Friday Favourites: The Unfold App

Over the last few years, social media has changed the way we communicate, form relationships, and share the most fundamental element of human culture: storytelling. As our digital mediums evolve, new modes of communication have emerged, changing the way we consume others’ stories and express our own. And not necessarily for the better: as we find ourselves connected to more and more people across internet platforms, our attention spans for each person shorten in turn. We’ve embraced quantity, but in doing so, perhaps we’re sacrificing authentic connection as we cave to the pressure to be ever-present online. The result is that so much of what we consume is now just noise to us. 

Yet for many of us in the creative community, social media has been the source of wonderful friendships that have carried over into the everyday, and defined chapters of our lives. Naturally, we feel inclined to share aspects of ourselves online, specifically through bite-size (or fifteen-second) snippets on Instagram Stories. How then, can we use these mediums and platforms to tell stories in beautiful, intentional, and meaningful ways? How do we express ourselves through tools like Instagram Stories without adding to the white noise that people are exposed to but don’t truly digest?

AlfieCobobyScottBakken

Socality community member Alfie Cobo (@alfiecobo) has an answer: intentional storytelling. We met Alfie in New York City at a Socality Community Event in the early part of 2017, and have enjoyed following his journey since then. 

Shortly after Instagram released its Stories feature, Alfie conceived of a way to share meaningful content on the platform in a unique and accessible way. When Alfie and his team launched the Unfold app, they hoped they had created a way for users all over the world to tell their stories on their terms. Driven by a passion for authenticity and purpose, Unfold was developed as a digital toolkit for storytellers to create beautiful pieces for Instagram. Characterized by minimal and elegant templates that allow for balance between imagery and narration, and a healthy dose of individuality, Unfold is a standout among a myriad of third-party Stories apps because it empowers its users to be thoughtful and inspiring storytellers. As Stories becomes one of the most popular and consumed features of Instagram, using Instagram Stories in a purposeful way has the ability to achieves so much more than simply sharing pieces of your day: intentional storytelling can invite your online community to learn something new, experience the world through your eyes, or come together and drive positive change on social media and beyond.

A few reasons we love what Alfie and his team are doing with Unfold:

— Unfold features clean white and black templates, a variety of classic fonts, and simple geometric shapes to allow you to create professional-looking stories regardless of what you decide to share.

— The app helps to create clean and consistent Stories Highlights if you're looking for consistency.  

— Unfold has been downloaded over 100,000 times since its inception, and continues to grow. The future is bright for these guys!

joanpala.jpg

The Unfold App can be found on Apple's app store and in beta release for Android on Google Play. 

World Perspective Day 2018

For the second consecutive year, we’re excited to partner with our friends at 100cameras in celebrating “World Perspective Day” on March 30th, 2018.

100cameras is a New York-based non-profit that aims to show children around the world that their stories matter, no matter where they come from, who they are, or what their everyday lives look like, and to facilitate an exploration of their local environments within a larger global context. 100cameras seeks to empower youth by giving them the tools to see their own inherent value in their unique identities. The organisation encourages participants to share their world through photography, and sells those photos, using the proceeds to provide further education, healthcare, and basic life necessities within the communities that these children call home.

This incredible initiative is centered around a central tenet: perspective. By framing their identity in a local context with the knowledge that they are active participants in a global narrative, 100cameras is nurturing the growth of empathy and compassion for others around the world and fostering a sense of purposeful community in tomorrow’s generation. Last year they took their movement one step further and launched World Perspective Day. Initially an effort to join together and carve out some meaningful space on the internet to encourage people far and wide to engage in the core values of 100cameras, #WorldPerspectiveDay is now an annual event taking place on March 30th. At its core, the event seeks to capture a moment in time across the globe and provide a platform for participants to share their story and engage with others. Official and impromptu meet-ups take place a week beforehand, giving space to record experiences and forge new friendships, and the photos and memories created on that day are shared across social media six days later using the hashtag #WorldPerspectiveDay.

Images selected from #WorldPerspectiveDay 2017 submissions

Here’s a few ways you can get involved this year:

  1. Post an image that represents your perspective and how you see the world.
    1. Use the hashtag #WorldPerspectiveDay on March 30th and post your image(s) to your social media platform of choice (ie. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, VSCO, etc.)
    2. Write a caption that describes why that narrative means something of personal relevance and expression in your life.
  2. Take some time after World Perspective Day (March 30, 2018) to scroll through the #WorldPerspectiveDay hashtag to explore posts from across the world.
    1. We ask everyone to be open to allowing the content shared to become a tool to help educate, listen, respect, and celebrate all the individual threads that compose the collective narrative.
  3. Join a meetup or host a meetup.
    1. A number of meet-ups will take place across international cities the week before World Perspective Day on March 24, 2018. Join one or host your own, and connect with others to engage about the purpose of the day while knowing others across the world are gathering alongside to do the same. To see if there’s an official meetup near you head over to: http://www.worldperspectiveday.com/meetups

We’re excited to spread the word about this initiative with our Socality community and we encourage all of you to join the conversation on Friday, March 30th. To learn more about the origins and inspiration behind World Perspective Day, visit https://www.100cameras.org/blog/2017/3/23/the-inspiration-behind-world-perspective-day and be sure to use the #WorldPerspectiveDay hashtag on March 30, 2018!

 

Friday Favourites | To the women who lift us all up.

by Lauren Hyde

Happy Friday! Today we’re rounding up a few of our favourite sources of inspiration and in the spirit of carrying forward the amazing spirit we saw all around us yesterday commemorating International Women’s Day, this edition of Friday Favourites celebrates a few of near-countless amazing female creatives, activists, entrepreneurs, and leaders that are lifting communities up in their own beautiful ways.

1. To watch and ponder

Musimbi Kanyoro, CEO of the Global Fund for Women, strives to empower women in marginalised communities around the world by fostering their ideas and facilitating their development into action. “What could we achieve for each other?” she asks. Musimbi believes that we all have a “mutual responsibility for caring for one another,” and she sees women living this ideal throughout the world. Her TED Talk brings forth stories of neighbours harvesting each other’s crops together in a farming community in western Kenya, and the pooling of resources to send one young member of the village abroad to medical school so he could return to be a much-needed surgeon for the region. The power of intentional inclusivity, Musimbi states, is the foundation of sustainable work in development, humanitarianism, and philanthropy. 

2. To listen and feel

Ryn Weaver is an American musician and self-professed storyteller who took the internet by storm a few years back when she released her first single “OctaHate.” While that song featured a catchy beat and sing-a-long lyrics, what we love most about Ryn is her unique vocal style, characterised by an almost haunting edge in her voice, and her startling range from electro-pop to classical to folk and back again. To hear exactly what we’re talking about, seek out “Traveling Song,” from Ryn’s first full-length studio album The Fool, a project produced by Benny Blanco (think Rihanna, Ed Sheeran, and Maroon 5), and Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos. 

3. To read and absorb

By now you’ve almost definitely heard of Darling Magazine, but just in case you haven’t, we thought we’d include one of their recent articles rounding up some of their own favourite nuggets of wisdom from woman-to-woman that have featured in their previous publications. Darling recently re-branded to encompass an all-powerful comma after the word (read: Darling,) in order to spark conversation and invite more of us to seek our purpose and share it with others. We love their campaign to celebrate authentic womanhood worldwide. Check out “some of the best advice” they’ve featured in print below. Click the button to read.

 image credit to Darling Magazine

image credit to Darling Magazine

4. To learn and empower.

The Adventure Project.jpg

The Adventure Project is an organization dedicated to helping local economies grow and thrive, supporting communities to build capacity and end poverty  and conflict from through a grassroots approach. A charity focused on business development, and especially on employing and educating women across the African continent, The Adventure Project was founded by Jody Landers and Becky Straw, two incredible activists passionate about meaningful international development. So far the Adventure Project has created 1,262 jobs, positively impacting over 1.2 million people. 

5. To pay it forward.

One of our long-time friends is The Giving Keys. Founded by Caitlin Crosby, The Giving Keys is working to inspire us to pay-it-forward. The simple idea is to wear a key necklace engraved with a word that represents a value meaningful to you, and when you feel you no longer need the daily visual reminder of that word, you pass your necklace along to someone else. Beyond this amazing idea, The Giving Keys employs people transitioning out of homelessness and works hard to create a truly positive workplace through various initiatives like lunch-time lottos, financial coaching, volunteer days (where employees get paid time off to go serve their communities), and so much more. We love this business for the pure heart that is embedded so deeply within its core.

Socality X The Traveling Good Meet Ups

by Scott Bakken

As we continue to share about Purposeful Community we want to share the myriad ways in which intentionality and inclusiveness can be practiced in everyday life. So we’re thrilled to be partnering with The Traveling Good over the coming months! Founder BC Serna and his team of dreamers and doers have led an initiative ignited by passion to share the best of what’s happening in our world today, which is something we need perhaps now more than ever before. The Traveling Good raised $25K through a Kickstarter campaign to travel throughout the USA over the course of 10 weeks this spring in order to meet people from every corner of the country and share their stories. The Traveling Good will be hitting the highways and byways between next week and mid-May and creating a documentary about all the fantastic things happening in communities around America. They’ll host meet-ups inviting people to come together and connect around a shared purpose: positivity.

 BC Serna  @bcserna  Founder of The Traveling Good.

BC Serna @bcserna Founder of The Traveling Good.

WHY THE TRAVELING GOOD

There are near countless gifted creatives around the globe and The Traveling Good, much like us, is striving to foster meaningful connections between individuals, communities, and organizations and spread the passion, talents, and skill sets to make both social media and real life a better place. Their mission this road trip, as they stop in 10 cities over 10 weeks and cover 10,000 miles, is to highlight the good within those cities and encourage people to give back to their local communities. Because change comes from within. We’re so psyched to be a part of this journey as we partner with BC and the team on their meet-ups nationwide! 

MEET UP WITH THE TRAVELING GOOD

Meet-ups are casual gatherings where everyone and anyone is invited to come connect with like-minded individuals and make new connections and friendships centered around a shared love of creation and collaboration. We’re encouraging story-tellers, creatives and creators, not-for-profits, influencers, and anyone interested to come together for the purpose of building relationships and working together for the common good around them. 

BC and The Traveling Good team will be hosting the events, and we want to rally the incredible Socality community to join this movement.

THE MEET UPS

MEET - Come say hi and introduce yourself!

BRING - Friends and others looking to get connected.

SHARE - Your story with the team and your time with everyone attending. You might be featured in their documentary! 

Register for your local meet up today! It’s free! More details will be emailed out in the coming weeks. Check out the interview with BC Serna’s below and hear more about The Traveling Good.

Sign up for the meet ups here!

Creative Showcase: Garrett King @shortstache

Creative Showcase

Photography by Garrett King, Words by Garrett King and Lauren Hyde @laurenrenehyde

Garrett is the talented photographer and videographer behind the lens over at @shortstache. His work constantly bends the traditional rules and pushes the boundaries of the craft, and his “let’s try something new” attitude has created new trends on social media, challenging us to keep up. More than that, he’s the type of guy who couldn’t be happier to wander through the forests of the Pacific Northwest with his dog, Mella (@mellathepup), and chat to whoever may join him along the way about what he loves most: adventure.

Garrett’s passion for exploring the unknown and reinterpreting the well-known through his own unique lens has led him to move from Texas to Colorado to Washington in recent years, establishing real relationships with fellow creatives across the country and beyond, and contributing to a more authentic community on social media. We managed to catch up with Garrett in between trips abroad, quality time with Mella, and building furniture for his new home in Mill Creek, WA to talk with him about community, creativity, and Canadian winters.  


 
Socality_GK.jpg

Garrett King

Winter: for me, it’s a season to recharge and reflect on my creative process. The colder, darker, shorter days are a marked departure from the warmer months, when being outside for hours on end and exploring the back country is not only effortless, but the definition of a dream job. Getting out to shoot in the winter is a mental and physical challenge. Temperatures are frigid. The weather is unpredictable: storms can blow in with no notice and throw your whole day off-balance. The light is weak and fleeting, if there is any at all. Equipment shuts down unexpectedly, and your fingers are so frozen they can barely function well enough to press down on the shutter release. Sure, there’s something to be said for the beauty of the sparkling snow, the sunlight glinting off faraway mountain peaks, and the promise of a warm fire to sit in front of at the end of a day out adventuring. But you have to really push yourself to get outside in the first place when your alarm goes off and it’s pitch-black outside your window, the air in your bedroom is so chilly that you can hardly bring yourself to get out from under the covers, and the unpredictability of the weather forecast means there’s no guarantee that a day’s work will yield any tangible results.

So I try to find new ways to stay motivated during this part of the year, to adjust to the circumstances at hand and grow as an artist. This is the time that truly defines who I am as a creative. The time that I use to challenge my skillset, practice different shooting and editing techniques, be adaptive, and respond to different or unexpected situations and opportunities.

Last year, I travelled up to Alberta in the dead of winter. It was my first-ever trip to Canada, and it was a new experience, to say the least. It was insanely cold, it was dark all the time, and all the sights I wanted to see were hours and hours apart from each other, so most of the week was spent on the frozen road. Luckily, I had fantastic company in Scott and Davey (@scottcbakken, @davey_gravy). Having never met in person, the three of us instantly connected over shared passions and had a blast exploring their backyard. Social media has fostered a creative community that is truly a blessing. Thanks to platforms like Instagram, I’ve been able to meet and become friends with people from all over the world. Now that I travel more often than I find myself at home, I feel so fortunate to have the ability to reach out to the online community and meaningfully connect with anyone, anywhere, any time. What a beautiful thing that is. And the beauty of the Alberta Rockies, well, that speaks for itself.