Here’s the setup: You’re a good little developer and you’re building your latest WordPress Theme using git to track your changes. You’ve got a local environment, where you develop and test edits to your theme file but you don’t have a good way to push those changes to the server. Yesterday, I was doing my development using git but relying on FTP to send updated files to the server. Today, I simply use git push. Here’s how: Read more
Relationships are built on mutually understood agreements. More often than not, these agreements are based on mutually implicit understandings of common terms. Employee, best friend, peer, co-worker, manager, president, CFO, etc. all have implicit meanings which we assume are commonly understood. In my experience, we can often trace problems in relationships back to misalignment in these implicit understandings. Our expectations of another person do not align with what they believe is expected of them when our agreement is only as deep as a single word like “client” or “consultant.” At the end of the day each of us has our own unique understanding of these words.
At Good Good Work we strive to make the implicit explicit. We also strive to be transparent. To that end, I’m going to dig a little deeper into how we engage with clients. Read more
When Katie and I set off to create Good Good Work, before we even had a name, we were looking for legal advice. We wanted to start a social enterprise that was prefigurative, legally sound, and reflected our radical values. Katie and Jason had been moving in similar circles in Colorado for a while (most specifically, platform cooperativism) and his name kept popping up. It didn’t take us long to realize that we’d be great collaborators.
We decided to work with him to design our business, you know, the one that eventually evolved into the Good Good Work Co-op. Our relationship was built on mutual aid and in-kind trade. As he set up our business we began working on his website, which we all felt didn’t express his professionalism, skill, and leading edge practice. Read more
Last month was the 6 year anniversary of #OCCUPYWALLST, a political movement in the US that needs no introduction. September 17th, 2011 was a pivotal point in my life. It was the day I started down a road divergent from the status quo, the day I left the confused world of early 20’s “adulting” and joined The Movement. It brings hope of a world arranged in such a way that poverty is impossible and extractive ecocide is not the basis of economic activity.
It took me three years to begin to grasp a very important lesson that The Movement demanded I learn. Read more
There is nothing better than building a tool that can be used by many people. We were approached by New Futures to build a website a few months ago for their Smart Start campaign. One of their requirements was a tool to help their visitors look up their state representatives. We accomplished this by building a plugin for WordPress which New Futures has agreed to allow us to release to the public. Their investment in this plugin will now increase in value every time someone uses this plugin! Download the zip, check out the code on GitLab. Read more
In early August, organizers from the March for Racial Justice connected with us, needing a website for their march in Washington DC on September 30th, 2017. We were able to get started on August 15th, after writing up a statement of work that outlined a design and development process.
It quickly became clear that things were moving faster than our plan could handle. There were over 6 thousand people “going” to the Facebook event and over 50,000 “interested”, with no website to speak of. Andrea, the point person who brought us into the project, was overwhelmed and stretched thing, taking on more than she could handle. In addition to making a website, our goal was to make her life — and the lives of the other organizers — less anxiety-inducing. Read more
I’m co-working with Katie today in a Brooklyn Cafe. An old friend Pablo ran into us and we got to talking about our upcoming trip to Spain and what each of us are working on. Pablo revealed that he is working on relief work for Puerto Rico and that they needed a map. I’ve gotten really good at setting up maps recently, you can read more about how I do it here.
Pablo called up his contact, shared a Google spreadsheet and in a few minutes I had this map setup based on a spreadsheet of donation drop off locations across the US maintained by Pablo’s team. See it after the jump. Read more
As a designer, I love a good challenge. A recent favorite of mine was working for the DSA on a 3-day deadline.
Delegates were about to pick the new leadership body, but were dealing with the unique challenge of needing to represent the true scope of diversity that exists within the democratic socialist left. Charles Lenchner – with People for Bernie – and his team wanted to create a booklet and worksheet to help delegates in the selection process. It would help see at a glance how diverse their choices were before casting their votes.
With the 3-day deadline, we needed to act fast. We had to be agile and adaptive.
The booklet Charles needed had to contain the list of candidates. Each profile would describe them, including a short bio, the region from which they were, their gender, race, and a few other stats that were easy to read for the regular voter with a quick scan.
The worksheet we created would allow to tally up the diversity categories’ totals.
With such a short deadline, the challenge was not only to deliver on time, but also to design alongside Charles and his team. While we created the actual document, they were putting all the information to be printed in the finished booklet together. For this very reason, we needed to work with live documents, so we worked in Google Docs. That’s how Charles and his team were able to update and edit everything as it was created. I watched their edits in real-time, while I fixed up the formatting and design.
Because Google docs’ styling tools are not as robust as in my software of choice – Adobe InDesign – formatting was a challenge. However, the limitations lent to a clean and very simple design, resulting in an easy-to-read document with clear organization. It wasn’t the most indulgent of designs, but what we lost in flashy graphics, we made up for with time. Thanks to the live documents, we had no back and forths of confusing revisions, so all we had to do was work.
With the magic of Google docs, we were able to create live/editable pie charts of the diversity data with customized style and colors. As the data was updated, transferring the new stats to the pie charts was as easy as, well… pie.
In the nick of time, we called it done. We exported the doc as a pdf and went to print. What a rush! Thanks to this time-constrained challenge, I got to enjoy adapting my process to our client’s specific needs. There are a lot of really great tools out there for us to use. Though I may be more comfortable with a cordless screwdriver, sometimes I need to use a hammer.
A few months earlier, in April, organizers came to us, looking for a solution to sell tickets more profitably. Last year, Eventbrite had cost them an exorbitant sum of money in fees. Fees that could have been spent on stipends to help people attend—one of The People’s Summit’s main goals. So, this time around, they wanted to deploy their own ticket sales system.
In the end, we delivered a unique solution that not only helped them achieve their goals, but also saved them ~ $10,00 in fees.
The People’s Summit 2017 asked Good Good Work to develop a ticketing system that could circumvent third-party websites such as Eventbrite while making the event more inclusive and diverse. While helping them save a pretty large sum of money, we also saved them a lot of time by automating parts of the system they didn’t think they could.
There were three main parts to this system:
Applications system – We needed to create a step in the application process that would involve partner organizations first, before moving accepted applications on to the registration process, starting with the gateway.
RegistrationGateway – Once an applicant was approved, the website needed a way to verify their acceptance before letting them buy a ticket. We also needed to be sure that the applicant’s data—such as a registration code—hadn’t already been used to buy a ticket before.
Sales system – Once an accepted applicant was through the gateway, we needed a way for them to purchase their ticket.
We have a design principle here at Good Good Work around taking things slow. Thoughtful design process and careful planning are an investment that yields better products that are often less costly and time-consuming. There are, however, times when you just need a website (and a logo) online in 5 days.
That’s where DSA Praxis was when they came to us, a big conference looming just a week away and no website or even a simple landing page at the ready. A big problem indeed. Read more
I want to talk to you about an event Nati and Rich of the Loomio Cooperative/Enspiral Network from New Zealand facilitated in Asheville North Carolina. If you put on events I think you’ll find some juicy ideas that will take your work to the next level… but first a story about a garden in Brooklyn. Read more
In early April, we connected with a team from Make the Road and the Center for Popular Democracy. They needed a campaign website geared towards calling out corporations complicit in Trump’s “anti-immigrant, anti-worker” agenda. We collaborated with them in the creation of a dynamic website that would allow visitors to send letters to the CEOs of 9 companies who “backed hate”. We delivered backersofhate.com, a multilingual responsive site with a clever content management system that integrated with The Action Network — all within a tight 2-week deadline. Read more
I connect to a lot of servers. There are plugins to install, media to upload, configuration files to download. To do this I use FTP, or File Transfer Protocol. Normally I use FTP clients like Filezilla to connect to remote servers but often I find myself connecting with my text editor Atom using the remote-ftp package or, if I’m feeling nerdy, I’ll connect with my UNIX shell on the command line. The other day I ran into an issue while trying to connect because my user name was an email address and had an @ symbol in it. Due to how FTP works–I’ll explain more below–this @ symbol messed up my login attempt.
To fix this I simply replaced the @ symbol with a + plus. That’s it! But if you want to understand FTP a bit more… Read more