Matt Mullenweg’s hierarchy of improvements for video calls

In short, invest in this order: Quality of internet connection (line and router). Voice (Get a good microphone. He recommends this affordable headset or its two-eared sibling.) Lighting (“Makes even a normal webcam much better.”) Camera (a great webcam or something much more elaborate). More details on Cool Tools #235 – or on way more detail at the excellent distributed.blog…

What do you miss? McKinley Valentine on newsletters in general and BookRiot in particular

I kind of wanted to put the entire medium of newsletters as my tool because I do love them, but I’ve chosen Book Riot’s science fiction and fantasy newsletter, which I think comes out about twice a week… It just gives recommendations of science fiction and fantasy books, pretty much. It has the cover, it has the blurb – they’re…

Knotty problems

A good knot: Solves a problem Is easy to remember Is easy to tie Is easy to check Is strong (causes as little reduction in the strength of the rope as possible) Is secure (doesn’t come undone when you don’t want it to) Doesn’t jam (doesn’t become extremely difficult to untie after being put under strain) Is easy to undo…

Seth Godin on the placebo effect (feat. Kevin Kelly)

In this context, the placebo effect is a metaphor for the story or the ‘show’ that you make around your work that isn’t necessary, but makes it better. The question is this: does something that makes people think your product or service is better (or more fun, or tastier) actually make it better? If what you’re doing is ethical –…

Education for the future: Key tools

Here are some tools that don’t go out of date: Tools for thinking, learning and understanding (the tools that help you acquire new tools); Tools for communicating and teaching (the tools that help you find and enlist others in your work, and help them to learn new tools); Tools for planning, organising and leading (tools that enable you to work…

Driverless Crocodile Podcast Special #1: Useful things with Victoria Patience

Subscribe on Android This special episode is a tribute to Kevin Kelly and Mark Frauenfelder’s Cool Tools. Apologies for the variable sound-quality of this podcast – see Doing to See for more information. Victoria Patience is a Spanish-to-English translator and author’s editor who helps Latin American intergovernmental organisations, non-profits and academics reach English-speaking audiences. Victoria lives on the outskirts of…

DCPodcast howto – recording via skype

Happy to report that we’ve just recorded a special-edition first episode of the Driverlesscroc podcast and it went off without a hitch. Recording between Jakarta and Buenos Aires meant that we couldn’t trust the VoIP connection (in fact, Skype held up really well), so we made two separate recordings. Setup Stu: Skype with headphones on my Android phone, with a…