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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Teaspoons!

This post has moved to the new Crowdstorm blog.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

PHP Programming - for beginners and professionals

Did you know that co-founder Christopher Scollo is a published author? He'll hate me for putting these live but I can't resist :-)

That's Chris on the far right - bobbing up at the end.

In this one he is at the bottom on the left.

The book is from 1999 so not a recent activity but at least it shows we do have one talented programmer on board. The last time I tried to code something, I managed to create an infinite loop and brought the Kelkoo servers down.

I'm sure Chris will give anyone a free book if you ask nicely.. (err.. can't promise anything!)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Soaked "third & final" splash page version

The final splash page image talks about the social network aspects of our social shopping site whereby you earn reputation amongst your peers, build a trusted network of people whose recommendations and opinions you trust, and will potentially get rewarded by being product beta testers.

Monday, July 10, 2006

"Soggy" Splash Page 2 - product wiki

The second splash page image explaining how you can contribute to the product wiki by adding and editing products yourself. Help upload your own images, videos, add more descriptions, and change the specifications.

Next up - ratings, comments, friends...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A "very wet" Splash Page

As social shopping is quite a new concept, we thought it would be nice to show a splash page (this is one version) to explain very briefly what we do and provide some quick links to either our tutorial, explore the site straight away, or sign up.


This particular version talks about the buzz and how the crowd can collectively work out the best and worst products on the market.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Chinese Crowd Stormers

The economist has gotten around to covering the Chinese phenomenon that is picking up steam whereby a group of people meetup online, collectively work out a single product they want to buy together, then head down to the store at predetermined time and place to get a group deal!

"ON AN otherwise quiet Friday afternoon in Guangzhou, a city in southern China, 500 shoppers gather outside a Gome electrical superstore in the downtown district. They arrive en masse at the designated time—June 16th at 4pm—that they had previously agreed online. Several hours later, they emerge clutching boxes, having secured 10-30% discounts on cameras, DVD players and flat-screen televisions. “It was great,” says Fairy Zhang. “We just bought an apartment and this way we can afford nice things for it.” The previous weekend, over 100 locals visited Meizhu Central, a well known furniture outlet, to haggle over the prices of kitchen cabinets and dining-room furniture."

10-30% discount is not bad eh!

Read the full article at the economist

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Buying a Mobile Phone (1): The Old Way


I thought I would use a real world example now about actually buying something and discussing how the process currently works in our standard world (part I) and then how Crowdstorm will enhance this (Part II). I'm actually going through this process right now so it is very appropriate.

So..

Setting the Scene
I'm after a new mobile phone as my existing Nokia 6310i has been dropped about 15 times, gets full of dust, and seems to be a bit behind the times these days. I know I want another Nokia as I like the operating system and menus. So, what next?

  1. I'd go into a shop and look at the Nokia phones on display to see which ones grabbed my attention in terms of shape and style. I'd probably then make a note of a few I liked and create a shortlist.

  2. Next, I'll take this shortlist and try to read some magazines or find reviews and information on the web about the handsets. I understand the technical aspects so I may compare a couple and look at what they offer.

  3. So, next I email a couple of them to some friends who I know get good phones and similar ones to me, and ask them their opinion. Some have heard about it while most haven't.

  4. Lastly, I take a couple of the phones that look like the best bet and them compare prices on them at a price comparison engine before finally choosing the one I want and taking the plunge!

Phew...

So - what's wrong with that you ask? Well, it seems like we're trying to fit our buying requirements around the process that already exists in the market, rather than it adapting to us. For starters, the phone shops don't actually tell me which one is good or popular and I generally get an annoying salesman in my face who knows less than I do. Secondly, the magazine reviews are the opinion of one person and often are different between publications because of this. Who do I believe? Also, some gave it 3 stars, some gave it 4 stars, and 1 gave it 9/10. What does that mean exactly?

My friends also have slightly different views about their preference for phones and of course a few of them can't keep up-to-date with the whole market between them. Seems like I need more friends or to open up my network a bit :-) I think I may have bought the right phone now but I won't really know till I get it and become the guinea pig. All in all, it has taken me 5 days to find it!

Is there a better way? You betcha... (stay tuned for Part II)