The most successful freelancers know that a strong online presence is crucial for securing projects consistently, and that a professional portfolio and personal brand will distinguish you against the competition. A competitive advantage is especially important with self-employment on the rise, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the number of self-employed workers will grow to 10.3 million by 2026. Budding freelancers can gain major inspiration from week’s #WebsiteWednesday, MelissaHung.xyz, as an example of an online presence done right.
MelissaHung.xyz is the online portfolio of San Francisco-based writer and independent journalist, Melissa Hung. Melissa mainly covers culture, race, and immigration, and as the daughter of Chinese immigrants, she’s able to address these topics with an especially shrewd lens. You can find Hung’s essays and reported stories in NPR, Vogue, Catapult, and Pacific Standard, among others.
We especially like “Filet-O-Comfort,” an essay she wrote for Shondaland.com, an online publication created by Shonda Rhimes (creator of popular ABC dramas Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal). In the piece, Melissa explores her personal soft spot for McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish. She recalls visiting the fast-food chain on road trips as a child, and her mother insisting that their order be comprised solely of Filet-O-Fish value meals because she “regarded hamburgers with suspicion.”
Before becoming a full-time freelance writer, Melissa was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Hyphen, an award-winning independent magazine that the San Francisco Chronicle called “the smartest, most interesting, and most important thing to happen to Asian American media.” Hyphen’s past cover stars include popular comedians Ali Wong and Maragaret Cho, as well as acclaimed Hawaiian ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro.
Melissa was also the director of WritersCorps, a creative writing program that mentors low-income, immigrant, and incarcerated youth through a social justice framework. The program supported 900 children a year and became a national model for arts education. Melissa’s incredible work with the organization garnered significant recognition in the form of the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, for which she was given a $10,000 grant and invited to the White House to receive the award personally from former first lady Michelle Obama.
You don’t need a resume as robust as Melissa’s in order to have a personal site as superbly edited and designed as hers. The especially effective home page communicates the most significant information clearly – her name, profession, and photo – and spikes your curiosity to see more with a quirky fact – “I really love chilaquiles.” The site’s top navigation expertly organizes the content into five pages, ordered by hierarchical importance. Viewing the About page offers a summary of her experience, featured press, past projects, contact information, and a place to sign up for her newsletter. You can also easily find pages containing Melissa’s essays, journalism, editing, and personal blog, where she shares her latest endeavors.
If you’re a fan of Melissa’s, stay updated on her work by following her on Twitter @fluffysharp or on Instagram @melissahungtx. If Melissa’s outstanding personal site inspires you to create your own, then head to gen.xyz/register to register YourPortfolio.xyz and get started building your new online home!
The fashion industry is absolutely brimming with creativity and diversity. A range of new trends and styles emerge with every season, many of them inspired by decades past and made new again by a whole new generation’s interpretation. But why not revive a trend that dates back centuries? This week’s #WebsiteWednesday, Kisaburo.xyz, has found a way to refresh a style of clothing first made popular during Japan’s Heian period (794-1192) – the kimono.
Kisaburo.xyz is the home to cutting-edge kimono fashion brand, Kisaburo. Owner and fourth-generation kimono designer, Kisaburo Iwamoto, is reinventing the 90-year-old family business after inheriting it in 2015. Iwamoto’s mission is to push the boundaries of kimono design, just as his great-grandfather and namesake, Kisaburo-san, did when he originally founded the business.
Western techniques and gender fluidity modernize Kisaburo kimonos for a 21st century customer. The pieces are designed to mix and match with each other and Western clothing, making the kimonos fit the versatile nature of modern day style. We particularly like the way the pinstripe hakama pants are styled with a camel turtleneck and navy trenchcoat in Kisaburo’s Paris shoot. All pieces are also unisex, so men have the opportunity to wear the vibrant patterns and colors that are usually reserved only for women, especially evident with the styling of the blush pink kimono jacket as part of the first collection.
You can also find Kisaburo kimonos on the silver screen. A full basket dyed Kisaburo kimono is featured as a costume in Akihisa Fujinaga’s upcoming film Fake Japan. Told through a psychedelic lense, the story follows a young western man who travels to Japan and meets a mysterious young woman.
Iwamoto chose Kisaburo.xyz to be the business’s domain name in order to have a web address as bold as his designs. “Kisaburo” is a popular Japanese first name (a famous aikido teacher and Tokyo restaurant also bear the name) so “Kisaburo.com” can’t be registered for a standard price. With .xyz, Iwamoto was still able to get an affordable and succinct domain name, properly paying tribute to his great-grandfather’s legacy.
The key to gaining success online, no matter what it is you do, comes down to finding and appealing to your audience. In our first XYZ Quarterly of this year we shared some advice for how to find your niche and carve out your audience, which is a great place to start. Once you’ve selected your audience, though, you’ll need to catch their attention. That’s where you can use the help of this week’s #WebsiteWednesday, Mediabooster.xyz.
Mediabooster.xyz is a tool that uses the power of AI to define and target your ideal audience on Instagram, which in turn helps your grow that audience and strengthen the relationship you have with them. The Mediabooster.xyz tool takes the inputs you’ve specified you want to group into your audience like hashtags, locations, interests, and demographics, then monitors and engages with posts in those communities. Mediabooster.xyz works for hours in the background, giving you time to focus on developing your brand so that you can make a strong impression on your ideal audience.
While Mediabooster.xyz works on it’s own once you’ve given direction on the audience you want to interact with, the content it shares in that community is controlled 100% by you. To give you an extra boost with your audience, Mediabooster.xyz can optimize your content so it produces more conversations and entices more potential followers to your page. You can check how your audience is doing any time by using the customized analytics dashboard and make changes to your outreach strategy as you see necessary.
In addition to helping you make a major impact among your target audience, the tool also comes with a dedicated customer support manager to give you personalized troubleshooting and encrypts your data to ensure it is kept safe. Mediabooster.xyz never uses other 3rd party apps or “buys followers”, so your boosted audience is 100% real.
You can get plenty of useful tips on Mediabooster.xyz’s site via the articles on their blog or search through their available plans to select the best one for you. Once you’ve carved out your perfect following, be sure you have a one-stop place to send them for all the information about your brand, project, or community – your own .xyz website!
If you’ve been searching for a more fulfilling way to spend your free time, there are few things that top giving back to the community you live in. Whether it’s by volunteering to renovate a local park or picking up trash to keep your town looking beautiful, when you give your time to your community it will be paid back to you by those you’ve helped. That spirit of giving was the inspiration behind the creation of this week’s #WebsiteWednesday, CommunityStudio.xyz.
Founded in 2013, CommunityStudio.xyz is a project that engages students in civic action which benefits their towns in rural Nebraska. The program began as part of the senior government class at Lyons-Decatur Northeast school, and over the years has seen participants propose and complete dozens of civic improvement projects. Some of CommunityStudio.xyz’s more notable accomplishments include repaving the walkways and driveway of the community’s Center for the Developmentally Disabled, building a disc golf course at the community park, and creating a group to write and send encouragement letters to children and teens in the town’s Children’s Hospital.
The CommunityStudio.xyz program is led each year by a team of students from Lyons-Decatur school who propose the projects, work with local businesses and organizers to put them in action, and complete a review once their project has been completed in which they summarize the impact the project will have and share their hopes for its future. If you want to learn more about the teams, they also keep a blog where they share their backgrounds, interesting facts about themselves, and updates on how the community projects are doing as time passes.
We can learn a lot from the attitudes of the CommunityStudio.xyz teams. Just as they’ve banded together and set out to improve their surroundings and the lives of others, we can look at our surroundings and find areas that we can improve if we just make the effort. Have something in mind that you’d like to change about your community, industry, or even yourself? Start the journey by sharing your plans and progress on your own .xyz site!
It’s no secret that Milan is the design hotbed of Italy. Once home to some of history’s most renowned artists (da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Mantegna), thousands of interior design professionals and enthusiasts now flock to the city every April for the awe-inspiring displays and installations that fill galleries and showrooms during Milan Design Week. Yet, some of the most interesting locations for art exhibitions aren’t in conventional galleries and showrooms at all, as proved by this week’s #WebsiteWednesday: Alcova.xyz.
Alcova.xyz is the home of Milan-based independent design platform, Alcova. Developed by two Italian design studios, Space Caviar and Studio Vedet, Alcova operates a network of exhibition spaces for artists to show their work. But Milan’s art crowd can venture beyond the usual gallery and museum spaces to visit these shows. Instead, Alcova activates “forgotten locations of historical significance” in and around Milan.
Have you tried Italian fruit cake? For Fuorisalone 2019, Milan’s Design Week that’s held every April, Alcova occupied two unconventional sites. The first was an abandoned panettone (Italian fruit cake) factory that was once owned by renowned Italian bakery, Giovanni Cova. The industrial space is now partly taken over by plants and vegetation, serving as a truly unique location for the contemporary art installations, screenings, and talks that were held there. A perfectly preserved cashmere factory from the 1930s showcased similar work as Alscova’s second chosen location.
Over 40,000 people visited the 2018 installment of Alcova’s Fuorisalone exhibition, and if the quality of their website is any testament to that of their exhibitions, we can see why. Every aspect of Alcova.xyz is aesthetically appealing and expertly designed for usability and functionality. The full-screen Fuorisalone graphic drifting across the homepage draws you in instantly, interrupted only by the uniquely placed vertical navigation along the left of the screen.
The most important pages are placed towards the top–Venues, People, and About–but our personal favorite is Images. The page leads you to a screen-filling slideshow of the April event photographs, and the left navigation is now joined only by the other pertinent information: photographer name, photo number, and a close button that takes you back to the homepage.
You can subscribe to the Alcova newsletter to stay updated on their future exhibitions, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Thinking about branding your business on a memorable .xyz domain? Secure it today!