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Basecamp Preview: Thoughtful Extras

15 Jan 2004 by Ryan Singer

In addition to Basecamp’s core features (like Posts, Milestones and To-Do lists) we’ve built in all sorts of thoughtful featurettes and extras that make managing your project easier.

Basecamp features discussion threads (more to come on that soon) but what if you need to connect with a team member one-on-one? Check out the “Who’s Talking” sidebar (below left) that appears next to each thread. Phone, email, and IM info is available at a glance for each person participating in the conversation.

Screenshot of sidebars and flags

Two important questions in any project are “What’s the latest?” and “Where are we behind?”. Basecamp grabs your eye with “NEW”, “TODAY” and “LATE” flags (above right) to call out new posts or Milestones you’ve missed.

Basecamp also knows file formats. Links to files in your posts are automatically given a proper icon:

Icons Screenshot

And, of course, you can customize Basecamp’s appearance. Choose from a variety of color schemes or specify your own — right down to the link color:

Color schemes screenshot

Be sure to sign up for our mailing list to be notified when Basecamp launches.

33 comments so far (Post a Comment)

16 Jan 2004 | vaughn said...

Looking good, although regarding the file extension icons: Many projects I have worked with use irregular file formats, such as .plp or .mp. How would Basecamp handle these?

16 Jan 2004 | Clint Ecker said...

Man, I hope this costs less than $30 :)

16 Jan 2004 | JF said...

Many projects I have worked with use irregular file formats, such as .plp or .mp. How would Basecamp handle these?

Two ways. 1. If Basecamp doesn't recognize the file format, it will use a generic icon. 2. You send us an icon (and the .xxx extension) for a specific file format and we'll add it to the list.

16 Jan 2004 | Noel D. Jackson said...

You could also put a link for the AIM accounts, for those that have AIM (or a clone) installed, they would just have to click and chat.

16 Jan 2004 | pb said...

That reminds me of a friend at an agency who made up a new file extension because it seemed more impressive to the client!

16 Jan 2004 | Doesn't Get It said...

Check out the “Who’s Talking” sidebar (below left) that appears next to each thread.

I don't get it. How does the system know "who's talking"? What do you count as a "conversation"? And what does the "Comments by" section mean? Where's the thread? Help!!!

16 Jan 2004 | JF said...

I don't get it. How does the system know "who's talking"? What do you count as a "conversation"? And what does the "Comments by" section mean? Where's the thread? Help!!!

I'm not sure if you're playin' or not, but here the answer...

Basecamp knows who's talking because you're logged in. A conversation is a blog-like exchange (posts and comments). For example, this post would be a conversation and I'd be talking, you'd be commenting, pb would be commenting, Noel D. Jackson would be commenting, etc.

16 Jan 2004 | Gets It Now said...

I wasn't playing but now I get it. Thanks!

I hope that's not your real phone number by the way. It looks too real.

16 Jan 2004 | Gets It Now said...

How about "Who's Online" or "Who's Talking Online"? Just a thought.

16 Jan 2004 | Ryan Thrash said...

Or just "Participants"

16 Jan 2004 | JP said...

Basecamp knows who's talking because you're logged in. A conversation is a blog-like exchange (posts and comments). For example, this post would be a conversation and I'd be talking, you'd be commenting, pb would be commenting, Noel D. Jackson would be commenting, etc.

So the "Who's talking" and "Comments by:" sections only appear alongside individual Posts (associated with Milestones)? It's like a quick way to see all of the contact info for the participants of a Post, right?

How is this info displayed alongside/instead of other information like the To Do sidebar and calendar?

(Can you tell I'm anxious to see the live application?)

16 Jan 2004 | JF said...

So the "Who's talking" and "Comments by:" sections only appear alongside individual Posts (associated with Milestones)? It's like a quick way to see all of the contact info for the participants of a Post, right?

Yes, although posts don't have to be associated with Milestones. In fact, most posts will not be associated with Milestones. But, of course it's up to you how you use Basecamp. Think simple.

How is this info displayed alongside/instead of other information like the To Do sidebar and calendar?

It's not because it's not relevant there. There's a "contacts" tab if you ever need to see contact information.

You'll see. Coming soon.

16 Jan 2004 | Jon Gales said...

"I hope that's not your real phone number by the way. It looks too real."

Why wouldn't it be? I'm sure Jason would like to be called for new projects. Business line for sure though.

And just to make my point, it is. The power of a quick search :)

16 Jan 2004 | pinder said...

according to a recent report from Jupiter Research "Undertaking personalisation can quadruple site operations costs, with little measurable upside." but then again, if it's only colours, its pretty easy to do with css.

16 Jan 2004 | markb said...

Pinder, personalization is different than customization. If I want to use Basecamp for client projects, then customization is a requirement. Allowing individual visitors to personalize their view of the site is superfluous fluff.

16 Jan 2004 | JF said...

A word about customization...

The name "Basecamp" or "37signals" will not appear anywhere in the app itself. Your clients will have no idea what "Basecamp" is or who "37signals" is. You'll be able to name the system (Our Company's Client Extranet, for example), change the colors so they reflect your brand, upload your logo, and upload the logos for each of your clients.

16 Jan 2004 | Gilbert said...

The name "Basecamp" or "37signals" will not appear anywhere in the app itself. Your clients will have no idea what "Basecamp" is or who "37signals" is.

Nice. So is this going to be hosted by you folks or is this a "downloadable" web app?

16 Jan 2004 | JF said...

Nice. So is this going to be hosted by you folks or is this a "downloadable" web app?

Basecamp will launch as a hosted app (like how TypePad or InkNoise works). Hassle-free, no install, no maintenance -- it will just work. You can honestly be using it in about 2 minutes after hitting the sign-up page. And, once you are signed up, setting up new project on it requires you to fill out 2 fields. That's it.

We may eventually release it as a downloadable and installable-on-your-sever package, but I can't say anything more about that at this time. If in the future you switch from the hosted service to the installed-on-your-server product, we will be able to move your data over no problem, so there's no reason not to get started now (when it's launched, that is).

More soon.

16 Jan 2004 | Hagbard Celine said...

Just curious if you've already determined pricing structures or if that's a work in progress.

Any idea when you'd be ready to disclose such structures?

18 Jan 2004 | LBT said...

I've got to say this looks very impressive. Can't wait to see it. I've been jonsing for a simple project management app that gets the basics right. Hopefully this is it.

18 Jan 2004 | James said...

37signals rocks so hard it hurts.

19 Jan 2004 | Krause said...

So what about pricing? Since it's hosted, are we talking a monthly fee? Yearly? Or?

19 Jan 2004 | Scott said...

37signals rocks so hard it hurts.

Ain't that the truth!

Looking good guys, anxiously awaiting to try this baby out.

19 Jan 2004 | gianni said...

Here at my daytime job, alienware, our 10 man design team has been going nuts to put together a project managment solution that is easy and intuitive... You need to make a corp edition.

19 Jan 2004 | JF said...

You need to make a corp edition.

Meaning?

20 Jan 2004 | gianni said...

An email that I sent you guys said the pricing will be based on a certain amout of projects. But in a corp environment with a 10 man design team projects can reach in the 100s.

There should be a standalone edition that can be installed on a corp server and be able to handle an unlimited number of projects. This would be a great alternate, custom solution for bigger companies seeking a simple and easy to use project management software, like basecamp. Thanks.

20 Jan 2004 | RS said...

But in a corp environment with a 10 man design team projects can reach in the 100s.

That's no problem -- our pricing structure has a tier for unlimited projects. More on that later.

23 Jan 2004 | gianni said...

Thanks for all the answers. I am looking foward to using the system for my freelance business and maybe guiding my daytime employer to use it as well. You should check out another great online app that I have been using that in combination with base camp makes a killer combo. The app is called Billing Orchard (www.billingorchard.com) and is a very simple and intuitive billing solution for developers and designers. No fluff very much 37signals ideology.

And no I have not been paid to say the above... just thought others might be interested...

Also if you guys where to improve upon the ability to do simple online billing, tied into your basecamp app as a module, you could have an alacarte system. Some people would need just the project management software, some would need just the billing and some would need both... I would stop using billingorchard if 37signals where to create an online billing solution...

Again keep it up!!!! You guys are great.

23 Jan 2004 | Lee said...

Hello,
will this app have a trouble ticket system where clients can record an issue/problem and be given a ticket number etc - Then check back/be emailed about updates? And what's the cost of the app?


Thanks
Lee

23 Jan 2004 | JF said...

will this app have a trouble ticket system where clients can record an issue/problem and be given a ticket number etc - Then check back/be emailed about updates?

Not in the initial release, no. But, you can do something very similar with simple posting/commenting.

And what's the cost of the app?

Coming soon.

24 Jan 2004 | Keir said...

If basecamp is able to appear "company branded", i.e. no mention of 37signals or basecamp, I assume it will be able to handle domain mapping. Will you offer this registration and set up as part of the service? Be great if you could.

26 Jan 2004 | billige flüge said...

i hoe also too that it would not be to expensive

27 Jan 2004 | JF said...

If basecamp is able to appear "company branded", i.e. no mention of 37signals or basecamp, I assume it will be able to handle domain mapping. Will you offer this registration and set up as part of the service? Be great if you could

We will not be offering domain mapping. At least not at the start. The domains we'll be offering are nice, neutral project management-related domains such as:

clientsection.com
updatelog.com
projectpath.com
grouphub.com

and so on.

Comments on this post are closed

 
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