There’s that secret pleasure in scanning another person’s bookshelf while they’re not looking. It’s like Googling someone; you learn things about them that they may not realize they’re sharing. I acknowledge this pleasure and wish to share it with you, the interested Internet, so I queried the Kalamunists on what they’re reading. Check out the list and get a peek at our mental underbelly. Matthew Mack is reading:
We’re excited to announce that two of our members will be speaking at the Drupal North conference this summer in Ottawa, Canada. Drupal North is a free, three-day conference focusing on Drupal-related topics and the community that drives the Drupal Project. If you’re attending, you’re in for a ton of great sessions.
I want agency life to mean smiles, rainbows, and slaps on the back. But in a business that trades in collaborative intellectual output, that feelgood place doesn’t happen overnight. Over the past 11 years I’ve worked in marketing strategy and account management roles in Europe and the US, at shops like Mucho Design, Orbital BBDO, and EuroRSCG, and I’m now an account manager at Kalamuna. Over time I’ve picked up a thing or two about how agencies can do great work on time and on-budget, with more than enough feelgood to go around.
Our time on this earth is limited and we have a commitment to leave it better than we found it. Practically, this means refusing to corroborate the agendas of organizations who, knowingly or not, act with blind disregard to the consequences of their actions on present and future generations. Moreover, it means devoting our collective energy towards causes that will impact the world in a positive way. Kalamuna works primarily with mission-driven organizations. The best way to live up to our values is to act upon them.
During our agency’s weekly video call, our developer in Romania, Emanuel, showed us images of massive protests in his city’s streets. On a Slack channel, someone else posted an image of Beavis and Butthead’s Beavis alongside Kellyanne Conway. These are just two of several occasions when I’ve thought, “Uh-oh. We’re talking politics. Someone’s going to get pissed and there’s going to be a fight.” So far that hasn’t happened.
We do a semi-institutional event called a “KalaSalon,” where a few of us talk about what’s on our minds, and how things relevant to “work” are relevant to “life,” and vice-versa. It’s part of our whole west coast we’re-holistic-let’s-see-what-works deal. During our last KalaSalon, I talked with Jr. Developer Katy Pool, Sr. Developer Rob Loach, and Sr. Interaction Designer Thiago de Mello Bueno. We ended up on the subject of “constraints,” and how they’re useful in all kinds of situations.
At Kalamuna we not only build Drupal websites, but we also provide support services for a plethora of clients. One of these is providing security updates; we pride ourselves on keeping our clients’ sites safe and free from vulnerabilities. But, I have to admit that when I hear of new security releases I cringe. I think about the tedious process of going through each site or trying to recall who has what modules installed on their site. But I just discovered an app that finds all of the new security updates for me: Evercurrent. Read on to see how it works.
We create sites for universities and mission driven orgs, but we still love to get in on the ground floor with exploratory ventures. It’s in this spirit that we’re excited to announce our work with a University of California at Berkeley (UCB)-related civic software project called AppCivist, which leverages expertise from senior design, UX and development team members Rob Loach and Thiago de Mello Bueno. The new app seeks to help citizens dig into local issues that affect them, and then propose and collaborate on solutions.
Every year I try to attend as many industry conferences as possible, but over the years I’ve become more selective about which ones I go to. I find them to be incredibly valuable and insightful, but they also cost money and take time, so I grade them pretty hard. This year I had the pleasure of attending several UX-focused conferences. Each was great in different ways, and I came away leaving inspired each time, and wanting to share some of the lessons I learned, so I wrote this blog post.
Mother Jones is a politically progressive American magazine reporting on politics, the environment, human rights, and culture. The magazine tapped Kalamuna to increase their social media presence by adopting the new Facebook Instant Articles standard, which delivers incredibly fast and immersive reading experiences for people on Facebook, making mobile browsing quick and easy. In fact, Facebook Instant Articles: