I am a huge Zappos fan. Who isn’t these days? I have ordered shoes from them for probably 8 or so years now. Growing up in a house full of podiatrists can make a girl picky about shoes, and having big feet doesn’t help either. So their selection has always blown me away. That’s why I first liked them–the shoes! But I am also a cheapskate and an internet addict, so their free shipping and deals, and the fact that I didn’t have to go anywhere or talk to anyone to get new shoes.
Then I became an organizer of things on the internet. A devotee of Ranganthan. An obsesser of faceted search. And then I started to love Zappos even more. But admittedly, I saw some problems with their tagging/metadata. At that point I went to their booth at SxSW and, in a demented, obsessive, and maybe slightly tipsy state, started discussing their metadata with someone on their web team. I am sure he was frightened by my zealous fire for shoe categorization (I think people don’t frequently raise their voice about metadata in an excited matter and hop around while flailing their arms quite as frequently as I do), but he gave me a lot of zappos free stuff and chatted with me politely and suggested I get their culture book.
And I think it’s around then that I drank the kool aid.
The culture book was totally awesome. The culture was the thing I didn’t like about the job I was in at the time, and it was like a breath of fresh air to read the Culture Book. I had just presented about how librarianship was losing a lot of quality librarians because of the oppressive anti-tech culture they worked in. This all synced up with what I was reading in their book.
In the time since then, I have emailed with a lot of Zappos employees and asked them to be on panels I have been on. So when I got an email the other day that they were having a Zappos Boot Camp for people who want to learn more about how they do what they do, I was totally excited.
But then I learned it was $5,000. And that is not really in my budget. But if it’s in yours, I highly suggest you go.
They also have scholarships, which I am applying for. Let’s all hope I get it!
If not, I’ll still feverishly go to their website to look for all the new things they’re doing. Not just to buy shoes. I SWEAR.