Monday 13 December 2010

Tweet this!

Hey, we've just added Twitter integration to thingloop. You can turn it on from your Profile using the checkboxes at the bottom, shown above.

thingloop will update your status periodically to let your friends know when you're adding items, etc. Let us know how you get on with it. Note, you can also use it when you are 'shouting out' and asking people if they can lend you stuff. Maybe one of your followers has the thing you need?

Tuesday 16 November 2010

thingloop has users in 44 countries!

Owen, founder of thingloop shares his thoughts on the story so far.

So we're 8 months on from our launch. What's happened? How is thingloop doing?

Who's using thingloop?
Sharing certainly seems to have global appeal, as there are thingloop users in 44 different countries. Although the majority of users are from the USA, UK, Canada and Australia.
Users by Country

What are people sharing?
People are listing and sharing all sorts of things, as last weeks addition of a cash register proved! Clothes was another thing that kind of surprised us.

The top 30 most common items listed, by category, is shown below. DVDs and books feature pretty heavily, which makes sense as they are both more common and lower value items. The actual borrowing stats reflect a broader range of items, featuring slightly more in the way of everyday practical items, like ladders, etc.

Top 30 items
What are the best things so far?
For me I think the best things so far are:
  • Stories, like Esther's, of people using and loving thingloop.
  • People sharing the vision
  • People sharing!
  • Actually getting my stuff back! I've got 24 things loaned out at the moment, and I know where all of them are. I'm sharing with zero stress, awesome.
Owen, Founder of thingloop

    Friday 22 October 2010

    Can anyone lend me a ... ?

    We're really pleased to announce that we'll be releasing a new thingloop feature early next week. This has been a frequently requested feature, and we hope you find it really useful.

    You can now 'shout out' and ask if anyone has the item you need or want to borrow. The new feature will be available from the Messages view.

    We've tried to make it as flexible as we can, so you can message a subset of your contacts, or all or them, update Facebook, and send automated emails (we've put limits on these to avoid people getting spammed by too many messages).

    We hope you like it, let us know what you think.

    iPhone App
    For those wondering about the iPhone app, it is coming. Thanks for your patience!

    The app has been submitted to the Apple store. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be a lengthy process, but we hope to have it released soon.

    Thursday 16 September 2010

    Sharing Infographic

    Hey, so we made the Collaborative Consumption infographic, which is cool.

    It's a pretty interesting graphic and provides a great timeline of much of the activity in the collaborative consumption space.

    We're really looking forward to reading the book. If you're interested in finding out more then head over to the Collaborative Consumption website.

    PS. For those of you awaiting the iPhone app, fear not, it's coming. The Apple app submission process turned out to be more involved than we'd anticipated! Sorry for the delay.

    Wednesday 4 August 2010

    Have a nose around!

    We're really happy to announce the release of a frequently requested thingloop feature...

    Previously, the Their Stuff view showed all the items from all your friends and groups, mixed together. But we've just released a new feature that allows you to filter this view down to individual friends and lists of friends.

    So now you can have a good old nose around, and see exactly what an individual person is sharing with you.

    Filter by lists
    You can also filter by lists of friends, which is really useful. For instance, if you want to know what your friends nearby have available, you can just place them all in the same list and filter on that.

    ... from user profiles
    This functionality is also available from user profiles, if you're connected to the user.


    Friday 16 July 2010


    Awesome, we've got a little Gigantic July treat for some of you. Today we've released the thingloop Zapper, our first mobile phone app for thingloop.

    So adding items on thingloop is even easier, it's now as simple as scanning a barcode (for those items that have barcodes!).

    The app is available from the Android Marketplace, for all those users with Android powered devices. For those without an Android phone, sorry, you will have to wait a little longer. We are hoping to be able to release an iPhone version of the app shortly.

    If feedback is good, we will add functionality to the app soon, so let us know what you think of the idea!

    Wednesday 14 July 2010

    Esther's Story

    This is the second in the series of user interviews, we are doing as part of Gigantic July, where some of our users share their experience of thingloop with you. We really appreciate Esther taking time out from looking after her gorgeous twins, Amy and Megan, to answer our questions.

    Q: Why did you start using thingloop?
    I was introduced to thingloop by my sister, and straight away I thought that it was a really great idea. Once I'd been onto the website and had a little play around, added some of my own stuff and looked at what friends had already uploaded, I was hooked!

    I have loads of really good DVDs and books that aren't doing any good just sitting on my bookshelves, and I am happy for friends and family to look through them online and see if they want to borrow anything. Plus, using thingloop means I can keep tabs on who has what, which is the best part! I've lent things in the past and forgotten who I'd given it to, and this system is faultless!

    Q: What sort of stuff have you borrowed/lent on thingloop?
    So far most of the things that I have borrowed and loaned are books and DVDs. But I would say without a doubt that my favourite borrow to date was an entire wedding outfit! From gorgeous shoes and handbag to a lovely bolero. Wedding outfits for women are so expensive, so I was really chuffed that I saved myself a bomb and hadn't had to traipse around the shops! A real success!

    Q: What do you like about thingloop?
    The ease of using thingloop is brilliant, it's simple to understand and simple to use. Plus, they seem to be open to new ideas that users have and it seems like they are always adding new features that make it even better.

    My husband and I used to go to the cinema all the time, but we now have two young children and are rarely able to get to the cinema. These days we use thingloop and borrow lots of DVDs that we can watch in the evenings; it's our new way to relax and unwind - and it's been a great way to save money too!

    I am always adding new things to my account on thingloop. Just the other day I added the baby bath that my daughters are no longer using and the beautiful moses baskets that are in our loft. I'd love for them to get more use by friends or family, or even friends of friends!

    Q: Would you recommend other people join?
    I have recommended that lots of my friends and family go onto thingloop and start using it immediately! The sooner they are on and uploading their great stuff, the sooner that I will be able to borrow it! :-)

    Wednesday 7 July 2010

    Nathan's Story

    As part of Gigantic July we are interviewing some of our users so we can share their experience of thingloop with you. We're really grateful to Nathan for taking the time to answer our questions.

    Q: Why did you start using thingloop?
    I started using thingloop because it seemed to me to be the solution to a lot of problems, and that in solving those problems it would definitely make my life easier.

    For example, one of the reasons I started using thingloop was to help me keep track of my stuff! I have a terrible memory, and have lost several treasured articles through the years by lending them to people, forgetting who I've lent them to and never getting them back. I know I've definitely borrowed stuff and forgotten I even had it as well, which can be pretty embarrassing as it looks like you're trying to hock peoples stuff. thingloop helps keep me and the people I lend stuff to accountable. The Borrows and Loans lists in thingloop mean I'll never forget that I've borrowed someones stuff, and I'll never forget who I lent my stuff to. Problem solved.

    I could also see the society-changing potential in it. People don't use all their stuff 100% of the time - lawn mowers for example get a once a week use max. If people share stuff, then they need less money to buy it. Maybe someone lost their job in the recession, or got a nasty pay cut because of cutbacks, or for whatever reason they don't have a lot of spare cash. Maybe they just need that one thing to do that one job and they can't afford to buy it or rent it. thingloop is the solution for them - they could borrow that one thing from someone who has one on thingloop totally free.

    Maybe it's something simple, like they can't afford to go to the cinema, or they really want to read that book but eating takes a higher priority - with thingloop they have an entire library of films and books that they can borrow for free.

    Money can become a real burden. If people need less money, it's another weight off their shoulders and an improvement to their quality of life. You can't knock that.

    Q: What sort of stuff have you borrowed/lent on thingloop?
    A random eclectic mix! I've borrowed books, DVDs and even a blow-up bed with foot pump! As for lending, it's been mostly books and DVDs at the moment.

    I'm working on getting my tools up there because I don't use them all the time, and I know exactly how much of a nightmare it is to try and do a job without the right tool. I remember a couple of years back replacing a cistern pump with a pair of mole-grips and my (not-so) brute-strength! If only thingloop had existed then, I could have simply borrowed that wrench which the cheapest place sells for over £20!

    I'm considering pushing it a bit further and lending my knowledge! Maybe I'll put up "1 Hour CSS Skills Tutorial" or something - I'm well up for sharing that too.

    Q: What has been your best borrow/lend?
    My best borrow has DEFINITELY been the blow-up bed!

    We're not really queued up for the whole camping malarky, and we tend to take 3 duvets, a range of blankets and sheets, etc, just to try and keep some semblance of comfort whilst sleeping under canvas! The ability to go on thingloop and borrow someone's blow-up bed (with pump, no less!) was just ideal - as a result camping was way more pleasurable and much less hassle.

    Q: What do you like about thingloop?
    It's easy to add stuff, borrow stuff, lend stuff and keep track of stuff. It's fast and it's simple. It's intelligent - I love knowing how much I've saved by borrowing stuff! It's the answer to a lot my niggly problems - like not having the right tool. It's society changing.

    Q: Would you recommend other people join?
    I would absolutely recommend people join, and have done! I'm such a fan you should probably get me to tour the country doing conferences on it!

    I would passionately recommend it for all the reasons I love it.

    Monday 5 July 2010

    Tag Clouds - helping you find stuff

    We've just released a new feature on thingloop, which should make it easier to see what sorts of items your friends have got that you can borrow. It can be a bit crazy once you are connected to a few people and there are hundreds of items that you can see, so this should make it a little easier to manage.

    In the My Stuff and Their Stuff views you can now see a clickable representation of the most popular item tags. You can click a tag to add it to the item filter. For instance, clicking on the book tag would show all the items with the book tag.

    Tag, what's that?
    If you are a bit bamboozled as to what a tag is don't worry. A tag is a word that you would associate with an item, to help other people find it. For instance, for your hammer drill you might tag it as diy tool drill hammer cordless. This would help someone find out quickly what drills people are sharing with them.

    Another example might be a romantic comedy DVD, in which case you might tag it as dvd film movie romcom, or something along those lines. This means that if someone is in the mood for a romcom they can just pop the tag in the search box and see what movies there are available, without having to browse through all the action, fantasy, scifi, etc, movies.

    Wednesday 30 June 2010

    Announcing 'Gigantic July'

    Following on from the success of 'Monunental May', we are having a 'Gigantic July'. During 'Monumental May' we managed to double the amount of stuff on thingloop. Let's double it again during July!

    Why not get involved in Gigantic July? Here's a few things you can do to help us spread the word that something as cool as thingloop is out there:
    • Add 10 new items - your friends are more likely to join you if you've got some stuff on the site
    • Invite 10 friends to join - if you haven't already invite your friends to join
    • Facebook wall updates  - you can switch these on, in your profile settings, which will help let your friends knows about thingloop
    New Features
    During July we will also be working on a number of new features. We've got some cool ideas that we think will improve thingloop, but we'd really like to known what you think.

    If you've got any ideas, seen something that you think could be improved or is just plain broken, then why not let us know? You can comment here, use the feedback feature on the site, or get involved in the discussion we've started on our Facebook page.

    Tuesday 29 June 2010

    Help I need somebody ...

    It's been a long time coming, but we've finally added some online help to thingloop.

    The initial version is based on common questions you have asked us before. If you have a question which the help does not answer then let us know via the feedback tool, on the left of the site.

    As usual, let us know what you think.

    Thursday 3 June 2010

    Connecting you with your friends

    Our team is loving thingloop, in the past couple of weeks we've borrowed/lent a PS3 game, DVDs, books, some dresses, an airbed, a drill and a ladder!

    But we're aware that a large number of our new users haven't managed to connect with many of their friends. This means that you're not yet enjoying any of the benefits of thingloop.

    We are working hard on features to help you connect with your friends and get sharing. So we're really pleased to announce the release of our new email contact import feature (see the 'Friends' view). This enables you to retrieve your contacts from your email account and choose people to invite to join you on thingloop.

    So why not give it a whirl, and let us know how you get on. Spread the word, and increase your loop.

    Monumental May
    So Monumental May was awesome, we saw a 1000% increase in the number of users, despite falling somewhat short of our £100k total of items.

    We are expecting a large increase in the number of items on the site, as people begin connecting with more of their friends and have people to share with! Thanks for your patience and perseverance as we build critical mass.

    Wednesday 19 May 2010

    Find your Facebook friends!

    Facebook friends
    We've just released our initial integration with Facebook. This enables you to search for your Facebook friends on thingloop.

    You may find that your initial search doesn't match many users. However, as your Facebook friends join thingloop we'll be able to match their Facebook and thingloop identities, and inform you of their arrival.

    We working hard to add features that will help you connect with your friends on thingloop, as we know this is hampering some users getting sharing.

    Follow us on Facebook
    You can now follow us on Facebook, as well as Twitter.

    We also want to say a big thank you for all the feedback we've received so far, and say we really appreciate your patience as we iron out some of the rough edges that exist.

    We are using your feedback to help prioritise our todo list, so if you haven't already, then have your say!

    Friday 7 May 2010

    User Feedback Feature - let us know what you think!

    We're pleased to announce the release of the User Feedback feature. This should make it much easier for you guys to let us know what is and isn't working for you.

    So, if you've spotted any problems/glitches, thought of a cool new feature, have a question, or just want to tell us you think it's awesome, then let us know.

    We're really keen to get you guys involved to help shape the future of thingloop.

    Friday 30 April 2010

    Announcing project 'Monumental May'

    People are already sharing over £8,000 ($11,500) worth of stuff on thingloop, but we know there's a lot more out there waiting to be shared.

    That's why today, we're announcing project 'Monumental May': our aim is to get people to have loaded over £100k ($144k) worth of stuff onto thingloop by the end of May.

    Is it possible? We think so. But we need your help. Want to be part of Monumental May? Here's a few ways you can help:
    1. Sign up to thingloop, if you haven't already; it really is pretty cool!
    2. Connect with your friends, and upload info on items you're willing to share
    3. Suggest the thingloop facebook page to all your friends
    4. Use the share links at the top of the home page to spread the word
    You can keep track of the progress of Monumental May by checking out the running total on the homepage.

    Other News ... We're really keen on getting your feedback, that's why we'll shortly be incorporating a feedback feature directly onto the website.

    In addition, we're investigating ways of polling users to find out which new features they'd most like to see. We'll keep you informed.

    Monday 26 April 2010

    New feature - we're valuing your items, track how much you're saving

    We've started placing approximate valuations on thingloop items so that you can:
    • See the value of your sharing network, i.e. all the stuff people are sharing with you
    • Track how much you're saving by borrowing
    • Track how much people are saving by borrowing from you

    The new statistics can be viewed by looking at your profile and groups.


    There are a couple of things that should be noted:

    1. The valuations are estimates (see the next section for more info).
    2. We are not currently able to value manually entered items, only auto-searched items from the web.
    How are we doing this?

    This is the boring bit, so skip it if you're not interested!

    Basically, we search for pricing information during web searches, and choose the current lowest price for the item. This means that the estimates will be on the low side, e.g. the average DVD will be valued at maybe around £3 or £4 pounds, unless it's a new release.

    Consequently, most of the values provided are on the conservative side, and may undervalue some of your items. We apologise for this, but feel it is better to underestimate than to provide wildly inflated valuations. The figures still provide a good valuation of the activity within your sharing network.

    We are hoping to enable valuations of manually entered items in the near future as well. Watch this space.

    Tuesday 6 April 2010

    New feature - sharing with friends!

    We've just updated the site to add our latest feature on thingloop - the ability to share with friends and lists of friends, rather than just groups. We're pretty excited as we're aware that the group-centric sharing was too restrictive for many people.

    There are a number of other improvements included in this release as well. We hope you like it.

    Friday 2 April 2010

    Follow us on twitter

    Yep, we're on twitter, thingloop, which may be the easiest way to keep up with all the news, new feature releases, etc, on thingloop.

    Friday 19 March 2010

    Let the sharing begin ...

    Well, it's been a massive week, but we're really excited to announce the official 'soft' launch of thingloop. We think it's a great start, and hope you agree (obviously, parts of the colour scheme and styling are still a work in progress!).

    In addition, in the next few weeks we're planning to roll in some new features including: sharing with individuals, user feedback, and various improvements to the automated item adding.

    If you're still wondering what all the fuss is about then why not check out the following vid: