Archive for the ‘CultureMob’ Category
So, once again, I am a free agent. It’s now official: FOR HIRE.
I’ve recently been laid off by CultureMob.com. I was an employee of a company where a weak economy shows it’s head much sooner than I expected. The company’s current revenue source is from investors; and the market suddenly became a tougher place for investment (which is too bad, because we were beating all our projections).
For those confused on how I could be laid off from a company that I co-created, I never invested in the company financially as some of the other members had; and therefore never had “co-founder” status. With my primary role in the company being the designer, my position wasn’t as necessary as some of the others (which makes sense to me).
Now, that being said, I’ve been enjoying my time off so far. I’ve taken the time to get my portfolio in working order. I’ve taken in a couple freelance gigs and will start to evaluate what offers are out there. I still wish the best to the folks at CultureMob and am rooting for them to make a great product even better. In under a year on the market, we were able to come close to feature parity while giving the competition a 5 year head start.
So, if you’ve got a great lead for me, by all means, toss it my way. I’d appreciate it.
About three years ago, I had no idea that I would be anywhere close to where I am today. Around that time, my roommate came up with an idea to solve a problem: Music in an open space (Coffee shops, shared offices, etc.). Collaborative filtering of the collective collections from the open space could potentially be a better disc jockey than any single human with his singular collection.
About 4 of us would get together about once a week and kick around ideas for how to pull this off and generate a revenue model. We eventually drifted away from that when we got more excited about another idea: As the world becomes more and more digital, the tracking of the data that people pay attention to will be easier and easier to analyze. We could use attention data to notify people about events that they might be interested in.
At this point, it was a fun side project and I was always curious as to where it might lead to. It started off slowly and we got more serious about it, eventually convincing other people to join us. Soon enough, I would realize that we could really turn this into a viable business and eventually CultureMob was born.
But I still had no idea that today, I could walk around Seattle and overhear people I’ve never met recommending the service I helped start with 4 guys to other people I’ve never met. 2 weeks ago, we held our first event at Neumos with ?uestlove of the Roots. I never would have imagined that dorking out about attention data with friends in a coffee shop would lead to working with one of my longtime idols.
It’s not as if CultureMob has been instantly successful, but its really starting to come into it’s own. We’ve only been live for 7 months, and I’m already surprised at where it’s taking me. I have no idea where I’ll be in another 3 years, but here’s to hoping it’s just as surprising.
*Photos by Summer Wilson
For the last couple years, I’ve been working on CultureMob.com; mostly as a side project, but I’ve been on full time since last November. Designing and maintaining a site of this magnitude on a part-time schedule is something that I’ve learned is, as we call in the industry, a “no-no.” With so much fluid development, anything but your full attention will lead to cruft.
So I had a moment (along with Chadwick and input from Mike & James) to fix some of the issues that I had with the site.
LOOK AND FEEL
We got rid of the map in the background and removed the overabundance of gradients. The previous design looked nice on paper, but the site needed to be a little bit more utilitarian and gender neutral. It’s damn tough to design a site that is everything to everyone; and we were finding that people were overwhelmed by the “military” feeling of the map. “We’re talking about brunettes, not fighter jets.” I don’t want to fully take away the personality of the site, but I can’t have the design detract from the information.
The typography of the site needed to be reigned in. We made the header elements clearer to call out the sections. Also, we made the links on the site more consistent. From an emotional standpoint, I think I like the links alter the “feel” of the site a little more than I’d like; but it’s necessary for the site to be clearer to our users as to what is a link and what is not. It’s absolutely fundamental.
It pains our developers that we still have 18% Internet Explorer 6. We spend a considerable amount of development time making sure that the experience in IE6 is as close to as enjoyable as it is for Firefox as we can make it. With these changes, not only will IE6 load considerably faster, but it will also reduce the number of complications that our devs will run into.
So take the site for a test run. We’ve recently added a handful of other great new features. Let me know what you think of the changes…
I’ve been working on new features and design tweaks at CultureMob.com, but on the side, I’m getting ready to try out a test run on our CultureMob “Street Team” in Seattle. Pending how successful our test run is, what I want to do with it is open it up to CultureMob users to be able to go to shows, hand out flyers and talk us up, and we’ll subsidize a chunk of the ticket (No promises here, folks).
So, our first trial event: Super Sonic Soul Pimps @ the Nectar Fri 3.28.08. This is the band that, back in ’95, lead me down the path that I’m at today. They are a high energy funk-rock band, which attracted the 16-year-old in me, who happened to be 16-years-old at the time. Ahh, nostalgia. The web was young and I jumped on to do a site for them, under the pseudonym of Captain Fantasy. Now it’s 35 years later and I’m still doing this web thing.
And if you’re looking for a good event in Seattle, check out CultureMob.com. I’ve been messing with this project since it was just an idea 2 years ago. We’ve only been live for 3 months now and still are a little rough around the edges, so I’d LOVE to hear some feedback.
So come on down to the Nectar this Friday and say hi. We’ll make sure to buy you a cranberry juice.
It’s been up at CultureMob.com for about a week now, but I just wanted to point out how much I love this feature and want to make sure that people see it. We’ve added the ability to save calendar feeds for your recommendations, saved events, custom searches, artists, and venues.
I’ve set up my calendar to auto-update and show any event I save on CultureMob.com to give me a reminder on my computer and phone. I’ve got it in my calendar to tell me about any music that matches “Hip-Hop” AND “Funk”. You could set up a search that populates your calendar to tell you about any event that mentions “kinky fetish sex“. You could follow all the events at Neumo’s on your calendar. Follow your favorite band.