Levitada ~ a tool designed for us


#1

sorry, long posting: executive summary = take a look at http://www.levitada.com (read “About”, “How it Works”, “FAQ”)

details below describe http://www.levitada.com, a tool I made for us to use:

the problem:
We want a way to swap Proofgrade materials once our “thanks for waiting” box of goodies arrives.
Some of us will want a lot of veneer but have no use for leather. Others of us will want a lot of leather but have no use for veneer.
How do we find each other? This forum is great for a lot of things, but it would be a cumbersome place to make these exchanges.

another problem:
There are so many highly skilled artists here who are incredibly generous. They’re posting Vector Graphics free for us to use. I want to find them.
Again, this forum is a bit cumbersome - I want to be able to use a search tool so I can filter by category, search by keyword, and see the results as thumbnails.

and another problem:
I’m getting rid of stuff to make room for GF materials.
I’ve got yarn, fabric, and paper crafting supplies I no longer use, and they’re too good to throw away and useless to Goodwill.
I want them to go to knitters, quilters, and paper crafters who will put them to good use.
I’ve also got a lot of finished hand-crafted items that I want to go to fundraisers, but I’m not hooked-in to local schools/PTA’s, band boosters, scout groups, dance troops, etc. who would like them as fundraiser (auction or raffle) donations. They need me, but they don’t know about me. I need them, but I don’t know about them.

and a wish:
I’d love to get my hands on scrap proofgrade wood and/or veneer, just to feel it before my GF arrives. I hope there are beta and pre-release glowfolk who’ve got scraps to give, or even better, extra “rough draft” items they want to give away. I hope when I get my glowforge I’ll have lots of “made on a GF” items to give away.

the solution (humbly, I hope ) = http://www.Levitada.com
Levitada is an online marketplace that I just created, designed specifically with Glowfolk in mind (though, hopefully useful for others) to solve the above problems. It is, and always will be, free to use: no ads, no fees, no spam. ever. (simply because I hate seeing ads on sites, paying fees, or wondering if the sites are selling my email addr, so I will never do those things, esp on a site which is all about celebrating Making and Giving freely.) I’ve got a good “day job” so I’m willing to fund the site. The only other funds will come from donations, details here: http://levitada.com/Donate.html (donations are not tax deductible b/c I don’t want to take the time to create a 501c3 - at least not until I see if this site has value. As mentioned, I have a “day job” therefore limited time to spend on this, and creating a 501c3 is a huge undertaking :slight_smile:

How Levitada solves the first problem: swapping Proofgrade materials:
Sign in, post a listing under the category “Proofgrade Materials” specifying either “Whole Sheets” or “Scraps”. In the description, say what it is (leather? walnut veneer?). If you’re hoping for a swap, put your desired “I’d like to swap it for xyz” in the description. Wait for requests to come in. Use whatever criteria you want to choose who to swap with or give to. Maybe you’ll discover someone close enough geographically to make an in-person hand off. (The site has a “search by location” feature to help in this.) Or, negotiate shipping, etc.

How Levitada solves the second problem: finding free Vector graphics, using keyword searches and seeing results as thumbnails:
Sign in, post the listing under “Graphics” specifying one of the subcategories. In the description and title, add keywords that will make it easy for users to find the graphic you’re giving away, ex: “grayscale horse in a landscape” or whatever. Also say what the file type is (ex: SVG) and maybe the tool where you created it (ex: Inkscape). Upload some thumbnails showing the graphic. For the “type of graphic” choose “Raster” or “Vector” for “types included” (sometimes, as in the case of .zip files, you’ll check both). (The FAQ links to places which do a good job of spelling out the difference between vectors and rasters - do a youtube search for good explanations). Sadly, you can’t upload a file to the marketplace, but in the description, you can link to it wherever you’ve put it on the internet (including here in the forum? maybe?). When others of us login, we can click the Graphics category and do keyword searches. The results are shown as the thumbnails you put in the listing.

How Levitada solves the third problem: getting hand made items or supplies/materials into the hands of people who will want them or to charities that can use them for fundraising
When you post listings, you can choose “Willing to Give to” : Only Individuals, Only Charities, or Both Individuals and Charities. You can also make listings under the Category “Supplies and Tools” and choose one of the subcategories, ex: “For Paper Crafts”.

How Levitada can make my wish come true: giving and receiving GF made items
When you go to Levitada, scroll down until you see the big, green “Update View” button. Just above it, there is a checkbox you can check to filter search results so that you can find just items “Made on a Glowforge”. When you list items to give away, you can check “Made on a Glowforge”.

I hope you will find this useful. The artistry, craftsmanship, and generosity I’ve seen here in the forum really was an inspiration for creating Levitada. You are such an amazing group, I’m humbled and honored to be part of it. (Lucky for me that the only criterion for joining was buying a GF, otherwise, I don’t know that I could live up to the high standards here!) :glowforge::heart_eyes: :bow:


Off topic - calling Pacific NW artists
Weekly Highlights for the Week Ending February 25th, 2017
Levitada video on YouTube
#2

Really good idea. I know there’s also some of us who would be willing to buy the gift certificates that are coming with our GFs - folks in other countries may not find the value due to the cost of shipping but a Paypal is international border friendly :slight_smile: Adding a gift card exchange/purchase area would be a good place to bring the buyers & sellers together for those.


#3

Wow, what an amazing and generous gesture! Your timing is uncanny… I was just rummaging around in my studio and thinking how great it would be to be able to share and trade supplies!

Grinning from ear to ear :grin:


#4

This topic Off Topic: what makes you famous? mentions teachers in a few places… I’m planning to (eventually) “evangelize” levitada here in my local community so that someday, teachers nearby can take and put to good use a lot of my art/craft supplies that are just taking up space.


#5

GET…OUT!!!

You’re awesome.

Bookmarked


#6

Neat. Is it functional now? I’ve signed up, but no confirmation email yet.


#7

yes, it should be up and working, but I’m not seeing you as a user yet… the admin@levitada.com email shows that you still need to confirm your eml addr. I’ll send you an eml to the addr you signed up with - if you don’t get that soonish then shoot me an email directly to admin@levitada.com, and we’ll get it figured out :slight_smile:


#8

I got my confirmation within a minute of signing up & that was followed by a welcome message from @cynzu as well :slightly_smiling_face:


#9

Brilliant - well done for getting this together - it is just what we need


#10

Fantastic. Thank you so much for putting this together! It looks great and it’s great that you’ve made it so easy to give back.


#11

thanks, the problem was on my end, kind of.
Apparently that email address was set to an arbitrary limit of 250mb, and I guess I had passed that last week. Switched it over to unlimited size. Re-sent the email and it arrived right away. Sweet!


#12

great idea, and I’m thinking through how to make this happen. Right now, the site is sorta “fraud-proof” because people just give things away. Here, in the GF owners’ forum, we’ve built up a lot of trust, but Levitada is open to others… Maybe I’ll make a new “category” on Levitada just for the gift cards, and since all the “exchanges” happen over private communication, those wanting to pay-pal purchase the gift cards can maybe agree to PM each other here in the forum to exchange pay-pal email account info, etc. Stay tuned. I’ll post back after giving this some thought and setting something up - suggestions are welcome :slight_smile:


#13

First of all thank you so much for putting this together.
Totally awesome as is but I’d love to see a category to give, trade, barter related services. For instance I can 3d print and cnc small wood items but sometimes need someone with a HD or industrial sewing machine.


#14

:squee::pancake::hedgie:

Joined and bookmarked - thanks for setting this up!!!


#15

done! I took a guess at sub-categories, so please chime in with more suggestions.

oh, and once you offer the service, I’d love to request a 3D print of an “action figure” of a coworker - we call him “Leather Man” b/c he rides his motorcycle to work everyday (yes, even all winter long in the rain - makes for interesting “wet spot” rain, leather chaps, etc.), so we want an action figure of him in his motorcycle-leathers, long gray ponytail, etc. :nerd:


#16

Great idea - the UI looks fantastic as well, so easy to use.

I hope it takes off internationally not just in the US.

How do you expect delivery to work? Maybe worth adding expected delivery cost and/or pick-up only, etc.


#17

thx - I’ll take credit for the name of the site and the little logo. I’m very proud of the green little sphere with the shadow. I made it in Inkscape. Great Inkscape tutorials by this guy on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxcbUX4J6rk… my little sphere is a much simplified version! I also picked out the font in the logo all by myself.

My ui design skills generally suck, so really the credit for the site design goes to Sharetribe.com. I didn’t write any of the code. Their product is quite easy to use, and I agree it has a great ui!


So, Day Two and this happened
#18

That’s pretty tricky. In the FAQ I explain that the “giver” and the “receiver” need to work that out between them.

I too hope that the site takes off far and wide, but I think the real “magic” will happen if local communities get artists and charities together into little pockets of critical-mass.

I’m planning on contacting local arts groups here in Olympia, WA in the hopes that we’ll get tons of artists donating stuff, so that lots of local charities can “shop” for donations and if all is local, then it will be easy to make hand-offs. You can’t spit in Olympia without hitting 87 painters, 30 quilters, 22 jewelry makers, and 3 polymer clay artists, so I have high hopes that these groups will want to swap materials with each other and will see Levitada as a useful tool for doing that.

My really big dream, though, is to get everyone in Olympia who is an artist of any kind (that’s the entire population down here) to commit to donate at least one work of art to one local charity a year. What a lot of good we could do… but, don’t get me started. I’m still drafting that email to the leader of our local arts council.

Thanks so much to all here who are showing great support for the site. If you want to help get a local critical-mass pocket o’ magic happening in your own local community, feel free to distribute, print, etc. one of the flyers below:


#19

This is so exciting and fun… I can hardly wait to try it out! Thank you so much for doing this and for making the site so easily navigable and user friendly. :relaxed:


#20

Awesome idea, and just in time for me to clean up my craft room! Thanks!