TL;DR: New owners Rob and Kyle introduce themselves while committing to quality improvements and addressing top community requests.
Hi everyone, this is Rob and Kyle; the new owners of CellarHQ. We’d like to take a moment of your time to introduce ourselves, but more importantly lay out a rough roadmap of what we’re looking to achieve in the near future. We’re excited to be taking over and very gracious to Cameron for cultivating a great service to grow with you.
Kyle and I are both from the Twin Cities in Minnesota, co-workers at the same technology company and share a passion for beer as well as homebrewing. We decided to pursue CellarHQ because we feel it can grow to compliment the overall alcohol-loving community including Untappd, Beer Advocate, and the /r/beertrade and /r/homebrewing subreddits.
We have a lot of big plans for CellarHQ - including iOS & Android apps and barcode scanning - but before we can get to the sexy stuff, we need to address the essentials.
Since taking over the site, we tried making some adjustments to the site, but found it too fragile. This fragility resulted in crashing the website a number of times as well as introducing unrelated bugs. After reviewing the lay of the land, we’ve found it will take less time to rebuild from the ground up.
We’re building version 2 with quality at the forefront. This is being done through multiple avenues, the foremost of which is adhering to the Twelve Factors, and maintaining automated tests. After we’re done, we’ll be in a much better position to start iterating on new feature development. Here’s what we have slated for the first release, along with keeping feature parity of the current site:
- A new REST API which will power both the website and the native mobile applications.
- An enhanced data model which will allow for features like tracking beers by brew date and receiving notifications for looming drink-by dates.
- Better support for beer trading through notifications and messages.
- Background jobs to help keep the site’s content free of duplication and errors.
All of this will be backed by automated tests which will prevent the site from being deployed if they don’t pass. And don’t worry - all of the data you have now will be ready for you on the new system.
All of this behind-the-scenes work that we’re doing now isn’t just for the sake of working. It’s laying the foundation for the future. Our goals listed here aren’t concrete, as time moves forward we’ll re-prioritize and adapt to the community’s direction and wishes:
- Native Android and iOS apps: We want to offer the ability to do everything you can on the website through your phone - and more!
- Untappd integration: Sign in with Untappd, rate beers, etc.
- Beer trading facilities; like flagging beers from your cellar you want to trade, as well as flagging beers you want to be notified about.
- Reddit integration: Get notifications of people looking to trade; use a Reddit bot that can post for you, etc.
The best way to let us know your thoughts on our roadmap is through Twitter and UserVoice. We’re regularly checking both for feedback!
We’ve got a lot of things we want to tackle, but most of all we want to create something people want to use and tell others about. Let us know what you think of our plan and how we can make it better!
Rob (@rizza) and Kyle (@kyleboon), CellarHQ (@cellarhq)
You can now jazz up your CellarHQ profile a bit by adding your Name, Location, Website, Bio, and a Picture to your profile. Tell us who you are, where you’re from, share a link to your own site or Twitter account, and tell us about your cellar in your Bio.
To enter your Profile Information, go to Settings, enter your information, and upload a picture. Click Update and you’re done.
Your cellar page will show your information while you manage your cellar and on your public profile page.
Update from Twitter
If you sign in with your Twitter account, you can instruct CellarHQ to use your public Twitter profile information on CellarHQ as well. Each time you sign in from Twitter, your CellarHQ profile will update as well.
This is also set on the Settings page. It is disabled by default. Your CellarHQ picture will not update from Twitter.
As always your cellar and information will be kept private if you choose. You can still enter your profile, but only you will be able to see it.
The #1 excuse I’ve heard for not using CellarHQ has been “I already have my cellar in a Google Docs spreadsheet and don’t want to have to re-enter it.” It’s a completely valid excuse, especially for those of you with mighty impressive cellars. Well, if you’ve been holding out, you can now import your previous Google Docs, Excel, or Numbers (iWork) spreadsheet by uploading a CSV to CellarHQ.
If you’re new to CellarHQ or your cellar is empty, you’ll be prompted to import your previous cellar after you sign in.
Or you can go to the Settings page and click Import CSV.
You’ll be presented a series of tips to get your spreadsheet ready for import. These include having your columns in the necessary order, perhaps renaming a few breweries and beers, formatting your dates, etc. All of these will help the import process better match your beers and reduce the amount of manual fixing you’ll have to do.
Once you have your CSV file ready, select it in the upload box and click Upload.
The import process may take a minute or two while it matches your breweries and beers to the ones in CellarHQ’s database. Once it’s done you’ll be presented the import results. Click Fix on unmatched beers to complete the import process.
You’ll be shown which fields need fixing and be able to fix them and add the beer to your cellar.
If you’re importing a brewery or beer that is not in our database, you can add it to the CellarHQ database by clicking Add Brewery or Add Beer. This will open a new window and let you add the brewery or beer to our database for everyone else to use. You can then return to your Import Results window and finish adding your beer.
As you fix items, your import statistics will update, showing how many more items need to be fixed.
If you try to leave this page before fixing all unmatched beers, the page will ask if you’re sure you want to leave. Any progress will be lost on unmatched beers if you leave the page and try to come back making it difficult to not end up with duplicates or missing beers.
This may seem like a lengthy process, but it’s actually quite simple and much faster than adding tens or even hundreds of beers one-by-one.
If you import your old cellar, please let me know your thoughts on the process. The import process was quite complicated to develop. I’ve taken many steps to try to make it simple and efficient, but I am certainly open to feedback on how to make it better.
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