Archive for the 'Miscellaneous' Category

Important security news from Doodle

April 10, 2014

Earlier this week a vulnerability in the OpenSSL library was disclosed. Doodle uses this library to encrypt data transmissions like many other Internet services. Therefore Doodle might be affected by this issue. Learn more about the vulnerability on heartbleed.com.

First and foremost we want to express that all Doodle systems have been updated after the disclosure and the issue is therefore resolved on doodle.com.

There are no signs that the vulnerability was exploited to tap into Doodle’s data transmissions. However, due to the nature of the vulnerability this cannot be completely ruled out, though.

We want to emphasize that NO credit card data could have leaked via Doodle as this data is sent directly to our billing provider from your browser.

As a precaution we recommend that you reset your passwords and reconnect your calendars:

Do not hesitate to contact our support team in case you have any questions.

Doodle Mug Design Contest Winners

February 17, 2014

We received hundreds of creative submissions for our Doodle Mug Design Contest, but in the end, the Doodle team could only choose two winners:

“Scheduling with Doodle is like reading minds, without the weirdness.” – Jill Pittman

“Scheduling without Doodle is like waking up without coffee.” – Luc Puis

Congratulations to both of the winners! They’ll each receive a $250 Amazon.com gift card, a 1-year Premium Doodle Solo account, and a set of the mugs.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Doodle Mug Winners

New management, same Doodle

January 7, 2014

2014 will bring some changes to Doodle: Both founders (Michael Näf and Paul E. Sevinç) will step down during the next couple of months and let a new team take charge.

On February 1st, Michael Brecht will join the Doodle team as the new CEO and lead the company with a management team consisting of current Doodle employees.

Also during 2014, Switzerland’s largest media group Tamedia, which already owns a 49% stake in Doodle, will acquire the majority of the company and invest to further fuel Doodle’s international growth.

What will change for you as a Doodle user? Nothing.

15 million people worldwide use Doodle on a monthly basis. They will all be able to continue using Doodle: The core group scheduling product, the premium experience with additional functionality, the 1:1 scheduling tool (MeetMe), and the customer appointment solution (BookMe).

The new management team behind Doodle

Doodle’s new CEO, Michael Brecht, has more than 20 years of experience in the IT and online world and has held several international positions: As a Managing Director at Germany-based CompuNet, he was responsible for building the UK business. After that, he founded urbia.com, an online portal for families and children, which was later acquired by media house Gruner & Jahr. After living in Australia for several years, Brecht founded and led 52weine.de, a shopping club for wine lovers.

In his new role, Brecht will be working closely with Doodle’s management team, which has had a major impact in many of Doodle’s past successes: He will work closely with VP of Sales Tiziano Obrecht, VP of Product Management Malte Schiebelmann, and VP of Engineering Christoph Bäni, who will take over all things technology from Paul E. Sevinç.

Doodle’s founders, Michael Näf and Paul E. Sevinç, are happy about the handover: “We have been privileged to build a great team and – together with it – a profitable, growing, international business. Now it’s time for us to leave and let new people take charge. We’re sure that Doodle will break many more records in the future, and our users can keep relying on the best scheduling service.”

Michael Näf and Paul E. Sevinç

Michael Näf and Paul E. Sevinç

Michael Brecht

Michael Brecht

Tiziano Obrecht

Tiziano Obrecht

Malte Schiebelmann

Malte Schiebelmann

Christoph Bäni

Christoph Bäni

Doodle Mug Design Contest: Scheduling without Doodle is like … #DoodleMug

December 17, 2013

We want to create a (our first!) Doodle Mug, and we’d like your help! Our team will be designing the mug, but we need suggestions for the text that will be on it. There will be two mugs:

Mug “w/”:
“Scheduling with Doodle is like ___________”

Mug “w/o”:
“Scheduling without Doodle is like ___________”

If you have some clever ideas for one or both of those phrases, then we want to hear from you!

To submit your suggestion, please send a tweet using the hashtag #DoodleMug and cc @doodletweet and tell us what it is. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2014, and we’ll announce the two winners shortly after that time. Each winner will receive a $250 Amazon.com gift card, a 1-year Premium Doodle Solo account, and — of course — a free set of mugs. Both winners will also have their Twitter account names included somewhere in the design, and the mugs will be available for anyone who would like to purchase one.

We can’t wait to see your suggestions!

Scheduling with or without Doodle

Study reveals time spent with scheduling

July 8, 2013

Is it possible to save time while scheduling by using an online scheduling tool such as Doodle rather than alternative tools such as phone calls, email, etc.? Many of you who have used an online scheduling tool would likely say that it is definitely possible, but an experimental study that was performed for a Bachelor’s thesis at ETH Zurich has provided data to support this point.

For this experiment, a group of 96 people were selected to use Doodle and alternative scheduling tools to setup a private dinner with 4-6 participants, a business meeting with 6-8 participants, and a private dinner with 10-15 participants.

General scheduling results

Included below are the general results that were observed regarding overall scheduling behavior.

Iterations
Estimated average
Time needed
Estimated average
Private Dinner – 4-6 Participants 8-12 14-17 minutes
Business Meeting – 6-8 Participants 12-16 20-25 minutes
Private Dinner – 10-15 Participants 10-15 46-50 minutes

The back and forth communication is the most substantial time killer while scheduling, and the number of iterations and time needed grow right along with the number of participants. It was also noted that gender, age, and education have no impact on the time that it takes to get something scheduled.

Detailed scheduling results  

The following data highlights the differences in relation to the amount of time that is needed for scheduling when using Doodle instead of alternative scheduling tools.

scheduling_02

Time needed without Doodle
Estimated average
Time needed with Doodle
Estimated average
Private Dinner – 4-6 Participants 20-25 minutes 5-10 minutes
Business Meeting – 6-8 Participants 26-30 minutes 13-17 minutes
Private Dinner – 10-15 Participants 90-120 minutes 31-35 minutes

As you can see, Doodle users schedule smaller meetings in less than half the time that is required by people who use other tools, and on average, they save about a quarter of an hour (11-15 minutes).

Even more time is saved in larger groups. For example, a meeting/event with 10-15 participants can be scheduled in approximately 30 minutes with Doodle while non-Doodle users need 1 1/2 to 2 hours to do the same thing.

So the next time that you think you’re saving time with Doodle, you’ll know that it’s not just in your head!

Global collaboration on Elance enabled through Doodle

March 20, 2013

Each day thousands of freelancers and businesses work together on Elance – the world’s leading platform for online work. Meetings are arranged. Time zones are crossed. Deadlines are met.

Elance logoCompanies come to Elance with projects they need completed, posting their jobs online. Online freelancers with the skills to perform the jobs learn about the opportunities and submit proposals for the project.

This gives businesses a global pool of talents to select from, and freelancers a way of escaping their local economy. This happens while they’re accessing a more mobile lifestyle, working with clients who don’t judge them on where they’re from or how they dress – but strictly focusing on the quality of work they deliver.

One big global collaboration every day

To make this work, Elance provides an online work platform where each collaboration has its own online workroom. In this workroom files can be shared, feedback can be delivered, to-do lists made, video conferences held, screens shared and much more.

But as people are creative and continuously seek ways of optimizing their work, what we see on Elance is that they also utilize other tools to perfect the collaboration between the hiring business and the freelancer. One of the most popular tools is Doodle.

Doodle enables collaboration

As Elance is a global platform where people from all over the world work together every day, one of the challenges is to overcome time zone differences. We see projects every day where several workers from several countries and time zones have to speak together to define projects, set milestones and give feedback.

Doodle works well in solving this challenge as:

  • Doodle offers time-zone support
  • Doodle offers multi-user participation in scheduling
  • Doodle offers multi timeslot suggestions

Elance offers a way for companies to work different and be more successful. Access to the best workers is no longer a challenge, as more than 2 million freelancers are ready to tackle your next job today. It’s now possible to focus on what you’re best at, and then offer the other projects to talented freelancers. This includes jobs that you don’t have enough time to do, or projects you need a specialist to perform. With Elance, you can follow your passion and help others follow theirs. Doodle is an important contributor to enable this global collaboration.

About the Author: Kjetil Olsen is Elance’s Vice President for Europe.

Daylight Saving Time Explained

March 6, 2013

Many–if not most–regions of the world use daylight saving time (summer time) for about half a year. For example, Eastern Standard Time (EST), which is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) minus 5 hours (GMT-5:00), becomes Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), which is GMT minus 4 hours (GMT-4:00); and the time in Western Europe (e.g., Zurich) goes from GMT+1:00 to GMT+2:00.

When creating a Doodle poll, the poll creator can set a time zone so that the times she chooses for the poll options are with respect to that time zone. However, Doodle seems to only offer time zones for winter time. For example, “(GMT-5:00) EST” is available, but “(GMT-4:00) EDT” seems not to be; “(GMT+1:00) Zurich” is available, but “(GMT+2:00) Zurich” seems not to be. Furthermore, a poll’s options might feature both dates that lie in winter time and dates that lie in summer time.

So what are poll creators and poll participants supposed to do? First and foremost, don’t worry! Simply choose the “normal” time zone for your region without concern for the current time or the dates & times of the respective poll. For example, a user in New York always chooses “(GMT-5:00) EST” while a user in Zurich always chooses “(GMT+1:00) Zurich”. Behind the curtain, Doodle (or rather the Java platform that Doodle is based on) does its summer-time magic if need be.

Here’s an example: http://doodle.com/ehbn7guem4tq4m4f. A company with an office in New York and an office in Zurich wants all employees to be on a conference call. An employee from the New York office sets a Doodle poll up, always suggesting 9 to 11 AM.

Example poll set to New York time

Most of the year, the time difference between New York and Zurich is 6 hours (GMT-5 -> GMT+1 or GMT-4 -> GMT+2), so 9 to 11 AM typically becomes 3 to 5 PM. However, daylight saving time begins one week earlier in New York and ends one week later, so for two weeks per year, the time difference is only 5 hours (GMT-4 -> GMT+1) and 9 to 10 AM becomes 2 to 4 PM during those two weeks (cf. March 11 and 13 as well as October 28 and 30).

Example poll set to Zurich time

None of the users has to worry about that, either, as Doodle takes care of any and all necessary conversions. And everybody is on the same call at the right time!

Doodle polls reveal how culture impacts online collaboration

February 20, 2013

A recent research project by representatives from Harvard and the University of Zurich has uncovered some interesting details about the way in which various cultures impact international collaboration on the Internet.

To investigate the influence of national culture on people’s scheduling behavior, the team analyzed more than 1.5 million anonymized  meeting polls from 211 countries that were initiated on Doodle.

Here are just some of the highlights from the comprehensive project:

  • People from countries with strong economies schedule more meetings.
  • Countries that plan their events far in advance (such as Switzerland and Germany) take the most time to respond and decide on a time.
  • In comparison to individualist societies (such as the US), community-oriented countries (such as China and Japan) respond to meeting polls earlier and make more of an effort to select times that will work for the entire group.
  • Only 2% of meeting polls contain 5, 10, or 15 minute meeting time options (such as 4:15 PM).

The full report can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/DoodlePaper-pdf.

Do the results match your experiences?

Doodle crosses the 15M user mark

January 14, 2013
We’ve reached yet another milestone: Doodle is now seeing 15 million users each month. Hence, our userbase has grown by around 50% since the end of 2011. We’re very happy to have reached this mark. It also shows the continued need for simple, usable solutions in the online scheduling space.
This new user milestone gets 2013 off to a good start — and it is a good opportunity to quick look back at a couple of highlights from 2012:
  • BookMe – New service that helps service providers streamline their booking process online
  • New iPad/iPhone App – Developed to support the increase in popularity of mobile scheduling:
  • Initiators Survey – International survey reveals that Doodle’s users are very active
  • Doodle Snapshot – Contest featuring pictures of events scheduled with Doodle
  • Doodle Unplugged – New scheduling product from Doodle runs on a piece of paper
We’re looking forward to an exciting Doodle year with all of you!
Source: Google Analytics

How to integrate your Facebook events with Doodle

January 3, 2013

Integrating your Facebook events in Doodle can have two major advantages:

  • You get reminded of events you might want or plan to attend while scheduling.
  • You prevent scheduling some other event/meeting when one of your Facebook events takes place.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Register for a (free!) Doodle account, if you don’t have one yet: http://doodle.com/open.
  2. Visit your Facebook events list: https://www.facebook.com/events/list.
  3. Click on the cogwheel in the upper right corner and select “Export”.
  4. Choose either your friends’ birthdays or upcoming events (or both, if you wish), right-click on the respective link and choose “copy link address”.
  5. Visit the calendar settings in your Doodle account: https://doodle.com/mydoodle/manageAccount.html#calendars.
  6. Paste the link you copied above into the “calendar feed URLs” textfield.
  7. Make sure to replace the “webcal:” at the very beginning of the URL with “http:”.
  8. Click “Add”.

From now on, whenever you create a new scheduling poll or participate in a poll, you can choose to use the calendar view and have your Facebook events displayed.

Please let us know if you use this feature or if some other form of Facebook integration might make sense for you.

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