Thought Tips: Week of May 1, 2016

It seems to be a good moment to kick off something I've been meaning to do for quite a while, which is to create a weekly list of things I'm reading or seeing, talking or thinking about. It might be about content marketing, social media, urban planning or redevelopment, the food industry, women's issues, or a something else entirely, but I'm going to start listing some of these things because points of interest for me might be points of interest for you, too. I'll do this every week, so the format might change over time. Please give me feedback! Here goes.

  1. New York magazine is launching Select All, reporting on how real people are impacted by technology shifts (in their words, exploring "the weird and wonderful ways people express themselves on the internet and social media.") there's already some great content on there from Max Read and team, who kicked off the editorial experiment in November under the name "Following." This will be a good one to subscribe to if you want to consider user-impact to brainstorm creative or strategic implications of new technologies instead of slogging through technical details to try to artificially direct user behavior.
  2. The Serial team hired a community editor, Kristen Taylor, for season two and added content across social channels. β€œAs we binge/stream asynchronously, it’s even more important to find ways to make clear that you aren’t listening/watching alone,” she wrote. Her last day on the job was sat week. Here's Taylor's Medium post on how she scaled the fan base - which was less viral but much larger in the second season - across social channels. Smart woman. 
  3. President Obama gave his final Correspondents' Dinner speech this weekend. The man knows his timing. (Please, someone, give him a show next year!) Check it out here. And to dig a little deeper into how unique Obama's comedic style is vs. presidents past, look no further than this little gem
  4. The Tribeca Film Festival ended last Sunday, and it was full of VR experiences this year (some mind-blowing, others profound, and one definitely showcasing the art of PR more than film, but I digress.) The films ranged from animations (you must see Allumette, on that note), to scripted narrative and documentary. The possibilities of VR are still being explored, and we continue to bang up against technical limitations while pushing the limits of audiences' capacity for navigating a new experience and not getting vertigo or throwing up. Yet VR's power to tell a, well, immersive story is undeniable, and nowhere is that more valuable than when you're trying to push a doc message. Here's a great piece on the challenges and opportunities of VR becoming an actual reality for documentarians
  5. Did you know that there are now nearly 5 PR people for every reporter in the US? Neither did I. According to Mike Rosenburg, that's double the rate from a decade ago. Most industry categories that are hiring journalists today are overwhelmingly PR, but also marketing and advertising. On that note, while it's not a requirement, I tend to look for writers with a journalism degree for my own team. So this is partially due to where the demand for their skills is coming from, but Mark makes excellent points about the economics of the whole business.
  6. And an event, for those of you in NYC. There's a zine exchange at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, NYC on Friday the 13th. Bring your own or just show up to see what's out there and get inspired by the latest in independent zone publishing. It's free to attend and $7 to play the exchange game if you don't bring one to the party. RSVP here.
  7. PHOTOGRAPHERS! May 2 is the last day to submit your work for the Emerging Photographer Fund via Fuji. The entry is on Burn Magazine's site. Non-photographers, the magazine's Instagram is pretty great.
  8. Don't hate me for this, but I saw Hamilton last week. It blew my mind and got me reading or re-reading all things about the production. So far, the New Yorker is offering up the highlights. For a look into how Miranda created it, read All About the Hamiltons. And for a look at the women in the story - both the actresses and the real women of the Revolution, so often overlooked by history - read The Women of "Hamilton". For a deeper look at the modern story of the women in the cast, Amy Poehler's Smart Girls also published a cool piece on Making Herstory on Broadway.
  9. I happen to be in Puerto Rico on vacation at the moment. It's interesting time to be here because it's during a great milestone in their financial crisis (today is their initial payday deadline) and there is much debate over their political circumstances and potential statehood. Even Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote an op-ed about the situation, channeling his inner Hamilton. 
  10. Okay, now the last thing! Brian McConnachie is relaunching the curated comedy magazine American Bystander. It. Is. Good. You can buy American Bystander #1 on Amazon, and even if you weren't a backer of issue 2 on Kickstarter, you can still pre-order there (or you'll be able to get that one on Amazon, too). It's an interesting way to use new technology to revive a print magazine that failed in the early 80s after one issue, but at least they'll have a good sense of their subscribers before they go to print. Aspiring zine makers, take note! This comic is from Issue 1. I can relate.
 I would join that riot. 

I would join that riot.