This is a copy of the email that was sent to GGather users on 3rd April 2018.
It's been now more than a year since I last wrote a GGather update email.
...After all, during sign up I did pinky promise to not spam your inbox 😛.
And since that time GGather has changed a lot! And I want to highlight some of the smaller and bigger changes that it went through for some of you that signed up on early phases of GGather and weren't hooked at the time.
And for the rest of you that are using GGather regularly (thank you, BTW!) - at the end of this email I'm discussing what you can expect in future.
If you don't feel like reading the whole email, here's TL;DR: GGather is now ten times better than it was after the launch. New awesome stuff and improvements are under work. There will be also some changes to GGather Free & Pro accounts.
January 2017 (Launch) 🚀
After several months of plans, hard work, figuring things out and beta release, GGather finally launched publicly in its first form and with very basic Chrome Extension.
April 2017 (Complete Rewrite & New Extension) 💎
GGather got complete rewrite (and partial redesign). This was a major undertaking which resulted in GGather transformation to what's technically called a "Single Page Application". And the main advantage of such thing is that the website needs to load only once instead (re)loading every time you open a new page. And that makes navigation much snappier and pleasant.
This also made possible to use the whole fully-featured GGather application inside Chrome Extension. And that's why nowadays you can e.g. access your whole GGather library right from the extension.
May 2017 - March 2018 (Lots of Various Updates) 💅
During this period, GGather got lots of small and bigger updates, which are listed below:
- Added 8 new link layouts (list, card, grid, etc.)
- Added bookmark thumbnail customization
- Added tags groups that allow to nest and categorize your tags
- Added GGather extension lightweight widget as the optional saving method
- Added batch select mode that allows to quickly delete/open multiple bookmarks at one time (multiple bookmarks editing is still WIP, though)
- Added viewer that allows viewing bookmark content without leaving GGather (that also includes special viewer types for popular media types like videos from YouTube or Vimeo, audio from SoundCloud, etc.)
- Added filtering and sorting to libraries
- Redesigned bookmarks editor
- Added bookmarks "Rating"
- Redesigned GGather landing page (here's screenshot of the old design)
- Added early implementation of public & private annotations
- A lot of small and medium interface fixes, usability fixes and improvements with the goal of simplifying and unifying GGather interface.
- Added notifications
- Added initial version of article reader
- Redesigned public tag and profile pages
- Improved GGather Pro payment experience (and also added PayPal payment option)
- Redesigned settings page for a more pleasant experience
- Updated "Discovery" page from old tags grid to a more organized sections
- Polished couple of internal things to make GGather speedier and more performant
And Now, The Future! 🔮
I'm determined to make GGather #1 online bookmark manager. That's why I'm constantly working on making it better, faster and more pleasant to use.
Below is a list of features and improvements that currently have the highest priority and will be soon released:
- Faster and more precise bookmarks search - current search hasn't "scaled" well after GGather database got filled with huge number of your bookmarks. That's why I've already started work on implementing proper search engine which will be much faster ⚡ and show more precise results. There will be also some interface changes related to that. Stay tuned.
- Improved extension behavior. In the next updates, the GGather extension will be much faster and more intuitive to use.
- Complete control over your data. Which means full export of any data points GGather has on you and also an easy way to fully remove your account. This was always on GGather backlog, but due to GDPR, the priority of this went up.
- Improvements and fixes to GGather import & export features. Similarily to search, the import & export haven't scaled up well with lots of new users importing and exporting big amounts of bookmarks. But don't worry, this is now one of the top priority items for me. Pretty soon you'll be able to say goodbye to import crashes and bookmark exports with "untitled" links.
- Public API & Webhooks Some of you indicated interest in building 3rd party apps for GGather and some of you just want some basic integrations with other services. That's why I have now planned to release first version of GGather Public API and GGather webhooks that you will be able to use e.g. in Zapier.
And of course, that's not all. The list above is just a list of most pressing improvements and fixes. Beyond that there's a lot of more stuff that I'm planning to implement next. Mobile apps, extensions for other browsers, further interface & user experience improvements, site archiving, bookmark reminders, default tag item layouts, revisited social & discovery aspects of GGather, bookmarks pinning, Dropbox & Google Drive backups, and a lot more other stuff to come!
Moving forward I'll also be focusing more on the private bookmarking side of GGather instead of the social & discovery side of GGather. That doesn't mean I'm abandoning it completely - it will be revisited more when the GGather community will grow larger and it will make more sense to invest more work into it.
Import Limit & Changes for Free Accounts 🗂️
As the last thing that I wanted to discuss is the situation around Free and Paid GGather accounts. Some of you were disappointed that GGather had import limit for free accounts. That was sadly unnecessary due to data costs and people importing huge amounts of bookmarks. For a better explanation, you can check FAQ section in GGather Pro page.
GGather is a bootstrapped venture. This basically means that it's trying to be profitable from day one, instead of investing millions of dollars into a free product that may end up being unsustainable over the long term and then shut down.
Luckily, for GGather, the prognosis seems good - a lot of people are interested in GGather Pro accounts and are subscribing to them. But there are also a lot of people (more than 90%) that use the free version while also importing huge amounts of (5K - 30K) bookmarks into GGather. This was fine in beginning, but as the time went on, this drastically increased data usage costs of GGather. Especially because GGather databases and media files are backed up daily and kept in multiple copies on different servers. Which is done to ensure that GGather doesn't lose your bookmarks and any other data in case of any catastrophic failure or data loss.
Moving forward I'll remove import limit, but at the same time, there's a possibility I'll introduce general bookmarks limit for users with free accounts (GGather Pro users won't be affected by this). But don't be afraid - this limit, for most of you won't make difference and will mostly touch people that have massive amounts of bookmarks (think in tens of thousands of bookmarks and tags). This limit will also be expandable without paying any money, e.g. by referring GGather to your friends or sharing it on social media. Stay tuned for more info!
Wheew, that was a long email. If you read it whole, I applaud you!
If you have any feedback, questions, inquiries or anything else - don't hesitate. You can reply directly to this email or use GGather contact form.
– Dominik Serafin, Founder of GGather