Strategies for Curating Online Reading Sources

One of the rare non-Apple laptops seen in an otherwise cool park full of cool people How do you keep up with the blogs, news, and online publications you care about most?

This is a question that commonly comes up among friends and peers engaged in the business of content and discovery. And the answer changes as the web changes.

The algorithms, languages, and technology that enable users to curate an online experience that feels genuinely and uniquely personalized is fascinating. To me, it’s what the web is all about. I’ve long been hooked on RSS and its ability to deliver content of all kinds, from audio/video podcasts to earthquake alerts, almost immediately as published.

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Photos and More From CitizenGulf LA – August 25 2010

You’ll see more and more content here as the night goes on. And come on down — it’s going to be fun and it’s going late — here are the details.

Unable to attend a CitizenGulf Benefit tonight? You can still donate directly by clicking the icon below. Tag your tweets and photos #CitizenGulf so we can see them here. Thanks for your support.

donate to CitizenGulf

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Help Raise $$ and Rock Out with Big Moves, Le Switch, Hiram Rimmer, Stranger Danger DJs + more at #CitizenGulf LA Weds. 8/25 in Santa Monica

I’ve already blogged about this but if you’re reading this then you can very easily help spread the word! It will be a great time for a good cause. Thanks!

The main DEETS:

The Central Social Aid & Pleasure Club — 1348 14th Street, Santa Monica (former 14 Below space, now fully revamped and reopened)

An 18-minute Katrina documentary will be screened at 8pm, introduced by the (Venice-based) filmmakers.

3 bands will perform! Le Switch, Big Moves, and Hiram Rimmer. Stranger Danger DJ duo will bookend the night’s music to keep us dancing until bar close at 2. Bar opens at 5 for happy hour. Event start is 7:30.

There will be an entire room of art inspired by and depicting the Gulf Coast from Katrina in August 2005 to the present day Oil Spill disaster. Some will be available for a charity auction.

HOW MUCH: Just $10 toward a fund set up specifically for this CitizenGulf National Day of Action. Citizen Effect and Catholic Charities of New Orleans will put forth all of the proceeds from these 20 events toward extending an after school program that was started in New Orleans after Katrina into coastal parishes and provide fifty children with a safe environment that will give participants access to interactive learning opportunities, self-esteem building workshops, therapeutic art activities and other activities and services needed by the children affected by the spill.

There will also be a food truck in The Central’s private lot — Dante Food Truck

All the main details and RSVP at http://citizengulfla.eventbrite.com (shorturl: http://bit.ly/CitGulfLA)
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Now in its 6th Year, RadioLab is Still the Greatest Podcast on Air

radiolab wnycIn February of 2005, WNYC – New York City’s main NPR station, launched its first episode of Radiolab with Jad Abumrad. OK, actually the first episode was months earlier. Abumrod had actually produced numerous Radiolab-like segments since joining NPR in 2002, many on Kurt Andersen’s amazing, long-running Studio 360 program.

The most recent episode is titled “Words“:

Radiolab is a workshop in the aural experience – it is, at its core, a program that explores the essence of radio, from story arc to research to interview to post-production and mixdown. Any given episode will surprise you in its clarity, weirdness, and attention to detail. My first reaction to listening — I became a regular listener to the podcast (you can subscribe here for RSS, xml, or iTunes) in 2005 — was amazement at how much effort, creativity, and likely attempts at perfectionism went into the editing and remixing of the audio. An hourlong Radiolab is without fail a stimulating and thought provoking experience, rooted in the great voices, delivery, and smartypants adeptness of hosts Jad Abumrod and Robert Krulwitch.

My love affair with this program is capped by how well it uses the latest technology – since the early days of podcasting, Radiolab has been made available in multiple formats for download and streaming as well as across many NPR member stations nationwide. We’ve come to expect this from NPR programming since the grand ol’ days of RealAudio streams. But this show stands apart in that it takes the story and the sound and the experience to extreme levels, show after show.

I don’t have a TV nor do I care to watch one. I listen to programs like this. Stock up your music-playing receptacle with multiple episodes from the archives before your next road trip and you will not be disappointed. Even P Diddy listens to Radiolab twice.

One of my all-time favorites is “Numbers” (mp3:

Other faves include Memory and Forgetting (mp3). Listen to the segment below on amnesia and Musicophilia with Oliver Sacks:

Finally, music… Musical Language (mp3) just reading the first graf of the show notes is mesmerizing as it is:

What is music? How does it work? Why does it move us? Why are some people better at it than others? In this hour, we examine the line between language and music, how the brain processes sound, and we meet a composer who uses computers to capture the musical DNA of dead composers in order to create new work. We also re-imagine the disastrous 1913 debut of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring…through the lens of modern neurology.

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New Kickstarter Call-Out: State of the Re:Union

state of the re:union kickstarter

UPDATE: Just got an email that my funds went through! After a whole month SOTRU hit its Kickstarter fundraising goal with just two minutes to spare! Congrats!

Having just heard that one of my recent Kickstarter investments, CicLAvia, has been funded, a new project has conveniently crossed my path and if you’re into it too, you’ve got a few days left to chip in a few bucks.

State of the Re:Union (SOTRU) is a public media show that seeks to unify its audience by telling the stories of real people through an innovative exploration of a city, detailing how things come together and what pulls them apart. Each radio episode, host Al Letson travels to a different American city or town and explores how community is created. Who are the people who help bring it together? What are the issues they face? How does the culture of an area shape the people and vice versa? Through a unique mix of storytelling, cultural excavation, music and multimedia, SOTRU brings community to life. — Read more | website | Facebook | Twitter.

Kickstarter is a groundbreaking concept in microdonations and in awesome website and community. You pledge to donate the amount you choose — with great incentive rewards for various dollar amounts — and the money is taken via your Amazon.com account only if the fundraising goal is met.

State of the Re:Union is closing in on 50% funded with only 4 days remaining (after a month on the site) so let’s give it a boost by August 21st!

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