Category Archives: behind the scenes

My Summer Story 2014

Did anyone take the 21 Day Summer Challenge and squeeze in a few more summery experiences?

The summer countdown continues. 6 days until Fall officially arrives. I can feel it’s approach here in Pittsburgh where the air is getting crisper, the temperature cooler and sunset is arriving earlier and earlier.

My calendar insists that I say goodbye to the Summer of 2014 and so I’m reflecting back on my experiences and what a gift they’ve been.

cape cod beach landscape photo

I’m titling my summer story 2014:

The Gift of Time With Friends

A friend and I conquered our first destination half marathon.

Photo of Shannon and Lori after their half marathon

I found a gem in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania with a bed and breakfast on a working horse farm. Not only was it beautiful and relaxing, I also got to spend a weekend hiking and enjoying great food and drink with this hot guy.

Shannon and Andy in Laurel Highlands

And there were those summer evenings spent with great friends and some of my favorite bands.

Concert photo

There were many more pages to my summer story including time with family, the gift of a new niece, walks in the park and a few cold beers on hot afternoons.

What’s your summer’s story?

Tell us about it! Leave a comment or share it with us on Facebook or Instagram #mysummerstory2014.

The Gift of More Stories

And if your summer flew by like mine did, maybe you ran out of time for all of the experiences that you planned. Well don’t abandon those ‘not yet experiences’! If we fit them all in, what would we have to dream about? 🙂

We designed giftbug with your stories in mind. Tell your friends about them! What better way for them to celebrate you, thank you or just make you smile then by knowing about your list of ‘not yet experiences’?!

Check out my giftbug registry where I’ve created categories like The Gift of Time With Friends and Things I’ve Always Wanted to Do.

Christmas Success Stories

Raise your hand if your Christmas tree is still up. ( this girl! ) Yes, yes, I’m sure some of you just read that with shock and horror. It’s not all procrastination, I still love turning on the lights at night and it’s not like the Cadbury egg commercials have started yet on tv…

So as we slowly transition out of the Christmas holidays here at Casa de Miller/ giftbug HQ, let us take a moment to thank all of you that incorporated giftbug into your Christmas holiday. We really appreciate all of the great feedback that we’ve been getting and hearing your stories and testimonials about how giftbug enhanced your holidays. THAT was the best gift we received all year!

Here is some of what we have heard from our early adopters:

* “This giftbug thing really works! I got exactly what I wanted!”
* “Giftbug made my Christmas shopping so easy.”
* “I bought all of my sister’s Christmas presents from her giftbug.”
* “I loved using Giftbug for the holidays!!!!” (and we love all the exclamation
points!)
* “It made it so easy to share my list with my family. The nicest part was that because I’ve been using Giftbug for a while, I have quite a long list on each board – so it was still really a surprise when I opened my gifts!! I liked seeing what my loved ones picked from my list – it
was really fun! Actually, I received a few things that I forgot that I wanted!! That’s one of the really nice things about having a registry for anytime use – I add things to it when I see them and then may just end up receiving them as a surprise gift!!”

A few friends also shared what they heard mentioned about giftbug as family
gathered ’round the Christmas tree:

* “I see somebody used giftbug!”
* “I love giftbug! I got exactly what I wanted.”
* “Giftbug is awesome.”
* “Thanks to giftbug I don’t have to return anything this year.”
* “Now I don’t have to regift anything!” (We’re not sure she was kidding!)

And straight from your giftbug registries, here are some of the giftbug success stories:

giftbug success stories
Blenders, ninjas and t-shirts. Oh my!
giftbug success stories
Cocktail glasses, a knife and a crockpot…these weren’t from the same registry but it sounds like the perfect bachelor registry to me.
giftbug success stories
Sangria pitcher, Captain America pjs and a manicure, these were from the same registry….just kidding

And check out our new Facebook cover photo for even more registry success images.

What’s new?

What’s new at giftbug? Funny you should ask, What’s new? is part of what’s new.

…yeah, I thought I’d have a lot of places to go with an opening line like that, but I’ve got nothing. So anyway, we’ve pushed out another round of updates to giftbug and we wanted to tell you about them., and yes, the first one I want to tell you about is called ‘What’s new?’

The ‘What’s new? menu item
With all the changes that are taking place we wanted to provide the users with a changelog or place to review the features that we’ve added to the website. We’ll write about most of them her in the blog, and now you can also find the list of Website updates right from the bottom of the main menu with our What’s new? link.

whats-new
Use this link to keep up on all of the Website updates.

Tightening up the Share page 
Since we’ve been getting some questions about the Share and Nudge emails on the Share page, we took a stab at making it all clearer. In addition to tweaking (you just thought about ‘twerking’ didn’t you?) the descriptions we added links to new FAQs that include screenshots of the Share  and Nudge emails.

Signing up your friends
We’ve been wanting to make it easier for people to sign up for giftbug if they are viewing someone else’s registry and they’re like ‘Holy gift-giving genius Batman, where do I sign up?!?!’ So we inserted a sign up link right there next to the friend’s profile photo on their registry.

sign-up-signage
When your friends see your giftbug registry we’re pretty sure they’re going to want one of their own, so we are making it easer than ever to sign up right from any registry.

Well that’s the highlights of the latest changes. And now it’s time to start
thinking Christmas here at giftbug HQ and to start working on our Secret Santa feature for the website. We’ll share more on that later! First order of business is convincing Andy that we are not calling it ‘Secret Winter Holiday Nondenominational Gift Giving Fantasy Creature’.

The Help Page Got a Facelift

We’ve been listening to the experiences of our early users and we took that feedback and focused on our Help page. We organized the questions into categories, added some new FAQs and included screenshots like this one to illustrate the Add gift pop-up box.

add-gift-details
The only thing required is a Gift title. All other fields are optional!

We’ll continue to add to the Help page, and don’t forget we want to hear from you! Send us your questions so we can improve your experience and the experiences of our future users.

What’s a Giftbug?

What have we been doing since we last talked? A lot of planning and strategizing; my brain hurts a little and I know Andy’s tired of all the talky talky.  And now we know how we’ll be spending the rest of 2013! We’ve hit the ground running again and we’re digging in and making giftbug faster, shinier and easier to use. Among those improvements was a little tweaking of the blog making it easier to navigate and search the tags and archives, as well as just making the home page less heavy.

Well that’s not much of a blog post after not talking to you all week, just telling you we spruced up the blog design isn’t very exciting. So it occurred to me that we’ve never really told you why we call the gift registry giftbug. It’s actually a pretty common question that we get, well that and ‘Hey Andy, you really work with your wife all day? What’s that like?’ I’ll let Andy take that one in a future post.

So why the name giftbug? The funny thing is that when we decided on this project in January it already had a name. We have been brainstorming this gift registry project for years and we always called it Everyday Registry. When we started our planning sessions we decided that we didn’t want to be so literal and we wanted a catchier, more visual name like Amazon, Twitter or Zappos. What?! They started with an idea too.

You’ll see that we really embraced the ‘no idea is a bad idea when you’re brainstorming’. And after days of staring at these lists on our office walls, better ideas started to flow.

brainstorming1
I highly recommend the scented markers for a long brainstorming session.
brainstorming2
Would you register for gifts at giftsquid?

And then we thought of her, the tri-colored one we call Bug. Oh she’s a bugger alright. Right now she’s playing her favorite game, whine to go out, bark to come in, repeat. It provides her with hours of entertainment. We tried combining her name with the fluffy one named Bella, and while I thought Beg (Bella+Bug) had a nice ring to it for a registry website, we kept looking and finally settled on giftbug.

bug-bella
Really? You’re interrupting our nap for a photo shoot?

We thought we could have fun with the name. It’s simple, it has a nice ring to it and of course it has an emotional attachment for us. Plus, there’s the whole ‘bug someone’s phone to find out what they want’ (thanks NSA for not making that funny anymore) or ‘put a bug in someone’s ear about what gift you’d love to have’…(and I really wish I didn’t think of that scene from The Wrath of Khan every time I use that line.)