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Jan 16 12

Review galore

by Tribevine dev team

Product reviews are the essential part of the tribevine, even though we have in depth information of the products which helps selecting the right tool for the right use reviews from users often tell how to product works in real life. We really appreciate all contributions so last December we decided to delight our active users with a small reward and After some brainstorming we decided to give a small present to first 10 users who make 10 or more product reviews.

A result? December was a huge success in terms of reviews and new products. We received over 200 product reviews as well as over 250 new products. What we were most impressed was the quality of the contributions, our users really put some effort to their work, thus helping to make tribevine.com a better place for all the fellow users and to reclaim our front page slogan to be a best information source for mountain gear.

Talking about reviews, just check our December competition winner Jadias and his thorough reviews, ChrisHolloway who holds the personal record of number of reviews and samster8 for his plenty liked reviews. These are just a tip of the ice berg, check out our facebook pages to see all gifted reviewers. And the most recent reviews can be found from here (soon available as rss feed!)

Due to the huge popularity it’s likely we will come up with happenings like these. Until then, have fun browsing our reviews!

Nov 29 11

Opportunity to request features

by Tribevine dev team

At tribevine.com we know that users are everything, without your help there’s no point to make service like this. Therefore we have been closely listening users comments from the very beginning and as a result of this there are quite many features in the service that are based either on feedback, mails or discussion with users. These include, for example, share buttons for different social services such as facebook and vkontakte, review search and share links that increase your score when clicked.

To ease up the process even further we have opened our features request site at tribevine.uservoice.com. It’s a open forum for everybody for sharing ideas and effect how to service will be developed in the future. Using the feature is simple, just go to tribevine.uservoice.com, use your g+ or facebook account to sign in and or register yourself to the service. After signing in you can start to share votes between different ideas. By default you have 10 votes that can be divided between one or more ideas or alternatively you can freely propose any idea if you feel there’s some features that are missing from the service. When the suggested feature is taken into development your score is returned back to you for new use. There are already some fantastic proposals such as Tips and tricks tab for products, possibility to comment reviews and many more. Most of them are actually from our user’s feedback, we have just brought them visible to everyone.

Link to the service can be found in the footer section of tribevine.com or behind this link. Go check it out and make a difference.

Nov 16 11

Contribute and win gear package of your choice

by Tribevine dev team

Tribevine competition has been on since last April and in every month we have delighted one or more users with top quality and valuable stuff. Here are the prizes we have shared so far:

  • 3 * Stubai Mountaineering Trekking Universal limited edition Whiteline crampons (see details: Tribevine / Stubai)
  • 1 * A five pack of the latest of the latest, Petzl Ange Finesse quickdraws (see dtails: Tribevine / Petzl)
  • 1 * Blue Ice Choucas ultralight harness, the ultra-light full feature touring harness weighing only 170g (see details: Tribevine / Blue Ice)
  • 10 * Stubai’s Atomy carabiners, the lightest carabiner that’s rated 26kN breaking strength (see details: Tribevine / Stubai)
  • 10 * Pairs of Stubai’s just out Eternal gloves – full finger (see details: Tribevine / Stubai)
  • 3 * Big Chalk chalk back from Shelby, the made to measure extreme clothing manufacturer (see details: Tribevine / Shelby)
  • 3 * First Aid Light from Ortovox (see details: Tribevine / Ortovox)

    To make the competition even more attractive we have decided to give winners chance to select their prizes for the next three months! This is something you don’t want to miss, amazing opportunity to get free quality gear of your choice:

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    The competiton rules are simple:

    1. Sign up
    2. Join in to tribes (interest groups) that fit your activities and interests
    3. Share you knowledge, by writing reviews, rating products and
    filling in details as well as creating new products
    4. Spread the word by sharing links and inviting your friends to the service
    5. Make it to the TOP10 and eventually be the contributor of the month
    6. Select the gear package you’d like to have from the prizes

    We are pretty sure that there’s no other place which makes receiving stuff this good so easy and entertaining.

    ps. remember that the easiest way to earn points and increase your rank is to use share functionality

    Nov 7 11

    Bug corrections and various improvements

    by Tribevine dev team

    During the last few weeks tribevine dev team has been actively
    correcting bugs. Most of them are minor bugs but there are also few
    annoying ones. Special thanks to all of our active users that report
    bugs, we have tried to react to all reports as fast as possible. In
    fact, we have even managed to get corrections for the next day so we
    consider our self quite agile :)

    Here’s the list of most important corrections:

    – Wrong hotspots are listed to image hotspot list
    – If review has 2-line title product/user image is in incorrect place.
    – Date range field cannot be cleared
    – Has or would like to have products listing is not working
    – Combo list is not always closed
    – Unable to change into detailed view while doing advanced search
    – If a list is defined as numbered list it doesn’t work in detailed description view
    – The option list option gets selected even if user doesn’t click the option some times
    – In brand page employees are listed in sponsored athletes
    – Rescaled logos on sliding panel look ugly
    – Comparison view breaks up
    – Write review link on product page does not work
    – Searches with ÄÖÅ-letters does not work in MSIE or Opera
    – Image Resize does not work as expected
    – “Remove from favorites” and “Add to favorites” gives error message if not signed in
    – One can create favorite spots without adding activities
    – Wrong image when sharing user page
    – When user goes to reviews tab of a tribe page first time incorrect
    – sorting button is highlighted
    – If one deletes a image the image still stays in cache?
    – “I have this” and “I would like to have” indications are mixed up
    – Same tag appears multiple times in product information
    – Cannot always save the discussion message
    – Too many // -in characters in URLs when editing URL in product page
    – If one presses google +1 button in edit mode system incorrectly flags the editing page as having “+1”
    – If one press “tweet” button in edit mode system incorrectly tweets about edit page
    – Delete function does not work if there’s ‘-sign in the product name
    – If one writes exactly same store name as exists and tries to add a purchase location system displays error
    – If new brand logo is uploaded it does not get updated to the brand’s products pages

    Oct 29 11

    Concept Comic Strips

    by Tribevine dev team

    These comic strips were born as a side effect while we were designing a new landing page. They will probably never be used in the service but we still wanted to show them to you, hope you like them :)


    For space travel alien gear is the best, for adventures on earth you'll find the best gear from www.tribevine.com

    Choose the right rope, you'll find one from www.tribevine.com

    Even PROs use www.tribevine.com, you should too.

    Graphics and ideas generated by Jussi Hukkanen (www.jussihukkanen.com)

    Oct 21 11

    Crowd sourcing of design fails at the concept level

    by Tribevine dev team

    We decided recently to try crowdsourcing on our front page design. It wasn’t exactly easy assignment, because we needed to tell a story, that explains a somewhat complicated concept of our site. In any case, we went on looking at crowdsourcing sites that provide such service and after careful research ended up posting our assignment into designcrowd.com; mainly due claimed designer friendliness, the fact that the UI of the site looked a bit user friendlier than others and their responsive customer service. Posting an assignment was pretty easy and straight forward and having some ad agency experience helped while putting together the brief documents. We were excited; but it just didn’t work.

    We got four designers who submitted nearly twenty designs. Out of these, one was just an initial concept image that missed the goal (newer heard anything about the designer since), two were crappy amateur works and then there was a one “designer” who tried really hard and did significant improvement during each feedback round, but was never able to reach even close to the professional level required. We spent hours building the brief, searching for benchmarks, even described step-by-step one possible concept. We spent hours providing timely detailed concrete feedback and got nowhere. Also the time of designers who participated were wasted. Admitted our assignment was more complex than a typical one and we didn’t guarantee the project, which is said to lead to lover design submission rates. These cannot be the whole explanation however. Clearly there’s something more fundamental wrong in design crowdsourcing. Our presumption is that it’s at the concept level of design crowdsourcing services.

    A good design process is a collaborative process; a collaborative process of not just a single designer warrior and client but a team of individuals with different kinds of talent. That’s true especially when it comes to more challenging assignments that go beyond simple t-shirts and coffee shop logos. This is a fundamental flaw that’s not addressed by any of the current design crowdsourcing sites. In essence, it’s not really crowdsourcing. They’re just a medium to arrange design competitions, making the designers compete against each other. It’s frustrating realization, especially because the essence of crowdsourcing really is in the collaboration. I mean the way crowdsourcing is different, is exactly because there’s a possibility for a larger crowd to collaborate while producing something more than the sum of its ingredients.

    In economic terms, they’re addressing the market inefficiency by letting the designers and assignments to meet, but creating another, lot bigger inefficiency, in the form of wasted work; wasted design and feedback; wasted time of designers and clients respectively. According to the claims of design crowdsourcing sites, average assignment gets dozens of designs, perhaps hundreds. Only one gets selected. Luckily, though not advertised by the design crowdsourcing sites, the problem is diminished a bit by the fact that there are a lot fewer designers involved than designs submitted. Furthermore most of the designs are just variations of the same design. For instance, in our case, four designers and about twenty designs turn in to five designs if we’re not counting the variations.

    A collaborative process is obviously a challenging one to address. It’s much more difficult, both from the concept as well as technical point of view, to facilitate a collaborative process and make still sure that each one of the contributors gets their fair share of the end result, than arranging straight forward design competitions. Still, it seems really strange to me that any of the current design crowdsourcing sites aren’t even trying to do that. I’d like to see at least phasing of design projects (i.e. brief, concept, graphics, production etc.), virtual team assembly, as well as collaborative design. I don’t think that even the justified reward system would be a problem. It just needs a bit of creativity instead of “me-too-follow” attitude; even I, who barely scratched the surface, have a few ideas of how it could be arranged. We’re waiting for better design crowdsourcing.

    Oct 16 11

    Earn points by sharing links

    by Tribevine dev team

    You may have noticed that a new button named “share a link” has appeared everywhere in the service. It’s a part of something we just added, cool new feature designed to ease your way towards better position in our monthly competition which rewards the best contributors with valuable gear prizes.

    Using the feature is simple, you can either user the existing sharing functionalities (Facebook, Twitter or VKontakte) which now have the functionality build-in or use the new “share a link” button and distribute the link that appears in your favorite media. In any case, the result is same: your score increases every time someone clicks a link shared by you. And if someone signs-up to the service after clicking your link you’ll get a even more points. This feature works now from tribes, brands, shops and user profile pages so there’s no limits what you might want to share. Go and try it, receiving score has never been easier.

    ps. Our site is now compatible with iPad and other devices without flash support, this is the major step in our transition to HTML5 based service. Stay tuned for more information about this.

    Sep 9 11

    New search is online

    by Tribevine dev team

    Probably the worst problem in our site has been corrected: newly implemented search is now online. Old search, especially slow performance produced most negative feedback and not without reason. Actually, our initial version actually much faster but because of nasty bug the search results were far from satisfying, which obviously made it quite useless. Prior the launch we corrected the bug and made the search results more accurate but as a downside it also resulted extremely poor performance. Something needed to be done and we came to conclusion to re-implement the whole search component to overcome the problem.

    One could think that search is pretty straightforward thing to do, practically every site has one. However our search is not just an average search and thus we can’t rely on “out-of-the-box” solutions. From architecture point of view it’s fairly sophisticated. It allows us to scalable build logic that customizes the search results and the order of the results for each user on the fly as well as takes into account the dynamic changes within the system, such as changes in different users’ credibility, interests and products’ relative traction. In short we’re not dealing with just one level of changes, but several that interact dynamically with each other. While all of that logic is not yet there, our architecture has taken into account the fact that there will be such logic. It also delivers possibility to broaden the search capabilities towards more complex and precise search options.

    As a result, we now have first class search with a speed, features and extensibility in our site. Due to our architecturally sophisticated solutions, we’re confident that our search will be the best product search by order of magnitude compared to any other alternative.

    May 15 11

    Development news

    by Tribevine dev team

    After the launch of open beta tribevine dev team hasn’t been sitting on their butts, on the contrary, new features are constantly being developed and some of them are already in use. Here’s a brief summary what’s new:

    Sign in with Facebook or Twitter account. This handy feature allows using your existing facebook or credentials to sign in to service. You don’t have to have multiple account and passwords that are lost time and time again.

    Share on Facebook and Twitter. Did you found something interesting from the service? Let the world know by sharing that on facebook or twitter. Just click the familiar buttons and your findings are shared in your favorite social media.

    Possibility to make custom url’s. With this feature you are able to build your custom url addresses that point to specific product set. Example: If you want to share link with all snowboards by Jones snowboards just make link like this: http://www.tribevine.com/products?open=true&ids=3865,3847,3863&title=Jones%20Snowboards%20compared (enter the product id’s and decide header in the end of the link). This human readable link be then shared for example in blogs or discussion forums.

    Advanced search. It’s now possible to narrow down your search by choosing type of gear or activity where product is used. This allows you to find right product for specific need, like best mitten for ice climbing.

    Favourite spots. Every user has now possibility to mark their favourite spots with belonging activities to map. Map can be seen in user page and tribe pages where user belongs to which opens up a possibility to spot new places where tribe activities can be performed.

    In addition to these a lot of tweaks and improvements are also there. In next few weeks we are launching a lot of new features so keep coming back, we’ll promise that you won’t disappoint :)

    Apr 10 11

    Win free gear!

    by Tribevine dev team

    The first few items of the gear package that the next winner is going to receive were just confirmed + there will be nice surprises for runner-ups and others as well.

    So here are the products, and remember, it’s likely to get beefed up further. :-)

    1) A five pack of the latest of the latest, Petzl Ange Finesse quickdraws (Recommended by Aljaz Anderle). See also Petzl site for more information.

    2) Three of Stubai’s Atomy carabiners, the lightest carabiner that are rated at 26kN breaking strength. See also Stubai site for more information.

    3) A pair of Stubai’s just out Eternal gloves(either 3/4 or full finger). See also Stubai site for more information.

    4) A Big Chalk chalk back from Shelby, the made to measure extreme clothing manufacturer. See also Shelby site for more information.

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