Scrapblog, you had me at Ctrl+Z

I recently had the pleasure of signing up for Scrapblog.com, a South Florida based startup that takes scrapbooking to the next level and provides great testament to the benefits of taking even non-electronic devices from analog to digital…

If you’re like me, you’ve set out to scrapbook before (the operative phrase being “set out”). Scrapbooks are great creative outlets. However, more often than not, they’re a sure fire way to spend fifty bucks on materials that never come to creative fruition. Don’t feel bad. Failure at scrapbooking doesn’t happen because you’re lazy. You’re just a perfectionist, and glue and tape are very unforgiving! There’s no Ctrl+Z for scrapbooking.

Remember when Jerry Maguire had Dorothy Boyd at hello? Well, Scrapblog had me at Ctrl+Z. I used to think I hated scrapbooking, but Scrapblog made me realize I just hated the inability to edit scrapbooks. I mean, you wouldn’t sit down and pump out a novel without backspacing once in awhile, would you? Masterpieces require iterations and revisions. More importantly, the ability to edit allows you to lower the bar and raise it back up again… removing barriers to entry for novices on their way to mastery.

The more you scrapblog, the less you’ll rely on the templates, and the more you’ll start fashioning Scrapblog’s other creative elements (frames, stickers, fonts) into your own design. Because they’re digital, you’re never stuck with a prefab template. Maybe you love the background, but you’re not so keen on the frame it uses. Just select the frame and delete. Then drag-and-drop a different style onto the page. And if your editing takes a wrong turn or two, there’s no need to fret. Scrapblog also courts Ctrl+Z’s hot cousin, Ctrl+Y.

In addition to trying out new layouts without regret, digital scrapbooking has another great benefit. You’re not limited to using pictures – you can also use video! Of course, there’s also the obvious benefit of being able to instantly share your creative genius with family and friends via email or IM. This is important for those of us who have been corrupted by the Internet’s ability to instantly satisfy the need for content.

If you are able to still exercise patience, however, Scrapblog can take your digital scrapbook and mail you a real life copy of it. Like I said, the only downside to ordering the real thing is having to exercise a bit of patience for manufacturing and shipping; and obviously, the print version can’t include video and will require some moolah. Until you do go to print, however, scrapblogging is free. You don’t even have to register to get started – your email address isn’t required until after you try the app, like it, and want to save your work.

How can Scrapblog provide such a rich service for free? In addition to receiving millions in funding from Longworth Venture Partners and Disney’s Steamboat Ventures, Scrapblog sees revenue from selling print editions, sponsored advertisements, and virtual goods (high end fonts and images for the serial scrapbloggers). Funding and revenue aside, however, the Scrapblog team must be doing something right because their community has grown from 0 to 1.5 million since their April 2007 launch.

I asked Damon Clark, Database Admin in Scrapblog’s 20 person team (which has grown tenfold since launch), for a hint at Scrapblog’s recipe for success. He responded, “A tightly-knit team… Everyone is encouraged to contribute their thoughts into making the company/web site better. There is definitely a ‘work smarter, not harder’ mentality, where everyone tries to make processes as efficient as possible.” I’m not surprised. This is a telltale sign of a great company, which I’m proud to see on the South Florida technology scene.