The Full Story
How artisanal toast became the latest San Francisco trend
This wonderfully touching story from earlier in the year tells of how $3 toast became the tip of the hipster spear in San Francisco (and to think such a fuss was made of the cereal cafe). It's a fascinating tale of depression, mental illness, courage and recovery.
Jonah Peretti "How to win the Internet"
Matter gave us this brilliantly insightful interview between Felix Salmon and Buzzfeed's Jonah Peretti. When it comes to knowing how to build audiences that return again and again Jonah is as smart as they come. This superb interview is a must read for anyone interested in how one man built two empires around digital attention.
Groove is in the heart - A Guardian microplay
We absolutely adored The Guardian's microplays and this homage to the mixtape found all of us in the Storythings office holding back the tears. Brilliant.
Robot Historians and the Heroic Idea
We love the work of Steven Johnson and this summary of his book 'How We Got To Now' touches on some brilliant themes. Steven suggests that if objects such as lightbulbs could write their own history it would be a different version from the one we would write. So he tries to capture the history of innovation from the perspective of light, cold, time, clean, glass and sound.
Cheap writing tips from Cory Doctorow
Cory's had a good year. His new book 'Information Doesn't Want To Be Free' is one of my favourite reads of 2014. And this post on writing tips was one of the most read from all of our newsletters: "So my favourite, foolproof way to start a story is with a person in a place with a problem, preferably in the first sentence. A named person in a defined setting is a signal to the reader’s human-being-simulator to get started assembling a skeletal frame upon which to hang future details about this ‘‘person.’’
War reporter embeds himself inside a video game
'The Last of Us Remastered' is a post-apocalyptic PlayStation 4 game with an in-game Photo Mode, which freezes the game and lets players shoot, edit and share photographs of their achievements. Time assigned conflict photographer Ashley Gilbertson to use the Photo Mode to document the game’s protagonists as they fight to survive in a zombie-infested world.
Pixar's Ed Catmull on the key to groundbreaking creative work
Ed's Creativity Inc is one of the best books ever written on the subject of running a creative company. In his book Ed talks about why the greatest enemy of creative success is the attempt to fortify against failure. As ever Maria Popova brilliantly summarises the book.
Everyone is totally whinging it, all the time
I've lost count of the number of times I've shared this Guardian article from Oliver Burkeman. We all feel impostors at sometime in our lives so its great when we see authority figures who are supposed to know what they're doing make it plain that they don't. 2014 mess ups by the likes of the NY Times and Obama illustrate one of the most fundamental yet still under-appreciated truths of human existence, which is this: everyone is totally just winging it, all the time.
Gruff Rhys: American Interior
If you haven't already connected with the BRILLIANT film, book, album or app for Gruff's American Interior then you should. It's the incredible story of John Evans, a twenty-two-year-old farmhand from Wales, who travelled to America to discover whether there was, as widely believed, a Welsh-speaking Native American tribe still in existence.
Jerry Seinfeld: "I love advertising because I love lying"
I loved this clip from Jerry Seinfeld collecting his Clio award. Probably THE most honest award acceptance speech ever: "But we’re happy in that moment between the commercial and the purchase, and I think spending your life trying to dupe innocent people out of hard-won earnings to buy useless, low-quality, misrepresented items and services is an excellent use of your energy."