Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.
The world of journalism lost one of its most gifted members last night:
David Carr, a writer who wriggled away from the demon of drug addiction to become an unlikely name-brand media columnist at The New York Times, and the star of “Page One,” a documentary about the newspaper, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 58.
“I now inhabit a life I don’t deserve,” Mr. Carr wrote at the conclusion of “The Night of the Gun,” “but we all walk this earth feeling we are frauds. The trick is to be grateful and hope the caper doesn’t end any time soon.”
We should all take a page out of this man’s book by striving to create the sort of legacy and incredible body of work he built over the years. The world would be a more brilliant place for it.
R.I.P. David, you will be missed.
Sonaal Bangera designs apps and websites. Recently his company’s iOS app, Screeny, was copied by multiple people. Three were several new apps that began showing up in the App Store. They were even basing their copies on the same name, design, and description as Screeny.
The one thing that kept his app standing out amongst the imitators was that he and his team took the time to sweat the details:
The details did pay off. Screeny as an app, is super simple with a simpler design. Which may make it super easy to copy. But it was worth sweating it out and looking at the finer details, because users may come to your app just for the design (initially) but they will stay (over time) for the overall experience.
Sonaal’s experience is an excellent case study. Not just of the fact that a product with attention to detail will beat out a product that’s sloppy. But also of the professional satisfaction that comes with having taken the time to sweat the details and craft something delightful.
Reeves Wiedeman of Popular Mechanics gets a thorough, behind-the-scenes tour of how “The Gray Lady” operates in 2015, at multiple levels of the organization:
Tomorrow morning, most readers will think nothing of the fact that the paper was at their door at the same time yesterday and the day before that and the day before that. They may also think nothing of the fact that, at the moment they bend down to pick it up, some of the stories in the print version have already been updated on their phones and tablets, and new stories have been added, too: the score of a double-overtime game that ended too late, or news out of India that broke overnight. And all of these stories […] feed a larger world of news that never stops consuming.
The sheer amount of work and scale that goes into every issue, day in and day out, is astounding.
Eric Fischer put together a fascinating and beautiful set of maps on Flickr:
Some people interpreted the Geotaggers’ World Atlas maps to be maps of tourism. This set is an attempt to figure out if that is really true. Some cities (for example Las Vegas and Venice) do seem to be photographed almost entirely by tourists. Others seem to have many pictures taken in piaces that tourists don’t visit.
Blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more).
Red points are pictures taken by tourists (people who seem to be a local of a different city and who took pictures in this city for less than a month).
Yellow points are pictures where it can’t be determined whether or not the photographer was a tourist (because they haven’t taken pictures anywhere for over a month). They are probably tourists but might just not post many pictures at all.
[via Josh Ginter]
Nick Wynja on extreme productivity vs. just letting life happen:
Having a trusted system means you gain the mental capacity to take on more but do we always have the human capacity to take on more? Our goal when we organize our lives and work is so that any time we sit down with our list of things we want to do, it’s clear what needs to happen and we can jump right in. But the most rewarding stuff in life doesn’t manifest itself on a list, so our focus on organizing life is futile.
Jason Tanz of WIRED examines the growing prevalence of techies homeschooling their children. One mother gave her reasons thusly:
“The world is changing. It’s looking for people who are creative and entrepreneurial, and that’s not going to happen in a system that tells kids what to do all day,” Samantha says. “So how do you do that? Well if the system won’t allow it, as the saying goes: If you want something done right, do it yourself.”
Whatever your thoughts on homeschooling (or the often-insular world of Silicon Valley), the article raises some interesting points.
Jason Snell, writing on Six Colors, discusses the difficulties of pinning down a podcast’s “audience” compared to other mediums:
Those of us in the media business—and I use that term loosely, since I’m really talking about anyone who makes stuff and puts it out on the Internet for people to see—like to imagine our Audience. With the capital A.
But it’s just not true. There’s no Audience. If you tried to plot an audience you’d get a crazy set of overlapping and non-overlapping circles. Your Audience is the sum of many different audiences, all with different habits—and opinions about you.
Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.