Reflections on Instagram

This week the founders of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mikey Krieger, are leaving the company. Instagram is only about 8 years old and has continued to grow since it’s acquisition by Facebook in 2012. I was an early user of Instagram and from the start was really into the idea of Instagram meetups. One of the first meetups I helped organize was in South Park on January 20th, 2011, where we got a surprise visit from Kevin, Mikey, Josh Riedel, and Shayne Sweeney.

Instagram had a surprisingly big impact on my life. After organizing a ton of #Instawalks, I developed a reputation as an early evangelist and pioneer of the mobile photography movement. I eventually left my job as a game designer at Tribal Games and started working for Postagram as a community manager. I got write ups in Wired and The New York Times and was a regularly appearing guest on several Revision 3 shows.

So big shout out to Mikey and Kevin. Instagram had a huge impact on my life and many others, I’m sure. Can’t wait to see what you make next.

 

It’s pronounced “GIF”: Pieces from the Hard G Project

Last week I wrote about some pieces I created for the Hard G Project. After hanging these pieces around the city, the organizer of the project then gave a talk at XOXO in Portland. Now that the project is officially over, I can share the gifs I created online. So, here they are:

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

The first two gifs, “Pac-Man Fever” and “Book on Tape”, were drawn on my iPad using the Procreate App. But that doesn’t have an animation feature, so I had to use photoshop to turn my Procreate images into Gifs. The third piece, “Nerd Resistance”, was created using an image from an old NASA guide to soldering.

 

Gif art IRL and emergent behaviour

I was asked to create some GIFs for a new gorilla art project called The Hard G Project. The organizers gave me a couple of tablets to display the gifs on and I got to decide when, where, and how the art was hung. The idea was that we’d leave the tablets up, with my art animating, and they stay up until they are stolen or the batteries die.

I hung one of my pieces on Clarion Alley and stuck around to watch a few people interact with it. When I came back 4 or 5 hours later, I was surprised at what I found… the iPad had been switched to camera mode and a bunch of people took selfies from this odd little iPad hanging in an Alley.

That feeling when people like taking selfies more than they like your art. Sigh…

Hard G Project

Hard G Project

 

Really Simple Style: How I RSS’d My Wardrobe

When a friend asked where I bought my shoes I told them it was the result of an RSS search on eBay. Looking closer, I realized my entire outfit (from head to toe) was the result of RSS searches.

Like many of you, I buy most of my clothes online. The only difference is that I used RSS feeds to find most of the clothes I bought in the last 5 years. Typically this means I’ll do a search for something on eBay or craigslist, and if they don’t have what I want, I add that search to my RSS reader so I’ll get notified whenever that item appears. Then I just forget about it and start watching cute animal videos on youtube.

From time to time an item appears in my RSS feed and I check to see if the Buy It Now is within my price range. If not, I come up with a low (but reasonable price) and use Auction Sniper to place my auction bid in the final seconds of a listing. Typically, I lose, but that’s a good thing because the item sold for more than I was willing to pay. The whole system is set up for me not to constantly check eBay for an item, then get into a bidding war on that item (that I don’t really NEED, but kind of want). As much as I love getting clothes for cheap, I also get competitive with other buyers and used to spend way too much, so this set-it and forget-it mentality really works for people like me that may be willing to have a search going for years before they score the perfect item for an insanely low price.

My RSS Outfit

Like I mentioned before, my entire outfit (except for the underwear) was found via RSS feeds. So we decided to do a fashion shoot documenting the hat, jacket, shirt, shoes, pants, and even socks. Huge thanks to my Emma Zwirko for taking these photos (and not making me feel super silly while doing it). You can see more of her fashion photos on Instagram.
An outfit comprised of RSS searches
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