Some favourite things from 2014

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Here are a few of the things I’ve really enjoyed on the internet in the last 12 months. Some new, some not so new.

Hope you find something useful in them!

Mobile apps

  • Nuzzel – this does a great job of surfacing all the content that your connections are sharing on social media, with the most popular stuff at the top. Means you never miss a great article just because you weren’t looking at Twitter at the right time! Link.
  • Overcast – the best podcast listening app there is. Has taken over from Pocket Casts for me this year. Link.
  • Just Send – a really neat app that lets you send email without going near your inbox – quickly send mail without being sucked in! Link.

Podcasts

  • Clockwise – podcast network Relay.fm launched this year and it’s full of great shows. Clockwise though is my favourite mainly due to its brevity – 30 minutes, with four guests discussing four technology issues. Short and sweet. Link.
  • Roderick on the Line – more long and rambling than short and sweet, and one to lie back and wallow in. Merlin Man and John Roderick just talk stuff, and it is as entertaining as it is fascinating. Link.
  • Try Doorbell – Robert and Lloyd talk about technology and work, and trying to survive modern life. Link.

Blogs

  • Stratechery – so good I pay extra to get more of it. Ben Thompson’s writing and analysis is top quality and usually bang on the money as well. A must read. Link.
  • The Information – another subscription service, providing around an article a day, The Information has a great mix of breaking tech news and analysis, without deluging you in thousands of posts like some of the others do. Link.
  • Brain Pickings – A wonderful cornucopia of interesting stuff around art, literature and culture generally. A great place to go to get away from digital stuff every now and again. Link.

Newsletters

  • Benedict Evans – great analysis and links, every Sunday, covering the world of mobile mostly. Brilliant stuff! Link.
  • Michael Coté – somewhat irregular, but always a fascinating insight into the world of emerging big IT. Link.
  • Next Draft – ten interesting news stories every day. A great summary of what you might have missed, with a dash of humour. Link.

Services

  • ThinkUp – a lovely service that provides human scale social media analytics. None of the Klout-score style nonsense, ThinkUp is full of helpful tips and advice, and useful information. Link.
  • LinkedIn – a curious one this as LinkedIn has been around for a long while, and for much of that time has been pretty boring, annoying and pointless. This year though, I have started to find it super useful for getting in touch with people who just aren’t present in other online networks, and also for republishing my blog posts there. It brings a new audience for my writing and creates new potential connections. Link.
  • IFTTT – a neat bit of internet plumbing, IFTTT makes my life easier in so many ways. I just hope they sort out a good business model, as I don’t want them to run out of money and disappear! Link.
  • Pocket – this year I really started to use Pocket properly, thanks to a tip from Steve Bridger. It’s such a great way to catch up on articles that I spot during the day but don’t have time to read, and means my phone is always full of interesting content. Link.
  • Rainmaker – this is where my blog – the one you’re reading right now – is hosted. I’m barely scratching the surface of what the platform can do, but basically it is a supercharged version of WordPress. It has all that SEO stuff built in, and also has functionality for adding a membership scheme to your blog, and community forums as well. I’m hoping to be able to test some of this stuff out in the next year. Link.
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Published by

Dave Briggs

I'm Head of Digital and Design at Adur and Worthing Councils.