Barnivore is an online directory of beer, wine, and liquor that categorizes products by their suitability for vegans. Putting the “Labs” in Thrust Labs, this is one of our internal projects that we started to learn a few things and help a community, and it’s grown into a massive beast of a database.
In our most recent release, we took a legacy database and restructured it to make the information much more usable, eliminating edge cases that the old system was struggling against, and paving the way for future improvements. In particular, we took a company-focused data structure and turned it on its head, emphasizing the company’s individual products instead. This required complicated data migration coding and supporting custom tool sets to assist with the transition.
Coded in Ruby on Rails, this project emphasizes efficiency in data entry (all 4500+ entries were added manually by editors, as contact information isn’t easily grabbed from alcohol sites, most of which have age verification gates) and from a marketing standpoint, we’ve had some great experiences interacting with a strong community of supporters through the mailing list (via on-page lead capture,) Facebook and Twitter.