The #yidget

Launching something that’s clearly not your finest piece of work feels embarrassing, at best, and downright scary at worst! But, my commitment to building in the open compels me to continue to share what I’m learning and building — while — I’m learning and building!

I think of Reid Hoffman‘s quote often in moments like these:

If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.

I suppose that the continual sense and feeling of embarrassment means that I’m actually doing it “right” — I hope.

In any case, I’m excited to share our next iteration of our community-building platform:

What you see above is a demo of our new “yidget” or “YEN Widget”! Here, visitors can type something and say “Hi”:

This (should… fingers-crossed…) boot up a larger, modal window where your guest can enter “The Lobby” — a safe and anonymous place for you to engage with them.

We randomly assign a username for each, new guest and that’s it! Nothing for your visitor’s to install or setup. With the yidget, you can quickly connect with (new and future!) community members in a fast and frictionless way.

Pretty neat, right?

We have a lot more work to do and we have really exciting plans for expanding this out with even more fast and frictionless tools!

But what’s really exciting is that it’s already very useful, even in this super-early stage! I can now quickly and easily do the following:

  1. Chat with visitors and (new) community members.
  2. I can install the yidget on an unlimited amount of websites.

For instance, try it out here on our new (but not yet final) landing page or even on my personal blog:

Clicking it will boot up the larger chat frame here as well, connecting the community that I have around on my blog and my subscribers / readers with those of the larger #yeniverse around the project!

You can imagine how useful this could be! More work to be done, but I’m glad to share something “live” with all of you!

Any feedback would be welcome!

[Originally published on Indie Hackers.]