What We’re Reading, Watching and Listening To

January 2018

Image: iStock

Last year Maureen and I created personal learning plans to help us keep on top of trends and news in our respective industries and despite very busy schedules. We encourage each of you to do the same. It’s easy … and free. Just document how and where you want to be better educated this year, or even this quarter or month. Then organize activities by calendar to track what you’ve done or still need to do. Maybe it’s reading more articles by influencers on LinkedIn or actually contributing to a LinkedIn group (which forces you to read other contributions more deeply). What about attending at least one or two webinars/webcasts monthly, either live or on demand? Listening to podcasts while working out or commuting? Or devoting at least 30 minutes each morning or late afternoon (or both) to reading beyond the headlines to better understand the world.

To help hold ourselves accountable, we’re launching a new series in which  we each will recommend the best media we’ve consumed in recent weeks. These posts will help you sift through online content to find the good stuff … or at least pieces with a strong point to make.

I conceived of this series, so I’m up first. Here we go.

(Note: Some links may require subscriptions or limit the number of articles that can be viewed for free.)

[read] Judge a book by its cover. As part graphic design company and part editorial operation, we know the value of images to pull in readers. Book publishers do too. The New York Times last month shared what its editors considered the 10 best book covers for the year.

[watch] Hold a mirror up to society. OK, I’m stretching the boundaries of tech talk (my passion and profession) and mass media here, but fans of the sci-fi series Black Mirror have been in heaven since Season 4 was released on Netflix a couple of weeks ago. Jodie Foster’s episode titled “Arkangel” has gotten a lot of buzz, but the entire anthology is worth viewing. Speaking of buzz, my favorite episode remains “Hated in the Nation” from Season 3 (2016), which plays off the inherent vulnerabilities with the Internet of Things and our base nature. And it all starts with the extinction of bees.

[listen] How much should we trust personal technologies? Ever notice that AI-like technologies come with female names, like Alexa for personal assistants and Iris for cars? It’s not a coincidence, according to this fascinating HBR Ideacast on trust and technology. One of Twirling Tiger Media’s core values is “Hardwired to Trust” and this discussion helps explain why gauging integrity is so elusive. As a bonus, it also should help you in future selections, be they tech products, new hires or nannies.