We've been listening to our users, like bikehugger, who asks "Possibly not enough coffee, but has anyone else just stared at Active.com wondering how to register for an event?" (http://twitter.com/bikehugger/statuses/998940596). Our users want to a) find the events to register for and b) run through a no-hassle registration process.
Here we're addressing "a" - making it easier to find stuff to do.
So we've been working to make search a bit easier and a bit more relevant. I'm happy to invite you to our highly experimental, closed search beta. The first 100 users can sign-up at http://labs.active.com/users/new, using the invite code "blogsearchinvite".
For some time now, Jumpcut has been Active's video provider. As some of you may be aware, Yahoo has decided to shelve Jumpcut and they are no longer accepting video uploads. The decision to halt uploads came as a surprise to us; we were notified only a week prior. Since our video migration is scheduled in early 2009, this leaves us in the unfortunate position of turning off video uploads on the Active website. We are trying our best to retrieve the current video content and will restore functionality soon.
Congrats to Ben Weiner and Kelly Korevec for the public launch of dailymile.com. I admire the way dailymile focuses on building user communities around events. The UI is easy to use and intuitive, and they've amassed a good userbase while in private beta. I especially like the feature where users can submit events, and this is something we're contemplating doing here at Active too.
The lesson, as always, is don't brag that you can do the same number of sit-ups that you could do when you were 12 unless you can do the same number of sit-ups that you could do when you were 12!
This is all the result of a "warped" corporate culture here at Active where we are encourage to... well, BE active. A great example of this is the Active X program that our Art Director, Arch Fuston has put together. There's a full and a lite version for those of different fitness levels. It's great fun and a killer workout, as I'm sure Damon will attest.
New advertiser, and a "fun" new way to feature them on the site. We built a Gaiam "skin" for our Mind and Body channel.
I think it's a nice way to strongly brand the page without being obtrusive and getting in the way of the content that the user has come to the site to find. It's also not the most difficult implementation ever - which is nice. The trickiest part was getting the logo on the background image to be clickable. It took an anchor tag being blocked and relatively positioned to make that happen. Of course the hardest part of that was - and isn't everything - dealing with cross-browser DOM/box model inconsistencies.