Make “This.” Yours

We launched the beta of This. today. Which is pretty great.

This. is a site we’ve been building to help people find and share the web’s best stories, ideas and arguments. Each user can share just 1 link a day.

For us, “beta” means we’ve got a full feature set and are letting the community grow by giving every user 5 invitation links so that they can invite new people (the previous prototype was manually invite-only, and we stopped giving invitations out in September). We’re excited to see what happens.

If you’re curious, here’s the full email I just sent around to the site’s 340 users.

We’re excited, because we’ve just launched a brand new This.

The theme of this release is: “Make This. Yours!” We’ve added five new features to help you start crafting your community and experience to more closely fit your interests.

The goal has always been pretty simple: we want This. to be where you find and share the web’s best stories, ideas and arguments. We wanted a place where people show off the beautiful, weird, smart and meaningful links they find, and where that media is treated as something with lasting value.

This summer, we launched the little prototype you’ve been using to test some of our ideas and build the invite-only, powerful seed community you’re a part of. Over 2,400 incredible links have been shared. The 340 or so of you have collectively opened the nightly newsletter over 10,000 time. So we know we’re on to something.

Today, we’re launching a full This. beta and putting the experience, and our community’s growth, in your hands. We think you’ll love it.

Here’s what’s new:

1. Invite 5 people right now. The days of me hogging all the invite links are over. We want you to make this community yours by inviting people who would love the site, and whose links you’d like to see on it.
2. Follow people with rad taste. Hit the follow button on any user’s profile to see their links on your new homepage. Check out the /All tab to see everything shared and find people to follow. Or check out each users following/follower lists to find new people. You can also find a list of the entire community here.
3. Build your following. You can now see who’s following you, and get alerts whenever someone new jumps onboard, both on your activity page and in your inbox.
4. Explain “Why This?” When you share a link, we’ve added an optional field where you can offer a thought, a quip or a quote.
5. Your shelf is now public. Show it off! Users who aren’t logged in or registered will now be able to see user shelves. I’m making mine my Twitter bio URL.
6. A new midnight. For the purposes of the 1 per day limit, the day will now start and end on midnight West Coast time.

Each of these features came from your usage of the prototype and your direct feedback. So thank you! You’ve all been incredibly generous in helping us to think about how to build this experience.

And of course, so many thanks to the folks at Fictive Kin and Ben Pieratt. They designed and built the beautiful site you’re using with a lot of love.

So it’s yours now! Enjoy. And keep the feedback coming.



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