What is Dabble.in? [Updated]
This morning, Twitter was awash with messages reading: "I just reserved my Dabble.in username. Gets yours here." My friend Burt Lum posted the first tweet I saw, and as an obsessive signer-upper, I raced over to register. My post sparked another half a dozen of my friends to sign up and tweet as well.
But many also asked, "What is Dabble?"
I checked the WHOIS record for the domain, and saw it was registered to London-based developer Ben Matthew Reyes. A search on Twitter turned up an active account at @3en. And a recent post confirmed that he was helping people with their Dabble signups.
I mentioned him in a tweet, and he responded with his email address. And he was kind enough to help provide an answer to a question that we all probably should have asked before signing up.
Reyes says the site's tagline is: "Dabble is a place to document and share what [you're] working on, your Dabbles." I did find a working Dabble profile page, and at first glance, it looked like a design sharing site like Dribbble or Forrst. I asked Reyes if the comparison was fair, and he was quick to say that Dabble is still a work in progress.
"We really don't want to define Dabble too much early on as we want to see where the community takes it, almost like how Twitter took off and the users invented the @reply, #Hashtags, etc.," he says.
He also didn't expect anyone to sign up just yet.
"We're still working on the beta," he explains. "The landing page recently leaked to Twitter and took off, which we couldn't stop."
With all the sudden attention, though, he quickly released a promotional video on Vimeo. As in, posted moments ago:
It's definitely reassuring to know who is behind Dabble, and that there's a genuine service planned. But it was also telling to see how many people, including myself, were happy to jump in and promote it without having any information. Even I wondered if Dabble might just be a geeky sociology experiment. If it had been a hoax, I'd easily fallen for it.
Only two weeks ago, another stealth startup's viral invite system prompted many people to think it was a giant scam.
Many people signed up for Dabble largely based on the slick look of the site's main page.
"We plan on putting the same amount of attention and detail to the landing page to every single feature we create," Reyes promises.
Update (11:49 HST): Link and screenshot redacted by request, video added.