It has been quite some time since my last Nor Cal Explorer segment. Recently I moved back to Northern California so it’s only natural that I have started thinking about standing up this series – a personal exploration of interesting people, companies, and online activity that can be found in the region.
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Maybe a couple years ago I came across Edreece via Twitter and the impression I had was he seemed to take great care in the design of “experiences”. It looked to me like he was somewhat of a web designer or developer, a community founder of curators, and maybe a brand manager for some music artists. What stood out to me the most was his sense of taste and his ability to materialize that in his projects. Everything he did seemed high-end and full of class – a reflection of his preferences for what an online experience should be like – from concept to design to subject matter to content. Since these are things I have been working on in my own way for the better part of a decade, his work was something I could appreciate and relate to.
I went back to Twitter to look up his website but realized he was working on some new projects. Apparently his focus has moved to a new application he is developing. Before diving into that, I wanted to do a deeper exploration of his online activities to see if I could find any of the projects I remembered from my first encounter.
Edreece is into “The Cool”. A good example from what I remembered. It looks to be a community content curation platform. Best here to let him put the project in his own words.
We built The Cool to house all of the wondrous, beautiful and awe-inspiring things we were constantly finding around the web. We create and share content in the form of entertainment, tech, music, fashion, art & design, inspiration, and consumer goods. We like to think of ourselves as curators of cool. It's an ongoing process and we're constantly evolving - we invite you to share this journey with us.
The Cool is probably somewhat of a statement about categorical media. These verticals have a proven appeal when it comes to modern media concepts like Fast Company for instance. They represent a kind of movement I have tracked over the years that looks at what kind of things people take an interest in when they are browsing the web, what they like to share, perhaps how that tailors in to specific demographics, and for sure represents digital material that looks great online.
Another example of Edreece’s work can be found on the fashion brand website for Soúroupo na Avgí which fits in with the categorical insights and the minimal design to feature visual media foremost. Again, from his own description.
Soúroupo na Avgí or "From Dusk 'Till Dawn" is an avant-garde fashion movement created from the various silhouettes of night and day, black and white, fall and spring, winter and summer, dusk and dawn. Co-created www.houseofsna.com. Developed, initiated, and analyzed marketing strategies and project concepts. Soúroupo na Avgí is worn by high-profile clients like Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and others.
I can appreciate here the integration of digital strategy between website and a content management system or blogging activity. Notice here how the brand blog is visual intensive – really an extension of the main site, but content that is more structured for following and sharing. I like it a lot. Now another thing that stands out to me is the willingness to let little more than images and perhaps taglines do the talking. Not only is this approach to social media more native to the mediums and user behaviors out there, I think it is also a very progressive online strategy for mitigating the burden of “cognitive overhead” – an aspiration to push the envelope for minimal design in content. Very nice.
I have been blogging for the better part of a decade and one of my big areas of interest has been the technique involved in producing media as an experience. If you look at the evolution of my work you will find a focus on minimal design both for website and content – I will post things like a picture with little more than maybe a tagline and link embedded in the image. There is a time and place to go deeper into written content, but I think that is often best left as layers behind first impressions and user canvassing behaviors. There can be an artistic quality involved in selecting some picture that can stand alone as a call to action – like a piece hung in a gallery in just the right placement for people to discover upon and reflect on the artist intention or their own emotional “affect”.
Personally, especially when this comes to telling your story, this is something I have been talking about using video for. It’s one of the reasons I describe my site as Northern California’s premier online social media environment, and you can find me posting blog content featuring little more than videos as stand-alone experiences pertaining to all that is great about Northern California or what I consider to be worthwhile experiences of artful short-film production.
Apparently Edreece is right there with me and this brings us to his current development project based out of San Francisco.
Jurni is a new and unique video sharing application where users share their experiences via video. Jurni users capture moments that matter while allowing greater connectivity with people who are going through similar experiences and emotions.
I think more interesting than just the fact of a video sharing application is the integration of technology that drives at more “meaningful” communication and interaction.
Jurni creates an engaging environment for public and private journaling while allowing users to connect with one another on a very personal level. The key to this connection is affect analysis, our unique algorithm that links feelings with written content - allowing users to find one another through shared experiences and emotions. In this way, Jurni creates community.
Affect analyses, and the integration thereof in applications, represent the forefront of digital media and online technology development coming out of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. I think you can probably see how Edreece’s background in design and media bring him around naturally to this kind of project. Very “cool”.
It looks like this online media personality shares some other interests with me such as soccer. Overall, he seems like someone that might be worthwhile to know. Edreece, if you happen to be reading this, it would be my pleasure to engage you in a conversation!