4.01.07 Party!

Word association. GO!

shoeboxed. dot com. pom-pom. cheer. bring it on! game time. aggressive. baseball bat. pinata. PARTY!

When I think shoeboxed, I think party. And apparently I’m not alone.

There’s a real buzz on campus. People have seen some fliers, gone to the site, and want to know more. Admittedly, the homepage gives little information about the future of shoeboxed.com, other than alluding to our upcoming start date and beta testing. A brief digression: for those of you who don’t already know, many websites begin by allowing a limited number of select users to test their site and its features. Shoeboxed won’t be an exception. Starting April 1st, beta testing will help improve the backbone of the shoeboxed website. Security is our number one priority, and general users will enjoy the comfort of this feature from the start.

But not everyone knows the term “beta”. I mean that’s cool. I’m not judging. Alex, our Brazilian marketing team member, used to think “beagle” means “bagel”. But it was made especially clear that my friend didn’t know what beta testing is when she invited me to a Shoeboxed-themed Beta Theta Pi party. What do you even say to that? I certainly had more questions than answers, starting with “do you know that’s not a party?”, “what kind of theme is that?!” and “what am I going to wear?!” The expression on her face was one of utter disappointment when she found out that no such party would be thrown, and that it was only a website that was looking to change the world.

But I do think she’s right. If anyone could pull off a shoeboxed themed party, it would be Beta.

The Hunt For a Secure Webhost

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have much experience choosing a secure data center to host a website. I leave that task up to our experienced founders, programmers, and other computer-literate team members. But I must say, the process is fascinating.

It’s like when you’re going out of town and you need to find a place for your dog to stay. You want a kennel where it’ll be safe, and happy–but let’s get real, it is a dog. You don’t have all that much money. I mean you hope the thing gets fed and walked, but you also hope you have enough cash left over to buy one of those sweet XL sombreros from Mexico. So you spend some time calling around to different kennels and asking some basic questions. Will Sparky see the light of day during his stay? Is his cage big enough for him to both stand and lay down? Will he be fed daily? The type of questions that any responsible and concerned owner would ask. But in shopping around, you’ll inevitably run into that one kennel–the one that offers your dog daily massages, dog bowls of Perrier, nightly “Yappy hour” social mixers, and one-on-one bedtime stories in the evening. “Welcome to The Lakeside Lofts at Kennelpark Manor, where trust, commitment and loving care will make your dog’s stay here just PAW-fect!”. You’re pretty sure they’re serious, and you’re pretty sure you just threw up in your mouth a little.

Believe it or not, we found the “Lakeside Lofts at Kennelpark Manor” of web hosts. The following is an excerpt from the section that outlines their security features:

“From the basics, such as 24/7/365 security and onsite network monitoring; to the advanced, such as strategically placed biometric palm and thumb scanners, extensive use of physical man traps, dual authentication access doors, and a state-of-the-art Altronix powered …”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Stop the train. Man traps? Does anyone know what that means? That was actually a rhetorical question, because I wikipedia-ed it. Although I still can’t tell you how or what these traps do, I do know that man traps that use deadly force are illegal in the United States. Looks like we’re going to have to look beyond the border. Good news is the more popular definition refers to the title of a season 1 episode from the original Star Trek series. There’s a joke there, but I’m too tired to look for it.

If someone has some advice for a good data center, it would be greatly appreciated–but at least for now, the search continues. Although I should probably mention, at this point, I’m much more interested in searching for the meaning of “Man Traps”. That might have to be a personal quest.Updates to come.

Who Wouldn’t Sit on Santa’s Lap?

It’s a big day at shoeboxed.com. For once in our lives, we feel loved.

The team has been really impressed with the response we’ve been receiving from within the on and off-line communities. It’s not only great that so many people are traveling and returning to the site, but many are going out of the their way to find out more about shoeboxed.com. Some approach the situation rationally–choosing to write a polite email requesting to know more about our team, plan, and vision. Others, however, show clear signs of frustration. We have received several messages that have transgressed the boundaries of decency in a manner that shouldn’t be repeated in front of women or children– using foul language, making sweeping generalizations, and threatening the lives of the co-founders’ and their families. Okay, that last part totally didn’t happen, but I think it raises a good point. It’s hard to get excited about something that you know so little about.

And we know this. We know we’re being vague. We know at this point in time you may not be totally convinced that you should commit your life to the shoeboxed revolution. We know we’re asking you to put faith in something that you don’t fully understand. It’s hard to pay $8.50 for a movie when you don’t already know who’s in it. It’s not always easy to hop on the party bus when you don’t know what drinks they’re serving. It’s hard to sit on Santa’s lap when you don’t know if there’s a homeless alcoholic hiding under that long white beard.

But you do it anyway. Why? Because you tell yourself to have faith. To have faith in the people, the place, the system. Shoeboxed.com is no different. And seriously, take a second to see it from our perspective. We have a great idea. And then we have lawyers. As much as we hate them, we pay them a lot. And apparently, we would be violating some dealio if we told you something about our whatchamacallit. We’re not oblivious. We know how you feel. We may be optimistic in thinking that people could be as excited as we are, but we’re certainly not stupid. Just know that we want to tell you more about shoeboxed.com–and as soon as we can, we will.

So listen. Next time you go to a restaurant, order before you get a menu. Divorce your wife before you’ve got the next one lined up. And for gosh sakes, don’t be afraid to let yourself get excited about shoeboxed.com without knowing all the details! The party bus is leavin’ the station, now jump on.