any given point, a user may check in to any spot or event and instantly take/share as many pictures as they would like. The photos are combined in an organized fashion with everyone else who has ever checked in to the same spot. The result is a large collection of photos from thousands of individuals across the world, all of which are able to share their own unique viewpoint.

SocialCoaster also has multiple feeds that allow users to monitor activity coming in from a specific spot or event or even see what spots are trending. In addition to giving users the ability to connect with the world, the app also includes a personal touch. With the click of a button, a user can add as many friends as they would like, communicate with them, and monitor their friends' activities.

Those interested in SocialCoaster may now download it for free from the Apple App Store.

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