I could not be happier of where we are and what we are creating together. Momentum and energy feel easy and natural.
It's a joy to experience each creators story and to see their decks evolve. So many decks are newly created. Or the decks existed already, but evolve once then land on deckible.
You each have such unique talents. And together we are weaving such a rich, deep multi-cultured tapestry. I could literally spend 24 hours exploring decks on Deckible and I would not get bored.
The more I see Deckible and the Decks ( sounds like a band) coming together the more I believe that "Digital Decks" are a new form of media. A unique media for the phone. As a consequence the potential impact of Deckible can be so much greater, but for now I'm sticking to focus on the core vision.
Marshall McLuhan is famous for his book Medium is the Message. And his Distant Early Warning Deck is on Deckible
Andrew McLuhan who is Marshall's grandson has a deck in the works that will be on Deckible. I loved this quote from Andrew.
We expected to find only "existing" decks when we began. We even focussed on decks that were out of print such as eg ORA+CLE by Jennifer Elsner and Genis Carreras's Values Deck. This made our value proposition very simple.
My thinking has shifted. New decks, existing decks and out of stock decks are equally valuable and attainable. I also used to think publishers would not join us until later, but we are always working with a number of publishers. More on that soon.
I've learned a lot along the way. I rarely record meetings but I'm wishing I had. So many things to reflect upon.
That's a lesson. Record stuff. Get comfortable with editing and throwing stuff away. For you, this means record interactions with your deck. This stuff is priceless.
I have so many internal video exploring changes that we can make a certain feature. I'm tempted to put them all on youtube for posterity.
I've heard to many amazing things, but you just can't go back a re-record that moment of excitement and keep yourself in integrity. It would feel false.
Record first, ask questions later.
WE TAKE DECK QUALITY SERIOUSLY
This week I learned of one creator who got frustrated because I rejected their deck, claiming that I changed my tune over deck quality.
I didn't actually reject the deck outright, I pointed out some issues that needed addressing. And these required input from a professional designer.
Let me be clear. Decks need to be awesome to be on Deckible. I have never said anything to imply any deck will do. Never.
She may be right in one regard. The only defense to poor quality is to raise the bar. And the bar will keep going up.
- You cannot turn up to Deckible to sell a deck if you deck is not professional and of high merchantable quality.
- Your decks are not slide-decks with clip-art and stock photography.
- Your deck needs to look like a professionally designed product.
- Your decks need to offer value and solve a problem.
- Your decks will be sold for money and they need to be worthy of that.
I will keep writing about this. I talk about it with many of you and the united response is in total support of high quality decks.
If your quality is high, you can break almost any rule I may ever cite. An artist asked me this week "Can I make a one word cards?" - She asked because my last post said no one-word cards. Art is art. You know when you see it.
Writing down rules is all about guidance, but I will never push away boldness and talent and creativity.
I've never had to think so much about a topic. It's challenging and we are bound to make mistake and evolve. Please be kind and respectful.
My response to her "one word card" question - "Hell yeah". Why did I say that? Simple because I know this person takes her art incredibly seriously. She's super talented and the oozes integrity.
If the need for quality upsets you I'm sorry, and that's OK, because we are just not a good fit. I have never implied anything to the contrary.
Deckible Decks will be sold via Android and IOS App stores. This has consequences. Decks can be refunded. Refunds cost money (more than the refund). i.e. Apple profits from refunds . So poor quality damages the reputation of Deckible and becomes an expense - your expense. And we will take all steps necessary to avoid refunds and to ensure that we provide sufficient information before purchase.
Quality is our best defence.
Our Deck Info page trumps Audible's product information pages. We offer an easier setup, more consistency, and greater depth of information pre-purchase. We will keep focusing on keeping the deck information pages as a flagship feature.
I've now had many poor deck-quality conversations. Most people have taken it in the right spirit and agreed to go and do the necessary work. We are here to help you and protect and grow/create an industry.
Digital decks is a new industry and we own the responsibility of defining it. So please help me. Turn up and pour your heart and soul into your decks.
Be unique, be supportive, be creative, be a sharer of knowledge. Be a challenger. Be a rebel. There is room for all who value the art of deck creation.
I do not enjoy this part of the work, but I would rather face this discomfort than facing the regret of letting down all of you.
TWO AMAZING STORIES OF JOY
I had two amazing highs this week. Actually there were quite a few more than two highs, but two that I can share, right now.
- This deck arrived on Deckible and I shared a some cards with close friends. So cool. So much depth, detail, work, focus. Lisa's work is exceptional
I spoke with Lisa once, many months have gone by, the odd chaser and nudge email. And then this amazing deck shows up.
I was out having dinner at my favorite indy brewery and I even shared it with Jake the barman. The reason I shared it with Jake was because I must have let out a huge gasp of air when I saw the deck. He asked me what was up, so I showed him.
People share stuff that is impactful and remarkable. Be remarkable. It's a lot harder than it sounds.
2. I was showing one creator her deck in the Deckible app and she squealed with delight and shed tears of joy in the same breath. Anja is such a pleasure to engage with and so supportive of the project.
This is such an amazing experience to be right in the middle of. It really is very special. Anja has a feedback buddy, they are helping each other in their deck creation process. This was fun to learn. And great advice. Get a buddy.
And it's a gift to be able to helps these people shape their decks and see them bring their ideas to fruition.
I had another call this week with a lady who had sold 200k units of her decks. So cool to have the pleasure of meeting these people. We have the power to create and change lives. That is exciting and profoundly meaningful.
SUPER HARD WORK
Yes, I'm working hard, but I am taking time out to chill and relax. Most of all I get super jazzed by these types of experiences (listed above).
I get fuelled by experiencing people's reaction to Deckible - both when they first learn about it and then again when they load their decks and see their work in the app.
These stories are incredibly validating and makes me feel aligned with the universe with my choices to invest time, energy and resources in Deckible.
I only mention this as a bunch of your have expressed concerns about how much I'm working, I am prioritizing self-care. Fear not. This is a marathon not a sprint.
And thank you all for your support.
THREE DECKS YOU NEED TO OWN
And by you, I mean everyone. And if this is true the global market for decks is in the billions.
I have shared this insight with many people. I repeat it here because it matters:
- A Values Deck - Live life in accordance with your values.
- A Strengths Deck - Know your strengths and weaknesses and build your team at work and at home with people who compliment your strengths (and fill in your weaknesses
- An Emotions / Feelings Deck - Be able to express your feelings to completion. Locate them, label them and share them.
If you have all three of these decks and use them with purpose you will live a happier life. You will save yourself a heap of cash in therapy bills. Perhaps they lead you to therapy.
This is something of a mission of mine. To put these decks into the hands of the many.
these decks offer value to every single human being and are the gateway decks that will introduce people to the 100's and 1000's of decks on Deckible.
Here's an sample deck in each category. There should be many decks in each category.
200+ PUBLISHED DECKS
This is a major milestone. I set a goal of 100 decks from 100 creators. And the first 20 were super hard. And it's gotten easier and easier.
I still cherish each new published deck, each new signup and each new webinar or piece of media coverage.
If you can help make connections into the media or host a webinar let me know.
If you have a favorite deck that is not yet on Deckible let me know. I will go knock on the doors and bring those decks to the platform.
DECKLISTS / CHECKLISTS
This has been high on my wishlist for a while. And now it has arrived and I'm very happy with it.
It will expand, but it's now super easy to check the completeness of a deck. Decks are complex structures - with many pages and many sides, many tags etc etc.
So the checklist will help. And they link (where practical), to the piece of information that needs updating. So they save you time.
It checks 20+ conditions and reports when the deck does not meet the criteria. This list will grow over the next few weeks to pick up more and more issues.
Here's six decks from Alexis wild.
You can access the checklist for a single deck or for all your decks
Using them is self explanatory. Some of the notices are advisory. Some are necessary. We will tighten these rules as we proceed.
Each item on these list is clickable. And if you solve the problem, the item is removed from the checklist.
We will do more in time to remove items that don't apply - eg if you confirm that you have no spreads, it will stop telling you you have no spreads etc
Anyhow. That's a big help and a huge time-saver.
I have some amazing tools to help manage all these decks. And this has made the process efficient and workable. It's amazingly complex, but these tools make it feel manageable.
You may have noticed you can now filter by tags when you setup your decks. All these enhancements make it easier to manage many decks.
Many things have changed over the evolution of deckible, so older decks will possibly display many errors or recommendations.
Markdown is a tech term. It refers to adding instructions on how to render text and images: Bold, bullets etc
To this point we have not supported markdown on card and deck descriptions.
With U7 we fix that. We have implemented the following to work on Card and Deck descriptions. The syntax is listed here
We may add restrictions in time, so please so not abuse this.
You can add markdown in Google Sheets and the import your CSV as normal.
You can edit your deck description and you will see the rendered copy in the app. For now this is not implemented on Deckible.com - so you will just see the markdown here. We will fix that. We figured you'd rather have access to it immediately.
CREATOR COMMUNITY COUNT PASSES 120!
This is only the people who have an approved deck and have completed their social profile and links etc.
SLACK AS A MESSAGE BOARD
Slack proved to be too expensive. They charged per month per member. And that's not viable. So I need to find an alternative.
GOOGLE SHEETS TEMPLATE
Thanks to Ayesha Hilton who taught me this trick to make copy the default action.
You don't need access to this directly, just make a copy. And this is now the automatic behavior.
And thanks for Alison Pothier who pointed out that I'd somehow hidden a column in the master template. That is now fixed.
GOOGLE SHEETS NOT EXCEL
Do not use Excel. We do not support Excel generated CSV files. They will fail. We can support you if you keep your data in Google Sheets.
GET FEATURED ON THE COMMUNITY PAGE
You can make your own custom community page URL
The basic community URL is as follows and we now features a random creator at the top of the list.
Make yourself be the featured creator
Find your unique ID and then append ?feature=[your id] - my id is 1. The featured profile link below shows you how to find your community ID.
You can see above how i'm the featured creator. You can make a share your custom URL
There is even a menu option to let your grab your featured url. See above in the dropdown.
ABOUT PAGE FEATURED URL
You can make custom about page URLs. We randomly feature many decks on Deckible.com's about page
- We never show more than one deck per author
- We never show more than one deck per genre
- We show 4 decks at a time
And if you send people to Deckible, it’s fun feature your deck(s). Here’s how you can control the decks. Find your deck ID (each deck has a unique number).
When you view the deck, you can see the deck URL in the browser.
Then make a url like this.
If you have many decks you can include a comma separated list of upto 4 id’s. It won’t show draft decks.
Ensure you have both brackets and commas separated deck ids. eg https://www.deckible.com/about?decks=[221,233,140,38 ]
Any deck not specified will be random per above rules. And you want repeat your deck you can: https://www.deckible.com/about?decks=[221,221,221,221]
Domination in a single URL!
42 WAYS TO DECKBILE
We all know there's a deck for that, so were making a deck to prove the point.
We are creating a 42 card deck with Roger Overall who's the creator of Wine Un Notes. Why 42? Because there will be one card a day during the countdown.
And we all know the answer to everything is 42 (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Rules)
Roger is a funny, creative and a talented writer and also an artist. He's available for hire to take your deck or your newsletter to the next level.
ARE YOU POC
Let me know if you want your decks added to this genre.
ARE YOU LGBTIA+
Let me know if you want your decks added to this genre.
DESCRIBE YOUR DECK IN TEN SECONDS (AS AN MP3 / AUDIO TRACK).
I was speaking with Sarah Le-Fevre who runs https://ludogogy.co.uk/ about promoting decks. And she came up with a cool idea.
Who can make the best 10 second audio clip to sell their deck? Comment on Sarah's post on Linked. Or make your own. This is time to get noisy people.
Make one, share it and send us the MP3.
Short is best, so 10 seconds is better than 20. Force yourself to be high impact. Make every work count. Be clear and bold and brave. Have fun.
And ask yourself - will anyone want my deck from that description?
This is the best exercise you can ever perform. Don't rush to record it. Try it and iterate. Share it and test it with friends. Record it on your phone. See how you do.
Then send us your best shot. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
We want to make a compilation to share with the media as part of our marketing activity.
I get asked this question a lot!
We have a little more work to do on the marketplace.
We also have some highly requested features relating to spreads which we are evaluating. And Isaac has a cool idea that we want to implement.
That and most of you have taken longer to load your decks than expected.
And we have some surprises. Sometimes you've just got to save the best to last.
Do we are still probably 3 weeks from submitting to Google. So we still expect to release in August, And this is when the 42 countdown will begin
SPECIAL SHOUT OUT
I met Jennifer probably back in October. I bought a copy of her Postcard deck and she sent me a complimentary copy of her Quotables deck because the former got delayed. This is Jen's company - Experiential Design
The original postcard decks comes in a tin.
Johnny is her designer.
Well I just want to congratulate the two of them. They re-designed Quotables for Deckible and the new packaging emerged. Then as a consequence the packaging of the Pick a Postcard looked a little in need of some love and attention.
So here are the new decks. I've simply been the cheerleader.
I love my job. I think these two would win packaging awards.
Kudos to Jen and Johnny.
You will receive U7 on IOS/Android today
- You can hide Quick Draw on the homepage from setting (Cog - top right)
- You can flip all on the creating a spreads before you have selected the cards.
- After completing a spread you have Flip/Info mode (just like Freeform) and you can Flip all. Simple, powerful and much needed.
- We added markdown for Card and Deck descriptions - see above.
- Enjoy the new Checklists and the Community Page URLs
WRITING THESE UPDATES SLOWS ME DOWN
This process is really quite amusing. I've often gone off and written the code in order to make what I want to say become true.
The featured member on the community page is a good example
This is totally a labor of love.
Details matter. Finesse matters.
We are close.
I thank-you for your support
And don't forget our weekly Zoom calls on Weds.
IOS/Android access is explained here as are the details of the weekly calls.