We’ve partnered with our friends again at Acme Prints to handle printing as well as fulfillment of all shirt orders going forward. That means all sizes are back in stock today and should stay that way. Grab one. Grab many.
Dribbble has always had a healthy balance of work and play, and the rebound feature has fueled some amazing creativity. Take a look at a few of the past rebound playoffs to get a sense of how amazing this community is.
In order to foster and give more visibility to rebound exchanges, iteration from multiple players and playoffs themselves, we’ve just added a brand new Playoffs tab that’ll collect recent playoffs and their associated rebounds.
In celebration of the unveiling of this new tab, we’re also announcing an incredible featured playoff in association with our friends at Veer. The Veer Rebound Playoff kicked off at 2pm today, and for the next week Dribbble players can rebound their way to fabulous prizes. The Veer MVP (chosen from the 10 finalists) will win one of everything from the Veer merch store. Yes, you read that right. This is the Big Game, folks.
Voting ends on Wednesday, October 13th, at 2pm EST and the winners will be announced later that afternoon. Time to lace up those high-tops and show the world what you got.
Just over a week ago, we published the first draft of the Dribbble API. But it seems like much longer, given the avalanche of API-related inquiries, shots, apps, sites and other creations in this short period.
Players and other interested parties have been requesting an API from Dribbble’s [yes, I’m going there] Inception. (They asked during the beta; the beta beta; the beta beta beta; ok, the top has long stopped spinning on this joke.) We’ve always been excited about the prospect of having an API, but dragged our feet on it for a while, as it comes with risks.
Releasing an API marks the progression of an application from web site to PLATFORM. Even without the caps, it’s a scary transition. Ease of access to your data is accompanied by potential for abuse, new and more difficult-to-predict scaling issues, loss of control over the presentation of your content, the need to define guidelines for usage, etc. It’s a big leap.
It also presents business challenges: If folks start viewing Dribbble through other lenses (iPhone, iPad, etc), are we cannibalizing our own advertising revenue? How do our nascent efforts toward a sustainable Dribbble (revenue) fit in this new paradigm?
We thought long and hard about all these issues, read all the research and came up with a comprehensive 5-year plan for our business. Wait, that was in the dream. What we actually did was add another server, set some rate limits and take the red pill. (Whoops, wrong movie.)
We’re not sure how many levels deep the API is going to take us. And we don’t know what it means for our current reality. Nonetheless, the seed has been planted. APInception. We can’t wait to see what you dream up.
Posted by Rich
It’s been too long since we’ve posted what *we* are working on. Here are some highlights from the last 3 weeks:
- Improvements in our deployment infrastructure. Only time will tell how @gruber-proof we are, but we’ve added capacity and our servers are running cool despite increased traffic. To inifinity and beyond?! Still working on it, but we’re in a much better place than we were a month ago.
- Comments are commendable. You can like comments to show appreciation for feedback, humor, etc. We have further plans to draw attention to good comments and the players who make them, but merely adding likes for comments gives us a corpus of data from which to begin the work of highlighting those worthy of, um, comment.
- Follow up comments now appear in the incoming activity stream. Many people asked us for the ability to be alerted to comments following their own so they’d be able to keep track of discussions. Our first step to address this was to add follow up comments to the incoming activity stream. (In case you didn’t know, there is an RSS feed for this stream; it is arguably the best way to keep abreast of everything happening in your Dribbblesphere.) This has been well received by some, less so by others. We realize that the volume and utility of this feature varies by user. We wanted to push it in its simplest form and get a sense of usage; we’ll be refining it so you can customize to taste going forward.
- Notifications (tab under the Account page). You can now sign up to receive email notifications for certain events at Dribbble. The first set of events are 1) a comment on one of your shots and 2) being followed. We’ll be adding more going forward. Notification of likes and follow up comments are likely candidates to go next.
- Simpler login. We used to get a surprising (at least to me) number of requests for help logging in. Usually the issue was that someone created a login containing capital letters (damn you, iPhone) and tried to login using all lowercase. A postgres function and index later, login is now case-insensitive. Additionally, you can login using your email address (also case-insensitive). Hopefully this marks the end of login difficulties. So say we all.
Upcoming? This week we’re working on refactorings and performance improvements. We have a mountainous backlog of annoyances and enhancements to plow through. We know that folks are salivating - dare I say dribbbling - for an API. We have the unsavory business of making money so I don’t have to get a real job. And we have BIG NEW SECRET STUFF in the early stages of development. We’ll post a few shots along the way … if we can find a good site for that sort of thing.
- Posted by Rich
Dribbble began way back in 2008 as a little side project between two Salem, MA neighbors whose kids played together. As luck would have it, Dan and I happened to be web enthusiasts with complementary skills. We both had jobs and kids, and then we had two kids, so time to work on our idea was scarce. Progress was slow. But always enjoyable.
In 2009, we decided we had built enough to invite some folks to try it out and see if the idea of sharing small screenshots of design work resonated. People came, and though the number of users was small, the content was dazzling. (For proof, check out the inimitable Shaun Inman and the progression of his game, Mimeo, that has captivated Dribbblers for the past 6 months.) It wasn’t long before we realized that the designers who had assembled in Dribbble were producing something special: A sparkling, real-time window of the web as it was being rendered.
We grew our membership slowly to preserve the quality of our content and community. But also, frankly, to keep the site manageable given constraints on our time. As Dribbble drew more users, shots and attention, we were thrilled. The list of features and possibilities for the community began to seem endless; simultaneously, our flaws became more noticeable and irritating. Though a labor of love, there just wasn’t much spare time in our lives to work on Dribbble.
Recently, circumstances changed - my son was in school longer, my baby daughter was now a toddler and my wife was offered a full-time, work-at-home writing job (after years of staying home with the kids). We saw opportunities on many fronts - career, lifestyle, independence. And Dribbble. We decided to take a risk. I left my job and, on Monday, became the first full-time employee at Dribbble.
It wasn’t an easy decision. I had been working for the last 3 years at PatientsLikeMe where they are - for real, not in press releases - changing the future of health care. I am forever indebted to them for giving me an opportunity to work on something truly meaningful and great. If you’re a software developer in the Boston area and want to use Ruby on Rails to build software that has significant impact on people’s lives, I hope you’ll consider working at PatientsLikeMe which is looking for Experienced Ruby on Rails Developers.
As for Dribbble, what does the change mean? Engineering resources have been our primary bottleneck, so we’ll be able to ramp up the time we spend improving Dribbble by a factor of ~10. We have hundreds of ideas to improve the site and suddenly more time to advance them. Here are some highlights of what we’ll be doing in the near future:
- Publishing the first portion of the Dribbble API.
- Growing the community. We’ll be issuing another round of invitations soon. We’re still obsessed with the quality of our content and community, but we have more time to invest in monitoring growth and releasing features to help the community manage itself. We’re long overdue for an expansion and now in a better position to manage it.
- Fixing bugs. (We need to get those comment hyperlinks hyperlinking! And many others.)
- Building new features. The community has given us incredible feedback and we have many ideas of our own. Plus you need to be able to see follow-up comments after you comment. (That makes me weep, too. Sorry.)
- Writing. We not only have more time to work on Dribbble, but also to write about it. It’s fun, we love this community and want to be more transparent about what *we* are working on. We now have time to be more active in doing so.
One final, but important, note: We owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to our advertisers who took a chance on a new platform. Without ad revenue, I could not have taken the risk to do this full-time. If you haven’t already, please check out the advertising page where our current advertisers are displayed on the right. Simply click through and buy all their products :)
Now back to practice so we have more to show on the court. 1 … 2 … 3 … DEE-FENSE!
One criticism Dribbble has received is that it’s a star system; well-known players get far more views and dominate the popular lists, making it difficult for talented but lesser-known players to draw fans. It’s a valid concern.
While stars will always shine in reputation theater, we very much want Dribbble to be a stage for discovering new talent. On that front, there’s a lot we can do. To start, we’ve added a ”Debuts” tab to the front page which displays the opening (first) shot from each new player.
Rookies, your first shot just got a lot more visibility, so make it a swish. Players, we encourage you to keep tabs on this tab to scout the influx of new talent. (There’s an RSS feed as well, which makes doing so a layup.) When you see a rookie do something special, lavish Like and affection. Because once upon a time, someone gave you your first shot.
Soon, we’ll be pulling back the curtain on Dribbble, a new community we’ve been crafting for quite some time. Dribbble has enjoyed a long and active private beta, and we’re excited to finally share it with the world.
But first, what is it? Dribbble is show and tell for designers, developers and other creatives. Members share sneak peeks of their work as “shots” — small screenshots of the designs and applications they are working on. It’s also a place to talk design, give and receive feedback and iterate toward better work.
Whether Dribbble should be public (for some value of public :) has been a source of much debate on the interwebs. Please know that we care deeply about this community and the amazing work that’s being shared. We’re also well aware that Dribbble is all about quality over quantity. With that in mind, here is what we are going to do in the very near future:
- Make all member content publicly viewable. This means users, shots, rebounds, comments, etc.
- Continue to allow ONLY members to contribute content, i.e. upload shots, rebound, make comments, etc.
- Continue to draft new members ONLY by invitation from other members.
In a nutshell: Dribbble will be READ-ONLY for non-members, and READ-WRITE for members.
We originally envisioned all shots being viewable by anyone, but user feedback has us strongly considering optional controls over who sees a given shot (for shots that are sensitive or warrant limited review). We want these controls to be lightweight but powerful enough to facilitate sharing. If members have feedback - particularly how they’d use private shots and who they’d want to see them - please let us know here:
Regarding membership: Dribbble is only as good as its players. That’s why we’re continuing to use the draft to recruit new talent.
FINDING A PICKUP GAME
We get a lot of requests from folks who aren’t on Dribbble and don’t know anyone on Dribbble, but would like to present their work for consideration by a member with invitations. Ultimately, we want to get that process into Dribbble itself, but for now, we’d like to point these requests here:
Folks looking for an invite can post a URL to their work and email address in this thread. Any existing member scouting new talent to draft can look here to find it.
That’s it for now. Exciting times ahead!
Assistant General Manager Dan Cederholm
Assistant to the General Manager Rich Thornett
Dribbble is show and tell for designers. Share sneak peeks of your work as “shots” — small screenshots of the designs and applications you’re working on. This is our official blog.
Threads and goods for designers like you. Official Dribbble shirts in our equipment shop.
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