Hey Future Lauren! (alternatively, Dear Reader)

It’s a late April evening and you are trying to reflect on what you wrote for this semester. I am sure that you (well, me.) will look back on this and say “god lauren why were you always such a dweeb?” You’re not a dweeb, you’re trying to be genuine. You had feelings that matter, damn it! And you wrote about them! Maybe not well the first time but that’s what drafts were for! I’ll look back on this letter and say “were you drunk?” to which I will answer my own question: no. I’m not. I’m exhausted and burnt out.

I have been in school for 16 out of my 21 years on this earth. Not even 21 years! My birthday is the first which is before this will be due. Keep this in mind as you read your own writing, and cut yourself some slack- you don’t know what you don’t know yet. Long division scared you once and that passed, so this will too. The burned out feeling will pass. You will get some of your traction back, you will hopefully feel like to start to matter more. Hopefully you will stop grumbling at people who tell you to stop stressing out. They try to care about you, they just didn’t have sixty pages of revisions to do in less than a week. They just don’t understand. Cut them some slack.

As far as writing, you did pretty well as far as you can tell. You struggle with poetry but with every draft, you tried to write more images and put them in there. You tried to show a lot and tell less than you had in the draft before. You strived especially to be concise in your writing, which you struggle with in other classes. You hated poetry significantly less than you do with other classes. Your rhythm is still off but hey, you will survive. You can always revise. You probably won’t, but you can.

Go take a nap or something.

You(rs,)

Lauren J. Hurlock
April, 2013.

College of Charleston Milestones in Diversity

I had the idea to spotlight notable black alumni during Black History Month and beyond. My goal was to improve black alumni buy-in to the College, eventually ending in more engagement and potential volunteers and donors.

We started with some of the earliest graduates from the College and work my way forward. I was tasked with reaching out to the potential features, explaining the project, sending them the questionnaire, and when I received the responses, I wrote them out into an article form. From there, I was responsible for finding pictures of them, coding the pages, and writing social media promotion.

Despite the slow start, the project has been resoundingly successful. We have alumni nominating themselves, their friends, and their relatives. The posts are also very successful on social media as well.

You can see all of the Milestones here: https://alumni.cofc.edu/milestones-in-
diversity

Official Ring Tradition

I was responsible for the College’s Ring Tradition. We sold the official College of Charleston Ring with a portion of each purchase benefitting the Alumni Association. I was able to utilize many tactics to promote and expand the program, including organizing Ring Days, regular email promotions, events, and coordinating with student promoters.

Ring Days are where our partners would be on campus to sell the rings, sending supporting invitations to eligible students, sending parents information about the rings, social media, and creating yard signs to be placed for ring days. Pictured is my design for the ring day sign

I helped organize the first Ring Tradition Night, where students came to place their rings to stay overnight in the College’s first classroom.

To promote the event, we created social media, sent a drip email campaign to students and parents, and collaborated with other departments to capture the event. I created certificates to certify that each ring had spent the night in the College’s first classroom. The pictures below were posted to the College’s official instagram and snapchat account to promote awareness for next year’s event.

CofC Traditions Keeper App


In 2015, the College of Charleston’s Student Alumni Associates launched a program called the “Traditions Keepers”, in which students would receive a book and complete common College traditions to receive a medal to wear at graduation.

In 2017, I lobbied for the book to be turned into an interactive app that could be used by alumni as well. I managed and executed each stage of the process, including the design, created image assets, and updated copy. The CofC Traditions app launched on April 8, 2018.

Skills

Writing
  - Writing Samples
Social Media
  - Creating platform-specific content and promotional strategy
  - Analyzing growth and engagement statistics
  - Creating ad campaigns, boosted posts
  - Experience managing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn,
  LinkedIn Groups, Pinterest, Flickr, Youtube, Vimeo, Hootsuite
Blogging
  - Writing, editing, and of course, posting content
  - Tracking web traffic and engagement
Wordpress
Email Marketing
  - Designing, editing, sending campaigns, newsletters
  - Tracking analytics to determine success
  - Experience using MyEmma, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, iContact,
   BlackBaud NetCommunity
Photography
Graphic Design
Software
  - Everything Apple
  - Microsoft Office Suite
  - Adobe Creative Suite, especially Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
  - Salesforce
  - Basecamp
  - Asana
  - Slack
  - Cascade

Writing Samples

Content Is King by Bill Gates

Content Is King – Bill Gates (1/3/1996)

Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.

The television revolution that began half a century ago spawned a number of industries, including the manufacturing of TV sets, but the long-term winners were those who used the medium to deliver information and entertainment.

When it comes to an interactive network such as the Internet, the definition of “content” becomes very wide. For example, computer software is a form of content-an extremely important one, and the one that for Microsoft will remain by far the most important.

But the broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. No company is too small to participate.

One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create. In a sense, the Internet is the multimedia equivalent of the photocopier. It allows material to be duplicated at low cost, no matter the size of the audience.

The Internet also allows information to be distributed worldwide at basically zero marginal cost to the publisher. Opportunities are remarkable, and many companies are laying plans to create content for the Internet.

For example, the television network NBC and Microsoft recently agreed to enter the interactive news business together. Our companies will jointly own a cable news network, MSNBC, and an interactive news service on the Internet. NBC will maintain editorial control over the joint venture.

I expect societies will see intense competition-and ample failure as well as success-in all categories of popular content-not just software and news, but also games, entertainment, sports programming, directories, classified advertising, and on-line communities devoted to major interests.

Printed magazines have readerships that share common interests. It’s easy to imagine these communities being served by electronic online editions.

But to be successful online, a magazine can’t just take what it has in print and move it to the electronic realm. There isn’t enough depth or interactivity in print content to overcome the drawbacks of the online medium.

If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will. They need to have audio, and possibly video. They need an opportunity for personal involvement that goes far beyond that offered through the letters-to-the-editor pages of print magazines.

A question on many minds is how often the same company that serves an interest group in print will succeed in serving it online. Even the very future of certain printed magazines is called into question by the Internet.

For example, the Internet is already revolutionizing the exchange of specialized scientific information. Printed scientific journals tend to have small circulations, making them high-priced. University libraries are a big part of the market. It’s been an awkward, slow, expensive way to distribute information to a specialized audience, but there hasn’t been an alternative.

Now some researchers are beginning to use the Internet to publish scientific findings. The practice challenges the future of some venerable printed journals.

Over time, the breadth of information on the Internet will be enormous, which will make it compelling. Although the gold rush atmosphere today is primarily confined to the United States, I expect it to sweep the world as communications costs come down and a critical mass of localized content becomes available in different countries.

For the Internet to thrive, content providers must be paid for their work. The long-term prospects are good, but I expect a lot of disappointment in the short-term as content companies struggle to make money through advertising or subscriptions. It isn’t working yet, and it may not for some time.

So far, at least, most of the money and effort put into interactive publishing is little more than a labor of love, or an effort to help promote products sold in the non-electronic world. Often these efforts are based on the belief that over time someone will figure out how to get revenue.

In the long run, advertising is promising. An advantage of interactive advertising is that an initial message needs only to attract attention rather than convey much information. A user can click on the ad to get additional information-and an advertiser can measure whether people are doing so.

But today the amount of subscription revenue or advertising revenue realized on the Internet is near zero-maybe $20 million or $30 million in total. Advertisers are always a little reluctant about a new medium, and the Internet is certainly new and different.

Some reluctance on the part of advertisers may be justified, because many Internet users are less-than-thrilled about seeing advertising. One reason is that many advertisers use big images that take a long time to download across a telephone dial-up connection. A magazine ad takes up space too, but a reader can flip a printed page rapidly.

As connections to the Internet get faster, the annoyance of waiting for an advertisement to load will diminish and then disappear. But that’s a few years off.

Some content companies are experimenting with subscriptions, often with the lure of some free content. It’s tricky, though, because as soon as an electronic community charges a subscription, the number of people who visit the site drops dramatically, reducing the value proposition to advertisers.

A major reason paying for content doesn’t work very well yet is that it’s not practical to charge small amounts. The cost and hassle of electronic transactions makes it impractical to charge less than a fairly high subscription rate.

But within a year the mechanisms will be in place that allow content providers to charge just a cent or a few cents for information. If you decide to visit a page that costs a nickel, you won’t be writing a check or getting a bill in the mail for a nickel. You’ll just click on what you want, knowing you’ll be charged a nickel on an aggregated basis.

This technology will liberate publishers to charge small amounts of money, in the hope of attracting wide audiences.

Those who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products-a marketplace of content.

This essay is copyright © 2001 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Stre.am Named as a Finalist for SXSW Interactive Innovation Award

Originally posted January 8th, 2015.

Stre.am is a finalist for an Interactive Innovation Award – the winners announced at SXSW March 17th.

January 28th, 2015, Charleston, SC – Stre.am was named as one of five finalists for the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards. Stre.am, a mobile broadcasting app launched by InfiniteTakes, is one of five finalists in the Innovation in Connecting People category. This year, SXSW expanded their 18th annual Innovation Awards to fourteen categories; this year’s attendance estimated at 72,000 registrants.

In a press release, Mason Stewart, SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards Coordinator said, “we are truly honored and humbled by the caliber of this year’s Innovation Award finalists, … SXSW Interactive is driven based on the values of innovation, inspiration and creativity, and these finalists embody these principles to their core.”

“As Stre.am gets closer to coming out of beta, it’s exciting to be recognized by others in the interactive field. We know that innovation is essential to success, and we’re proud to have SXSW acknowledge the effort we’ve put into achieving that goal,” said Jeremy Martin, CTO.

Stre.am allows users to socially stream live video on a non-permanent platform, which can be viewed from any device at http://stre.am, or through the app which is available for both iOS and Android.

#madeforiOS: How to dim your iPhone for night use

Originally posted here 14 January 2016

We’ve used our iPhones at night and wanted to put sunglasses on – but we’re not Corey Hart. Did you know that staring at a bright screen before bed affects your sleep cycle? Apple is addressing this with an amazing UX feature in the next iOS update – but if you want to use it now, we have a work around for you.

Here’s how Night Shift works:
“Many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep. Night Shift uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location. Then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes. In the morning, it returns the display to its regular settings. Pleasant dreams,” from Apple’s iOS 9.3 Preview

As John Brownlee so expertly said in his write up of Night Shift for Fast Design Co: “The human sleep cycle is uniquely sensitive at night to the blue light that is emitted by most screens, with the American Medical Association recommending that those with sleep disorders minimize their time with screens before bedtime, or using dim red lighting to minimize the effect. That’s because as it gets darker, our eyes expect to see warmer light: for example, the reddish light of a candle, a fire, or a sunset, as opposed to the blue light of daytime.”

We’ve often found ourselves blinded trying to use our iOS at night – whether it’s checking an iMessage at 2:00 AM, or trying to read on a dark flight. This is actually an accessibility feature that allows you to turn the screen brightness down a little further when it seems blinding. (Thanks, Dan Frakes, for telling us about this feature in a write up of his favorite iOS 8 features!) So, here’s how to dim your screen:

1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Zoom.
2. Enable Zoom.
3. Tap the screen three times with three fingers. This brings up a zoom-options popover.
4. Tap Choose Filter, and then tap Low Light. The screen will dim considerably.
5. Tap outside the popover to dismiss it.
6. Make sure Zoom Region, a bit lower on that screen, is set to Full Screen Zoom. (It was for me, but some readers report that it wasn’t for them.)
7. Disable Zoom to restore the screen to its normal brightness.
8. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut and choose Zoom.

Now, whenever you triple-press the Home button, you’ll toggle this “extra dimming” mode on or off. (If you selected multiple Accessibility Shortcut options, you’ll instead see a popover listing those options; tap one to toggle it.) Note that the brightness level of your “extra dimmed” screen is relative to your screen’s current brightness setting, which means that if you want it really dim, you should use Control Center to reduce brightness to the lowest level, and then triple-press the Home button. The result is a screen that’s much dimmer than you’ve probably seen before, and thus much better for use in the dark.

(Interestingly, this dimmed mode really is a screen filter, rather than a further dimming of the screen. You can see this if you rotate your device 90 degrees—as the screen switches orientations, the filter rotates more slowly than the rest of the screen, revealing the screen’s actual brightness level for a fraction of a second.)

The accessibility feature might not be as robust as Apple’s solution, but it’s one you can start using tonight. Should we know about a feature that you love? Tell us on twitter!

Origins: BookArc’s Cable Catch

Originally published here on 21 January 2016
BookArc was the first product we released when we started in 2009. BookArc lets you conveniently use your MacBook with a large external monitor, extended keyboard, and mouse, for a more comfortable work setup utilizing a little-known feature called closed-clamshell mode. Working off of a single monitor increases focus, minimizes workspace clutter and even speeds up display performance by dedicating 100% video memory to a single display.

Before BookArc, using your computer in closed-clamshell mode left your MacBook laying flat, taking up valuable space. But with a BookArc, your MacBook is lifted vertically off of your desk, while silicone inserts with built-in cable management hooks underneath secure any loose power cords or adapters. It freed up additional space and made using the MacBook closed neater.

When we redesigned BookArc in 2015, we designed BookArc with the latest MacBooks in mind, giving BookArc a much smaller footprint. Slimming down meant rethinking BookArc’s cable management – a necessary feature we didn’t want to lose. So we designed the aluminum arc- not the inserts- to do the cable management. BookArc’s feet were redesigned designed to hold your cables in place when you unplug your Mac and go- we call it Cable Catch.

Click here to learn more about BookArc and closed clam-shell mode. What’s your favorite Twelve South feature? Tell us on Twitter!

#TheTwelve things I love this Valentine’s Day: the extended cut

Written for Twelve South’s round up, #TheTwelve.

President’s Day weekend is usually one of the coldest weekends of the year in our hometown, Charleston, South Carolina. Although it’s still cold, Phil predicted an early spring. For February’s The Twelve, we’re loving bright colors, natural and unnatural scenes.

After reading this Gear Patrol post on Platform, we can’t wait to get one in Charleston.

Joshua Budich’s illustrations of pop culture food and drink made us smile.

The Ancient Origins of Your Obsession with Adult Coloring Books  is an interesting, in-depth look at what might be considered a fad. It goes in depth about flow, sand mandalas, and how coloring clears the mind.

Tthe entire article is interesting, and brings up great points about getting into creative flow. A certain phrase struck me as particularly poignant: “experiencing a mindlessness born from mindfulness on a task.” It’s something I miss about writing and hope to get back to it – the inner mind connecting directly with my keyboard, untangling knots I didn’t know were there.

These unexpected combinations from Paul Fuentes have us looking at things differently.

We’re all taking Knozen‘s minute personality test – it’s pretty accurate, fun, and nice to look at.

The trait I had the highest score for was patience, with a 10/10. Then caring and brainy, tied at 8. Shy and confident, both 7s. Serious I scored poorly, 3, with a score of 0 for being aggressive. Be, aggressive, be be, aggressive.

We love this infographic about how to live like a creative. We sent it to our creative team, who found it surprisingly accurate.

This outlines my entire day and I thought it was bizarre. Although I’m glad I’m not the only one working these hours.

NASA’s jet propulsion lab is giving away downloads of their 14 travel posters for extraterrestrial vacation spots.

We’re missing being out in nature, so this Anne Boysen-designed sofa and these Alexandra Kehayoglou wool rugs are bringing the great outdoors inside.

nature

Speaking of space, Charlie Lloyd’s gif of a day on earth is amazing.

We’re planning on reading 50 books in 2016.

I just need to decide what to read.