Art is an important piece of every culture, as it allows us to explore the complexities of life in an engaging way. It is also one of the most expressive ways that communities can share and celebrate their unique identity with others. This week’s #WebsiteWednesday features the portfolio of a cultural producer who provides a global platform for artists from the LGBTQ+ and East African communities to tell their stories: Rocca.xyz.
Rocca.xyz is the online portfolio of London-based artist and cultural producer Rocca Holly-Nambi. Rocca is currently the Head of Arts for the British Council, East Africa, a program promoting creatives and artists from countries in East Africa and the UK. She is also completing a Ph.D. in Visual Cultures at the University of London. Her artistic work centers on the culture of both the East African and the LGBTQ+ communities. Rocca has earned many awards and grants in nearly 20 years as an artist. This includes an ISPA Global Fellow grant, a grant from the European Cultural Foundation, and award recognition from the Gordon Forum for the Arts, the British Council, and the Big Lottery Fund, among many others.
Rocca founded the East Africa Arts British Council program and has overseen it since its start. The program aims to connect contemporary British and East African artists through grants, opportunities and projects. One of Rocca’s main projects in her role on the Council is producing a collection of artworks from East African artists. The project highlights work from artists who must use innovative visual strategies to represent LGBTQ+ points of view in art and “thrive in atmospheres of queer oppression.” Rocca says her goal is to “highlight the artists’ work, celebrate the impact visual culture has on the queer journey, and build strategies for creating alternative spaces and avenues of thought.” In her role for the council, she says she has also helped commission 16 major new artworks of East African artists and curated film festivals in seven countries. This program is a testament to Rocca’s passion for art and the great positive impact she has had on artists in East Africa.
Rocca’s work outside her role on the Council also includes notable projects. Her own studio work aims to visualize “both the mess and potential of new connections” in a thought-provoking way. In one example piece, Rocca uses enamel paint on an egg box to convey what she describes as “everyday queerness.” As part of a residence at the Edinburgh Mela Festival, Rocca helped form and managed a youth hip hop group in Edinburgh, which later performed across Scotland. One of Rocca’s most unique visual pieces is Jump, created in response to the 500 year anniversary of Thomas More’s book Utopia. More’s book centers on the political system of an imaginary “ideal” island nation. Rocca’s piece subverts this idea by showing a looping video of performance artist Ife Piankhi moving through a deserted island while a poem Ife wrote plays over the video. Rocca uses the piece to show the island can be a utopia for some and a repetitive dystopia for others.
Art is one of the most powerful tools we have to convey emotion and explore different cultures. Rocca shines as an example of the .xyz community through her celebrated art and the positive impact she’s created in her career. See more of Rocca’s work by following her on Instagram and Twitter, or checking out her portfolio on Rocca.xyz.
The holiday season is in full swing, and food lovers, home chefs, and seasoned professionals alike are sharing their favorite meals and discovering exciting new recipes. The internet is a major force driving these individuals to connect and network. This week’s #WebsiteWednesday harnesses the power of their website to reach these individuals and build a community made for all kinds of food lovers, wherever they are on their culinary journey: Foodism.xyz.
Foodism.xyz is a media brand that aims to be the one-stop destination for all things food. Based in India, Foodism.xyz offers culinary professionals and food lovers a place to discuss cuisines, network, and share recipes or opinions. Foodism.xyz says their mission is “to gather all food enthusiasts under a single roof and help solve their everyday issues by connecting them to the right people.” Indian cuisine-lovers can chow down on Foodism.xyz’s recipe-filled magazine, or grab new meals to try from their recipe sharing platform. They can also cook smarter by reading Foodism.xyz’s “feed bites,” which give tips on healthy ingredients to incorporate into your cooking alongside suggestions for developing better eating habits.
The Foodism.xyz magazine seeks to deliver interesting and exciting food content directly to your inbox each month. Each issue features different seasonal food topics, deep dives into regional cuisines, and articles about what dishes to serve when celebrating upcoming holidays. Regular sections include chef interviews, snack reviews and even a home decor section. Foodism.xyz’s magazine features recipes for both health-conscious readers and those with a sweet tooth, with the overall goal of inspiring their next favorite dish. Past months’ issues are downloadable or can be read directly on the website if you create a free Foodism.xyz account.
November’s issue centered around sharing recipes and comfort foods to cook for cold winters. A few of their “must have” winter recipes include fruit and nut-based dish vasaanu, sweet-flavored Kehwa tea, and Ghugra pastries, which are popular during the colder months. For their regional food focus, Foodism.xyz offered a vegetarian twist on the typically meat-based Kashmiri Pandit cuisine. They wrapped up the comprehensive issue with chai inspired dishes and unique sweets to help bear the cold, along with stories from transplants to India about their favorite chai meals.
Another key element of Foodism.xyz is their interactive recipe sharing platform. The tool features step-by-step recipes searchable by keyword, cuisine type, or author. Those who have created a Foodism.xyz account can submit their favorite recipes using the site’s five step process. Users’ submissions require a description of the dish along with written instructions for making it and photos or video of the cooking process. Foodism.xyz adds even more helpful info for readers by choosing a “recipe of the day” from the recipes submitted.
Another way Foodism.xyz users can connect more closely with their passion for cooking and their fellow users is by sharing food stories. This section features Foodism.xyz users recalling memorable meals and giving tips they’ve picked up from past culinary experiences. Foodism.xyz’s aim for this section is to gather experienced chefs and food fans alike to improve their recipes, find new dishes, and share their journey with others.
Users of Foodism.xyz have new features to look forward to on the horizon as well. Foodism.xyz plans to launch an e-commerce marketplace through both a mobile and web application. They say this new marketplace will allow users to network and swap or sell cooking products.
Gathering with others who share your interests and hobbies helps add to your overall enjoyment of them. Foodism.xyz shows that you can join a community around your interests from anywhere in the world through the internet. Their work also serves as a great example of how .xyz users foster community and help individuals build a deeper connection with the things they love.
Many graphic design professionals choose to supplement their full time workload with side projects that pique their interest. Both kinds of projects are worth sharing on a personal portfolio. It helps show off your skills, gives a full picture of your ability, and can inspire others. A portfolio website is also a great way to meet potential collaborators, partners, and clients. In this week’s #WebsiteWednesday, you’ll meet a graphic designer and illustrator who joins her professional and personal creative work through her website: Gurleen.xyz.
Gurleen.xyz is the homepage of Gurleen Gill, a San Francisco based graphic designer and illustrator. Gurleen pursued a career in Graphic Design because she feels it is a powerful form of self expression. Since earning a BFA in Graphic Design from California College of the Arts, Gurleen has gone on to develop designs for both print and web-based media. Gurleen tries to blend print and web design methods in her work to explore how each field’s unique differences can add to projects in the other. She gives her website visitors a deeper look into her creative process and background in the About section of her website. She shares that her empathetic nature inspires both her professional and personal projects. Her main interests lie in working on projects around social issues like mental health and sustainability. This “About” section is a wise inclusion on Gurleen’s website, as it gives a deeper perspective on the projects she features.
In her career, Gurleen has worked on team design projects for notable names like Salesforce and NetApp. Gurleen took on the graphic design role of a nine person team when working on Salesforce’s Dreamforce event. For her part, she helped create visuals to generate the feel of the event’s “campground” theme. This included everything from gateways and game screens at booths to designing a social wall helping attendees connect with each other. Gurleen took up a similar graphic designer role when working on a team for NetApp’s Insight conference. On this project, she helped render 3D graphics that determined an optimal layout of the event space. Gurleen shares how she was able to incorporate the event’s color palette into advertisements and even the booths themselves.
Gurleen focuses her professional work on making a positive impact. She’s worked on a handful of suicide prevention campaigns to spread awareness and education. For the Global Suicide Landmarks project, Gurleen made an animated map of 10 locations associated with suicide. The aim of the map is to prevent future incidents by sharing real stories and information. She has also created illustrations for Unlocked, an organization that educates parents in the Bay Area about youth suicide prevention. Gurleen helped spread awareness of the project by designing an interactive website featuring original illustrations. The illustrations go along with information on the site about adolescent suicide and the role depression plays in it. Gurleen designed the site so visitors can understand the problem, find statistics, learn about prevention, and get resources for treatment.
Gurleen’s personal projects show off her well-rounded skill and interest in exploring both web and print design methods. On her website, Gurleen labels these projects the “Playground” section. One of her featured passion projects is a custom CSS interactive font she created. The font uses reverse italics and inverts its letters when a mouse scrolls over them. She also shares “Typophoto” explorations, which blend type and photography. Gurleen’s typophoto pictures use the words “and” “points” and “of” to make unique artwork. Gurleen also features her many painting-like illustrations, displaying the well rounded creative skillset she possesses.
Your personal website gives you the power to show your complete set of skills and attract employers, collaborators, or new contacts. It also gives you the freedom to create a portfolio online that looks, feels, and says exactly what you want it to. Gurleen Gill did just that with her website. Gurleen.xyz stands as a great example for anyone looking for inspiration on how to build a strong personal portfolio. Head to Gurleen.xyz to check out her work or get in touch with her for a potential collaboration.
Cryptocurrency businesses and services love Ethereum compatible .xyz domains. Argent.xyz offers a smart crypto wallet service on their domain. Vega.xyz uses their .xyz for cryptocurrency-based stock dividend trading. FirstEdition.xyz even constructed a unique blockchain art gallery with their .xyz. It’s no surprise to see another new cryptocurrency tool hit the market branded with a .xyz domain: cryptocurrency exchange platform Matcha.xyz.
Launched in June 2020 by 0x Labs, Matcha.xyz is a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform that promises to get crypto traders the best rates on currency exchanges. They do this by using their own “0x API” technology to check 17 decentralized exchanges (DEXs) at once. DEXs are where crypto exchanges take place. Matcha.xyz finds and executes the best prices for their users’ trades which often requires intelligently splitting up orders across multiple exchange sources. Put simply, if you want to exchange one kind of cryptocurrency for another, a DEX aggregator like Matcha.xyz gets you better prices than going directly to a single DEX platform. “Our goal is to save our users time and money,” says Matcha.xyz Community Engagement Lead Brent Oshiro. “Similar to Expedia and Kayak for travel, Matcha.xyz conveniently searches for the best prices across a growing number of exchange networks for you. When you use Matcha.xyz, we do the work to save you money on every trade!”
Matcha.xyz’s service features a simple interface and is designed for ease of use. The platform has gotten a positive reception, with some hailing it as “the Robinhood of DEX trading.” Matcha.xyz works to maintain their “easy to use” label by allowing users to make exchanges without having to create an account. This adds privacy and speeds up the process for users. Matcha.xyz processes all trades using a peer-to-peer system, which means users’ tokens go directly from their wallet to someone else’s. This is valuable for traders because they never have to give up control of their tokens throughout the trade and risk losing them.
The helpful features that Matcha.xyz offers don’t stop there. Matcha.xyz says their service offers lower fees than other exchange platforms and is compatible with most major crypto wallet providers. You can trade all Ethereum-based tokens on Matcha.xyz, including popular coins like Ethereum (ETH), wrapped versions of Bitcoin (wBTC, renBTC, tBTC), and 0x’s own token, ZRX. Matcha.xyz gives users detailed information on exchanges. They do this using tools like an x-ray chart which shows the difference between the current “ask prices” and the current “bid prices.” This chart helps users visualize what Matcha.xyz’s technology is tapping into to get them the best exchange rate possible. Matcha.xyz is also one of the few DeFi services to offer customer service support. This support includes a chat service on their homepage and a help center that guides users through troubleshooting problems quickly themselves.
“Ease of use” was one of the primary factors Matcha.xyz considered during the platform’s creation. As Brent explains, “We set out to rethink the exchange experience and build the foundation to onboard the next wave of crypto traders. Most exchanges and decentralized finance (DeFi) products require you to be an expert going in. We wanted to make sure that our users always feel smart and in control when using Matcha.xyz. We make sure that we tell you what is going on, we use friendly language and protect you and your money.”
Brent says speed is another area where Matcha.xyz stands out from the competition. “Matcha.xyz was built to be intuitive and easy-to-use, but also for speed and efficiency. For example, on other exchanges, navigating to markets requires clicking into two different dropdown menus to find the assets you’re looking for. With Matcha.xyz search, you can quickly type out whatever token or pair you’re looking for and immediately jump into that market to begin trading. Eventually, there will be hundreds of assets with thousands of different pair combinations you can trade. So, we wanted to make it as fast as possible for traders to find and navigate to whatever markets they’re looking for with fewer interactions, no matter where they are on Matcha.xyz.”
The team behind Matcha.xyz also pass on their knowledge about cryptocurrency to users through their blog. The blog features helpful guides on trading basics, introductions to new tools, and even how to increase yield from farming tokens. Matcha.xyz also has a YouTube channel that gives users a visual guide to their product alongside helpful tutorials to get them started.
When it came to choosing a domain name to brand their DEX aggregator, Matcha.xyz’s team valued the memorability and flexibility of .xyz. “Having a memorable product name that reflects your brand values is crucial to a product’s success. By going with the .xyz domain extension, we had many more naming options available to us” Brent says. “Additionally, with 0x Labs being an innovator in blockchain technology, we felt right at home with the growing number of industry-leading companies that selected .xyz as their home, including Google’s parent company Alphabet.”
.XYZ is quickly becoming the go-to domain for the cryptocurrency industry online. With Ethereum compatibility, it’s the perfect domain for businesses and individuals alike to show they are part of the crypto revolution, just like Matcha.xyz. Join the Matcha.xyz user community on Telegram and Discord or follow them on Twitter to stay up to date on new features and news.
The startup industry moves at a rapid pace. Oftentimes, the companies that find success are able to do so because they have a solid process in place that guides what they do. Finding the right process can be a challenge, especially if you have a solution in mind but need guidance to bring it to market. This week’s #WebsiteWednesday, Byld.xyz, set themselves apart in the industry thanks to their innovation process designed to help companies grow more efficiently.
Byld.xyz is a corporate venture builder, which raises startups from the ground up. Claiming to be the first venture builder in Spain, Byld.xyz works with established corporate partners to create startups from scratch. After creation, Byld.xyz develops the startups into viable companies by guiding them to avoid common mistakes as they grow. The goal is to streamline the companies’ journeys so that their disruptive projects can make it through to implementation. Byld.xyz’s founder and CEO, Adrian Heredia, created the company after six years of working for venture firm Sonar Ventures. This experience, he says, is what inspired him to dream up the idea for a corporate venture builder, which became Byld.xyz. Adrian wanted Byld.xyz to offer a builder model that was more sustainable and also takes into account what startup companies truly need to succeed. Adrian says that Byld.xyz believes in today’s business world, saying “it is not the big fish that eats the small fish, it’s the fast fish that eats the slow fish.” They share their company philosophy via their Manifesto, which guides the work they do.
The main component of Byld.xyz that Adrian credits for his company’s success is their support process. Byld.xyz sends potential startups through three core phases: Insights, Labs, and Startups. The Insights phase is an eight-week period when Byld.xyz identifies trends and detects opportunities for a startup to help them shape a strong business model. During this phase, Byld.xyz gathers important foundational information using tactics like startup scouting, trend analysis, customer discovery, and design sprints. The “Labs” phase is a 12-week period which focuses on creation of a minimum viable product (MVP) and carrying out experiments to improve the solution. Finally, the “Startups” phase is the 36 to 45-week process where these MVPs become scalable startups. Once they’ve created a startup company, Byld.xyz assigns internal teams to take care of essential functions like marketing and sales, operations, product, and IT. Byld.xyz acts as the CEO of the startup, making strategic decisions together with the company until it has grown enough to choose its own independent teams of employees.
Byld.xyz like to say they always #TrustTheProcess and let it work to create impactful startups. Their work on a project with Coca-Cola shows how this process succeeds in action. For the project, Byld.xyz started by sourcing about 50 ideas for product solutions from their team. Then, they used the design sprint strategy to narrow down to 12 ideas. Next, their team worked on fleshing out two ideas each and gave a three minute pitch for choosing their ideas as the final MVP. This step helped narrow the final proposals for Coca-Cola down to four solutions. While Byld.xyz are not able to share all the details of the startup solutions they created, they say that Coca-Cola was thrilled with the results.
Another example of their process at work is their organizing and moderation of a two-day workshop at Vodafone’s HQ in Madrid. Vodafone gathered some of the best Spanish travel companies, including Grupo Barceló, Lopesan and Best Hotels Spain, in an ideation, collaboration and innovation session. Byld.xyz was asked to guide the workshop because of their expertise in these fields and in the development of new business models. Byld.xyz had workshop participants follow their process, spending the first day generating ideas and the second day developing tangible business models. As they share in their recap of the event, Byld.xyz was able to use their process to help the participants create a viable business model ready to scale in just two days.
Whenever you’re faced with a challenge, having a strong process in place can guide you to overcome it. Byld.xyz have shown the effectiveness of their process and shared it with others to create startup companies that can bring real change to their industries. Read about Byld.xyz’s latest work on their Medium page or get to know them even better at Byld.xyz.