Times Radio and Design AnarchyPublished Wednesday, 8th July, 2020
This article used to be hidden behind a paywall. It's now free for all to enjoy.
This month, I've been working on a tool that lets you donate your Twitter account to causes you believe in.
After signing in, you select the @handles of a few not-for-profits and how many times you want to retweet every 24 hours. The app then watches their feeds and shares tweets based on a number of criteria including keywords, any attached media, and popularity. I've built it with safeguards in mind so that if ever I release it to the public, I can disable @handles of select organisations from benefiting from the exposure.
I've been running it on @admstnr for a little while now. Go check it out and tap follow whilst you're there, if you aren't already. I'm really happy with the results.
I've been reading:
I received a preview of Derek Sivers' new book, Your Music and People. Derek was the founder of one of the first online music distribution sites, CD Baby. The book contains important lessons not just for musicians but for anyone in the creative industries.
I purchased Design Anarchy as a PDF from Adbusters, the anti-advertising group. Equal parts memoir, manifesto, and design manual, Design Anarchy is a call for creatives to up-arms in the fight for our mental environment. The physical book has a sandpaper cover, destroying anything placed beside it.
I've been watching:
A collection of bad movies with friends on Discord calls. We began with Cats (2.7/10, according to IMDB), moved to The Room (3.7/10), The Cat in The Hat (3.9/10), and Birdemic (1.8/10) most recently. I recommend none of these to you but it is a good excuse to get on a call.
Snowpiercer on Netflix is a good watch all about the survivors of Earth's second Ice Age living out their days on a luxury train. We join the story about seven 'revolutions' (years) in and, as you can image, there's quite-literal class struggle.
I've been writing about:
The (relatively) new iPhone SE, which I'm using as my primary phone. Here's an excerpt from that piece:
The iPhone SE signals a pivotal shift that the industry can’t back away from. The foremost producer of 'luxury' smartphones is doubling down on putting its latest and greatest processor, camera, operating system (and almost its display) into a form factor that can sell for under $400 without going cheap on the body or on material quality
I also wrote about the world we should try to build post-lockdown and how we can't return to business as usual.
I've been listening to:
Times Radio, the new radio station from The Times of London. A lot of industry experts seem wowed by the station – and I've been wrong about the launch of radio stations before – but I'm not so impressed.
I think they've missed a trick or two in failing to make their live breakfast and drivetime shows shorter and podcasting them, filling the rest of their schedule with expertly crafted programmes (their other podcasts), which we know The Times can already do very well.
I think Times Radio should have been a mirror of The Times newspaper, with every section mirrored on-air:
- 7am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm: News, breakfast and drive
- 9am to 10am and 4pm to 5pm: Business
- 10am to 2pm: Design, culture, and sport (which is the bulk of their daily newspaper, and by far the bulk of their weekend editions)
- 2pm to 5pm and 7pm onward: Opinion, phone-ins
Other things I've been enjoying:
Shops may have opened but my only in-person purchase so far has been some replacement jeans (Levi's 502's, if you're wondering – the same style I've been wearing for over 10 years).
I've been shopping on Thread too, the online menswear brand aggregator. It lets me buy from some of my favourite brands and get everything in one neat box with a 100-day return policy. Powered by AI, your 'personal stylist' will also recommend you other items based on your budget, what you've purchased, and other things you tell them about yourself. 'Izzy' recommended me these Maison Margiela Replica Sneakers, which are very comfortable.
That's all for now.