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Talking with Joe and AJ from pleasedress.me (0)

Published on September 15th, 2008. By

, under General .

I was reluctant at first to make a post about pleasedress.me

(since it was on a lot of other blogs) but I have since had the pleasure of asking some questions to Joe and Aj (the minds behind pleasedress.me ) and I thought I would share them with you guys.

What is pleasedress.me?
In short its a t-shirt search engine created by “Wine Library TV’

s Gary Vaynerchuk and his younger brother AJ, as well as Joe Stump, Digg.com ‘s lead architect”.. Read more here .


Is there really a need for a t-shirt search engine when rumplo

can do the same? What makes yours different?

AJ: Rumplo does a great job with t-shirt search.  We felt as if we could do a better job, and at the same time engage with out community like no other tshirt search engine has.  We also have a great working relationship with all of our vendors, that translates into partnerships that will benefit the user.  Free t-shirts, coupons, and stuff like that.

I like the search by color feature, but why isn’t there a white?

AJ: White is there: http://pleasedress.me/colors/white

– we’ll be adding white and purple as front page options very soon.

When a user enters a keyword to search for, how are the results sorted for display?

Joe:  We currently use MySQL’s FULLTEXT search. We plan on switching, soon, to Sphynx or Lucene. MySQL’s FULLTEXT indexes have their own internal ranking algorithm, which we’ve made no tweaks to yet. The only changes I’ve done is to remove stop words (since many tshirts’ sayings are comprised to totally of stop words) and lowered the minimum word length that MySQL will index (again, because many tshirts have very short words in them).

Joe: Our search results will never be ranked by anything other than “the numbers” so to speak. Sponsored placements in search are available, much like Google, but are clearly called out to the user with coloring and a “Sponsor” badge and only a limited number are available (one slot per keyword per day).

I saw on a post your made on Emptees.com

that your back end for adding t-shirts to the search engine is done manually. Are there plans to fully automate this method and how many t-shirt designs are you adding each day manually?

AJ: The only aspect that is manual is the tagging.  We decided to tag the shirts ourselves to prevent gaming, spamming and to ensure accuracy.  We will be adding the ability to suggest tags for both the community and vendors.

Joe: I should mention we have an API and we’re looking into the possibility of opening the tagging in the future to trusted vendors with large shirt collections

Is your system based a modified script or program that is already out on the market or is this entirely custom?

Joe: The system, at its core, is based on Framework (http://bugs.joestump.net/trac.cgi/framework

), which is just a generic MVC framework of sorts. All of the code for the site, however, is custom. The site is not based on Drupal or WordPress or anything like that, though I am looking into WordPress so AJ and Gary don’t have to bug me every time they want to create a page on the site :)

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