The story of Shiny New Toy actually starts with the U.S. space program. Holly and I worked together at NASA Ames Research Center from 2003 to 2007. We were a web operations, design, and development team creating web application for business processes and sharing information within the enterprise. During that time, we embraced the open source software movement, adopted the interface evolutions of AJAX, and the power and possibilities of the collaborative, social web.
One of our most exciting moments at NASA came when we produced the first official public NASA blog – http://center.arc.nasa.gov. This experience has informed much of our thinking on the best practices for developing and deploying enterprise social web projects.
In the spring of 2007, Holly left NASA Ames for a job at Hot Studio. The following October, I left for a position at Stanford University. We remained in touch and often found ourselves sharing ideas, pointing each other to interesting things on the web, and brainstorming fun ideas. As we continued to talk, it was obvious that shared many of the same creative goals.
Additionally, interesting projects kept crossing out paths and we decided to join forces once again in the winter of 2008.