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Monday, April 02, 2007

Play Ball! PitchWire's opening day

Today's opening day in MLB and while I'm sure this is finally "next year" for my beloved Indians, today is also opening day for PitchWire. PitchWire is my latest business venture, a product that will help redefine the relationship between publicists and influencers (journalist, analysts, and bloggers).

The basic premise is that influencers are pitched via email quite a bit and dealing with that volume of information is difficult for a couple of reasons:

  1. A large segment of email pitches (about 65%) are not relevant to where an influencer's interests lie.
  2. Email is broken for managing processes, like the development of a story idea between two parties.

You can check it out here: http://www.pitchwire.com

As you might imagine the site is built entirely on rails (1.1.6 at the moment) and makes use of some of the following wonderful plugins:

I'm also using YUI grids as the basis of my app's layout. It does a pretty good job of working the same across browsers. The only problem I've run into really was IE6 and min-width which I managed to fix with a hack.

I also make heavy use of a modified version of Lightbox gone wild. I'm basically using this as a modal dialog for my app in numerous places instead of either going to a new page or showing an inline div which has it's problems when you're trying to edit form items. More about my usage in rails can be found in this blog post.

And finally I also use really easy field validation with Prototype for my client side validation. It's really easy to add your own custom validations for the fields in your form.

I've blogged about some of the above in the past but I may get into a little more detail about how to extend and use some of these various plugins if you want to achieve some of the same results that I have in the PitchWire app. In the end there's certainly more ways than one to achieve some of what I've done and in fact I may find that there may be a better way (perhaps using the YUI widget library more extensively) but as it is now I've got all the pieces to a small app framework that allows me to easily whip up editable lists using dialogs as well as sortable, searchable, filterable, paginated tables.

I looked into the various autogeneration projets (streamlined specifically) but at the time I started building my app nothing was really there yet for my needs. I suspect the landscape is much better these days and I'll have a look to see if there's anything out there that I can use in conjunction with or as a replacement for what I have now.


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