FeedIndex



I’m a writer who does some designing too.

I’m all about discovering how new technology and design impacts our lives. With each new Kickstarter project or OS update, we’re innovating at an insanely rapid rate and I think it’s important that we all step back for some perspective once in a while so that we don’t get jaded by all of the buttons, cords and touch screens. Because if we get too jaded, humans could be overrun by robots before you know it. So I guess you could say, I’m saving us all from the robo-pocalypse by way of perspective.

I'm a Freelance Editor for Brit.Co where I write mostly about Technology and Design. I write about tech and startups over at ThinkApps and I also cover the ins and outs of food and events in Los Angeles for Apartments.com.

I always make time to regularly contribute to hitRECord, and I seldom find time to write on my film blog, reviewing classic movies I should have seen by now but haven't: Better Late Than Never.

In 2012, I moved to Los Angeles by way of Texas and Georgia and I accidentally fell in love with it.




katelanalivia[at]gmail.com




Scroll to the right to check out some of my work and get a feel for things. You can also catch me elsewhere on the world wide web:

Brit+Co.
ThinkApps
SoulPancake
Medium
HitRECord
Apartments.com
Freelancers Union
GOOD Community
The Branch
Electric Literature
GOOD Ideas for Cities
Drawl Magazine
Arlington, Texas Magazine
Well FED
District Quarterly
District

ThinkApps is an on-demand service building apps for startups in Silicon Valley and beyond. I write for their blog covering trends and strategies in startups, interviewing founders and getting the story on new and exciting technology.

Startup Stories: Minbox and Their
50K-View Product Teaser



When you think about sharing files, your mind probably scrolls through to a few go-to services: Dropbox, Google Docs and maybe even WeTransfer. Each has their own perks and pitfalls but across the board, none of them are super ideal for cross-team, cross-cloud collaboration. With Minbox 3, Alexander Mimran and his small team are looking to change that. I talked to him about the evolution of Minbox and how he’s looking to disrupt how we think about file sharing.

“I think the problem is that there’s data everywhere in all of these different buckets [i.e. Dropbox, Google Docs, WeTransfer] and we’re trying to bring them together.”


If you take a quick scroll through Product Hunt, you’ll notice a lot of trends companies use for their startup videos, which isn’t a bad thing, especially if you’re introducing a totally new tech idea to the masses. Releasing a formulaic video isn’t so bad because people are already familiar with the formula, so all you have to explain to them is the product. But Minbox threw all of those formulas to the wind and it really paid off. Read the full interview right here.


Tech Roundup: 5 Ways to Message Smarter




We may never tire of having fun new ways to message people. Even if at first they seemed silly, we’ve found a place in our chat lives for emojis, Snaps and even GIF keyboards. Now they’re woven into our online language right along with “LOL” and “OMG.”

Rest assured, this is not a roundup of innovative emoji apps (though there are a couple out there). Instead, this week’s Product Hunt finds make it easier for you to sync your conversations across platforms and devices. And believe it or not, they have found a way to bring a bit of humanity back to the way we talk to each other on screen. Get the scoop on the best ways to communicate with your friends, clients and complete strangers.


Lean Enterprise: How Big Companies
Can Innovate Like Startups



The tools for efficiency that keep startups agile aren’t just for startups.The growing popularity of the Lean Startup model is well-warranted. A lean startup operates on efficiency, embraces new ideas, and keeps its workflow agile so that the team is able to bend to a changing market and reach the entrepreneurial holy grail — product-market fit.

Trevor Owens, CEO and founder of Lean Startup Machine, guides businesses in embracing the processes that lead to startup-like innovation … no matter how big the company is. In a webinar with Business 2 Community, he covered strategies and principles that are key to bringing big innovation to enterprises with the dexterity of small companies. Click to read how thinking small can help big companies.
Brit + Co. is a creative community of makers who love color, technology, food, fashion and all things DIY. As a Freelance Editor, I focus on technology and design, curating lists and spotlighting the best of the best in what's innovative online and off.


How Your Instagram Photos Can Make You Money



So you’ve gotten pretty good at the art of mobile photography. You’re killing it with natural lighting, and you probably use at least two editing apps before you even get to Instagram. As the hearts flood in within minutes of every post, you rightly start to think, “I’m hot stuff.” But we have a question for you: When’s the last time all those likes earned you some cold hard cash?

With each new smartphone update, the quality of mobile photography improves megapixel by megapixel, and if you’ve seen any of our Instagram roundups, you know this is resulting in some really professional-looking pics. Photo pro Chad Newell saw the stellar pics people were posting on Instagram, and he wanted to offer a way for people to make some serious moola from the pictures they were already taking. Snapwire was born. Read on to get to the part about making money.

____________________


3D Printing + Cork = Bespoke Glasses



If you’re a glasses-wearer (of the optical or sun variety), you know that no matter how stylish, high-quality or trendy your frames are, sometimes they start to droop down your nose leaving you peering down through them like an old lady. And sometimes they just don’t fit quite right.

The solution is in customizable (i.e. “bespoke”) frames that are personalized to the dimensions of your face. Swiss industrial designer Adrian Goegl has made a brilliant discovery in revolutionizing the world of bespoke eyewear with his project Oak & Dust. His secret weapons are 3-D printing and cork. Yes, cork. Find out how he does it.

____________________


15 Must-Follow Street Photographers on Instagram



Street photography has been around long before the days of Instagram feeds, but now it’s more accessible than ever. From the fashionable streets of Paris to the inspiring architecture of Barcelona, you can satisfy your love for big city life from wherever you are through your phone. Get the full list of 15 photographers who are taking their skills (and us!) to the streets.

____________________


London Is Turning Phone Booths into
Something Way More Useful



Think about the last time you saw a phone booth, or any public phone for that matter. It’s probably been a long, Long, LONG time (2006 if our memory serves us right). With smartphones in our pockets, finding a phone booth is like stumbling across an ancient relic. But in London, phone booths have a bit more prestige and tradition. The red phone booth has become an icon of the city, right up there with Big Ben and double-decker buses, but no matter how cute and iconic, they’re not immune to extinction-by-smartphone. Click to get the whole scoop on the Solarbox.
Medium is a reading/writing platform where people can read and write about things they're passionate about. I'm passionate about technology and culture.

Unraveling the Enigma of the Texas Homecoming Mum



I never had a Homecoming mum, or even a Homecoming date. At my school, Homecoming was all about the football game and the halftime crowning. Worrying about dates for normal things like dances and prom was hard enough without finding a date to a football game. It wasn’t a meme then, but if i could go back in time, I think my ideal sentiment could be easily summarized by the phrase, “I can’t.”

I was in the vast minority when it came to protesting the mum. Actually, it wasn’t a protest or even some desire to be different. It was simply a severe lack of interest. But for most people, the mum is a sense of pride and nostalgia like a prom dress. Most girls I knew had each year’s mum hanging in a row in their rooms. But for some reason, unlike my desire to wear paper-thin Hollister tees and Soffe shorts and, this was one high school landmark that I never felt I needed. Keep reading to get to the bottom of the mum.

____________________


It’s time to outgrow the generation gap



I’ve read so, so many lists and opinion pieces full of statistics, assumptions, and generalizations explaining why the people of my generation are the way we are. Why myself and my friends live in limbo between feeling like we deserve so much and still feeling like children, and most of all: why we won’t shut up about it.

Yes, many of us received at least one participation trophy in our lifetime. Many of us were told we can do anything. A lot of us got degrees we can’t use in a meager work force and paying off those degrees is proving to be, well, near impossible. But another Top 20 List of observations getting to the bottom of why we spend so much time on our smartphones and how to handle us seems to be beating a dead meme. Read more about young folks who are changing the game.

____________________


No more spoon-fed technology:
A eulogy to skeuomorphism



If you’re unfamiliar, skeuomorphism can be defined as nostalgia by design. Faux wood paneling on the side of a station wagon. Cute but immovable wooden shutters. The sound of the shutter click your phone makes when you take a picture. What once was a necessity of function in generations past, becomes an embellishment solely for the purpose of touchy-feely familiarity—a baby step in our understanding of what’s new. But Apple’s event tomorrow could be a big step (one that Google and Microsoft have already taken) in moving technology’s functionality into a world of its own, independent of its tangible counterparts.

...

This upgrade is long overdue, and at this stage, a moot point of controversy. It symbolizes not just an evolution of design and user experience, but also an evolution of perspective. When we no longer tie our technology to the expectations of its tangible counterparts or older generations, then the possibilities are unbound. We can see past the limitations of the physical world and envision the potential of the digital one. Read the whole piece

____________________


Tweet by tweet, we're making history




In the past five years or so, tech innovators and laggards alike have been able to go to Twitter for the latest news before seeing it anywhere else. Taking into account excusable, and not-so-excusable fallacies, we take the bad with good, choose who to listen to and piece together our own story as it develops. Our views, likes, shares and retweets gauge the impact of major historical events, and the impact of the May 20 tornado in Moore, Okla. was massive.
...

Through the lens of social media, major events that were once considered regional turn national, global, even. Online petitions have taken the place of door-to-door efforts. Lawn signs and bumper stickers are being replaced by a temporary change of profile pic. And actually, I don’t think these conceptual skeumorphs are less effective given the amount of time we spend online. They’re well-intentioned and if nothing else, gain attention for things people care about. But we all care about so many things, it’s difficult deciding where to dole out one’s thought, much less, real empathy. How are we supposed to really feel it all? Read the whole piece
As part of the SoulPancake Brainlab, I gave feedback on the site and wrote prompts to get the community involved in answering Life's Big Questions. These are some of the questions I've asked.


One-Word Year in Review

As people weighed in with one-word summaries of 2012, I saw many similarities and patterns. So I looked beyond my SoulPancake writing role and created an infographic based off of users' responses. Infographics usually represent solid, black and white statistics, so playing with words, concepts and emotions seemed like it could be an adventure...and it was!



Click here for a larger, zoomable version.


____________________


When Will You Be Your Future Self?

image source

The person I aspired to be was a mirage. Not a figment of my imagination. Not an idol I aspired to mimic, but a mirage. I could see her, always in the distance with details I could never quite make out. This person who I wanted to be was waiting at a benchmark on the timeline on my life. I thought that when I was ready and worthy, I would approach her, my future self, able to see all the details up close. Able to pass her the baton and say, "Take it from here."

This imagery had always sulked in me beneath the skin, a cumulonimbus cloud hovering just above the heart--it's only recently surfaced itself. And as silly as it may seem, at 23, I'm just now realizing that I've been living beneath the shadow of my mirage. I thought that becoming her would be something I'd approach quite literally by passing on the very thing I've existed to build. But she doesn't exist without me. I am her.

Who are you? When are you going to turn into who you want to be and how are you going to do it? People shared ideas and aspirations.
____________________


The Past: Revisited



@thisistheilliad "I long for New York City on the daily. That has never left me."

My friend posted this on Twitter and it struck a resounding chord with me. I miss Savannah, Georgia all the time in a way that makes me feel like maybe I never experienced it enough. Like maybe there's more to see and I'm missing it.

It's a place of grungy alleyways, vocal cats, historic statues in parks, bars always within walking distance and people always on porches. It's a place kept alive with stories and nostalgia. My boyfriend says that nostalgia is a longing for a feeling that you can never have again, which I think is true. But you can't miss something until you leave it.

The energy of Savannah, though often Southern-slow and contained, is the very thing that makes it, for me, a place worth missing. It's something worth holding onto.

What memories does it feel good to have? Is nostalgia bittersweet or just bitter? People shared memories.

Tweet and photos of Savannah by Adeshola Adigun, @thisistheilliad


____________________


Where Do You Congregate?



image source

Whether you're religious or not, you have to admit, that religions have a knack for bringing people together. In a temple, mosque, or church, like-minded folks gather and share their faith. But it doesn't have to be a house of worship. It could be the pool, a coffee house, a park, a mountain, a bowling alley...

Is there a place where you spend time with like-minded folks that's uplifting and makes you feel part of something larger than yourself?

Go there. Take a photo. Share the space with us.

Upload a photo of the coolest place where you congregate.People shared photos.