After two months of teasing my friends/readers/family/bitches with talk of a supersecret project I was working on (I didn’t even tell my own sister about it) I finally got to run my mouth off about what the project actually involved.
Yesterday morning at 7:30 am I was standing on the steps of @brettski’s offices talking to him, @sezleigh and @za5 about the project that’s sucked up all of our extra time since mid-June. Girls reviewing gadgets. Girls talking about tech. Girls teaching other girls to use tech. Girls advising other girls on making tech purchases. Girls meeting to gossip, drink wine, and talk about gadgets, like they would books at a wine– book club meeting. We went through various name options, all of which were veto’d after a few days. Then came Girl Guides. Originally intended to be the name for a mere section of the site, it later became the name for the entire thing. It just seemed logical.
After a week or two of making manymany lists and checking demographics and examining writing skills – we narrowed it down to a handful of bloggers/Twitter users that we were especially fond of, and invited them to a clandestine event. The gorgeous Fire & Ice Hotel in Melrose Arch was where we plied them with alcoholic beverages and decadent desserts and introduced them to the Girl Guides concept. Not a single one of the girls that were there that day walked away without having signed up to be a reviewer.
Many weeks later, after a few speedwobbles, minor obstacles and with the aid of a jumbo bottle of Bioplus (for me) we were at a point where we could start playing with the site, adding content and deciding where to start with letting the secret out of the bag. Introducing Girl Guides to the interwebs. After much umming and aaahing, Sarah and I decided to call a meeting early on Thursday morning.
At that meeting (and yes, we’re going back to the beginning of the blog post) we decided to throw caution to the wind, and just run with it. No more fannying around. Just do it. Sarah drew up a last minute list of the things we had to do and we all spent the morning ticking them off. And finally we ticked off the most important.
That thing that has come to be known as the initial public beta launch. That thing where you put all your cards on the table and say: here. It’s not done yet, and we admit this. But we still want you to tell us what you think. That part where everyone involved agrees that we’ve all reached a point in the works where we can open it up, and finish it off, by letting everyone else have a look at it. Let dozens of fresh pairs of eyes look at every little detail, and ask for their feedback.
And it worked. We have a to-do list that’s as long as the great wall of china (Sarah’s words), a bajillion little things to tweak, a shedload of awesome suggestions, and the general thumbs-up from just about everyone that had a look. All the criticism was constructive – which is always good.
So in terms of planning for the immediate future, right now we’re busy working towards a more official launch on the 1st of September. We’ll be doing some awesome competitions and giveaways for that. And having personally been told what the prizes will be, trust me – you’ll want to bribe me so you can win.
In the next week or so, we’ll be adding the how-to’s section. How to guides for making the most of your gadgets, how-to guides for setting up your gadgets, and how to make better, more informed tech buying decisions. So if there’s anything you’d personally like to see – I’m taking requests.
We’ll be working on a better commenting and registration system and we’ll be adding another mystery section too. A section that will probably only be implemented after the 1st of September, but we’re sure it will be loads of fun to do. Also, at some point we’ll be adding a section where girls can apply to be reviewers. We’re also planning the next Girl Guides event. And getting shiny new toys in for all of the girls to play with.
As you can see – this is why I’ve been so quiet lately. This is why I’ve been scarce, online and offline. I’ve been a busy, busy girl. And now that you know this busy girl’s secret, why don’t you tell me what you think?