My Podcast Recommendations #trypod

In the spirit of #trypod, the industry promotion to get more people to listen to podcasts, here are my recommendations.  I will group them into two loose categories, 1) news and information, 2) entertainment News & Information Planet Money (NPR) – I’ve been listening since the beginning. About the economy and business. NPR Politics (NPR) Freakonomic Radio (NPR/WNYC) Entertainment Think again from Big Think – thought leaders James Altuscher Show – interesting guests and he is a good interviewer Startup (Gimlet) – deep info-tainment reporting on startups  (not a “news” program, they go deep into a startupeach season while also chronicling their own startup experience) Reply All (Gimlet) funny, a show “about the internet” Hidden Brain (NPR) – you’ve probably heard segments on NPR, interesting stories about human nature and brain science Pivot Podcast – the author of Pivot, Jenny Blake. Some good episodes, but sometimes they are a bit long winded How I built this (NPR) feature length interviews with people who have created things (like companies, just listened to the episode about the founder of southwest) Twice Removed (gimlet) a show by AJ Jacobs that delves into geneology The Eater Upsell – about the food/restaurant industry Invisibilia   The podcasts I listen to fall into two other categories: 1) those i listen to every episode of, and 2) those I listen to sporadically. I listen to nearly every episode of Planet Money, Hidden Brain, Reply All, StartUp.  All the others, I pick and choose, or used to listen to each episode and am now more selective, or have just started listening to and am not sure that I will listen...

On Translating Really Big Numbers and Giving Them a Human Context

I am pretty big into data visualization right now: how can communicators help people understand data with charts or pictures. It’s all the rage. But communicators still need to think about how to contextualize really big numbers with words that evoke images. In disaster reporting you often hear things like, “The wildfires burned an area larger than the state of Rhode Island!” or “The oil spill could fill 1000 olympic swimming pools.” (I’m not suggesting that either of these are very good examples, they are basically stand-ins for saying “really big” because the writer or speaker is completely convinced of the innumeracy of his audience. Today I encountered an article about a topic that interests me, food waste. I didn’t get too far into it before my mind (and fingers) were off on a tangent. Here is the second sentence: To give you an idea of how much 3,000 tons is, that’s the weight of the new warship USS Little Rock, set to be commissioned later this year. Do you know how big a warship is? I don’t. Do you want to click through just to find out? I don’t.  Using an analogy to help the reader understand a quantifiable measure only really helps when the analogous thing is something your audience knows about. Otherwise it just means, “really big”. So here are a few better ways to quantify 3,000 tons: 1 ton is 2,000 pounds, so 3,000 tons is 6 Million pounds. We all know how much we weigh, and have a sense of a pound of food, we often buy food by weight. If it were all...

Shrink that giant Powerpoint file

We’ve all probably run into this at one point or other: you’ve created a visually stunning Powerpoint deck, but the file is absolutely huge! You can’t email it, or it just takes forever to open or save it… well there is a solution: In PPT for Windows, file > save as — tools, look for “Reduce file size“ In PPT for Mac, file > reduce file size This will shrink the total size of your Powerpoint file by optimizing the images you’ve...

Do you manage social media for a Washington food business?

I am conducting a survey and interviews about food industry use of social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Tumblr, blogs) for a presentation at the 10th Farmer-Fisher-Chef Connection presented by FORKS on March 21st. If you are responsible for posting to social media for your Washington based food business, please take a few minutes to take the survey, you could win a registration to the event! If you’d like to have a cup of coffee and talk about how you use social media, get in...

Bernie Sanders’s Revolution Needs a Better Plan

If Bernie Sanders is serious about a political transformation in America, he needs a better plan. Source: Bernie Sanders’s Revolution Needs a Better Plan I am particularly interested in this section of the article: But Sanders could invite artists from all around the country, famous or not, to create work that spreads the message of his campaign. Culture shapes norms: about inequality,  racism, violence. And culture that isn’t made by the campaign but by the people packs a punch. Which reminds me of the Creative Action Network, of my blog post about leveraging art and artists for social change from back in 2013, and of Downtown4Democracy, which once again seems defunct, but was active in 2004, and it seems again in...