SaysEmilie, vol 21
Connections: Spotify Serendipity - Kyle McDonald, an artist developer at Spotify, has gathered Spotify play data to create a visualization of when the same song is played by two different people at the same time. Pretty fun to look at and think about.
Startups: JOLT - Two weeks ago Andrew and I had the pleasure of going up to the JOLT incubator in Toronto to run a mobile workshop. There were some really interesting companies working out of the space, and I highly recommend checking a couple of them out.
Adorable: The Boy Who Beeps - Seriously, watch this one. It’s adorable and very well done.
Analogue / Tech: Moleskine / iPad - Moleskin, which bas a history of forging partnerships with tech companies (Evernote), has teamed up with Livescribe to produce a notebook that backs up to an iPad when used with the Livescribe pen. My birthday is coming up soon-ish…. Hint hint.
Data: The Data of Cool - There’s a lot of data available to the public, all you need to do is look at it the right way to see some pretty random trends.
Trend: Instagram Users are Obsessed with Recreating Its Logo - Instagram is a playground for artists, designers, musicians, and bloggers, and this trend is another example of how creative people can be on the medium.
Knowledge: The Answers Issue - A rough guide to a lot of things you didn’t really need to know.
Society: Using Gambling to Entice Low Income Families to Save - Some credit unions and non-profits are championing prize-linked savings account that link savings account deposits to lottery entries. Really turns the concept of gambling on its head - I’m interested to see where this will go.
Innovation / Tech: Estimotes Bluetooth Wearables - Innovation in beacon technology has picked up speed over the past couple years, and Estimotes new offering makes it accessible to many many more people, to be used in a variety of situations where people want to tie the digital world to the real world.
Lists: Things to Do Before Climate Change Ruins Everything - A new kind of bucket-list.
Restaurants: Hack The Menu - Every “secret menu” item ever.
App: The Met App - Sweet design, and a lot of information on exhibitions that’s relevant to everyone, not just visitors.
Ad: The Ikea Catalogue - In honor of the Apple announcement tomorrow, Ikea comes in with a winner.
Movie: The Ramones Movie - Can Vince Chase be cast as Joey Ramone? Yes.
Epic: Tywin Lannister Gives a Pep Talk - SO. EPIC. Watch it every morning and you’ll crushhh itttt.
SaysEmilie, Vol 20
Shameless Self Promotion: The Beginners Guide to Organizing Content on Mobile - I spent a lot of time on my phone, so I am fully qualified to write 1000 words on designing for mobile.
Shameless Self-promotion: How to Build Apps for Seniors - Every quarter I write a series for Fueled on how to build apps for different demographics. Last quarter it was millennials, this quarter it’s seniors.
Shameless Self Promotion (app): Chopping Block - Last fall I worked on the strategy and design of a cooking app and a few days ago it was released to the world. I’m particularly excited about this one, so please take a look!
LOL: The World’s First and Only Completely Honest Resume of a Graphic Designer - For anyone who’s ever worked with (or as) a designer.
North Korea: What the Future Looks Like to North Koreans Who Have Never Left / Secret Photos from Inside North Korea - I find North Korea particularly fascinating. The society is truly closed off from the rest of the world, which makes it a great environment to study human perception under conditions that are incredibly different from other countries’ citizens. The artwork that displays North Korean perceptions of the future is eerily similar to 1950s artwork of the future that was being created in the United States, which lends the question - what happened in the past 60 years that influenced design to look the way it does now instead of how we thought it would look, and will North Korea eventually follow the same design path we have and leave the Jetson’s look behind?
Mobile Trend: Emoji Have Won the Battle of the Words - I have noticed that emoji-only texts have become more popular over the past year, but until we have a champagne bottle emoji they haven’t truly won.
Virtual Payments: How Online Payments have Transformed Prostitution - Interesting look into how changes in payment technologies have influenced the shady world of prostitution, by the fabulous Courtney Boyd Myers.
App: NPR One - It’s no secret I’m an NPR junkie. This is a simple app that feeds my habit, so I’m into endorsing it.
Binge Watching: The 50 Best Documentaries Streaming on Netflix - Because there are only so many episodes of House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
World: A Cocoa Farmer Trying Chocolate for the First Time - Just watch it.
Names: Who Wins in the Name Game - My name is Emilie, and it’s spelled that way because my mother is French. I have probably spent the equivalent of a week of my life spelling it out to people, looking for personalized items at US theme parks (in vain), and listening for people to call out “Eh-meal” when referring to me, but I’m ok with that. The article is a quick an interesting read for anyone with a funny name, or anyone who judges people upon meeting them.
Parenting: Global Parenting Habits that Haven’t Caught on in the US - Again, my mother is French - I was raised in a no snacking, eat everything on your plate household. Any friends who came over were also subject to the “French” way of eating. This has probably influenced how much I like learning about how certain habits differ in different cultures.
Work Habits: The Power of the Doodle - Doodling during meetings improves focus and memory. I’m bookmarking this one forever. Doodlers unite!
Fitspo: Misty Copeland Under Armor Commercial - Incredible. And I’m not just talking about her calves. Or the vast amounts of idiocy in the comments section.
Innovation: Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables - Ugly veggies are healthy too. Intermarché’s campaign is clever at it’s core, and very well executed from start to finish.
Apps: Sony Water Apps - This is good mobile strategy. Simple apps that leverage a particular device feature, in this case waterproof-ness.
Burning Man: Burning Man and the Tech Elite - I have (“hippie”) friends who have been Burners for years, and (tech) friends who are going for the first time this year. I have my own opinions on the event that I will generally keep to myself, but I will leave this link here.
Now, riddle me this: HOW DOES ANNA WINTOUR’S HAIR STAY LIKE THAT?
Wooooo #sfo #stereogram #gif #hypnotized #funandgames #imlost (taken with @phhhoto) (at Terminal 3 - San Francisco International Airport (SFO))
May the Force be with you #starwars #ldac #yoda #gif #lucasfilm #phhhoto (made with @phhhoto) (at LucasFilm)
Up close and personal #turndownforwhat #mets #nyc #fireworks #casual #firstrowswag (taken with with @phhhoto) (at Citi Field)
SaysEmilie, vol 19
Ice Cream: Blue Bottle Bar Gelato - This is everything.
Typography: The Font of the Future - Google is intent on creating a typeface that works well on any device, in any use case. Thanks to Meg for the link!
Line Dynamics: Why the Other Line is Always Faster - A look into why it’s so difficult to accurately predict which line is the quickest, and the math behind making the right choice.
Long form: New Yorker - In the words of my good friend Cyana, “A pretty elitist publication that supports pretty good journalism is temporarily giving access to us plebeians.” Go forth and Pocket them!
Kim Kardashian: Why the Kim Kardashian is Legitimately Good - The game is making millions, so put aside your biases and pay attention.
Social Media: What I Instagrammed vs What Was Really Happening - Instagram and Facebook are psychological death traps for teenagers. They highlight curated moments of people’s lives instead of the nitty gritty normal details.
*App: Timehop - http://timehop.com/ - For someone with a few years of their life documented on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/etc, it’s really fun to open up Timehop and see what I was doing on the same day last year. Highly recommended.
App Trend: Text App - Another app that’s purely text notifications. I’m a fan of this trend, which leverages the lock screen to simplify direct communication.
Habits: Frequent Habits and Customer Satisfaction - Interesting quick read for anyone creating products that will succeed once users fold it into their regular activity.
Xtreme: Surfing the ends of the Earth - Surfing in the artic. Just mindblowing to watch.
App: Phhhoto - Everyone knows I love GIFs! This is, in short, a social image sharing network of GIFs. Instagram meets Vine. Created by my friends at HYPER HYPER Come find me, my username is Emilie. #earlyadopterperk
SaysEmilie, vol 18
Netflix: A Better Queue - I don’t know why it took so long for someone to combine Netflix and Rotten Tomatoes.
Advertising: The Evolution of Absolut Vodkas Advertising Strategy - Their collaboration with SHM went insanely viral but didn’t have a strong brand message and therefore wasn’t much of a success for the brand. Social media virility doesn’t translate into brand loyalty if the content isn’t loyal to the brand as well. Lesson learned.
Dance: Vicetone x Addams Family - It’s been a week and I’m still watching and dancing along with this 8 second video. It’s just so entertaining…
Indy: Why Did It Have To Be Snakes - 53 Fascinating Things about Indiana Jones that are actually fascinating and super cool and Indiana Jones is the best movie series and ever and everyone should agree with me.
SV Real Estate: Silicon Valley’s Real Estate Crunch is a Golden Opportunity for Other American Cities - With everyone spreading around instead of staying in one geographic region, spontaneous meetings of your next cofounder are becoming more rare. This also makes the internet even more of an integral tool, which reduces human interaction IRL (In Real Life). How does this effect finding job candidates, people with similar interests, etc?
Yo: The Yo Apps Newest Use is Alerting Israelis to Palestinan Rocket Attacks - Fascinating use case no one could have foreseen. Push notifications can be powerful & meaningful when used properly.
Human Insights: Bang For Your Buck - Two dozen people—a JP Morgan associate, a sex worker, a pastor, a living statue, a marine, “the World’s First Publicly Traded Person,” and many more—tell us the best way to invest a single dollar. Such an interesting way to get varied perspectives and to see what really matters to the people around us that we may never interact with.
*Music: My SoundCloud - Literally everything I listen to every day.
NYC Cabs: NYC Taxi - Someone got route & fare data for all the medallions working one day in NYC in 2013. Use the visualization to see how one random NYC yellow taxi operated, how much money it made, and how busy it was over 24 hours. After watching a few of these, I realized (and it was later confirmed by a cab driver) that the money is all in the turnover time between rides. More rides, more money.
Resource: GoogleVentures Library - Lots of stuff for product managers, developers, entrepreneurs, startup-ers, designers, and pretty much anyone else who has a job doing something. Seriously.
Jeter: RE2PECT - I don’t like the Yankees but this video is fantastic.
Social Media: Social media profiles can be made unique if you use the space wisely. Two fantastic examples I came across are photographer Clayton Woodley’s instagram (open on your phone for best results) and this girl Nikki’s Facebook profile.
Mobile: Facebook, Google, Pandora, and Twitter Control Mobile Display Ads - This was sent to me by my lovely father Michael Futterman and is in no way shocking but a little unnerving. These companies control so much of what I am seeing, it makes me wonder what I’m not seeing.
GIF: FashGif - I might sound like a broken record, but GIFs are an art form and this is proof.
SaysEmilie, Vol 17
Google: Google Street View Cameras are Touring Museums and Taking Weird Selfies by Accident - Someone needs to make these look less like robot Cousin Its.
Google: StreetArt with Google - Google continues to turn the world into a series of data points by documenting street art. You can contribute to the project by using #streetartproject when you post an image on Google+
User Behavior: Foursquare’s Swarm - “Interestingly, iOS users seem to be unenthused by Swarm. The app currently holds a 2-star overall rating on the App Store, and the previous version has an average of 1.5 stars. The Android app, however, has fared better with an average rating of 3.8 stars." I was an avid FourSquare user (for the check ins mostly) and as such I’ve migrated over to Swarm. But Swarm isn’t going to solve Foursquares user issues because the fact is that people just don’t like others knowing where they are. And Swarm shows where its users are ALL. THE. TIME. You don’t even need to actually check in. That being said, I wonder if positive Android reviews are a result of Android users being more comfortable with sharing their personal data than iOS users. it’s no secret that Google (which makes Android) knows a LOT about its users and uses that information to sell ad space. Google makes its money through ads; it’s an advertising company. Apple makes its money through products; it’s a product company that isn’t as public about its user data. So, how do these company identities influence the tastes and preferences of their respective device users?
Harry Potter: J.K. Rowling releases update on Harry Potter - For all the fans out there, it’s a fun little peek into Harry all grown up.
Transportation: NYC Dollar Vans - Truly fascinating look into the organic emergence of an urban transportation network. Highly recommended to anyone who geeks out over trends in urban networks and geography. Also, highly relevant given Lyft’s recent NYC launch.
Side note, if anyone who reads this knows someone at Uber or Lyft, shoot me an email please.
Bikers: CitiBike Station Stakeout - I like this profile of the random people that came to get back at a Stanton St. CitiBike station. CitiBike (NYC’s bikeshare) seems to draw a lot of tourists, hipsters, and non-natives. I am not surprised.
App: Kimd - Be kind to your fellow fans and turn down the screen light on your phones when snapping a pic of the band. Or use this app. And, their website is cool too.
Typography: The Universal Typeface - A study of handwriting crowdsourced through this well executed website that creates a “universal typeface” that you can adjust based on gender, nationality, age, etc. of contributors.
Analogue/Digital: Text Messages in Calligraphy for a Week - A little unnecessary but a cool project nonetheless. The writer ends up thinking harder about what they send, which means fewer LOLs and no drunk texting… right?
NYC: New York Music Map - A map of locations in NYC that have been referenced in song lyrics. Similar to this project using rap lyrics.
Music: Alt-J - New album by the English indie band.
Pie: Pittsburgh Pie Guy - In January of 2013 I Couchsurfed through parts of Europe and Luis Butler was my gracious host in Munich. Upon returning to Pittsburgh from Germany he started a pie business with a friend of his, and well, they’re delicious. Highly recommend checking him out if you end up in the area.
Everyone likes slow motion and everyone likes pie. So everyone loves this GIF. #math
SaysEmilie, Vol. 16
Cupcakes: Edible Cupcake Wrappers - This is truly what going green is all about.
Food: 36 Countries, 3 Spices from Each - Cute & interesting infographic of key spices in different countries’ cuisines.
Tech Culture: The Next Thing Silicon Valley Needs to Disrupt Big Time - I can (sadly) personally vouch for accuracy of this article. Ageism, sexism, and cool-ism run rampant in tech (especially start-ups) and many quality
Tech Ads: Advertisers Can Now Offer App Installs Directly Inside Mobile Twitter Apps - Twitter is becoming increasingly robust in how much you can do with one 140-character tweet. (see #AmazonCart). This feature does a lot to keep users in twitter, eases ability to download apps, and further reduces the tyranny that is the poorly organized App Store (yes, I have some unresolved issues with Apple’s App Store).
Silicon Valley: How The PayPal Mafia Redefined Success in Silicon Valley - eBay & PayPal, the two best incubators? In all seriousness, the big Silicon Valley companies (eBay/PayPal, Google, Facebook, Yahoo!) seem to be the best incubators. So many successful startups are begun by veterans of these massive companies… Why? Does working for a big company give you access to monetary and talent resources? Do you learn more about how to run a successful business when you’ve been part of one? Is the big company just a good enough pedigree for people to trust you? Is it some of all of these?
App: Yo Hodor - A non-authorized derivation of YO, the absurd app that’s been blowing up the internet the past couple weeks. YO is a platform where users can say ‘Yo’ to other friends on the app. That’s it. Yo Hodor allows you to say “Hodor” (if you’re not a Game of Thrones fan I can’t help you).
App: WutWut - In other useless app news, i give you WutWut. I LOVE WUTWUT. Wutwut allows you to send a message to all of your Facebook friends that have signed up for the app. You can’t see which of your friends are on the app, you don’t know who sends a message or receives yours, but you can mute a user (again without knowing who they are). The app is two screens - compose message and read message card. But in reality, the crux of the app is just push notifications. Holy MVP batman.
Fashion: Shoptiques: Creating the Online Boutique Shopping Experience - An article by my good friend and formed Wellesley classmate Tatiana Kombo about my favorite fashion startup Shoptiques, started by fellow Wellesley alumna Olga Vidisheva.
Design: Material World: How Google Discovered What Software is Made Of - Fascinating look into the thinking behind Google’s design initiative.
Design & Development: The User Is Drunk - Hilariously executed and so so true. When designing and developing for the masses, these are some very important tips to keep in mind.
Meta IRL: Custom Built Oculus Rift & GoPro Rig Lets You Experience Life in the Third Person - Watch the video. Users look absurd but the experience is super cool so who cares.
Beer: USA v Belgium if the World Cup Were Plated In Beer - If you’re into beer this is an interesting article about the differences between American and Belgian beer. They may have won the game, but at least we have Bud-heavy to celebrate with this weekend?