Tag Archives: Feature

A Chat with Jason Carlin, Organizer of #HoHoTO

Jason Carlin and his date to HoHoTO

Jason Carlin has had his hands involved with HoHoTO for just about three years now, and even before that, it was a social event that held special meaning for him.

“One of my closest friends has always been a part of [HoHoTO],” he says. “It helped me solidify friendships that only existed in social media, we connected in real life.”

He described hanging out with and meeting people that have become close friends and coworkers. As for the motivation for becoming a volunteer, and then an organizer, he said it was the kind of party he wanted to have.
“Ive been a part of organizations, companies, where, you go to the office party and its nice, kind of fun, but this is the best of that, with so many cool people and the Hangover Auction, and lots of cool prizes.”

He gives a lot of credit to the sponsors, like #DevTO, for making the event such a huge success year over year. “The tech community has been really supportive from the start. A lot of the founders came from tech, and the marketing only really happens on social media, so its amazing.”

The sponsors have provided gifts for prizes, as amazing as vacations and, his personal favourite, voice lessons. This year they’re in line to give out cell phones, restaurant vouchers, club subscriptions, tech toys and more. He also mentioned one really cool prize that is in the works. Believe me when I say, whoa.

Jason was especially thankful to the Mod Club: “They’re being super generous, every year. They donate the space and staff, it’s really huge.”

It’s easy to forget that it’s not just one giant party, but that it also is incredibly helpful to the Daily Bread Food Bank. It’s one of the main motivations for Jason to be a part of it every year.
“We’re living in a city that’s not doing all it can for the people. Just to be able to do this, for a really good cause.. this can really help.”
It really does. Last year HoHoTO raised $40,000 for the Daily Bread Food Bank, and has raised $300,000 to date.
Jason said he would really love to match last year’s fundraising total, and for people to come out and have fun; they’ve got lots of cool things planned for partygoers, so all attendees are guaranteed to enjoy themselves.
“Last year we had Panago Pizza come on board and do a midnight Pizza Drop. This year, donations will allow you to request a song on Tilt. So I’m expecting hours worth of ‘Shake It Off’.”
It’s going to be a great night full of fun people to meet, fun prizes being given away, and as Jason said, “you can’t forget the cause.”

Get your tickets for HoHoTO today, and support the Daily Bread Food Bank, Here!

Are you an iOS Developer? Vidoyen is looking for you!

Happy Sunday! It’s the weekend, and we’ve got another job posting for you. Vidoyen, a start-up that uses short videos to educate and to promote public education. They are looking for a new iOS Developer. Details on the job description:

iOS Developer

Based in Canada, Remote / Toronto, Ontario – Full Time                                                                   

Vidoyen is looking for an experienced and energetic iOS developer to spearhead our mobile efforts and bring our video Q&A platform to iOS.

Our ideal candidate has a track record of leading iOS development efforts within a team environment, takes pride in sharing the apps they’ve been involved in building, and is comfortable in turning high level requirements into clean, maintainable and modular code.

Responsibilities: 

  • Work with a dynamic software development team to define requirements, translate to quality code, test and deploy iOS and mobile web applications
  • Help integrate with and refine our proprietary RESTful API for synchronization of user and content data
  • Interact with product owners to convey technical issues affecting functionality and timelines
  • Integrate with our technical, respect existing standards and processes, but also bring a fresh perspective to the table to help improve happiness and productivity within the team
  • Keep up to date with technology and mobile trends, specifically as they pertain to Apple’s product changes, AppStore policies, open source iOS projects and best practices

Required Skills and Experience:

  • 1+ year of iOS development experience or an impressive portfolio in lieu
  • Some experience in scripting or interpreted languages (Ruby, Python, Perl)
  • Experience in building complex iOS applications, including data synchronized with a remote source, functionality degradation in offline mode, integration with social APIs and video capture/editing
  • Experience writing unit tests, integration tests on iOS
  • Knowledge of and strong desire to follow best practices in iOS and client/server development

Nice to Have:

  • Experience with Ruby on Rails, HTML5 and related technologies
  • Knowledge of or experience with video processing and transcoding technologies
  • Strong sense of how to integrate open source in an iOS app to enhance developer productivity, and code maintainability/modularity
  • Personal apps or “side projects” built to solve a personal need
  • University or college level education in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or a related field

To apply, send us your resume, LinkedIn profile URL and/or some links to applications you’ve been involved in building.

careers@vidoyen.com

Interested?

Here’ s a little about the company, Vidoyen:

Vidoyen is a social Q&A video platform, founded by Arshia Tabrizi, a leading tech and venture lawyer in Toronto, previously with Wilson Sonsini in Silicon Valley, and our CTO is Mike Jarema, a tech whiz and one of the first employees at Xtreme Labs.

Vidoyen is a fast and easy platform enabling 1-2 minute video answers from curated experts to questions from the public and is integrated with Facebook and Twitter. We provide trusted video content from curated contributors and operate as a social purpose business focused on public education and informed opinion and debate.

Although not in full launch (public beta for a few months) we have some media coverage already: http://www.torontostandard.com/the-sprawl/vidoyen.

We have big plans and looking to grow our team!

 

Fifteen Minutes with ArtSocket

An up-close and personal interview with one of Toronto’s emerging entrepreneurs. 

Last month I was very lucky to grab a coffee with Dmitri Tcherbadji of the start-up ArtSocket. He sat down with me over a coffee and spilled his guts about his amazing e-commerce project and told me all about what motivates him and how he got started.

ArtSocket is “a boutique art gallery featuring prints by a select group of artists and photographers. All of the images in the collection are professionally curated and arranged thematically into “exhibitions”. Every drawing or photograph is supplemented with a short story about it”.

You can browse through exhibitions of art, find your favourite, pick, print and have them delivered right to your door! This can all be done through the easy-to-use site.  What really got me about the site was it’s ease of use, and how it embodied the very thing that it promised to do: create an accessible online space to art. It was, in essence, art at my fingertips.

Talking to Dmitri about ArtSocket has made me realize that the lack of art and push for the arts in our society has truly hurt us. Dmitri really made me think about the link between ethical living and art, as well as the impact that such type of forms of entertainment have on our lives and how we interact. Taking time away – from being in a situation that we can’t conquer, to having something akin to a writer’s block – can really help us to refocus and regroup, which exactly what I got from my brief and interesting conversation with this effervescent entrepreneur.

Needless to say, I left inspired and just had to share my experience.  Below is a transcript of my conversation with Dmitri.

Anita

 

1. What made you decide to create ArtSocket?

There needed to be a place for art, and though there are a lot of websites out there that let you do it, like 500px, Flickr and such; they are all amazing, but I thought that there must be another way to do it without it being a photo dump.

2. What challenges did you face in terms of converting and integrating the different pieces of art, both digital and print into the interface?

In terms of arranging the art, you are making art out of art. You have to have a theme in your head; you have to imagine—if this person goes into this part of the website or the gallery, you want this person to feel a certain way.

You want the person to feel why you arranged the pictures this way. It’s a challenge to achieve that because it’s really hard to gauge your feelings on other people.  For example, I will do an arrangement, and say ‘hey, it’s great, it makes sense to me”, but then I will have to go and ask some other people their thoughts.

3. Do you travel to different places to look art galleries to see if there are different things? Do you go to smaller ones, or do you look at big — is there rhyme or reason to what you do?

Basically I quit my day job and I’m thinking about just travelling around and visit galleries. If I see great art I will make sure to approach that person.

4. Do you have a team? Or is this just you? What is your process?

There is not much of a process, we’re not getting so many entries right now that we have to wait, which is great. I actually prefer to see somebody whose work is great and approach them in person. That is how I acquire much of what I have on the site.

5. Were you inspired by any specific galleries? 

So, what I thought of for this website was just to go in the opposite direction from Amazon, because everyone wants to have a huge website, a multi-billion dollar company—which is great and it’s an amazing business idea, but it’s very hard to accomplish. But, one thing that’s kind of my direction is to make it have a personality, right? When the people go there they know what they want in mind; this is a website just for art. Which doesn’t mean that it’s better than anybody else, but what I mean is that if you go there and whether make a purchase or not, you know that everything in there took a lot of work. That gives it that personal touch.

6. What type of payment system do you have with the artists? Do they get a certain percentage cut? 

I like to be as friendly with people as possible, so I’m always going to realize that business is all formalities. So basically, the only person I don’t get to sign a contract is myself; so if my photos are there and I know I’m not going to need the contract. But generally the first thing is: I will approach the person and be like, “you have great art work, and it would be amazing if you would like to submit something.” Or sometimes, people come up to me and say “I’d like to submit something.” I will then go through their art work – and I usually take the pictures and mock it up to what it looks like on the website. I will actually make the mock-up and send it to the artist and tell them that this is how it will look, and ask them what they think.

At that point, I’ve already picked the photos I think are going to go in the gallery. From there it’s the process of “is it going to work or not?” So, from there they either agree or they don’t. At that point, I have already asked them to review a contract that basically states that their art work still is exclusive and whatever they sell, they will get 75 per cent and basically I will ask their permission to use their art work to promote the website, ArtSocket.

7. What do you see next for this? Do you have anything you’re working on to improve the current interface or the process of receiving the artwork? 

Basically, the way I see it right now is like a solid exhibit online. It’s a place to go and kind of be entertained in a certain way; it’s similar to going to an art gallery at your fingertips. It’s like a recipe for thinking beyond concrete terms.

8. How do you contend with legal issues when concerning the artwork? Does the artwork remain under the artist’s possession once they post it on your site?

I don’t agree with taking ownership; if you do this, this is your work that you did in your own time. I’m selling the right to print it and make money off it. I’m just kind of renting it.

 

Thanks to Dmitri and ArtSocket! If you want to be featured on our site, please get in touch with us at anita (@) devTO.ca.