DISPATCHES FROM THE DAEMONS

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  1. Travel Blogs We’re Reading Now

    10 months ago

    You just booked a flight. In a few months you will finally be in that far-off place you’ve always wanted to visit. Now you need to do some research. Enter the travel blogs, offering priceless morsels of travel insights hidden all over the web. There are so many blogs that it can be overwhelming, but it’s usually worth the time spent combing them. It makes you wish there were a way to access posts by destination rather than by writer. But more on that later. For now, here are a few awesome travel blogs we’re reading now. These writers have different expertise, whether it’s photography, food or gear advice, but they all put their heart and soul into what they do. Enjoy!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  2. Top 10 Off-Beat Valentine’s Day Dates in the Bay

    1 year ago

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    Lately we’ve been paying close attention to the best activities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since Valentine’s Day 2013 is coming up we decided to share some creative date ideas for the big day. If you want to do more than the dinner-chocolate-flowers routine, spice things up with one of these fun activities. And if you’re looking for a last-minute date idea don’t worry—most of these don’t require much lead time.


    1. Take the ferry to Sausalito. The view is beautiful, especially at sunset. Bring cash for the on-board bar and stop for oysters afterward at Hog Island Oyster Co. in the Ferry Building. 

     

    2. Be classy at Taco Bell. Sweep your date off to Pacifica and wine-and-dine them (er, probably just dine) at the most beautiful Taco Bell on the planet. It’s right on the beach with ocean views and an outdoor deck. 

     

    3. Swing dance at the 9:20 Special, a regular Thursday-night swing dance party. Drop-ins are welcome! 

     

    4. Charter a sailboat and sail under the Golden Gate Bridge. Adventure Cat Sailing Charter offers a variety of excursions. 

     

    5. Get a couples massage. Earthbody in Hayes Valley is a popular spot for this.

     

    6. Watch the stars come out over the Golden Gate Bridge. Stroll along the beach near Crissy Field, and then warm up at dinner in the Marina. 

     

    7. Have tea at a Chinatown tea shop. Vital Tea Leaf is modeled after a wine bar and provides complimentary tastings with your tea. 

     

    8. Combine science and beer at the Academy of Sciences. As part of Beer Week the museum will feature a beer hall on Valentine’s Day as part of their weekly NightLife event.

     

    9. Get a couples mud bath in Calistoga. We recommend Golden Haven Hot Springs.

     

    10. Watch the sun set from Indian Rock. This giant rock in the middle of a residential Berkeley neighborhood is an easy climb with a great view.

     

  3. 3 Things We Learned About Adventurers

    1 year ago

    Over the course of making Dabble, a photo-sharing app for adventure travel, we had the chance to talk to a lot of people who needed a better way to showcase the urban and outdoor excursions they went on. Here are the three main things we learned about adventurers.                                                                                                                   

    1. There are a lot of them.                                                                                                    

    While doing outreach for the app we found that there were an incredible number of adventurous people out there, and they have a wide range of interests that all fall under the “adventure” umbrella. 


    2. They’re interesting people
    People find amazing ways to spend their time, from camping illegally on an urban beach to scaling rock faces. And the same person who mountain bikes on the weekends is often an adventurous chef as well. They’re like modern-day Renaissance men and women.


    3. They need outlets for their content
    Some of the most interesting people in the world are still looking for a good way to share what they do with the world and meet like-minded people. They liked our app because it was built just for people like them. 

  4. Have a Dabble-worthy Thanksgiving!

    1 year ago

    What’s a Dabble-ish Thanksgiving you say? It’s one that has all the ingredients of any Thanksgiving—lots of food, family and friends—but a little more spice. Here’s the story of a Dabble Thanksgiving made of stitched-together postcards dropped by the Dabble team. Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for Dabbling! 

    Rope swinging in the morning to work up an appetite.

    Pick up some last minute ingredients on on your bike. Still working up that appetite.

    Get that meat on the grill before the guests arrive. Yes, you’ve built an outdoor structure for the sole purpose of grilling.

    Take a break from cooking to see if you can get this cone down.
    Set the table. Make last-minute lampshades with your old milk bottles.
    Friends are here! 
    Just leave a couple buckets of meat on the kids’ table; they can take it from there.
    Giant cookies for dessert with raisins you made yourself.
    Time for the after-party! You go there in high style because your friend 
    knows this guy who has this car.
     
    After-party is a guitar show in a bookshop. Perfect spot to digest.
    Thanksgiving was a lot of work! Luckily you met someone at the bookshop party with their own island resort. You’re going to relax there for the rest of the week.
  5. Dabble, dabbler, dabbling

    1 year ago

    Every now and then I get asked why we named the app “Dabble” if we’re serious about adventure. I say that indeed we are serious about adventure, and that’s why we called our app Dabble. The irony is stark, and the call is real, in that we wanted people to find adventure in the world around them, without fuss & without a sense of foreboding. We wanted people to dip their toe in the water, and take adventure a little less seriously—just go out there and record meaningful memories.

    For us, like may others, just the thought of planning an adventure conjures up something serious and all too intimidating. The definitions for adventure are varied, but our popular understanding of it is suffused with imagery of exceedingly strong-willed people venturing into the unknown, doing dangerous and extraordinary things.

    In contrast, Wordnik has a joyful definition of the word:

    Adventure, n. A remarkable occurrence in one’s personal history; a noteworthy event or experience in one’s life.

    This particular definition says nothing of danger or the singularity of one’s achievements. It’s personal. And while technologies for engagement, communication and community have grown by leaps and bounds, our experiences of the world rarely make as indelible an impression on the world itself as they do within our own consciousness. We want to change that with Dabble and we think that one way to do that is with an irreverent  approach to adventure that is, dare I say, a little tongue in cheek. 

    So go ahead and Dabble away, because there is adventure everywhere. Take a moment to savor the vastness of what’s around you . Leave a light footprint for those who come after you. Dabble away, and make history one postcard at a time.

    Santosh Jayaram, co-founder

     

  6. More efficient, faster & nicer. Our big new iOS update

    1 year ago

    Dabble has a new iPhone update. With each new update we aim to bring your social and spatial worlds that much closer. Compared to our past updates, this one here is a big one.

    Dabble lets you document terrific experiences with virtual postcards. You get to leave your mark anywhere in the world. Your friends get to re-live your experiences when they show up there. Your Dabble profile becomes the repository for your life’s adventures, far and near.

    In this version we made the postcard creation process faster & more efficient. A lot of the new design elements render the user experience and navigation more fluid.

    We made ‘explore’ a richer feature within the app. The more engaging your postcards, the more discoverable they become to others in that neighborhood.  You also get to share your postcards with your extended networks be it Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

    So when you’re out and about, make history and leave light footprints.

  7. Anchoring memories and sharing adventures

    1 year ago

    We love speaking with our users. These conversations are very enlightening. Most times they reinforce the central theme about Dabble - its about leaving your mark at places. Its about recording fun experiences as much as it’s about sharing. A journal of our experiences as we live them. For most of our users, Dabble is less a photo application and more a tool to capture memories, and share them at a place. A way to these users and their friends to have a shared context when they arrive at a place.

    When I see postcards like these show up in my stream, it makes me smile.

    Santosh

  8. How a post on Hacker News got us a great engineer..

    1 year ago

    Our team began forming when Antonio and Santosh made a trip to Argentina late summer 2010. We were not even a company back then. Just three guys with some ideas. Two weeks later we came back with a solid team in Argentina.

    We wanted to replicate what we had in Argentina with a team based in San Francisco, working in tandem over two timezones. We had a lead engineer but needed more hands on deck.

    We interviewed a bunch of folks through recruiters. No luck. A month into it we read of a post on Hacker News that changed it all. Jake had a stable job as a developer at a solid firm in Minneapolis. On nights and weekends he was dabbling (heh!) in iPhone development on the side. He got really interested and began to publish his own games. Really smart stuff using the the gyroscope and creating 3-d spaces. His post was a treatise on how difficult it was to gain traction once his games made it into the app store. His post was meant to be a lessons learned post.

    We loved the tone. We loved the attitude, and we reached out to him via Twitter. The rest (as you can see on Jake’s blog) is history. His recent post about the experience was on the front page of Hacker News for an entire day. What Jake didn’t mention was where we put him up when he arrived in San Francisco. This was his first trip to California. We didn’t have a lot of time before he got here & hotels were too expensive, so we decided to house him via AirBnB.  Upon his arrival we learned that the house’s owner was the champion of California’s pro-marijuana legislation, and many of the rooms contained… pungent aromas.  We told Jake that we wanted to give him a real San Francisco experience!

    Jake and all our engineers from SF & Argentina have been with us a year and few months. We are very fortunate for the team we have. And we thank Hacker News for informing and staffing us :)

  9. A new version of Dabble is up on iTunes

    2 years ago

    We are always excited when we have a new version of Dabble out. This one is no exception. We have been busy lately, really busy. A lot of our new changes came in as suggestions from our users. We can’t thank you enough.

    We have a new tab called Explore. Here’s what it looks like.

    Explore makes it easy to discover places around you, and to see postcards from users who created postcards in the same neighborhood.

    We introduced the ability to create a postcard based on where the photo was taken. A lot of our users wanted to create postcards based on pictures they had taken elsewhere.

    Last but not least, we integrated Camera+ with Dabble. Camera+ is one of the most sophisticated camera apps out there. Its a hugely successful creation from TapTapTap. More that 12 million users around the world use Camera+. To our users it gives access to countless permutations and combinations of photo filters and special effects.

    If you have Camera+ installed on your iPhone, our App detects its presence and allows you to use Camera+ to take the picture while creating your postcard.

    We hope you enjoy these new features. As always, should you have any feedback on the app, please email us at feedback@daemoniclabs.com or tweet us @dabbleapp.

    Thank you. :)

  10. Our Experience Building a Distributed Team

    2 years ago

    We were at the GigaOm offices recently. We were asked to chat about our decision to start the company as a distributed workforce. Here is the video clip from our interview.

    We are very proud of our team. We decided to do this because a) we were inspired by the good folks at 37 Signals who followed a similar path and talked about their success in their highly entertaining book - Rework (and) b) because we found an awesome team of people and it didn’t matter where people were, just that we all believed in what we wanted to accomplish and set about doing so.

    We had our own unique set of challenges. But the core point is this: when you commit to building a distributed team of peers, you’re actually committing to communicating better. A lot more thought goes into the ideas we share, and we are forced to be as cogent and coherent as possible. The side benefit of this process is that each task, each project, each feature is well considered and each member of the team shares the same set of beliefs regarding the company.