White Headers, Flinging Timelines, and a little Momentum

Three great things happened tonight:

Preceden Redesign

I make small changes to Preceden’s design about every day but I’ve never really been satisfied with the way it looked. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was but I think I figured it out: logos with white backgrounds are hard design around. When you your logo has a white background, the header needs to be white and since the body is also normally white you wind up having a ton of white and very little color in the final design:

So what do you do? Change the logo’s background color:

Much better.

Flinging Timelines

You know how when you’re dragging a window on the iPhone and you let go it’ll move a little bit with its momentum before coming to a stop? Well, I decided that’d be a cool thing to implement with Preceden. Two nights and about four Hot Pockets later, I finally got it down.

I’ll quote Feynman, cause he puts how I feel right now so well:

You see? That’s why we persist in our investigations, why we struggle so desperately for every bit of knowledge, stay up nights seeking the answer to a problem, climb the steepest obstacles to the next fragment of our understanding, to finally reach that joyous moment of the kick in the discovery, which is part of the pleasure of finding things out.

Yeah. Feynman. Flingling. Awesome.

Try it out:


I noticed a new referal URL when I checked Preceden’s administrator dashboard tonight. I checked it out:

8th Grade – Timeline (Social Studies and Computer Class)

Using Preceden, students will create a timeline of important events (causes) leading up to World War II.

To see a sample, click here. The password is —.

The timeline must have at least four (4) layers (to be determined by the team) and a minimum of 12 events. Students must include notes for each event.
One event must be the start of World War II. Major events of World War II may also be included but do not count toward the required 12 events.
(However, they will be considered as work “above and beyond” the requirements.)

When completed, each team will provide — with the link to their timeline and the password.

Students will work with a partner on this project.

The due date is Wednesday, March 3rd.

A social studies teacher assigned his students homework to make a Preceden timeline of the events leading up to World War II.

It’s nice to see Preceden’s starting to get users outside of the startup scene, where is most of the traffic has been from since it launched a few weeks ago.

Coming along…

PS: Follow Preceden on Twitter here.

Post Launch Traffic != Success

Preceden’s going through its post-launch press phase at the moment and even though I know its fleeting, it’s still absolutely thrilling.

It started when I submitted Preceden to KillerStartups, a year to the day (coincidentally) after they covered Domain Pigeon. The only difference this time around is that I submitted Preceden to them, whereas they reviewed Domain Pigeon on their own.

Here’s the rollup:

Very cool.

The mistake I made with Domain Pigeon, and that I find myself wanting to make with Preceden, is equating this initial traffic with success. The trick is realizing that a lot of the visitors were early adopters who found Preceden through technology news websites. These visitors are, by their nature, not long term users, which is really what you need if you are going to have a successful web app.

That being said, a nontrivial fraction of the tweets about Preceden have been by teachers, which is an excellent sign that there is an audience beyond the early adopters. Usage of the site also makes me optimistic, but I’ll save that for another post.

Time will tell (pun intended).

PS: Check out Preceden’s Precden timeline if you found this post interesting.

The Preceden Blog

Preceden now has a blog. You can get it it by going to blog.preceden.com. I’m using Posterous to host it, which makes it incredibly easy. (Those guys are my heros.)

I considered making all Preceden updates here, but there should really be a separate avenue to discuss Preceden happenings other than my personal blog. It’d be a bit awkward talking about AdWord strategy with Preceden’s users, but I do want to be able to share things like product updates and have conversions with the users. A separate blog makes sense.

And so in the future, all Preceden product updates will be on Preceden’s blog. Discussions about its development and its more technical aspects will go here. I will periodically make updates here summarizing the updates there, which hopefully won’t get too confusing. We’ll see what happens.