Over the last couple days I’ve had a couple of conversations about social networks, and in particular, those that lead to opportunities. It seems to me these days a lot of people make a living by being “social media experts” or some kind of nonsense like this. I found this completely ridiculous.
For an individual, the goal should not be to increase your social network by whoring yourself out, adding as many as friends as possible. This simply dilutes your message and makes you look like a wanker, as my friend Frank Chimero would say.
What you should be doing is finding like minded people to collaborate with and learn from. Often times I think of a social media site like LinkedIn, which is supposed to help you get a job. How many people do you know have gotten a cold call from an employer based upon them finding a profile on LinkedIn? I bet one or two of you may have had this happen, but I bet the occurrence of this happening is slim to none. Most likely someone knew someone who had an open position and the prospective employee was Googled, a LinkedIn account was found, and further assurance was given to the prospective employer.
But if you take the time to nurture relationships, even if they’re over email or Twitter, you’re doing more than just amassing a list of random strangers you’d like to work with. For me personally, I’ve met more people in the last 2 and a half years that were worth a damn than the last 10 combined. People who used to be my heroes are now an email away, and if I need a favor I can simply ask. Why? Because we’re friends now.
Don’t waste your time adding people, create amazing things, be genuine, and good things will come to you.
This was meant to be a part of the colors post from yesterday, but I thought extend it a bit to show you the how great this is. Created by Eduardo Omine, the video is rather simple. Lines start to appear, crossing and running into one another, and when they strike they a particle effect like an explosion. But when you combine this with music and a change in pace and color, it really starts to get interesting.
I’m not really sure why this video is so interesting, it’s sort of like a digital spider’s web coming together. But there’s something really appealing and visually interesting about how all of these lines are going to come together and what they’re going to create when they do.
One of the reasons I want to move to Copenhagen (eventually) is their reliance upon bikes. The idea of having a city that really supports the use of bikes in day-to-day life is something that I can really get behind. Recently, the Copenhagen Bike-Share program had a design competition for what’s basically a rent a bike program. Simply swipe an RFID tagged card or NFC enabled mobile phone next to the bike and you can rent it by the hour.
The winning design was by Erik Nohlin of LOTS Design, a guy who seems to have quite a knack for designing bikes. To me this bike looks like a lot of fun. I love the built-in basket, that way you’d never have to worry about not having a place to store things when you ran errands. The bike dispensaries as well can be placed anywhere in the city, giving people more options to use the bikes wherever they may be.
I find these kind of grand ideas really inspiring. The idea of giving back to the community is such a powerful idea to me. I think that if we gave back to our communities more there could be a lot of really great change happening. Unfortunately people usually only do it for their own ego or vanity.
Garuda is a simple but beautiful film about a young Indian boy who chases his dream. The visuals in the film are totally stunning, filled with all kinds of wonderful colors and textures. There seems to be bits of paper, pastels, watercolors and all sorts of things I can’t identify. You know name, it they probably used it.
The short was created by Nicolas Athane, Meryl Franck, Alexis Liddell, Andres Salaff, Maïlys Vallade, who were all students at Gobelins. My only complaint is that it’s too short, I’d love to see an entire film done in animation style like this. If only animation studios would start to turn in a direction like this.
To continue with my color spree I present you Brent Couchman, a graduate of Abilene Christian University who has one of those great retro styles. Currently Mr. Couchman works as the Senior Graphic Designer at Fossil watches, but it’s his personal work that really interests me.
I used to work with kids in a before and after school program for 3 years, and obviously you can’t cuss in front of them, so I used to say “DANG!” all the time instead. This is what I thought of when I saw that first image. And then there’s the image of the persons leg with rocking some Chuck’s and a nice pair of argyle socks. There’s just something so precise and perfect that I really like about this, plus the colors go really well together.
I’ve decided today is all about color, I’m feeling in a vibrant mood. I think I came across these milk packages on FFFFound which lead me to a site called Re:collection, which describes itself as “an online archive of Australian graphic design: 1960 – 1980.” It’s a really great site filled with some really wonderful items, but these milk boxes really caught my attention.
Could you imagine buying milk as a 7 year old and having these pop up in front of you? I think I would have been trying to paint masterpieces or redesigning the school newspaper at an early age. It just goes to show that you can sneak good design into the most (seemingly) ordinary objects.
I spotted these book jackets and bookmarks all over the place last week but I still wanted to share them with you. Created by designer Igor Udushlivy, the idea is that you can cover your books with a dust jacket that has a matching bookmark that goes along with it. The coordinating jacket and bookmark make the book even more fun, I especially like the Sherlock Holmes one at the top.
I think something like this would be great for a child, though a Sherlock Holmes novel might not be quiet their speed…
Well it’s Monday again, so here’s a glance at what I was listening to last week. I feel like it didn’t count all the music I listened to but I think that just about every week. To start things off was my good buddy M. Ward who’s always there for me. If you still haven’t listened to him by this point you really should do so. I’d suggest End of Amnesia if you’re looking for a good hopping on point. It’s a timeless album.
After that was Deerhunter, which is made up of Mr. Atlas Sound, Mr. Lotus Plaza as well as two other talented fellows. When I want something a little bit rougher than Atlas Sound I usually head for Deerhunter’s Microcastle, which is my favorite of theirs (plus I love the artwork). Then we had Four Tet, aka Kieran Hebden, and his new album There Is Love in You, which comes out today. I feel like this is one of his most cohesive albums and I actually got a lot of work done last night listening to it.
Princeton came in at number four, this is one of my go-to albums when I’m walking around and running errands. Following them was Vampire Weekend and their newest album Contra, which I’m still loving. I think my favorite songs on the album are Taxi Cab and the closing song I Think Ur A Contra, something about those really strike a chord with me. Then we had some Broadcast and Jens Lekman, both staples of a good musical diet.
Finishing things out was Harlem and their upcoming album Hippies which comes out April 6. I think this album is going to be a favorite for a lot of people. The first song Someday Soon instantly grabs you and sucks you into this album, it’s a classic. Hopefully they fully tour the album when it comes out.
There’s an interesting article in this month’s issue of Wired by Clive Thompson called In Praise of Obscurity and it caught my attention (sadly the article isn’t online yet or I’d link to it). It talks about a woman named Maureen Evans who started tweeting 140 character recipes over Twitter. She was an early adopter of Twitter and over time she gained a lot of followers, starting at around 100 and ending up with over 13,000, though now she’s hit around 18,400. But the sense of community she had begun to develop in her early days had started to dissolve. Mr. Thompson suggests that the problem is that “socializing doesn’t scale.” If you overcrowd a dinner table it’s nearly impossible to have one good conversation, even with the person across the way from you. But I also feel like this is only half the problem.
Twitter is a tool just like any other, used properly it can have advantageous effects. A lot of people say they don’t get Twitter, but most likely that’s because they have no reason to use it. I don’t carry a blowtorch around hoping I figure out a good use for it.
I started using Twitter 2 years and 9 days ago, and as of writing this I have 6,570 people following me. The thing is, I’m only following 194 people. A while back I realized that if I followed more than 200 people that it became unmanageable. I don’t need to know what Rainn Wilson is blathering about, I don’t care about Mr. or Mrs. Kutcher. On the other hand Martha Stewart posts some fun photos some times, Roger Ebert can keep you entertained for hours and the multitudes of creative people I follow can distract me all day long. But this list I’ve curated, in a sense, is an extension of what I really enjoy and want to hear more of.
I think the problem that Maureen is having is that she’s following too many people back. Currently she’s following around 11,000 people, which seems totally insane to me. If she distilled this list down to a more manageable number, just people she finds inspiring or enjoyable, she might be able to have some better conversations.
POGO is a group of four creative folks from Argentina, creating beautiful work and designing amazing type. I came across their typography and was excited by how great it all was. They seem to have quite a knack for it, coming up with some really unique ideas.
I think my favorite of the bunch is the Zombienation one, which looks like it would be a title for an old grindhouse film. Although, Primavera is pretty cute as well. I love how it’s still a legible font even though they used so many abstract shapes to create it.
If you’re inspired to create your own fonts check out FontStruct which gives you the tools to get creative. I’ve tried using it before and it’s a lot harder to make a custom font than you’d think it’d be!