Charles Adler, Co-Founder of Kickstarter, Is Opening a Creative Space in Chicago and This Is What it Looks Like

On Friday I finally got a chance to check out a Creative Mornings event. These things — I think the best term might be happening, actually — are notoriously hard to get tickets to. There are two big reasons for this:

  1. They are free. In fact, they’re better than free. They provide coffee, donuts and water. Do-Rite supplied the coffee and donuts at this one. I didn’t get any coffee (more on that later) but the chocolate donut I had was more than agreeable.
  1. They are cool. Cool people speak at Creative Mornings. Cool people organize them. Cool people go to them. I was actually a little intimidated by the coolness of CM happenings before I went. Luckily, cool doesn’t mean aloof and exclusive anymore like it did back in middle school. Cool means creative and nice. I found that everyone at this CM event was, in fact, very cool.

Charles Adler, co-founder of Kickstarter, was the featured speaker at this CM happening. He hosted it inside a new space for makers that he’s opening soon. It’s called Lost Arts, which is an apt name because it isn’t easy to find.

charles_adler_exterior

I arrived a little after 8:30 in the morning, already sweating through my shirt and very thirsty. The space is an old warehouse (I think), so there was lots of space for seating. All of the seats looked full, but after grabbing a bottle of water and a donut, I found one. I introduced myself to the guy next to me, a software developer and fellow first-timer at a CM event. After a show of hands, it was clear that we were in the minority.

I liked Adler’s talk. He is proud of his roots as a punk rock kid. Punk values — authenticity, self-expression and community — continue to influence his work. And like any true punk, he is skeptical of large institutions and the rules — real or imaginary — that they propagate.

Kickstarter is a prime example of a product that re-wrote the rules. It has allowed anyone with an idea to connect directly with an audience — and translate their enthusiasm into financial backing for the project.

Adler’s own personal website describes one theme of his work as “empowering independent creatives.” It was true of Kickstarter — a virtual space where creators can find support — and it’s also at the heart of Lost Arts, a physical space for creative collaboration.

After his talk, Adler took questions. Most of them had to do with the logistics of Lost Arts. Ironically, there is a clear need for rules. (“What’s the minimum age for membership?” “Can people bring their own equipment?”) Worried that I had completely sweat through my clothes at that point, I got up and sipped water as I stood in the back. After he’d handed off the mic and concluded the talk, Adler stationed himself pretty close to where I was standing. So I chatted with him for a minute before heading out. For a guy who co-founded one of the most disruptive products of the last ten years, he was remarkable humble. It also struck me how genuinely interested he was in pursuing new ideas that would drive incredible experiences for other people. He expressed an urge to collaborate with Pitchfork to host live music at Lost Arts. I have a very good feeling that that will indeed happen.

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New Learning Friday: Looking back on 4 Years of Experience

Today marks the end of my over four year tenure as a member of the Walker Sands Digital team.

My journey began the Monday after I graduated college in 2010. As an intern, I was not exactly sure what I wanted to do yet, but I knew that Walker Sands was a great place to get started and immersed with the industry. From my first blog post (that I am currently shrieking as I re-read), to jumping in to hundreds of different projects, I have seen the digital space not only at Walker Sands, but in the industry, evolve.

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3 Ways to Use Screaming Frog SEO Spider to Analyze your Site

Each week a member of our team leads a professional development training session to help grow skills across our team. Over the next few months expect to see one post per week that provides key takeaways, tips and information learned from each session.

This week’s post will show you three useful tips learned from a Screaming Frog Training session led by John Fairley. Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a great tool for analyzing your website to find internal and external linking, response codes for pages on your site, possible SEO issues and much more. Three nice features of Screaming Frog include summary stats, custom filters and setting your user agent.

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3 Creative Websites to Spark Your Creativity

In the digital world, there are millions of directions you can take your skill set. Lucky for us, there are also tons of resources out there that will help take your skills to the next level. Here are three of my favorites.

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What I Learned from W3Schools’ Online HTML Tutorials

Here at Walker Sands, we challenge ourselves to be constant learners; we strive to keep up with the latest developments in web design; to monitor search engines for upcoming SEO trends, and lots more.

So when our CEO and founder Ken Gaebler challenged the digital team to become HTML certified, we accepted the challenge and started studying W3Schools’ online tutorial.

Many of us use HTML and other programming languages on a day-to-day basis. Even so, we each learned something cool, interesting, or applicable that we didn’t know before. I asked my colleagues to name a few of those things. Their answers are below.

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Four Tips for Getting an A+ at your Summer Internship

Unlike college, there are no grades or tests at your internship to measure your performance or success. You are responsible for making the most of your internship and creating learning opportunities for your future.

It can be an adjustment to go from the college classroom to an office environment- there is no syllabus at the beginning of the summer that gives you every assignment you will be completing. You can have numerous tasks given to you and it’s your responsibility to prioritize. Here are four tips interns should keep in mind for making the most of their summer internships:

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How I Did HOW Design Live 2014

I was recently given the opportunity to travel to Boston for HOW Design Live – the biggest annual gathering of creative professionals in the country. I’ve never been to a professional conference before, and I had also never been to Boston, so to say that I was ecstatic would be an understatement. I loved Boston, by the way… But let’s not get off topic. Before I tell you some key takeaways from my trip, let me give you a little bit of background on the event. HOW Live is actually divided into 5 different conferences:

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Lessons From 99u – Are the People You Spend Time with Helping or Hurting Your Creativity?

Last week, I attended the 99u Conference in New York City. It was a three day event filled with workshops, master classes, and speakers from all areas of the creative field.

On day 3 of the event, Tina Roth Eisenberg took to the stage. Tina, the founder of Tattly and Creative Mornings, discussed the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people. She referenced this quote:

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How to Be a Conference All-Star

A big part of the marketing world is conferences. As someone who has been to a few in the past, I have learned the Do’s and Don’ts along the way. Below are a few takeaways that you should know before you head to your next event.

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