It's been a strange and busy start to the year in the world of digital journalism. The changes to, and discussion of, social media have been fast and dramatic, and the news business has been at the heart of it. In fact, these changes are so rapid that at least one person is doing a daily e-mail on the topic.
It's odd seeing the world that was an much-mocked obsession to myself and a few others 15 years ago become a central part of the political discourse.
Tracking it all, and figuring out what matters to my work, has kept me insanely busy, to the degree that taking an hour or so to polish up this e-mail seems like a ridiculous luxury.
But that is why I need to do it.
While One Man & His Blog is about the practice and profession of journalism in the digital age, this newsletter is to share the products of online journalism and writing. It's a unashamedly non-algorithmic, personal take on what's worth reading. It's an excuse for you to sit down, indulge, and take some time to read and think. And it forces me to do the same — to read outside my bubble and see what people are doing with the tools I write about.
It's best consumed in an armchair or sofa, with something nice to drink in your hand, be it whisky or a herbal tea.
If you'd rather just get the latest OM&HB posts by e-mail, you can do that instead.
On with the links!
Living and Loving
A loved this article about the way pre-conceived gender roles can constrain men, because it resonated with the way I felt through my teens and 20s. This is a reminder of why men need feminism, too.
Talking of feminism, this is not what it sounds like, but you should read it anyway. Safe for work.
Token tech backlash post - but a good look how the Instagram-friendly food trends have led to issues. (The Memo has been acquired by Forbes and is being integrated into it.)
A decade ago, we dreamed of a new, digitally-informed politics. With polarisation running rampant, and political misinformation threaded through our feeds, can we remake ourselves as good digital citizens?
Tech and tools
This is a fascinating look into the impact of the shift from CRTs to flatscreens, and the business and hobbyists fighting to keep what seems like antiquated tech alive.
Here's a shocker: the first GoPro was a film camera.
Such a nice counter to the current moral panic about children's use of technology.
This story is such another change from the backlash. Here, tech is facilitating communication with a child with cerebral palsy.
Handy piece of work from one of my Interactive Journalism students - who are knocking it out of the park this year.
On the road
The strange tale of the fall of Little Chef. The familiar site of what a friend used to call "Little Thief" is disappearing from our roadsides - and this is why. I rather enjoyed my last visit to one when Hazel was a baby and we had to stop for nappy changes every 40 minutes. A good memory to go out on.
So, yes, this article is part of the tech backlash, because there's a strong suggestion that the instagram-friendly nomad culture drives some of this. But still an interesting read.
My greatest (recent) hits
This one did really well — interesting how very deep print nostalgia runs in our industry.
It's too easy to forget that social media has done some great things - and is more than just Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. (That's a point I need to write a whole other post about.)
A long post, which I poured a lot of frustrations into, some of them over a decade old. A slow burner - a good amount of reads, with good read depth, but few shares. That's interesting of itself.
As the sun sets on this e-mail, let me thank you noble few who actually got this far.
Feel free to drop me a line with any thoughts you have about what you've read - and if you've really enjoyed it, please forward it on to a friend or colleague whom you think would appreciate it.
In particular, if you have a feeling about how frequent this newsletter should be, I'd love to hear it.
Until next time!