Cool Blog Post from web2web3

May 29, 2008

Though online greetings sometimes feels more web1.5 than 2.0 and definitely not 3.0, it’s a pleasure to get a good post from Attila at Web2Web3. It’s a fun post and i certainly am humbled to being compared in any way to Google ;-)

Posted by Attila Gárdos | 5/29/2008 | | 0 comments » Some great ideas pop up every now and then in Menlo Park, California: Google was founded here in 1998, it is adjacent to Stanford University, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is situated here… and GroupCard (previously called SquidNote), the collaborative greetings Web site also operates in Menlo Park.

Yesterday they announced the launch of GroupCard Gifts, a feature that allows individuals to go online to collectively send a gift from the whole group along with their GroupCard. GroupCard Gifts are redeemable for an Gift Card, which can be used to purchase millions of items available on GroupCards can be circulated online via email or Facebook, making them a fast and easy way for contributors to sign the card from anywhere in the world. With graduation and Father’s Day coming up, GroupCard is an easy way for families and friends to come together to acknowledge the special grads and dads in their lives.

read it all here

Some love from South Africa

May 28, 2008

…just got this fun note in our feedback in-box today…

“Thank you! This is al I can say This is a super way of letting your friends know you care for them Riette Bornman, South Africa”

Thank you Riette for taking the time to say thankyou!

News Flash: GroupCard officially launches GroupCard Gifts!

May 28, 2008

… an envelope gets passed around around the office, collecting money for a coworker’s baby shower
… one of the PTA moms called you to add to the class gift for a special teacher
… you’re in charge of buying a group “thank you” gift for your soccer coach, to thank her for your coach for her hours and hours of support

Starting today, GroupCard has the perfect solution for all these situations….

Here’s how it works:

  1. One person (the creator) initiates the card on the website, choosing from hundreds of designs.
  2. The card is then circulated via email and other web alerts (such as Facebook). Each contributor is invited to sign by adding a personalized message with unique fonts and pictures.
  3. Each card signer may optionally contribute to the GroupCard Gift. Gifts can be of almost any amount, and individual contributions are kept anonymous. Each payment is quickly and securely transacted online via credit card or PayPal.
  4. On a pre-set delivery time, the GroupCard is delivered to the recipient, who may then redeem the GroupCard Gift for an® Gift Card. The recipient may then also send a thank you note to all the contributors via the Web site.

Today we announced GroupCard Gifts, and how GroupCard Gifts can be redeemed by recipients for an Gift Card.

Below are some of the early press hits…

Payments news
Yahoo News

Blog Posts

Here’s the PDF of the press release

Families send GroupCard Gifts to Iraq to honor Purple Heart Soldiers

May 28, 2008

GroupCard Gifting (our feature which allows people to attach a collective gift to a GroupCard) is now live and already growing. We’ve heard many stories about real situations where friends and family rallied to send a powerful group sentiment in the form of a GroupCard Gift. For example, one early report came from a family in Ontario who sent a GroupCard Gift to their father, who in turn redeemed it for an ® Gift Card to buy a brand new snow blower.

I am proud to report that not one, but TWO of our early GroupCard Gifts have been delivered to US soldiers who are serving in Iraq. Their stories are a remarkable coincidence – each of the soldiers had recently been awarded a Purple Heart for heroism in separate tragic events. In both cases their families rallied to send a GroupCard Gift. Both cards gathered dozens of signatures and collected over $100 in contributions for the heroes. Both Tim and Steve (the recipients, who are both on active duty in Iraq) will actually be able to have their orders from® shipped to them overseas.

It’s a huge honor that GroupCard served as the means for these men to be recognized for their heroism. Below are the emails that I received from the card creators – Steve’s wonderful wife and Tim’s incredible mother-in-law. I hope you enjoy

Dear Mr. Anderson, First off, let me thank you for making up such a wonderful thing as “GroupCard” I believe that people like me and my family will use the program for years to come. I have spread the word about your program to friends and family. I especially love the opportunity to attach an Amazon gift card to the note! So far the process has worked well for my group. I am looking forward to when the GroupCard gets sent to my husband. My husband Steve is currently serving his second tour in Iraq with the Third Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, GA. This rotation has been quite difficult and challenging for all of us. In January his Hummvee was struck by an IED, wounding his driver, killing his gunner and leaving my husband with some shrapnel injuries to his neck, shoulder and face. By the Grace of God he was able to walk away from the accident and had minor surgery in country. He recently was awarded the Purple Heart. I wanted to surprise him with something special, and let him know how many people care about him. He has 10 more months left to serve on his 15 month tour. That’s the story behind the note! I know he will be grateful for the note and for the gift card as well. As of today there is $177 on the gift card and 24 signatures! Thank you once again. Lea-Ann Wadleigh

Hi, John,
The card was for Sgt. Tim Klibbe. Tim is part of the 3ID, Unit is 1-30, Marne Task Force. He is
stationed at F.O.B. Falcon, doing P.S.D. for his SGT. Major. Tim has won his Purple Heart. He was badly injured when his Bradley was hit with an IED. He dragged 2 of his comrades out of the burning vehicle. His original Unit has been decimated by severe injuries. But, Tim is still there, still serving. He credits his Chaplain for helping him get through the heartache of having his fellow troops so badly wounded. Tim is the husband of Regan, and father of 2 little girls, Aria and Lily (pictures attached). We were delighted to find the GroupCard so that many of us could encourage him all at the same time. Thank you for a great concept!! He loved it!! – Cher Nelson

Kenny from NY celebrates the big 4-0 with GroupCard!

May 28, 2008

The morning of May 14th wasn’t just an ordinary morning for Kenrick Adams; he was turning the big 4-0! As Kenny looked forward to his day off of work, he checked his e-mails (because, hey, you never know who might send you an e-mail on your birthday!). Waiting in Kenny’s e-mail inbox was a GroupCard started by his wife, Yvette, and signed by well over 60 of his closest friends and family. Kenny was completely blown away by all the people who took time out to sign a touching card for him. As he read through all the signatures and photographs, he was moved to tears, then laughter, and back again many times! Kenny loved the card so much, he continues to read it again and again! Perhaps Kenny’s feelings are best summed up by what he wrote in his thank-you e-mail to all his well-wishers;

Words cannot express how much this card has touched me. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!”

Getting into GroupCard for Graduation!

May 27, 2008

With hundreds of people to congratulate and limited time between finals and graduation, students have started telling us how they loved GroupCard. Amber Epperson, a past president of Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity, and sister of Chi Omega Sorority exclaims that “GroupCard was an easy way for a lot of my friends to congratulate me on graduating. People from multiple groups that I am involved with signed it without me even knowing.

The graduates also really enjoyed the personalization features. Callie Dlugas, an Accounting major told me: “I felt loved. I also liked that my friends could add pictures of us”. Amber adds: “I really enjoyed the different fonts and images- it brought out everyone’s personality in their signatures. Receiving my GroupCard from my college friends reminded me of my high school yearbook; I even printed it out and keep it on my desk as a memory of graduation!”

The signers of the graduation GroupCards also enjoyed the being able to contribute. “What a sweet idea! My roommate loved seeing that all her friends wanted to congratulate her for graduating!” said Courtney Emert, an English major at Arizona. Contributors also got a kick out of reading what their friends wrote to the recipient.

Overall the students at the University of Arizona have become big fans of GroupCard. These students are not waiting for 2009 graduation to use GroupCard again, they are already using it to thank professors, congratulate award winners, celebrate birthdays, and recognize sports heroes. We are looking forward to many more Arizona GroupCards!

David Cook truly is an American Idol

May 22, 2008

Right now there’s an awesome celebrity “congratulations” card for David Cook (the presumptive winner of this season’s American Idol). Over two hundred people have signed it in the last half hour….. including someone who thinks Obama is not going to win?It’s still early, but this card appears to have has enough early traction to be bigger than our cards for the Wheel of fortune or BowWow

A Little Love from the Library… Menasha Library Director is hooked!

May 22, 2008

Tasha Saecker, director of the Menasha Public Library and an avid blogger, recently discovered GroupCard. Tasha was so impressed with the website that she raved about it in one of her blogs. Here’s what she had to say:

“Just got invited to participate in my first GroupCard and I am hooked! I used it on Facebook to sign a card for a colleague’s birthday, and it is not only a friendly interface, but a lot of fun as well.

Just select the card you want, sign it, using the sweet image interface to add pictures, give the email address of the person you want to send it to and the date it should be sent, and invite others to sign it as well.
Seriously, this is the way to do cards for colleagues who work in other facilities. It just rocks!” Posted by Tasha Saecker on May 19, 2008 1:08 PM

Thanks, Tasha, for the shout-out. We think you’re great, too!

A graduation celebrated around the world

May 21, 2008

I just emailed with Benedicte Kjobstad, a GroupCard user from Bergen, Norway (as she calls it “the raniest city in Europe”. She had just created an amazing graduation GroupCard for her sister, Charlene. Benedicte highlighted to me how a GroupCard really brought together family and friends who are spread around the world (Bergen, Vermont, Berkeley, Lousiana, DC, Indiana, and beyond…). Charlene is the perfect example of a deserving recipient. Her accomplishment, culminating with her graduation from Law School at Northeastern, is quite an inspiration for all of us here at GroupCard.

“My sister worked extremely hard over the past 7 years, getting a full scholarship to Boston University and putting herself through law school at Northeastern University. Raised by our single mother, who always told us to never give up and always follow our dreams, despite our hardships. Charlene began talking about being a lawyer when she was in middle school and now, through her hard work, dedication, persistence, combined with a positive outlook on life she has accomplished her goal! She is a success story!

I currently live in Norway, and realize how difficult it is to communicate with family and friends, who are spread across the world. So, was an awesome way to tell my sister how much we care about her and how happy we are for her achievement! Thanks Groupcard for helping me and my loved ones spread some joy!!!!!

GroupCard: A global Graduation Card for Charlene
Benedicte Kjobstad, Norway
Contributors: 20 family friends from around the world.. from Bergen to Berkeley
Notable fact: Charlene is a big achiever, and her graduation was celebrated by family and friends around the world

It’s official, SquidNote is now GroupCard!

May 16, 2008

In a flurry of activity in the past few days we acquired, changed the code to reflect the new URL, and then went ahead and did our first ever press release… just in time for Mothers’ day. Everything seems to have gone off well (fingers crossed).

“Why the SquidNote name in the first place?” It was roughly one year ago today that I began roaming the halls at business school interrogating my friends about possible names for my crazy greeting card idea. My process end ed up pretty straight forward:
1) accost an unwitting friend
2) mention three names
3) wait a day, and see what they remember
In this “recollection contest” SquidNote won by a mile.

“So what went wrong with the name”?
It’s true, our cephalopod had many admirers, but in the end, he lost out on some key factors.
1) it was distracting… the “why SquidNote” question wasted 3 minutes from every discussion
2) we couldn’t rally around it… for some reason, it never excited us.

We knew it just didn’t work.
3) in didn’t help the brand… in public polls, the name “SquidNote” lost by a mile in terms of trust, energy, and friendliness.

“Where did Come from”
To be clear, was more than a domain. There actually was a bare-bones collaborative greeting system running there. The technology was vintage (created back in 2001 we think), but we discovered that the ‘ol site actually had a loyal community of users! We warmly welcome those users (Hi Diana!) to “the new GroupCard”, and we thank Pam (’s former owner) and Kurt at zoomwebhosting for kindly helping us with the transition.

“So, what’s next?”

We’re excited and committed to our new brand. Rich, our CCO (Chief Creative Officer) has a ton of tricks up his sleeve that will bring GroupCard to life. Stay tuned….


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