More than just Spreadsheets
As Head of User Success, I'm all about getting people data, but often it's seeing what users do with that data that really gets me excited about working for import·io. And it’s not always the startups or corporates that are doing the really cool stuff. Often it’s the individual users doing some sort of side project that come up with some of the most interesting ideas. Here’s one, courtesy of Graham Paterson, to really get you in the holiday spirit and solve all your Christmas shopping woes.
What do you get the Girlfriend who's got Everything?
In searching for the perfect gift for his girlfriend, Graham ran into a problem: gift sites gave awesome present recommendations, but they weren’t targeted enough towards particular people’s interests. He wanted a better way to search for gifts, one that let him search across topics instead of for a specific item. Basically, as he describes it:
“I tried to find a site where I could get unicorn gifts (girlfriend loves unicorns) but I couldn't. So I made one!”
In just over 2 weeks, using only his free time in the evenings, Graham built ThatGift, a gift suggester that takes the guesswork out of giving. You simply enter a theme that the recipient loves, and ThatGift shows you where to grab some great gifts. Getting the data he needed to power the site was easy. Using import·io he built Connectors to eight different gift websites, then combined them into a Mix allowing him to search one term across all the websites. Building the front-end proved to be a bit more of a challenge, since not being a developer he had to do a bit of learning along the way.
Your Xmas Shopping - Sorted
The results are fantastic! You can type in anything you want, no matter how silly, and see clever one-of-a-kind results that are exactly what you didn’t even realize you were looking for. I’ll admit I’ve made several, very unnecessary, purchases including one of the best Christmas sweaters, probably ever. I should point out, at Graham’s insistence, that the site is still a work in progress, so be prepared for a few bugs. But honestly, you’ll hardly notice any because you’ll be so enthralled with the results.
And Graham’s not done yet. He’s got plans to build several more concept sites using import·io.
“I really want to use this to build out a couple of other ideas, and import.io is an incredibly good way to get data quickly. I can literally build and test data connections in minutes, so it's made developing dynamic websites super easy. My previous projects involved MySQL databases and PHP, signing up to *awful* data feeds from affiliate networks... just very messy.”