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.