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Double, Double Toil and Trouble

(Blog title: Shakespeare reference, Olsen Twins movie, or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban score track #5? You decide.)

AddThis has offices in Washington, DC and New York City, both of which were hit by now infamous Hurricane Sandy this week. While NYC is still in the dark (and we’re thinking about them every day!) that didn’t stop some A-Teamers here at AddThis HQ from getting in the Halloween spirit yesterday, as well as some members in our LA office and other remote locales.

Our 2nd Annual Halloween costume contest saw a variety of crazy characters. Three of the “best dressed” won prizes in the following categories:

  • Funniest
  • Scariest
  • Most Creative

AND THE WINNERS ARE …

Jeannie in LA won Funniest with her hilarious Stewie outfit:

Will in LA won Scariest with his impersonation of Tony Montana from Scarface:

And Leiser from AT:HQ won Most Creative with her interpretation of a “data dump”:

Congratulations to you all!

And in the name of honorable mentions, here are some more photos of the wacky Wednesday wear:

Tiffany as Janet Jackson in the Control era, Kori as Penny Lane from Almost Famous, Collin as an AddThis “adult publisher” and there’s that data dump lady again!

Stephen as Magnum PI!

Paul as Superman and his superdog!

Joe, from our NYC office, is Frankenstorm/NYC reporter. Sandy can’t mess with our sense of humor!

Tracy was a cowgirl and her horse.

Natalija as a “Roman” Goddess … every other day she’s just a regular goddess. :)

Does this look like fun?! If so, check out our open positions! If it’s not your cup of tea, don’t worry, it’s not mandatory to dress up on Halloween. :)

October Hackathon 2012: Robotics for the Remote Worker and Plenty of Plants

Another successful AddThis Hackathon is in the books! We measure the success of a Hackathon in a few different ways:

For those not familiar with hackathons, they are our 24-hour sprints of innovation. A-Teamers group up, or work alone, on a new project outside of what they are currently working on in their day-to-day. The energy surrounding a hackathon is always fun and familial. They are a very important part of the AddThis culture.

WINNER: Telepresence Roomba Robot

The winning project of this installment of all-night coding was quite impressive. The team went out to solve a common challenge we face at AddThis. Since we have multiple offices across the country, sometimes communicating and collaborating requires extra effort. So, the team created a telepresence robot using a Roomba, a MacBook Air, foamcore and a rocket launcher. And the entire thing was controlled from a Google Hangout! See it in action:

Congratulations to the winning team! It was well deserved.

Honorable Mention: AddThis Garden

The unofficial “runners-up” also deserve Earth Day Award 2012. “AddThis Plant” went on a mission to “green” our new HQ office in Virginia. It is an extensive project of plant growing, caring and loving with the end goal to have a nice array of beautiful oxygen-producing decorations for our work space. Check them out:

And those are just the official winners! There were many other brilliant and noteworthy projects that did not go unnoticed or under-appreciated. Some of which will be used to make everyday AddThis processes more efficient — a win all by itself!

Like this? Check out more posts about AddThis Engineering.

 

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Clearspring!

(Originally posted on the Clearspring blog.)

It’s been a very busy week here at Clearspring with the announcement of XGraph joining the family. So busy, we didn’t get a chance to blog about our very first Halloween Costume Contest!

To give a quick rundown from some of our offices — Winnie the Pooh was spotted writing code and the iCloud was shedding “water droplets” all over the floors at HQ in McLean, VA. NYC was was raided by a zombie and a Richard Simmons exercise video extra showed up. LA even saw dead people.

Here are some pictures, including the winners of the three categories – Funniest, Scariest and Most Creative.

 

HQ’s Elizabeth Leiser won Most Creative with her rendition of the iCloud.

HQ’s Collin Hughes won Funniest for dressing up as fellow Clearspringer Ted Pearson. Here’s a reference:

LA’s Will Watson won Scariest for his interpretation of Dia de Los Muertos.

Some honorable mentions:

Rebecca Salerno of our NYC office dressed as a hostess turned zombie. She has rats in her hair!

NYC’s David S. just got back from filming his latest exercise video with Richard Simmons.

Charlie the Pooh.

25 Hours of Racing

Last weekend the Clearspring Motor Club racing team, Cobra Kai, raced their Swedish Race Truck at Nelson Ledges Road Course in Ohio as part of the ChumpCar Longer Longest Day.  After 25 hours, 25 minutes, and 25 seconds of racing—stopping only to change drivers and refuel the car every 2 hours—the checker flag dropped with our car in 13th place overall, a great result from a field of 74 cars that started the race.

ChumpCar is a racing series similar to the 24 Hours of LeMons.  The premise is simple: buy a car for less than $500 and run it on a racetrack for hours on end.  The car that accumulates the most laps over the race is declared the winner.  This sort of “crap can” racing isn’t just orbiting a circle track, nor is it a demolition derby.  The tracks are complex and difficult to master.  The danger is real, too—we wear helmets, head-to-toe fire gear, all of the cars have full roll cages, and the safety rules are extensive.

In endurance racing the biggest factor is reliability.  As long as you can keep out on the track without problems you have the basis for a good race.  Performance can only take you so far and since the $500 price of the car includes any performance modifications, options there are limited.  Our team has made great use of cutting things off of the car to improve performance.  Before our first race we cut the springs and filled them with tennis balls to make the suspension stiffer.   At our second race, the ChumpCar 24 Hours at VIR, we turned the race wagon into a truck by chopping the roof off while waiting in line to get into the racetrack.  Our car’s performance from this weight-saving modification were enough to encourage another team at our most recent race to do the same with their Volvo.

Overall we had a great race without any problems that kept us off the track.  Ending up in 13th place—ahead of dozens of cars that were turning faster laps when they were on track—is an wonderful achievement.  For complete details on our race, check out this post on the CS Motor Club blog.  Next time, we’re shooting for the top ten!

Think this is awesome?  Check out the jobs page, we’re always looking for new drivers folks at Clearspring.

My first week as a Springer!

Last week was my first week here at Clearspring and already I feel like a part of the family.  Maybe it’s the daily catered lunches or the Wii Tennis Tournament we had on Friday (Jeff and I clinched 2nd place!) or perhaps it’s because my desk is right next to the snack table (don’t worry, I don’t judge!) — but whatever the reason, everyone’s made a genuine effort to introduce themselves and make me feel at home.

As with most new jobs, the first week consists of trying to learn new names with faces to match, who does what, where you need to be when, and the ins and outs of how to get this or that done.  Lucky for me, my coworkers made that (typically overwhelming) experience an absolute joy  — I don’t know that I’ve ever walked into a new job and felt so welcomed!

What I love is there’s a clear “work-hard, play-hard” aura in the office and it’s evident how much Clearspring employees enjoy their jobs.  Knowing that I’ll be working with people who exude such positive energy combined with seasoned skills, talents, knowledge, experience and passion is both refreshing and motivating.

I’m extremely happy with this opportunity to work with such an excellent team, and I look forward to learning from them and sharing that knowledge with you!

Cheers,
Elizabeth

Elizabeth@clearspring.com

twitter.com/AddThisMaven

AddThis – A Spiritual Experience

We recently stumbled across this awesome video of a user preaching – literally – about his experience with AddThis. We couldn’t resist sharing!

We’ve always maintained that we have an amazing community of support but testimonials from people who dig the product never get old. And when it comes in the form of a sermon on sharing, well, we just can’t argue with that!

We love you too, friend!

AddThis Analytics Performance

The AddThis Network has grown tremendously over time. Although we have been working hard to expand our infrastructure to accommodate this growth, some of our customers are experiencing delays when trying to view their analytics reports.

We will be rolling our additional capacity to address this problem, and appreciate your patience as we expand AddThis to be better than ever. As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The AddThis Team

Clearspring To The Races!

Cobra Kai Race Wagon with lights

Like any great company, Clearspring has a motorsports division that fields a racing team.  The Clearspring Motor Club team, Cobra Kai, ran its first race, the 2011 Capitol Offense at Summit Point Raceway in West Virginia a few weeks ago, ending up in 44th place of 102 runners.  Given that this was most of the team’s first experience with wheel-to-wheel racing, and we were driving a just-completed race wagon in its first race, this was a great result.  For those who don’t know, the 24 Hours of LeMons is a whimsical race series that begins with the premise of making racing, a notoriously expensive sport, relatively cheap and accessible.  The central rule is that all of the cars, sans safety equipment, are worth less than $500, which leads to lots of awful vehicles that you wouldn’t believe are roadworthy, much less could be driven on a racetrack for 14 hours.

Cobra Kai Race Wagon on track

This weekend we’re stepping things up a bit and participating in the Chump Car VIR 24, a bona-fide 24-hour, through-the-night race.  This is everyone’s first time doing night racing, which we have been informed is a harrowing experience of barely following the dark racetrack with never-sufficient lights.  So if you like racing, keep an eye on the Clearspring Motor Club blog, follow us on Twitter, or just check out the highlight video from our last race.  And if you are interested in working at a sweet company that has a race team (and more!), then head over to the Clearspring jobs page and see if there is something that fits the bill.

Scheduled Downtime for AddThis.com

UPDATE: we’ve held back one more day for preparation, the site outage will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, July 26th between 5AM EDT and 7AM EDT (9 AM to 11 AM GMT). Thanks for your patience!

Hey everybody! We’re performing some database upgrades tomorrow, we’ve scheduled downtime for our site on Tuesday, July 26th between 5AM EDT and 7AM EDT (9 AM to 11 AM GMT). The following services will be unavailable during this window:

AddThis.com
The support forums
Analytics.

Sharing will still be available and analytics will still be collected. We’ll be updating our status page (http://status.addthis.com/) to let everyone know what’s going on during this move.

Thanks in advance for your patience and for using AddThis!

Scheduled Downtime for AddThis.com

In our continuing efforts to provide you with the best service possible we’re doing big upgrades to our data center. Unfortunately this means that sometimes we’ll have to take services down to move them to bigger and better boxes. We have a downtime scheduled for Wednesday, June 15th between 4AM EDT and 7AM EDT (8 AM to 11 AM GMT). The following services will be unavailable during this window:

  • AddThis.com
  • The support forums
  • Analytics.

Sharing will still be available and analytics will still be collected. We’ll be updating our status page (http://status.addthis.com/) to let everyone know what’s going on during this move.

Thanks in advance for your patience and for using AddThis!