As I write this, there's only a few hours left of 2018, and like most folks, I think, I'll be pretty glad to se the back of it. It's been a busy but challenging year, that's left me determined to reshape the way I spend my time — and how I work.
This newsletter has been a terrible victim of that working year. I've managed to put out *checks notes* 6 issues of this newsletter over the year. It's not what you'd call high volume, is it?
I am full of good plans to increase that in 2019, if only because I now have something akin to a mission statement for it:
Commonplace Reading is a newsletter founded on the principle that that "interesting" is just as important as "new". Each issue will be made up of a range of links that I found interesting, whatever their age. No theme, no common point of reference, just good, surprising reading wherever I find it.
What do you think?
On with the links:
This is the closest the social media culture wars have come to me. I know Chuck. He and I co-authored a few gaming books back in the day. He’s gone on to a successful career as an author of books and comics, and has successfully used social media to build a following. But a strong expression of political views has been turned around on him, costing him a valued gig. Sobering.
I was a Kickstarter backer of this movie, and got my digital copy a few weeks ago. It's a fascinating and compelling watch, and this piece will give you a taste of what you'll find in it. Well worth getting yourself a copy.
This has been widely-shared, but in case you missed it, it's just a fantastic piece of reporting on a fashion hit - and the rather illicit foundations it was built on.
An interesting podcast episode
I get all bucolic at the weekends, listening to podcasts like this. This episode blew me away, though, giving an insight into the immediate aftermath of World War II that I never expected. Moving stuff.
Life and Love
My last break-up was nearly 20 years ago, so I've got a ways to go before I can compete with this fun story of lives not lived and aging.
Euan is one of the most fascinating bloggers out there. A highly successful digital consultant who drives lorries on the side. A man who can maintain a level of digital idealism in the face of the negativity we've seen all year. And, in this piece, he hit right on a dilemma that's plaguing me in my own career right now.
You know all those podcast-sponsoring, internet-sold products like Caspar mattresses and Away suitcases? What's life like if you live with all of them?
Dispatches from the digital world
90s TV series GamesMaster is remembered as the best video games show ever. But what was going on behind the scenes? I am a little too old to be nostalgic about this show. I suspect it resonates with people a few years younger than me. But this piece is a fascinating deep dive into a very different time in gaming and TV culture.
Nice work from a B2B mag, diving deep into the cult-like world of WeWork, the co-working spaces for digital-focused wannabe entrepreneurs.
Once you get beyond the pathos of a journalist who once-rubbed shoulders with presidents now delivering parcels for Amazon, this delivers a chilling look at the reality of Amazon Prime and next-day delivery.
My venerable MacBook Pro is off at Apple hospital right now, and I've been living the iPad life in the meantime. I'm thinking more and more about making my current MBP my last - and this is a great example of the ways some creatives use the iPad Pro.
I've been playing around with some new video the - the DJI Osmo Pocket. This video was entirely shot on that and edited on iPad Pro. I know the "pivot to video" has become a dirty phrase in the journalism racket, but the pace of technology is so astonishing in video capture, that there's still plenty of work to be done here.
I just love the idea of "beaver bombers".
That's it for issue #25 of Commonplace Reading. I hope you all have a Happy New Year — if that's what it is in your part of the world — and may 2019 bring you all you desire.