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Peter Imburg, Elfster : social networking platform for gift-giving

Team YS
6th Feb 2011
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Elfster is a free online Secret Santa organizer and social networking platform for gift-giving. Elfster gives time-strapped party planners and gift givers the tools to rediscover the joy of gift giving by organizing a Secret Santa exchange.Also called Pollyanna, Kris Kringle or Amigo Secreto, a Secret Santa gift exchange is a tradition in which members of a group are randomly assigned other members to whom they anonymously give a gift. Other gift exchange traditions include Secret Sister, Secret Pal, Secret Cupid and more. You can use Elfster to organize a craft swap, a postcard exchange, a virtual baby shower or a gift exchange for other occasions.

The Elfster algorithm goes something like this:

Elfster Social Gifting = One Part Wishing + One Part Shopping + One Part Social Networking + One Part Gaming = Tons of Fun. Peter Imburg, Founder and CEO of Elfster talks to YourStory about this social gift giving platform.

How did the idea come about ?

I first created Elfster when my family which is spread all over geographically, had a ridiculously difficult time coordinating our Secret Santa "offline." There was nothing online to help, and I thought a Secret Santa gift exchange organizer would be an insanely fun, useful, and social web application.

Tell us more about how elfster works

In just minutes, a new user can set up a new gift exchange with friends. Your gift exchange is the starting point for your personal gift giving network which includes features like:

  • Universal wishlists shared with friends
  • Anonymous Q&A (think "what is your favorite color?")
  • Personalized gift recommendations
  • Activity feeds with comments (which can be anonymous)
  • Group discussions, and more.

Tell us more about the social features of Elfster

We have many of the basic social features which we have all come to expect from any social network and a number of innovative new twists found only at Elfster.

  • Topic based discussions and activity feeds with Liking and Comments
  • By far the coolest and most fun social card on the web. Elfster's Social Birthday Cards allow all friends to collaborate to sign a single electronic birthday card for one friend, complete with their photos, charms and personalized messages.
  • Anonymous Secret Q&A where you can anonymously inquire about your friends tastes without giving away who is asking!
  • Secret commenting on topics
  • Trending Gifts - See what gifts are popular within the overall Elfster community

Visit Elfster here : http://www.elfster.com/

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