Cuban-American Programmers Build Vinyl-Collecting Social Network
Jose Pimienta and Osniel Gonzalez are vinyl aficionados. Growing up in Cuba, the childhood friends were surrounded by music, especially in vinyl and cassette format.
They wanted to share records -- and their love for them -- with the online community but soon found themselves swamped only with social media posts that were irrelevant to vinyl collecting.
Both Gonzalez and Pimienta have backgrounds in computer engineering so they decided to launch their own site based entirely on vinyl culture.
After some brainstorming and few keystrokes, Vinylfy was born.
The site's interface functions like many other social-media sites: Users can upload photos of themselves, post content on news feeds for their friends and followers, and can "like" any post they see.
"The main concept was to create a social network for people that are interested in vinyl and help people manage what they have," Pimienta says.
Vinylfy revolves around sharing, although the concept of archiving is an integral part of the site. A tab at the top of users' homepages allows them to input data about their records via the site's database or manually. There is also a "wish list" tab where users can let others know what vinyl records they are on the hunt for.
Pimienta and Gonzalez run the company out of the collaborative work space LAB Miami in Wynwood. It's the same location where the two will partake in the Hackathon for Cuba on Jan. 31, an event geared toward providing better information access to Cubans.
Pimienta mentioned plans to expand the site to include a small marketplace for users. Record labels and stores are also using Vinylfy to widen their reach to collectors and publicize special releases. One of the first record stores to sign up was Radio-Active Records in Fort Lauderdale.
Owner Mikey Ramirez believes the social-media platform has fostered more camaraderie among vinyl enthusiasts.
"It's going to open up a platform for other people to get involved as well," owner Mikey Ramirez says. "What they are doing is offering that platform. They are another beacon."
Jose Pimienta and Osniel Gonzalez will participate in the Hackathon for Cuba on Friday, Jan. 31, at the LAB Miami, 400 NW 26th St., Miami. The event is free to attend. Click here for more information.