Category : Community

Preserving Internet Innovation

Today, Tagged stands alongside fellow Internet companies such as RedditWikipedia, Twitter, Google and many more, to voice our opposition toward SOPA and PIPA. These two significant, wide-sweeping congressional bills seriously threaten the Internet as we use it today.

Please take a few moments to watch the video above and learn how these bills affect you and many of the Internet companies you love.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House (H.R.3261) and its Senate sister bill, (S.968) the Protect IP Act (PIPA), both threaten the freedom, innovation and self-expression that the Internet has enabled for all.

Tagged is committed to protecting the intellectual property rights of others, however we also deeply  value Internet innovation and the ability to freely share information on the Web. The Senate will vote in less than a week on PIPA, so it’s time to make your voice heard.

Visit Stop American Censorship for more information and learn about the many ways you can take action. If you live outside the U.S., you can contact the U.S. state department.

Tech Talk: Design + UX

“Design you say? Pah, leave it to the designers! And leave me to my PHP and Node.js.”

Not so fast. As it turns out, the more you know about design, the more efficient you can be with your development work, leaving more time to focus on coding.

As Tagged’s Senior UI Designer, I want to remind you that even the most hardcore coders should think about design. Why? Because by considering a few practical design and UX practices, developers can create and code better products – while saving time typically spent backtracking with designers. Design and development actually share many principles in common, including: unified hierarchy, elegant simplicity, consistency and scalability/flexibility.

Each week at Tagged’s Development Workshops, we present best practices in product development. In this presentation, I discussed some essential design foundations for developers including:

  • Top-seven design principles for developers
  • Standardizing common elements with style guides
  • 960 grid system for layouts
  • The responsive Web, and designing for multiple-screen resolutions

Check out my video presentation and download the slides here. Got a design question? Leave a comment below or email me at ran@tagged.com.

hackathon logo summer 2011

Tagged’s 2nd Hackathon: Summer Edition

A few weeks back, Tagged kicked off its second overnight Hackathon, complete with caffeinated beverages and a midnight In-N-Out Burger delivery. Our Hackathon invites anyone and everyone from Tagged to tap his or her inner hacker to build an overnight project that is exciting, useful or just plain fun. Having more than doubled our staff and office space since our last hackathon, there was major buildup for this event so we couldn’t wait to see what our teams would come up with.

The Tagged Hackathon started at 6 p.m., right after our usual dinner was served. Everyone ran down and gathered into our new (and expanded) office meeting room to pitch their ideas and recruit a team. More than 20 different projects were formed, and off the teams went to begin spec’ing and coding.


There was a range of projects, which included:

  • SimpleQL, creating an easy-to-use SQL query generator
  • A drawing board for our Tagged mobile app
  • Two-Factor Authentication, offering a way to completely secure access to an account
  • Tagged Connections, a visualization of friend connections occurring around the world

At midnight, In-N-Out Burger was rolled in and served for all.

The energy continued well beyond our midnight snack with every team aiming to create a working prototype by morning. For those that made it through the night, breakfast burritos, fruit, and other healthy breakfast items rolled in at 6 a.m. Special Tagged Hackathon t-shirts were also given along with permission to leave work for the day.

A week later, the entire company voted on winners in three categories: Product Innovation , Overall Awesomeness, Technological Achievement. In product innovation, “Awesome Pet Run” won as a new way for players to play on of our most popular games Pets. Overall awesomeness was awarded to “Clickable Interests/Orbits”, which created a new way for discovering users via common interests and made search results more dynamic and interactive to encourage new connections via ‘Orbits’. The Technological achievement award was won by our Director of Engineer, Diego Matute. Diego explains the project below:

One important theme with our users is that they care about their account and have a lot invested; both emotionally and economically. The two-factor authentication project highlighted a very secure and easy way for users to protect their accounts from phishing, keyboard logging and spoofing. Instead of entering an email/password combo, the user proves two things: 1/ have something (their phone), 2/ know something (their pin). It works a lot like a debit card at an ATM. Secureness is achieved by using OAuth as the user/service provider protocol and an iPhone app to securely store tokens. A simple enrollment process also makes it easy for users to opt into this feature and benefit immediately from secure access.

We witnessed some stellar Hackathon results and were blown away by the creativity of our participants. We’re excited to implement many of the projects into Tagged!

Check out our Hackathon video too:

 

Allen Intern

A Day in the Life at Tagged (Intern-style!)

My Tagged Story

As an intern on the Mobile Web team, I helped develop and launch Tagged’s first BlackBerry app. My typical work day involves creating features and products for Tagged’s mobile division – and I’m also sure to set aside some time during and after work to battle my co-workers in  Starcraft, chess or whatever new board game someone brought in.

At Tagged, every intern is assigned a mentor who provides projects and ongoing career guidance. The large pool of talented mentors is a critical part of the internship program’s success. The quality of my internship has been substantially increased by my mentor, Mark Kater, who gives me the right balance of direction and freedom to help me excel at my work. Being new to the company and new to mobile development – and being shy by nature – having a mentor by my side has been immensely helpful in my growth and development. Beyond my immediate mentor, everyone at Tagged is hugely helpful and friendly – it’s as if those qualities are required to work at the company!

Working on Mobile

My work on the Tagged BlackBerry app was definitely one of the most rewarding projects I’ve worked on at Tagged. From research to development to deployment, my favorite part of this process researching and experimenting with different app solutions. One big surprise for me was how many steps it took to actually set up and deploy the app on BlackBerry. Deploying the app required an array of resources, including legal documentation and icons.

As part of the Mobile team, many of my tasks have been about porting features from Desktop Web to Mobile Web (e.g., user registration, status updates, etc.) or fixing bugs that involve varying amounts of PHP, HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Tagged’s Mobile Web is being developed with a progressive enhancement strategy in order to ensure support for lower-end devices so we haven’t gotten around to introducing JavaScript yet. This means that porting over a feature from Desktop Web usually involves thinking about how it can be adapted to function in an environment without AJAX, lightbox overlays or any other similar luxuries that we may be accustomed to. Despite the fact that our Mobile site has a limited feature set compared to our Desktop Web version, mobile daily page views have soared to nearly 15 million.

Interns are also tasked with giving an end-of-term presentation to the entire company about a topic of their choosing. Presentation topics cover a wide spectrum, including math, technology and culture. The presentations provide a great opportunity for interns to showcase their interests and talents to the broader team.

Every day I’m excited to come into Tagged and work with my teammates to launch new features on Mobile Web. You know you’re at a great place when it doesn’t even feel like work!


Allen Dam is an intern on the Mobile Team at Tagged and you can follow him on Twitter.

Dave Mangot Graphite Talk copy3

Site Monitoring At Tagged With Graphite

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to give a talk on one of my favorite visualization tools, Graphite, at the Bay Area Large Scale Production Engineering Meetup. Recently, we’ve been trying out the Graphite Realtime Graphing system at Tagged. It started as an experiment during our latest Hackathon, and the more we’ve tried it, the more things there are to like.

For those interested, I’ve attached the presentation below and video of my talk is available  here:


Dave Mangot is a Senior Systems Administrator at Tagged and you can follow him on his blog.