Archive for the ‘ News’ Category launches!!! (for real this time)

October 25, 2007

The wait is over – you can check out Seekler. As I previously mentioned, we’re doing a staged release, so in this version you’ll need an alpha site password to create an account. We hope to open it up to more users in the next few weeks. If you’d like to be invited, be sure to sign up.
Here are some of our most popular lists right now:

We’re very excited about this release. Please check out Seekler and let us know what you think. Any and all feedback would be hugely appreciated. Thanks!


First Public Release Coming Soon

October 22, 2007

Launching is a tricky business. One one hand …
We want to show Seekler to the world as soon as possible.
For one thing, we want to get more eyes on Seekler so we can start getting a wide array of feedback. But we also want to start building buzz, getting incoming links, etc. Just as importantly, we want to start to get a glimpse of what our scaling needs might be.
At the same time …
We want to make sure our existing users have a near-flawless experience.
We want to continue to get detailed feedback from our current small group of users so we can respond quickly and fix almost every bug they run into. Also, we want to make sure that the site doesn’t slow down to the point it’s unusable or crash altogether.
After thinking about it a lot, we’ve decided that a staged roll out makes the most sense. Here’s our current plan:
Stage 1: Publicly Viewable
First, we’re are going to let everyone get a look at Seekler. You’ll be able to see how Seekler will help you find cool stuff by checking out all the lists that are hosted on the site. However, only a small group of beta testers will be able to actually submit data at this point.
Since most of the viewing operations are cheap, we think we can show off the concept of the site to a lot of users without killing performance. We can also continue to refine the data submission and editing experience with our awesome beta testers. At the same time, we can hopefully get more users excited about Seekler and let some search engines crawl the site as well.
Estimated Release: Sometime this week!
Stage 2: Private Invitations
After that, we’re going to move to an invitation system for sign ups. We’ll expand our group of beta users considerably. If you’re interested in getting an invitation, submit your email address at Seekler
At this point, we’ll have ironed out the big issues in data submission and editing, so we can continue to invite as many users as our servers can handle. We’ll continue to incorporate the feedback we get from all our users during this expansion.
Estimated Release: Hopefully about a month or so, but we’ll see
Stage 3: Public Beta
Finally, we’ll open up the sign up system so anyone can join. We’ll probably continue to call this release ‘beta’ just because that’s so Web 2.0 ish. Then we cross our fingers and hope that we can continue to grow our user base.
Estimated Release: When it’s ready
So that’s the plan. Stage 1 is coming next week!

We’re interviewing with YC!

October 19, 2007

Dan and I are incredibly excited and honored to get the chance to interview with Y Combinator in Cambridge, MA this Nov 3-4.
For those of you that don’t know, YC invests in very early stage software companies. If we get accepted into the program, it’s quite literally the best thing that could happen for Seekler at this stage of development. We really, really want this.
But we’re trying to not get our hopes too high – this is far from a done deal. Many of the teams that fly out to Cambridge will come back disappointed. As Paul Graham said:
“In the startup world, closing is not what deals do. What deals do is fall through. If you’re starting a startup you would do well to remember that. Birds fly; fish swim; deals fall through.”
With that advice in mind, we’re going to keep working on Seekler as if there is no chance that we’ll get accepted. You’re going to see some big announcements in the next few weeks.
As we were completing our YC application, I remember thinking that even if we didn’t get an interview, the process of doing the application was hugely valuable in itself. It forced us to understand our project and business a lot better. I feel the same way about the interview. The absolute worst-case scenario is that we interview and don’t get accepted – but that means we get to talk face to face to Paul Graham and Jessica Livingston about Seekler! How cool is that?
By the way, for those who didn’t get an interview, we feel your pain. We applied last cycle and got rejected (from both YC and TechStars). Remember that every person interviewed in ‘Founders at Work’ was rejected, often several times. They say that persistence is the single most important trait in a founder. Keep moving forward.

Seekler Statistics

October 18, 2007

Some people have asked how the alpha release is going, so I figured that we could share some site statistics. We have been happy about how the alpha has been going: we have been getting phenomenal feedback from our users and made hundreds of tiny improvements over the last few weeks.
Current Seekler statistics:
45 Community Lists
200 Individual Lists
1000 Items
500 Tags
40 Users
We have been sending out new invites every couple days, so if you are interested in getting a chance to help drive the direction of the site, feel free to sign up at Seekler!

Seekler Alpha Release Completed

October 2, 2007

We have completed the alpha version of Seekler. This release includes the graphic design work for the site, the initial feature set planned for launch, and far too many bug fixes to count. We had hoped to have this release out a bit sooner, but various things kept us holding it back and in the end I think we have a better application for it. Along with announcing the Seekler alpha release, we are happy to share the first screen shots of our application in action. I can’t begin to describe how cool it is to begin to see users testing out our application.
My current ‘Best Movies’ list. My rankings are automatically merged into a community list, which I can view by clicking on the ‘view community list’ tab.
We have been touching up this release with the help of many of our friends and family. A huge amount of thanks goes out to everyone who has been using the site and giving us feedback. It has been incredible to get so much information about Seekler. We would have never been able to improve the usability of the site as fast or to the degree we have without all of you. After a couple weeks of being live, we have closed out most of the glaring problems and will start working on issues we had been waiting on until after finishing the alpha version. We of course will still be looking for more feedback, making improvements, and fixing bugs quickly as issues are pointed out to us. If you weren’t invited to try out this release, don’t worry: we will be inviting more people very soon. It is time the for our users to help guide the general direction of Seekler.
The community list for ‘Seekler Slogan ideas.’ There are eight users contributing, resulting in ‘Seek Together’ being the #1 slogan suggestion overall.
We are excited to start sharing more of Seekler’s features and getting additional feedback on the screen shots. If you have a particular aspect of Seekler you are interested in knowing more about, let us know and we can start sharing more about our current vision for the product.

Seekler Preview: Look ‘n feel

September 10, 2007

OK, I’m back with another preview of Seekler. Our latest mock-up shows off the latest proposed look ‘n feel.
This mock-up shows the same page as last time: you can see how a list will be displayed as well as the UI for adding items, navigating pages, and searching.
What do you think of our look? Does the page layout make sense? Do you like the color scheme? Is it too complex? Or too simple and boring?
Seekler mockup

A Preview of Seekler

September 4, 2007

Seekler won’t launch for another month or so, but in the meantime, we’re going to start a series of posts that will preview the planned look and functionality of the site. We really hope you enjoy these sneak peeks and we look forward to your comments and feedback.
Seekler is, at the core, about helping you find the best of anything. Do you want to find the best hot sauce? Or how about the best hiking trails in your area? Or the best comedy on television? Then Seekler is for you.
Seekler is a community-driven review site similar in purpose to Epinions or Amazon reviews, but we’ve ditched long textual reviews and “star” ratings. Instead, we focus on putting items in order to create ranked lists of the best hot sauces, hiking trails, TV shows, or anything else you can think of. Seekler makes it super easy to find the list you’re looking for.
Where do all these lists come from? Hopefully, they’ll come from users like you. We’ve built some tools that will make it really fun and easy to create your own personal lists. Seekler will use lots of user lists to create community lists that show the best overall items in any category.
In the next few weeks, we’ll talk more about Seekler and explain some of our features in detail. We’d love to get feedback from you. Do you think we’re missing some key feature? Do you like or hate the user interface? Do you think the site will be useful for you?
Until then, we’ll leave you with an early mockup of Seekler. You can get a basic idea of what the site will look like and what features will be included (we would like to show a real screen shot, but although most of the features are completed, the pretty CSS isn’t).
If you click on the image and visit Flickr, you can hover over the image to see some additional info on various sections of the page.
Seekler wireframe

Seekler featured on Mashable!

August 30, 2007

The folks over at Mashable wrote a short piece on Seekler this week! Check out the article! We’re looking forward to promoting the site more and more as we get ever closer to launching … launches!!! (sort of)

August 6, 2007

Our deepest apologies for the lack of posts, but we’ve been busy:
1. We picked a logo
2. We picked a graphic designer and we’re starting to work on the site design
3. We’ve launched!
Admittedly, it’s not much right now, but you can see our logo and read the first public announcement of what exactly this grand secret project is all about.
Over the next month or so, we’ll be going into more detail about Seekler on this blog. We’d definitely love to hear your feedback, so keep checking this space!