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Reflections on the Social Web

on 2012-08-22

I thought I would take a break from the technical mumbo-jumbo to reflect on a fascinating thing that happened recently when I added a new feature into the project on which most of these Ruby posts are based.

I don’t usually like to talk about the project or its purpose in specific but I think that would be hard to pull off in this context and still have the post make any impact.

As those of you who know me personally are aware, I will be getting married in a few short weeks to my beautiful fiancĂ©e and I’ve been working furiously on hacking together a website to help our guests, both English and Polish — and us — keep track of it all.

In addition to providing information about the wedding itself and allowing people to RSVP online, the intention was to let people make song requests for the reception and, eventually, to upload and download photos of the big day itself. Those were the major features, anyway.

About a week ago, I managed to finish the last of the code required to get the song requests portion of the site going and punched out a notification to everybody who gave their e-mail address that the feature was live. On a whim, I decided to make the song list public, including a simple ranking for how many times a particular song had been requested.

I was not prepared for the response.

Since the song requests feature went live, we’ve had 200 requests come in. People are talking about it. People are excited. Now, instead of this being our wedding reception, I get the sense that people feel that it’s also their wedding reception and that’s amazing.

When we talked to the DJ the first time, he asked us to make him a list of some song suggestions. We met with the DJ over the weekend and when I described the site (and the response) to him, he was amazed. Floored. Totally blown away. I created an account so he could monitor the incoming requests and now he’s watching with glee as the requests come in and rise through the rankings.

I never would have thought that such a small thing would generate such a huge response.

The lesson I’m going to take away from all this? Never underestimate the power of social.

2 Responses to “Reflections on the Social Web”

  1. Se7en says:

    Nice. It went viral!

    • ianderson says:

      Amongst friends and family, definitely.

      I also noticed that people who aren’t able to attend have been requesting songs. It’s nice to have them participate even if they can’t be at the reception itself.

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