I am passionate about learning new things (one of the reasons I like this job so much), so I use Duolingo — a language app that is very similar to Rosetta Stone, but free. I enjoy how interactive the app allows me to learn new languages in a stress-free, fun environment.
I also play a game called Monument Valley on my phone and I’m absolutely addicted to it. It is a puzzle game that challenges the mind to think of creative solutions and manipulate illusions in order to advance in levels. I enjoy stretching the mind and coming up with jaw-dropping solutions and this game allows me to practice that skill off the clock.
I use Hacker News (https://news.ycombinator.com/) and check it frequently because it is probably the single most up-to-date go-to source for tech-related (not gadgets) info and commentary. There are several technology companies that have members actively participating in and providing input.
To keep myself well versed in design, I also follow the Interaction Design Foundation (https://www.interaction-design.org). So far, it seems like a pretty good all-around source for design on multiple levels. It covers system-wide design, UX design, aesthetic design, and the connections between them.
Being a copywriter, I love words, but the last thing I want to do when I leave work is staring at a screen. Therefore, I listen to different podcasts when I’m out and about. My interests are pretty diverse, so it’s nice to have a place I can tune into whatever topic I’m feeling that day. I listen to a “tongue in cheek” news podcast, a fitness podcast, a history podcast, and a cooking podcast, mostly. I love learning new things and hearing different voices and points of view. Not to mention, podcasts allow me the ability to multitask. I can clean my kitchen and learn about Mary Todd Lincoln at the same time. What’s better than that?
I really enjoy watching people play music, games and create art on twitch.tv (I also stream myself occasionally). You can see what people are willing to spend their time watching and what they find interesting and important. Live streaming is taking off in a big way and I find it exciting to be so active in it so early on and watching how it changes over time.
Twitch is also a great philanthropic organization. They are currently holding a charity event for Doctors Without Borders where they raised over $230,000 in two days. That’s the kind of influence I’d love to incorporate into our client’s work.
I purchased a lifetime subscription for Sirius (Now SiriusXM.com) when Howard Stern moved from Terrestrial Radio to Satellite Radio. Since every broadcast includes a news section, if I hear something first there, I’ll search it out online to learn more… from an authoritative source.
Occasionally, SiriusXM offers a pop-up channel – such as Billy Joel or Bruce Springsteen – featuring their music, interviews, covers by other artists, etc. For example, Prince recently died and SiriusXM created a Tribute channel… playing deep cuts of his music and news / community updates surrounding Prince’s death.
It’s a great way to receive new information from different sources and find different points of view just by switching which broadcast you’re listening to.
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