Dribbble is … Fan-tastic

Social media star and dribbler (only two b’s?!) Shaquille O’Neal informs us as @the_real_shaq that he’s very “quotatious.” (His word—note the quotatious marks.) Following in his giant footsteps, Dribbble will soon be very … Spectatious.

We’ll be opening up the site in waves to anyone with a Twitter account who wants to follow the action more closely: Spectators.

The two most common questions we receive at Dribbble HQ are:

  1. I don’t want to post shots, but how can I follow my favorite players and like/bookmark their shots?
  2. I want to be a player, but I don’t know anyone with an invitation. How do I get drafted?

Admittedly, we haven’t had great answers to these queries. There is more work to do and fine lines between openness and focus to walk, but we hope that our answers are improving. Here’s a glimpse at how spectators will change the game …

  1. For those who want to watch and cheer:

    Anyone with a Twitter account will be able to sign up as a spectator and do just that—follow their favorite players and like their favorite shots. You’ll have courtside seats to watch the creative web being built by the best players in the game.

  2. For those who want to be a player:

    After signing up as a spectator, if you want to post shots you can declare yourself eligible for the draft by becoming a Prospect (in your account settings). Those who do will appear on a list of prospects along with their web sites. We hope this assists by providing a central place where members with invitations can browse prospective players and draft them with the click of a button. Prospects will be ordered by follower count, so if you don’t have invitations but would like to see someone become a Player, be sure to follow them. This serves as a voucher/recommendation to the community on behalf of the prospect. And you’ll be following them if and when they do get drafted!

We’ll be welcoming spectators in waves, i.e. we’ll open sign up for a bit, take stock and address any bugs or issues that arise, and repeat. We’ve done a lot of planning and preparation, but we also know there will be bumps in the road—this is a big change for Dribbble. Adding spectators in waves will also help us scale as we grow the user base by perhaps an order of magnitude. (Or two?) We know that many of you have waited for a LONG time to sign up, but please remember—we’re very small and on a tight budget. Hardware and storage is relatively cheap in this day and age; but we’re bootstrapping a sizable and active community, so it’s still pricey for us. We’ll do our best, but please be patient as we react to growth.

Our hope is that spectator sign up will be permanently open to anyone. Demand, issues of community and scale and, of course, the basketball gods will determine how long it takes us to get there.

Heads up players: With many new followers entering the community, remember you can toggle email notifications in your account settings.

Welcome, spectators! We’re eager to usher you into the arena. Look for us to open the gates to spectator sign up very … soonish.

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