Luvdby - A place to share the things you love
- Credit: Archant
During an attempt to clear up his garage, Toby Burton stumbled upon a National Panasonic tape recorder. At first he was inclined to sell it, but soon found the broken machine held a great deal of sentimental value.
“My dad took me to the Army and Navy department store in Guildford High Street some time around 1979 to buy me a cassette recorder,” says Burton, 46, from Chalk Farm.
“I have a feeling it wasn’t even my birthday. I remember my dad showing me the display of new cassette recorders in the shop and how chuffed I was that he wanted to buy me this one.”
Quickly Burton realised that, while he wanted to rid himself of many similar items, he also wanted a way to record and share their emotional and historical value before doing so. The story of his cassette player became one of the hundreds that can be found on his new website, Luvdby.
“I’m a big fan of departmentalising myself online and realised there was nowhere to store my treasured objects on the internet. Then this idea developed and I took it to two friends, Paul Nunneley and Sean O’Halloran, who have helped carry it further.”
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Luvdby is an online space for visitors to post treasured objects, telling the stories of their history and ownerships.
In addition to being able to create collections, Burton is also hoping that members will be able to trade in a marketplace much like eBay.
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“That will be the challenge for us,” Burton admits. “We have to balance that key interest in the storylines with our desire to attract collectors and antique dealers. We’ve got to make it clear which things are for sale and which aren’t, so there isn’t necessarily an obligation to buy or sell.”
The range of items on Luvdby is extremely varied, spanning from old Blondie posters to a taxidermied bull’s head. The latter is a particular highlight for Burton, with the owner’s story regaling the tale of a drunken night which saw him impulsively and regrettably purchase the large object.
He is aware of the danger that with the more emotional stories people might be wary of posting them online for everyone to see.
“I prefer to keep my network small and that’s the important part of social networking going forwards – keeping privacy. It’s something we’re taking seriously and it’s the reason I didn’t want to just put my stuff up on Facebook, as some stories are indeed quite personal.”
Burton has worked in social media professionally and created a network for experienced musicians to connect.
He started Luvdby a year ago and insists it is early days for the innovative website.
“Around June last year, I was looking at this idea and didn’t have a clue how it was going to make any money. Now we’re looking for investors in the market place and hoping to move to mobile.
“Initially it was just about getting my stuff out of the dark, dusting out those corners.
“It’s been a bit like starting a band I suppose, you think you’ve got a really good idea, you develop it, but now it’s come to the point where you have to put it out there for people to judge.”
n The beta version of Luvdby can now be found at Luvdby.me. Burton’s musician network is at rock-til-you-drop.com.