Archive for the ‘Working at’ Category

Alpha Test Update: The Results So Far

December 2nd, 2011 Posted by Chris 0 Comments

The Alpha test has been running for well over three weeks now, so it’s high time to give you a little update and let you know what has happened so far, and what will happen shortly. We decided to do it in form of this blog post, written both for people who are awaiting their alpha key, and for users who are currently testing.

First, let us explain one thing. A lot of you have been asking for the alpha key, but for the time being, only a very limited amount of people received invitation. Of course, we’re really happy some people can’t wait for their turn, and we will try to give them a higher priority. After all, one active and involved tester is worth more than ten lurkers.

That’s also an answer to the other question we’ve been getting: why is it so quiet in the alpha system itself? Well, only a tiny fraction of our 16 000 registered testers managed to get their hands on StormDriver so far.

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Posted in About, Design and Layout, Internet Trends, Releases, Uncategorized, Working at |

StormDriver Alpha Launch Information Pack

November 11th, 2011 Posted by Chris 4 Comments

It’s 11/11/2011, almost 11:11 GMT. Time for something special to happen.

You might have seen a mysterious teaser that was circling around the web in the last few days. A teaser that gathered over 100.000 views, and received coverage from major publication all around the world, including Mashable. It was our trailer, heralding an event that happens today, this very minute.

A launch of our aticipated StormDriver Alpha test!

Yes, it took us some time – actually a lot more than we have expected. The system we’re working on is quite unique, so it offered us challenges we never faced before. All the time we were treading on pioneering grounds. Some bits of our technology are patent pending as of this week, so let me assure you – it was not easy to roll out first public version.

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Posted in About, Collective Intelligence, Content Discovery, Design and Layout, Internet Trends, Privacy, Releases, Social Browsing, Technology, Uncategorized, Working at |

StormDriver Cookbook, Part Two

November 10th, 2011 Posted by Chris 2 Comments

There are several thousand potato dishes known worldwide.

Before you start to wonder why am I going into this culinary metaphor, just think about it:   something as simple as a lump of starch and protein can be used in so many ways! What about really complex items? What about truly versatile things, like StormDriver? This one silly potato trivia made me think, that my recent StormDriver Cookbook simply isn’t enough. That’s why I talked to some other guys in our team, in order to check how they would use our platform, and what they would recommend to our users.  Now, I’m coming back with some more real-life examples.

And because right now we’re having a series of planning brainstorms, it’s probably not the last cookbook you’ll see on our pages. So sit back, turn on your imagination, and check some more cool ways to use the StormDriver. I hope our ideas will inspire you to try it out personally.

Because StormDriver, just like potatoes, can be used in many, many ways.

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Posted in About, Collective Intelligence, Content Discovery, Internet Trends, Privacy, Security, Social Browsing, Technology, Uncategorized, Working at |

StormDriver Alpha: Third Preview

November 10th, 2011 Posted by Chris 100 Comments

All good things come to an end. So far, in two previous installments (found here and here), I’ve typed over 4000 words about how interesting StormDriver is. I don’t think I can do much more to convince you, until of course you are able to get your hands on the internal alpha version. But there are still some last things I want to iron out.

As you can see from our last two previews, the scope of this system is huge. So huge in fact, we had lost several programmers in the endless pages of code, never to be found again. Our devs are mostly a special kind of people, that can recite the phonebook they’ve seen five years ago. Or at least they wish they could.

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Posted in About, Collective Intelligence, Content Discovery, Design and Layout, Internet Trends, Releases, Social Browsing, Technology, Uncategorized, Working at |

StormDriver Alpha: Second Preview

November 10th, 2011 Posted by Chris 37 Comments

It seems that the exclusive sneak peak of StormDriver, we gave our readers two weeks ago, sparked some interest. We received a couple of questions about the system and we gladly answered all of them, as we’re prepared to do in the future. It seems some people are actually anxious to get their hands on this precious alpha build, and we’re really pleased about that.

As it stands now, the public alpha is planned sometime in mid-July. Don’t hold me accountable for this promise, though. It’s always been quality before deadlines in our team. We don’t want you to be disappointed, even with the first, rough build. And while you wait, this column can provide you with an in-depth look at various parts of our system. It’s the second of our Alpha articles, and I can promise you it’s not the last one.

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Posted in About, Content Discovery, Design and Layout, Privacy, Releases, Security, Social Browsing, Technology, Uncategorized, Working at |

Learning from the others

September 6th, 2011 Posted by Chris 21 Comments

Designing a truly great application requires patience, knowledge – and a lot of learning. In order to navigate  the pitfalls of design successfully, you need a fair share experience. Fortunately, at least some of it can be earned for free, painlessly, and without bruises, simply by looking at others and the stories of their design struggles.

Our StormDriver team did a lot of that. Our project offers a lot of challenges, and we’re really devoted to doing it right. That’s why when we were planning our system, we tried to find examples that would teach us some interesting lessons. We learned from the small and we learned from the big. We learned from successful projects to see what to do. And we learned from those – let’s just say – less stellar, to see what we should avoid doing.

It would be a pity to let it all be forgotten. Here’s a sample of the knowledge we’ve gathered to make our system better. Let’s put on our 20/20 hindsight glasses and recount what every software designer, analytic or just about anyone interested in Internet itself, should learn from all the past projects out there.

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Posted in About, Content Discovery, Design and Layout, Internet Trends, Social Browsing, Technology, Uncategorized, Working at |

The Elephant In The Room

July 25th, 2011 Posted by Chris 142 Comments

This picture says it all. It took two long years for Facebook to reach the same user base that Google+ gained in less than a month.

Right now, it’s really hard for anyone to ignore the hulking elephant in the room that Google+ has become over last weeks. Pushing forward like a runaway bulldozer, it’s going straight to the top of social networking charts, with 2 billion shared items and 4 billion updates every day. I guess quite a few start-up developers are frantically changing  their plans right now. StormDriver is, of course, not affected. Our system is very different from Facebook, it doesn’t even fit the social network definition, so what’s emerging as a problem for them, doesn’t bother us.

But what do we make of this elephant in the room?

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Posted in About, Collective Intelligence, Internet Trends, Technology, Uncategorized, Working at |

Breaking out of the box

July 12th, 2011 Posted by Chris 59 Comments

I must say we’ve enjoyed the second round of  StormDriver contest even more than you did. We had a lot of fun reading through all the captions that were popping out like eyeballs on Itchy and Scratchy cartoon. If we were to pick the winners, we’d have a really hard time choosing from all the great ideas.

What surprised us most, is that the submitted captions were so varied. We had everything from humor, and nice marketing slogans (crowdsourced copywriting might be the way of the future), to cynical attention-grabs. It was all very nice, but many of you were wondering what all of it had to do with StormDriver.

Now, that the second round is finished, we can  lift the veil and let you know why we asked our cartoonist to draw this particular picture. Pacman with a pick-axe? What were we thinking?

Well, in the very beginning, when we were still defining what StormDriver is supposed to be, we had a vision of a user browsing the web. Even though you can go everywhere, you’re in fact closed in a box, in your own Pacman arena – you stroll around munching content, websites, social updates. There’s only you and a page on your screen. You never know what’s beyond the light blue walls of your meadow.

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Posted in About, Collective Intelligence, Content Discovery, Design and Layout, Games, Internet Trends, Social Browsing, Technology, Working at |

The walls get scribbled on again

February 14th, 2011 Posted by Chris 1 Comment

Another tiresome brainstorming marathon is now behind us. Apparently you need to spend a lot of brain-hours on a project like this. Speaking of which, the brain capacity of our team went slightly up with our new addition, Chris Piskorski. That’s me, if you’re wondering.

But back to the session – we’ve discussed almost every aspect of the project, starting from the UI, ending with the obscure, behind-the-scenes stuff like engine improvements. Here’s the good news: we came up with some great ideas on how to make the StormDriver experience better. And now the bad news: there were so many of those, it will be hard to implement all of them on time. Right now some of us are busy deciphering and rewriting everything we’ve scribbled on the walls during the last two days. Then we’ll do a priority list. And after that, the real work starts. Inventing and re-inventing are the most interesting parts of the job, but in the end they’re not worth much until someone makes all those ideas happen.

Stay tuned for some highlights of this last session.

Posted in About, Design and Layout, Releases, Technology, Working at |

StormDriver Trailer

November 5th, 2010 Posted by Marius Lian 1 Comment

We have started to work on a StormDriver trailer that should visualize the benefits of StormDriving. Most importantly, it will explain the concept of Open Web Layer – we’ll try to show how the world is today (you cannot see others, where do they go etc.) and what will it become, when you start to use We hope the video will be ready for the first official release of

Posted in Releases, Technology, Working at |