Happy New Year to all!
I’m back from a week of vacation. My apologies for recent feature-and-bug turgidity. Abby, Chris and I are tanned, rested and ready.*
December was a banner month. PC Magazine named us one of the web’s top five web services.** Members added over 1,175,000 books—the most ever! We also recorded our highest number of paid memberships, even excluding gift memberships, which were very sought after in the days before Christmas. And we sent out a record number of CueCat barcode scanners. (Although, we don’t make much money off them, they seem to have sped book entry.) With new features on the cusp of release, a major expansion planned, an employee-hunt is in the works, and continued, accelerating growth, 2007 is looking very bright indeed!
The New Year seems like good occassion to plug the recently-released New-Year-related comic novel The End as I Know It: A Novel of Millennial Anxiety by Kevin Shay. Shay (website), a high-school friend of mine***, has the distinction of writing for both Tim O’Reilly and Dave Eggers, appearing in Google Hacks and in various McSweeney’s collections including, as an editor, Created in darkness by troubled Americans. Here a review by the L.A. Times, and here’s the flap copy:
It’s 1998. Or, as Randall Knight sees it, Y2K minus two. Randall, a twenty-five-year-old children’s singer and puppeteer, has discovered the clock is ticking toward a worldwide technological cataclysm. But he may still be able to save his loved ones—if he can convince them to prepare for the looming catastrophe. That’s why he’s quit his job, moved into his car, and set out to sound the alarm.
The End as I Know It follows Randall on his coast-to-coast Cassandra tour. His itinerary includes the elementary schools that have booked him as a guest performer and the friends and relatives he must awaken to the crisis. When nobody will heed his warning, Randall spirals into despair and self-destruction as he races from one futile visit to the next. At the end of his rope, he lands with a family of newly minted survivalists in rural Texas. There, he meets a woman who might help him transcend his millennial fears and build a new life out of the shards of his old one.
So, cheers and thanks to all. I am excited to be part of what you are creating, and looking foward to doing what I can to make it better for you.
* … and tipsy, but I digress.
**And then turned around and asked $750 for the right to show the award logo. $750? That’s 75 year’s memberships! We turned them down. I suspect our fellow best-of-year services, iTunes and Skype did not.
***I programmed my first large-scale project with Kevin, a Zork-ish text-adventure set in a museum that has come alive.****
****Now made into a major motion picture starring Ben Stiller. As we never released the program, and I’ve never spoken of it, Kevin must have blabbed.