One week since launch; a retrospective

August 29, 2006

Well, that was the week that was!

We must start by thanking all of the people that have joined our Calgoo community. The problem with planning for an event like this is that you never know how many visitors to expect and when they will arrive. The good news for us is that our estimates were exceeded – the challenge was the unacceptable slow speed experienced by some Day One downloaders. For that we apologize.

The greatest gift we have received from the vast amount of publicity and chat about Calgoo is feedback from users and potential users. Whether you commented via our blog, chatted on Digg or blogged about us, we appreciate your input and we are compiling the results so that we can target our resources on the areas that are most important to you. Our tech team are beavering away (Canadian humour, eh?) or a number of suggestions and we will give you an update on this next week.

For interests sake here are a few quick facts about the past week:

17 – Number of Google matches on the phrase Calgoo on 21 Aug

230,000 – Number of Google matches on the phrase Calgoo on 28 Aug

117 – Number of blog matches on Technorati on 28 August

175 – Number of Google blog search matches on 28 August

And my personal favourite:

88 – Number of countries where there has been a Calgoo download as of 28 August.

For those of you that would like to read some third party reviews, a couple of the most thoughtful were by Download Squad and CNet (in fact CNet even posted a correction, which was good of them).


A word about trust and our intentions at Calgoo

August 24, 2006

The launch of Calgoo has created a reasonable sized ripple in the Blogosphere. Among the many comments and questions are several that relate to trust and how Calgoo treats user’s information. This is an important area for us and it should be important to you – it’s a dangerous world out there – so here are a few thoughts direct from the Owl’s Nest.

Google Calendar credentials – Our application needs to be able to communicate with your Google Calendar in order to function. As Calgoo is a desktop based application, your machine speaks with your Google Calendar and stores your data locally. When Calgoo asks for your Google Calendar credentials they are stored on your computer and your computer only, we do not receive or store this information. We have started a dialogue with Google and will be discussing this with them.

Privacy and Terms of Use – We have links to these policy docs posted on the website. As a company we are committed to upholding best practices when it comes to respecting your information. Our philosophy is to only ask you for information that we need in order to provide you with services that you ask for. We also commit to keeping your information safe.

Calwho? – Calgoo is backed by a great team. We are a Canadian based company with real offices and real people. You can see our happy faces on the about section of our website and follow the link back to our corporate page if you want to find out more about us.

Trust – We know we have to earn it. We intend to make the Calgoo experience so darn good that you all become vocal advocates. If we make you happy, you will tell others – that’s our goal. We want you all hooting like happy Owls.

So what is First Draft anyhow?

August 23, 2006

A lot of the postings seemed to reference our use of “First Draft” rather than Alpha, Beta, v.1.0, etc. [and to Paul Stamatiou, we do not think we are better than the Web 2.0 bubble by saying “First Draft”]. Why did we do it, well that is the best description that we could come up with.

Unfortunately, people (thanks in large part to Google and the whole Web 2.0 phenomenon/bubble) expect that when you see Beta next to a product, it is entirely workable, defect free, and a good option for all that ails them. Heck, even Microsoft is charging for their Beta.

Our justification for naming is just this. Think back to writing those college/university papers when you first put all your thoughts down on paper. Sometimes you get it right the very first time and your prose are perfect, and with a few edits here and there … whammo – you submit an A+ paper. But the reality for most of us isn’t like that. You put your first draft together with an underlying genesis of an idea at the core, cobbled together with bits and pieces of stories you read, the odd plagiarized copy here and there [legal note: this is a reference to using Google’s API, not an Apple/Creative thing], and paragraphs that sound good, but you know they are not in the final order. If it is a thesis, you may even have a committee who reviews your first draft and offers you feedback on how to improve, change, modify, etc. You may even get steered down an entirely different path by the feedback you receive. And that is why it is Calgoo First Draft.

And like the term paper, we gave ourselves a deadline. Otherwise, products are never released, and they will never be more than 90% done. So if you want to label it, you can call it version 1.0 if you must. But we ask this of you, don’t grade us yet. This is just the beginning.

Day One – Trials, Tribulations & Triumph

August 23, 2006

Well that was quite a day.

To all those who came and tried things out — whether you found out about us via the Download of the Day link on Lifehacker, on CyberNet, or any of the countless other bloggers who mentioned our little “how-do-you-do” (as of a few minutes ago, Technorati listed 34 blog references) — a big THANK YOU. To all those who commented on these aforementioned blogs, commented on our blogs, or sent us e-mail, believe me, we read every one of them — or at least we tried to (at times it was kind of hard to concentrate in between the shrill cries of our developers yelling, “Calgoo is NOT a virus!” and the whimpering of our sys admin as he started to see us spike up on Digg, fully aware of the chaos of the Digg Effect). In case you didn’t hear me, Calgoo is NOT a virus…

“Just to let everyone know, we did verify that NOD triggers on our install kit, MacAffee sometimes does as well but no others that we have used. We found the content that tripped the switch and happily discovered that the 3rd party that provided the offending library had already cleaned that content out (a little quietly for our liking). The content does not trigger NOD or MacAffee at runtime, so running Calgoo does not put you at risk. We appreciate the feedback and have updated our download so that we don’t worry any more users.”

Dear Mac users, we owe you a big apology. Actually, make that a HUGE apology. We had hoped to have the Mac version available at the time of the First Draft launch, but we didn’t do it. And we didn’t append our download copy to say “Windows only”. Bad Calgoo. If there is any consolation, we are testing Mac and Linux environments right now and hope to have these ready for you ASAP. We’ve also put the comment front and center that, for now, it is to be used on one of Billy’s boxes only.

As for the download size, the requirement for Java 1.5, the need for mirror download sites, and a plethora of other issues (some of which we were aware of some and some were new). Rest assured, we are working quickly at addressing your concerns/issues/fears/suggestions.

In the end, it was a good day for a First Draft release (see next posting).

Calgoo First Draft Launches

August 22, 2006

Today is a big day. Today we shed the curtain, uncover our eyes, and start hooting from the rooftops. Today, we launch Calgoo First Draft. So if this is your first time here, let us recap:

Calgoo is new, free software that makes the Google Calendar experience better. Calgoo allows you to subscribe to and work with more calendars than is practical with Google Calendar directly. Your calendars and schedules are brought to the desktop where you can easily search, filter and organize them. Calgoo works when you are online and offline so you don’t need an Internet connection to use your calendar. Calgoo improves calendar sharing and makes it easier for you to collaborate with your friends, colleagues, family and social groups.

Calgoo First Draft is exactly that. It is step one of an iterative process. It is progress. OK… it is Beta, but we’re not calling it that. It works. It will get better. And the best is yet to come.

Click here to download Calgoo First Draft today and enhance your Google Calendar experience.

We’re close, oh so close

August 22, 2006

Well the self-imposed 2:22PM deadline on the 22nd has come and gone, but we still have plans to release today. Stay tuned. We’re close, really close.

Calgoo to launch tomorrow/today

August 22, 2006

Let’s see… it is just after 1:30AM the day of our launch. A quick check of my MSN chat and it only looks like half of us are still online. An optimist would say that things are going well.