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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Original Kurt At Work

I used to work as a sign shaker at a certain cell phone carrier location in northern California. The job sucked until I had music... from that point on the job was pretty awesome.

I made this video shortly after realizing how awesome my job was, mostly because I wanted people to know what I was hearing when I was doing what I did, because I assumed that most people thought my movements were just uncoordinated random flailing.

When I went to name this video, 'Kurt At Work' popped into my head, and thus the name of this blog and many other projects was also created.

Shortly after posting the video to reddit, it gained about 40,000 views within a matter of days. some people thought i got paid a bunch of money to make the video as some sort of corporate attempt at a viral video campaign... but nope. I wish that had been the case. I made it myself just for the heck of it.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

A preview of The Grid: websites built by AI

there has been a buzz online surrounding a web development platform called 'The Grid', set for release in spring of 2015. What sets The Grid apart from every other online web design platform is that it uses artificial intelligence to create beautiful and fully functional websites.

"The Grid harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to take everything you throw at it - videos, images, text, urls and more - and automatically shape them into a custom website unique to you. As your needs grow, it evolves with you, effortlessly adapting to your needs."

-that is a claim written on The Grid's website, which is the first website to have been made using its AI web designing algorithms. The website looks beautiful. In fact it's almost hard to believe that a website could be made so quickly (within as little as 3 minutes) and end up looking that good...

I found that The Grid had open sourced their design guidelines in PDF documents... which is awesome, because i was able to gnaw on those documents for a while and get a feel for how the site might handle the content and churn out designs with them... also, by following links on that page, i was able to also find what looks like different iterations of The Grid website, each with a different look and feel, and all obviously made by The Grid. i also came across this very interesting article which explains grid style sheets and how it works in The Grid.

The CEO of The Grid, Dan Tocchini, went on Social Media Week in New York recently and gave a live preview of The Grid in action. Right away it was apparent that the interface was incredibly easy to use. By simply right clicking and selecting The Grid's custom 'Share' command you can send a web page, article, post, images and text to The Grid.

Once shared, it ends up in The Grid's user interface, which can be accessed by clicking a button in the upper right hand corner after installing the chrome add on.

This takes you to a pretty minimalist and very sleek looking UI that has a list of all the posts, images, video, etc. that you have shared or that is pending being shared.

From here you can make changes to posts, and publish them very easily and within seconds. you can choose which site to publish to, and which page to post to on that site.

Another awesome feature is the AI's ability to find the focus or subject of an image and make sure that the subject doesn't get cropped... no matter what. The Grid also extracts color palettes to use for the website design directly from the images and content that you upload.

There is a very easy to navigate settings menu, which shows where you can make adjustments to the news feed, purpose, content, navigation, and design of the website. which gives you a surprising level of control over the AI algorithms and how they work together to create your website. This is one of the things I like the best about the user interface, it makes me feel a lot better about handing over the majority of my website design over to an artificial intelligence.

All in all, besides looking like a very time efficient way of designing and maintaining a website, The Grid also just looks and feels good to use. The whole process from start to finish is very seamless making new content and keeping it flowing throughout the website.

The Grid just announced recently that they are going to start a rolling beta, and will gradually begin to let those who have signed up already to start getting to work on their sites. I've got my fingers crossed to be among the first in beta testing.

when you sign up for the grid, you are able to host seven websites using the service. I already have plans for three of those slots. I'm going to use one of them for my blog, Kurt At Work and another slot for my music label, Major Music Label and one for a nonprofit organization I'd like to support, Lucerne FLOW.

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