Tuesday, August 29, 2006

August iTunes Promo

Beautiful people,

For sitewatchers that haven't yet noticed, we've been running an iTunes promotion this week to shed off some extra certificates we had built up. Join the site, share 3 stories, get 3 iTunes.

It's a surgical strike though, so move fast. It's over tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Our Myspace profile is now up:


Friend us! We want to be saying "Thx 4 the add" like a skipping CD player.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

As The Project continues to grow, we've been turning an increasing amount of our attention lately to usability and design improvements. First came the ceremonial Elimination of the Orange, and over the first few days of this week, we have redone the layout for both the Group (example page: I Lost My Religion) and Member profile pages (example: Administrator profile). Special thanks to Alex Vartan, a product manager at Google with a keen UI eye, for his inputs. To be fair to Alex, we didn't do everything he wanted.

Also in the category of improvements, we've done a wee better job of tying the dreams section of the site into the member profiles, with a direct link from each member profile that lets you see the dreams shared by that user.

Speaking of which, why have a dreams section in the first place? Dreams fit into The Experience Project quite neatly. Oftentimes they are intensely personal and sometimes even disturbing in their detail and superficial meaning, to the point where you may not feel comfortable sharing them with people you know. At the same time, they only make sense in the context of who you are. This apparent contradiction is precisely the type of thing that can best be shared in the anonymous but community environment available at The Experience Project.

Coming soon: Press coverage, and our very own MySpace profile. Our baby is, sniffle, growing up so fast.

Monday, August 21, 2006

One of the founding tenets of the Experience Project is that it remain predominantly an anonymous community. If people are to feel comfortable talking about the things that matter, they can't worry about being recognized by friends and family.

That being said, the anonymous nature of the site, combined with the ability to easily share experiences that members themselves find notable, have led to a significant amount of entries as of late that might be considered, well, adult-oriented. A good example would be the various people who enjoy introducing a third party into their relationships... (I'll have you know that I tried very hard to come up with the least shady description for that particular set of experiences... ;) ).

In any case, we have no inherent issue with this-- adult experiences are just as valid as those of a less salacious nature. But, as you well know, adult entries tend to be quite popular, and to a newcomer to the site, they might seem to dominate most of the 'popular' lists that we maintain on our Stories main page-- and thus send the wrong message about the site as to the scope of experiences represented. We talk about everything at the Experience Project-- all the experiences that make us who we are, and want to project that image consistently so people quickly understand the opportunity participating in our community presents.

As such, we added a filtering option today on the experiences page that allows one to selectively display or hide entries that the community have marked as containing adult content. We hope that this option is yet another step in the direction of making the site both more usable, responsive to the needs of our rapidly growing member base, and exposing the sheer range of experiences that would be valuable to share-- namely all of them that make up our lives!

And yes, for those you noticing the time of this post, working at a startup means weekends and late nights simply do not exist as distinct entities in and of themselves. They are the same as any other time-- in other words, spent making the site better! ;) I have to say it is an indicator of our passion for the success of this project that we find this amusing and not in the least disturbing. lol.

Until next time,

Saturday, August 19, 2006

We've completely redone the site navigation and layout. Gone are the orange pastels, my friends. I know, I know, you'll miss them. We'll hold a moment of silence Monday at 9am.

The new menus should give you easier, quicker and more logical access to the parts of the site you use most. Especially when you login, because the "You" link gets you directly to innards of Experience Project in one click (e.g., Mail, Your Stories, Your Experiences, and so on).

It's quite smurfy-blue, but we think it's an improvement. Let us know how you feel.

The Birth of a Blog, the Adolescence of a Site

Setting up a blog to keep our users informed of our comings and goings has been a long running goal, which we've only finally had the opportunity to do.

Yes it took about 8 minutes, especially since we decided to outsource this and simply host it at Google rather than rolling our own.

That being said, allow this to serve as a simple but grateful welcome to the official blog of the insanely progressive web community called The Experience Project. The mission of the Experience Project is very simple: To connect people who share common experiences for healing, support, growth and fun.

The Experience Project is a community with no real faces or names, but very real people sharing the equally real experiences of their lives. Instead of networking on who you know, such as at MySpace, Friendster, and so on, you network on who you are. We don't let you personally identify yourself so you can actually talk about things that matter without worrying about who will recognize you.

You list experiences you've had, then you share the stories. Other people do the same. In the process, you find people just like you, or you find people who have had experiences you might have, either by choice (like going to a taping of the Colbert Report), or by force (like having a sigmoidoscopy-- ouch!). In these situations, reading another's experience is incredibly reassuring, and offers the opportunity to ask questions from someone who actually knows what they're talking about. Writing about your own experiences, by the way, is an incredibly therapeutic thing to do.

There's much more to the site, but that should serve as a good introduction. Start by taking a quick poke around... check out some real experiences, or people sharing their stories.

And stay tuned to this blog, as we are a very fast moving organization that is highly responsive to the needs of our community. Our charter members have witnessed the rapid pace of improvement. We have no purpose if we're not serving you.

Until next time,
Founder, The Experience Project