Friday, January 18, 2008

Scraps-Timeout v2.0 : Is it an idea badly executed

Hey,

I had earlier written about an application that I had been working on for Orkut. Too restless to wait for OpenSocial to make its grand appearance, we cooked up a flash application that could run as scraps.
We also did rigorous viral marketing to start with. Initially, the traffic was good, with around 40K hits in the first week. However, the traffic seems to have dipped. Apparently our first level folks in the viral marketing circle were not very impressed by the idea and did not pass it on to others. We have been trying to figure out reasons for this, asking many people, and doing unofficial surveys. I thought that it would be interesting to share our findings.
Many people I have seen on Orkut do not seem to be bothered about sending random scraps to all. There are these small Javascriptlets that people paste on the address bar to scrap to all the friends. These have been festival wishes, or plain stupid messages. Taking the cue from it, if people are interested in sending messages as pictures, why not use ScrapsTimeout ?
The initial hiccups (read bugs) that the site had could have detered people, but the meebo box that we put into the page seemed to help a lot. We worked extra hard to nail out the bugs, but I am sure that cost us some users. There were a few dedicated users who lend us their valuable time in patiently telling us about the bugs. Thanks to all of them.
The other barrier could have been the part of copy-pasting the code to Orkut, instead of automatically scrapping friends. I was a little averse to asking for username-passwords (as that is the only way to scrap friends, unless someone figures out a CSRF !! ). However, we decided to give it a try, and put on Gigya. The problem with gigya is that for orkut, they only allow scrapping self. So we decided to write something similar to Gigya to get this done.
I am also working on the page for the last one week, adding more gifts and preview feature for the themes, but the majority of the part was code restructure to clean out that one-night hackish development.
The code may not be the best I have written, but it sure is more maintainable and scalable. Adding themes and gifts is a lot more easier now. We are doing the final phase of testing and are planning to launch the new version very soon.
There is one bug that I am trying to nail down. On IE7, for a div with overflow:hidden, if the child has position:relative, the hidden property does not seem to work. Have to check it out.
We would also be forcing a little more marketing, our last attempt at this idea. I hope it works.
Please do let us your thoughts, if you liked this idea. I think that at this juncture, it is the users who would decide if we work on this, or move on.... :)

1 comment:

Neha said...

Nice work..

Do let us know when you have completed the work.

contact@ynotmarry.com

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