Shopping in your Store

Short story on the evolution of libraries and stores

Before the 1800s, books were kept in libraries and bookstores, the librarian (and owner, usually the same person) would more or less know what books they have, and where they were.

As more and more books were kept in one place, you couldn’t rely on their memory. So the Dewey Decimal Classification was established so that librarians could organize their books, and customers walk in and have an easier time finding books by following conventions.

These conventions are heavily biased, because of the nature of the libraries they were created for. For example, Christianity holds 70 classes (#220-#289) in the system, while all Indian religions hold one (#294).

Amazon, eBay came along, and now the online store organizes and categorizes each item as they please. In fact, one same book could be in several “aisles”, such as business, motivation, and fiction. This applies to most stores, and not just libraries. For example a “digital camera” can be under consumer electronics, photography, and entertainment.

Searching is also available. Customers know what they want, and can quickly search without needing to consult a librarian to get a list of all possible items. As searching and categorizing go online, the store is less and less in charge of organizing and categorizing the data, and the user can create their online store to their specifications.

The customer organizes the store, filters the products, and shops in their own store.


Minglle as an Online Store

Minglle brings together the list of people in an event to one place. In essence, a user is in that event wants to find somebody. This is parallel to shopping. When on Minglle, you are on an online store of people, companies, skill sets.

As the next generation of online stores, Minglle needs to be simple enough for the user to find the person without help of a librarian.

In designing Minglle, we keep in mind that the user needs to be in charge of the organization of their “online store”, of the categories they want people in, and filters for each.