April 14th, 2012 - By Humuhumu

Tiki matchbooks

My tiki matchbooks... waiting patiently for the day to come that they can be in Ooga-Mooga.

Ooga-Mooga launched nearly seven years ago (whoa!). Thanks to you guys adding all of your beautiful collections (and oh so many pictures, almost 70,000 of them!), it has grown into an outstanding resource for tikiphiles.

There’s so much to love about it… it’s fantastic for learning more about tiki mugs and other collectibles, seeing what others are finding for their collections, trading and connecting with other tikiphiles, all that great stuff. It’s so lovely to get lost exploring everyone’s collections on Ooga-Mooga, and you guys make it fun.

But not everything about Ooga-Mooga is loveable, and frankly, you guys deserve something better…

It’s hard to find things

Finding things in Ooga-Mooga works pretty well—if you happen to know the name of what you’re looking for. If you’re trying to identify something, you’re pretty much out of luck. And if what you’re trying to identify is a brown tiki mug… oooof.

Search is fussy and complicated

I tried to make it a bit better by adding lots of complicated metadata for each object in Ooga-Mooga. The downside of that is a bunch of levers and knobs in a gnarly search form. Blech.

Template creation is a bit of a pain

In order to drive that complicated search form, all that data needs to be collected in the object templates, and that’s not easy. I created a bunch, our darling Tiki-Kate created many more, and now Trader Tom has been doing a fantastic job of adding new templates… but it shouldn’t be so hard to keep up with all the new things you guys are adding to your collections.

It’s hard to find collectors

Have you ever tried to find someone’s collection in Ooga-Mooga using the All Collections page? Someone named “Tiki something”? OW.

It’s got plenty of stuff that isn’t particularly tiki

I’m as guilty of this as anyone (see: frog mug, oyster bar mug). With everyone’s varying ideas of what tiki *is*, it’s only natural that the objects in Ooga-Mooga are going to be all over the map. It would be better if the site knew what you wanted to see, and didn’t show you the stuff that isn’t as relevant to your interests.

It’s hard to see the latest activity

In order to see the latest new objects and comments in Ooga-Mooga, you have to poke around a few different places, and much of it is in the form of plain text links. Dullsville.

There are tons of really cool tiki things that can’t go into Ooga-Mooga

Oh man, do I want to see your matchbooks. And your postcards. And your vinyl. And your Coco Joe’s. And your menus.

The code base is old and hard to maintain

I built Ooga-Mooga seven years ago, and since then I’ve learned new languages, new techniques, new habits. I’m better at this now than I was then. Seven years is a lifetime in programming, and it’s time to re-architect the application, rebuild it better, stronger, more maintainable. It’ll make it much easier to add new features, and improve existing ones.

No one can remember the name

Ugga Mugga? Ooby-Doobie? Mooga-Booga? Sigh. Ooga-Mooga deserves a name that sticks with people.

So, Ooga-Mooga is getting some big love

Here’s what I’m doing about all this: I’ve taken several months off work (and will be taking more time) to rebuild Ooga-Mooga from the ground up. I’m working hard to make it nicer, better, bigger, awesomer. Addressing every one of the issues outlined above, along with lots of other improvements. With a name that’s not “Ooga-Mooga”—one I like a whole lot better!

It’s been a big undertaking, but it’s also been a lot of fun—and I’ve already completed much of the work. I believe that Ooga-Mooga can be something outstanding, and that taking the time will be worth it.

I usually don’t like to talk about the projects I’m working on until I have them ready to use. But these are big changes, and I want to keep you guys in the loop. I’m really excited about the new Ooga-Mooga, and I can’t wait to use it myself. Stay tuned… soon I’ll be ready to show you what’s coming.
p.s. Oh man, even this blog is embarrassingly musty & dusty… check out that “Ooga-Mooga on MySpace” link in the sidebar. Sorry so ugly!

22 Responses to “Ooga-Mooga is Ooverdue for an Ooverhaul”

  1. [...] Hey, so, remember there was that thing, that new thing, that new thing I was working on, and I didn’t feel ready to talk about it yet? I’m talking about it now. [...]

  2. Like many others, I use O-M as a tool for collecting – discovering mugs I didn’t know existed, comparing the differences within an edition, etc. My pet peeve: Allowing users to opt out of the “Public?” field.
    Instead of debating why some users choose to not contribute to the database by sharing their collections, I suggest this change: display all mugs, but introduce an option allowing the mug’s owner to conceal their identity.

  3. Can’t wait! You are the cat’s meow!

  4. Eric, I’m glad you brought that up… that “Public?” field has never quite sat well with me either, and it creates some over-the-top complexity from a programming point-of-view, too… and it’s kinda creepy. Overall, I’m working hard to preserve the features that folks have come to expect from Ooga-Mooga with the overhaul, but that feature (which is not broadly used) is one that is not likely to come over. Something closer to what you’re suggesting I think is more appropriate.

  5. Just like waiting for Christmas morning!

  6. very exciting news! i am looking forward to the reveal!!!

  7. I like the name Ooga-Mooga. I often can’t remember the name of your other tiki sites and use Ooga-mooga to slingshot over to them since it’s all I can remember.

  8. I like ooga-mooga also. I am happy there is a site that is dedicated to mugs. I use it to find unusual mugs, to purchase mugs and get information. I am glad you are going to upgrade. There has been many times I did not know the name of the mug and couldn’t figure out how to find the name. I am excited to see the new site. Thanks!

  9. It’s amazing how something so simple and fun to collect, became an obsession! I’m truly grateful to have found OM and the ever growing tiki mug collections cataloged inside. Vintage, standard, rare, artistic, revival, unusual… something for one and all mugheads to share and explore! I’ve met and traded with amazing peep’z because of Ooga-Mooga, including our dearly missed Tiki Kate.

    You’ve created a gem Humuhumu and although it may be outdated technically and in need of an intuitive refit… that is just a bit of it’s charm. ;-) Kinda like Trader Tom, right?!! ;-)

    Anyways, I’ve always enjoyed Ooga-Mooga simply for being just what it is…”Ooga Mooga”. So call it what you wish and scratch that 7-year itch. Please, I beg of you, don’t make it too flashy, neon, metallic or brightly lit. I still enjoy a musty dim-lit corner, where the blowfish lamps are dusty, the floor is sticky from spilled Mai Tai and the tiki fountain is cracked, splintered and filling a mossy lagoon of koi.

    Mahalo’z for creating, maintaining and updating “Ooga-Mooga”, -please keep paradise, avoid the parking lot and just say “NO” to walgreens! ;-)

  10. Although i havent yet used Ooga-Mooga to get in touch with sellers in order to buy a mug, I’ve always wondered how current the items for sale actually are. Once a mug for sale goes up and arrives in my wishlist matcher, it never seems to disappear again. Surely some of them must have sold?! It would be wonderful if there were some way to keep these matches more current. -Unless it already is and i’m imagining things that is!

  11. Aloha,

    I am a newcmer, and I love the site. It sounds like I will soon love it even more!

    I can’t wait to give a virtual home to my grandfather’s PolyPop matchbooks!

    Mahalo and Mauruuru!


  12. I love the name Ooga-Mooga!

    I’ve been using the site more frequently to obsess over the mugs that I do want.. I also love using it for reference when shopping on eBay. OM has much better photos and gives you an idea of what a mug really looks like.

    I also just purchased my first mug through the site that I couldn’t purchase on eBay due to crazy prices and people snatching them up way too fast.

    Looking forward to the upgrade.

  13. I’m very curious as to the new changes. I’m very excited, and can’t wait!

  14. We grow fond of names, it’s probably in our nature, and it will be difficult for me to leave the Ooga-Mooga name behind. Part of what makes tiki-philes is the lamenting of lost things over time.

    May I suggest a burial ceremony for the name when the new site is up? Toasting it with a Mai Tai will take the edge off :)

    One thing I won’t miss, though, is the laughter every time I mention this site to someone.

    And a huge THANK YOU for creating and maintaining this great website – past, present, and future!

  15. Will ooga-mooga.com redirect to the new name for a while, until we get all our bookmarks fixed?

  16. Please don’t link to facebook. I use a couple apps that are and it is awful. I don’t want to be hounded at finding other Tikiphiles on facebook. It’s a real pain.
    You have a great site that stands alone quit well. With some internal improvements like you are talking about it will be an excellant site.

  17. Okay. When are these cool changes going to take place? I’m all fired up!

  18. Not all of us have the leisure time, or the inclination to use our leisure time, to individually photograph and list 300+ ceramic mugs. And as long as we’re paying for membership, whatever particular use we make of this website is just fine & dandy, ain’t it?

  19. i think having tiki records/LPs, tiki matches, tiki menus, as well as tiki mugs is a great idea

  20. Just signed up to support a website I find myself using a lot. Curious if there’s any word on the update, since it’s been over a year since it was announced?

  21. and…???

  22. Please tell me how to delete old messages. Very fun…. this tiki mug hobby .
    Mahaloz, drumloud9

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  26. To subscribe for full access you require automatic renewal through paypal.
    There is no way I will allow automatic charges to my paypal or any other account.
    A couple of years ago,I sent you an email asking if there was a way I could renew manually each year. To date you have not given me the benefit of a response.
    Now your overhaul is grossly overdue!
    Will you EVER give me a responce???

  27. Actually, I really like the name Ooga-Mooga :D, and the overall look of the website. I agree that the search can be a bit easier, but, overall, I think you have done an amazing job on this and Critiki. Thank you so much for all you’re hard work !!

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