Volunteering in SF: Ten places to put your skills to use

You are not here merely to make a living.
At least that's what Woodrow Wilson said. And I bought it.

Volunteering has been a recent topic of discussion at Odopod – what we're doing individually, and how we might make it a larger part of our culture. To some, the mere thought conjures up images of ladling soup and picking up litter. Such duties are vital and good, but there are plenty of ways to apply specialized skills in fields you're excited about.

I've rounded up some volunteer opportunities that are, for the most part, relevant to those working in digital – storytellers, designers, developers, et. al. These are specific to San Francisco, but I bet you'd find no shortage of options upon digging in your own backyard.

826 Valencia
826 Valencia is a free writing and tutoring lab founded by author/publisher/philanthropist Dave Eggers and veteran educator Nínive Calegari. Beyond tutoring, 826 assists with in-classroom projects, hosts bookmaking, screenwriting, and poetry field trips, and empowers kids to become creative writers – with a good possibility of getting published. (If that's not enough, it's also a pirate supply store.) There are lots of ways to help out, mainly during or right after school. 826 also has chapters in Brooklyn, LA, Seattle, Chicago, Ann Arbor, Boston, and DC.

Good for: Storytellers, writers, illustrators, educators, natural born tutors, fans of kids.

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Danger is Everywhere: Illuminating common pitfalls of marketing's in-between times.

The Agricultural Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the Atomic Age, the Jet Age, the Space Age and the Information Age - every technological era has brought about profound effects on socioeconomic and cultural conditions. They've reshaped human behavior and reset reality.

But, before the full effects of each of these technological developments have taken hold and fully permeated the collective understanding, people and businesses undoubtedly found themselves navigating a strange "in-between" time - a time where future visions are uncomfortably mingled with legacy artifacts and pre-existing expectations.

Today, in the Connected Age, technological innovations are bringing about seismic shifts in our reality every day. The dust is far from settled, and perhaps, it never will be. For businesses and brands this uncertain and unpredictable landscape is wrought with danger. Red herrings, pitfalls and fruitless dead-ends surround us, while opportunity is elusive.

But fear not, Larry Johnson (Odopod's Associate Director of Strategy) and I (Director of Brand and Strategy) have been hard at work cataloging the common mistakes, collecting helpful techniques and distilling best practices to survive and thrive in today's in-between times. We've compiled them neatly, into a presentation of course, and would love the opportunity to share them with you, our industry friends and peers at SXSW 2012.

But we need your help. Please vote for our SXSW session: Danger is Everywhere: Illuminating common pitfalls of marketing's in-between times and take a peek at some example slides here.

This preview is just a taste of what's to come. We promise to keep it short, sweet and useful so send us a vote and we'll see you there.

Thursdays at 2: Live Video Experiments on FWATV

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We learned a lesson pretty early on as we tried to figure out what to do with our live stream on FWATV: if you want to make something cool, give it to the nerds.

Since we've given our development team the camera and the freedom to do with it whatever they wished, we've gotten nothing but exceptionally cool experiments in live video by hooking up Processing and Kinect applications to our feed.

We've applied various "filters" that react to movement in our studio space. To name a few, we've had a filter that makes the scene look like a giant, moving painting, a filter that applies tiny bursts of pink bubbles that appear when anyone moves, and a Kinect application enabling odopodders to draw via hand tracking.

Check out the gallery of filters we've used so far and tune in each Thursday from 2-3pm PST on FWATV as we continue to experiment with live video using Processing, Kinect, and whatever else we can dream up.

DonQ Master of All Skills: The latest from Odopod + Undercurrent

Odopod and Undercurrent teamed up yet again to produce DonQ's Master of All Skills, a series of puzzling quizzes and challenges testing your master knowledge of all things interesting. We collaborated with some of the most visited sites on the Internet to gather questions from categories across a variety of themes. Foodspotting tests your gastronomy wits. BuzzFeed challenges your humor and Internet memes. NOTCOT tries to stump you with Mixology trivia.

With nine categories to unlock over time, there's so many chances to get it right. If you prove yourself to be the ultimate master of everything, you might just win a trip to Puerto Rico to visit the land of rum and learn from DonQ's own Master Distiller.

Check it out »

Vote Jacquie for the 2010 Andy Award Jury

The International Andy Awards honors exceptional creative thinking in the advertising industry, awarded by an appointed jury of the world's creative leaders. In previous years, the members of the jury have been selected behind the scenes with little insight into the process.

This year, they've changed things up, crowd-sourcing the jury selection process and giving us all an opportunity decide who is best for the job. Among a list of very qualified nominees is Odopod's very own Founder and Creative Director, Jacquie Moss.

We'd love your help in getting Jacquie on the Jury - All you have to do is cast your vote and tell a friend to do the same. You can do it once, twice, or multiple times - now through November 15th.

Thanks in advance for your support!

Vote at electthejury.com »

odosketch + Facebook

Can't get enough of odosketch? We can't either, so we've got a home on Facebook just for you. Get updates on featured and most popular sketches, check out some of our favorite artists, get news and notes on updates, added features, random facts and stats and of course, chat with us, give us feedback and connect with other sketchers right on our wall.

See you there...

Nominate Odopod in the 2009 .net Awards

Our friends at .net magazine are celebrating the best of the web in the 2009 .net awards. We're honored to be nominated in two categories: Design Agency of the Year and Interactive Site of the Year for our work on NVIDIA Speak Visual. We need your vote to make it to the next level.

The top three nominees in each category go before a panel of top notch judges including Jeffery Zeldman, Jason Santa Maria, Jon Hicks, Andy Budd, and so many more. If you love what we do, head over to the .net awards and vote for us.

Thank you!

Pick our Panels for SXSW 2010

March 2010 seems like ages away, but it's time to start thinking about the 2010 SXSW Interactive Festival! The panel picker is now open and you have the opportunity to select what panels you want to see. With a ton of topics and speakers to choose from, we wanted to make it easier for you to make solid choices when it comes to SXSW content. Here are some key suggestions:

Digital Ethnography: Gathering Insights in the Digital Landscape - Guthrie Dolin, Odopod Interactive Storytelling: Learning From the Masters - Tim Barber, Odopod SoDA Pops! Best Digital Agency Advice and Practices - Paul Lewis, Society of Digital Agencies

To participate, all you have to is login to the panel picker, hit thumbs-up in the panels listed above and that's it - you've made a difference.

Get Sketching with odosketch!

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odosketch is a Flash drawing application that Odopod created back in 2005 for a design feature on Adobe.com. The original intention was for a small group of us and our friends to collaboratively create sketches together.

Since the original launch, over 20,000 sketches have been made and we've received a ton of positive feedback and comments. Naturally we listened to all that you've had to say and relaunched a new and improved version of the site.

Create a sketch, save your sketch, or watch other sketches being redrawn right in front of you in a style the feels like an actual sketchbook. We feature the best ones so make yours good.

Get sketching now »
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Join SoDA at the One Show Creative unConference May 7-8

The Society of Digital Agencies will be participating in the One Show Creative unConference on May 7th and 8th as part of Creative Week NYC.

Please join SoDA members, directors, managers, planners, strategists, creative directors, artists and producers in a session where the agenda is planned and driven by its attendees and the topics are evolved through the discussion.

For a list of the industry leaders who will be involved in the conversation click here and register now to get in on the dialogue.

La Venue, New York City
608 W. 28th Street, between 11th & 12th Avenues
Staring at 8:30am

For more details visit SoDA Speaks »

Odopod is now Nurun

We're still in San Francisco, still under the same leadership, still doing great work (here are some case studies). But now we're a lot larger. We've joined a host of Nurun offices around the globe, all part of Publicis Worldwide.

Our focus remains on helping clients succeed in a connected world with products and services that transform the consumer experience.

We continue to work with forward-thinking, longstanding clients including Tesla, Google, Sony and Audemars Piguet. More recently, we've established new relationships with Dolby, the San Francisco 49ers, GoPro, and Blu Homes.

We welcome the opportunity to work with you too.

Tim, Dave, & JT

The best way to reach us

For new business, contact Allison McCarthy

For general inquiries, contact us at

For more about Nurun, visit