Wanna Work for Digitizd?

Well, now’s your chance. I’m hiring a few people over the next couple of weeks to do some writing, editing, ad selling, and more for Digitizd and a couple of other projects that are in the hopper. It doesn’t pay a lot (unless we get really good ad sales people), but I’ll fund your coffee habit a bit, write recommendations, gush about you to strangers, and anything else I can do.

Interested? Get more details here. Anyone can apply and get the gig, I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

How to Digitize Your Morning

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

I hate mornings. You wake up, stumble bleary-eyed into the bathroom where you drink some water, splash some on your face, and get into the shower. You have coffee and breakfast, maybe read some news or watch SportsCenter, and then go do whatever it is that you do.

You become awake and alert at some point in that process, but it’s not always clear exactly when. For me, it’s typically about five and a half hours after I step out the door that I really wake up – right around two in the afternoon. Mornings are dark times, folks.

Continue reading

How to Buy a Cell Phone

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

I love gadgets. I know—surprising, right? I love ‘em, I read about ‘em, I talk about ‘em to the point where everyone hates me, and I buy ‘em in droves. Some say it’s a problem to have four screens, three laptops, too many phones and not enough money for a cup of coffee, but I say it’s all about priorities.

Over the last few months I’ve figured out there’s one thing I’m terrible at shopping for: cell phones. I bought a new phone in January, and over the last four months have hated it so furiously and fervently that I’m seriously debating buying a new one already.

The problem isn’t that the phone is broken, or defective, or just a bad device. The problem is that it’s absolutely 100% the wrong phone for me. 98% of the time, I need a phone for three things (other than, you know, phone calls): texting, checking email, and getting un-lost 39 times a day. Pretty much any phone out there can do those things by now, so I thought the world was my oyster. I went for cheap and small, and bought a Droid Eris.

Continue reading

15 Podcasts Your Brain and Ears Will Love

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

Podcasts are a funny technology: they’re incredibly simple, but for some reason no one really understands what they are, what they do, how to use them, or why you’d want to be in a pod or a cast in the first place. So what’s a podcast? The best way to explain is AP test-style: TiVo is to television as podcasts are to radio and Internet video. That is to say it’s a way to get it on demand, consumable whenever you want. Fast forward and rewind to your heart’s content, and keep as much content as you want – until your hard drive gets full.

You can listen to podcasts on your mp3 player, on your computer, or anywhere else you so desire. They get downloaded over the Internet, and are just simple RSS feeds, so anywhere you’ve got the Internet, you can get podcasts. iTunes is becoming the gold standard, though, and provides a great store for finding podcasts (“store” here is used loosely, because they’re mostly free). Many radio stations are syndicating their stuff to podcasts, and there are a huge number of podcast-only “stations” out there now. Unlike producing a TV show, creating a radio show of sorts, whether it’s video or audio, is relatively cheap and simple to do.

Continue reading

Why I Bought an iPad (And Why You Should Too)

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

Exactly 32 hours after the iPad was released to the masses, I walked over to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York City. I stood in a line of about 40 people, walked down the spiral staircase feeling like the belle of the ball, plunked down $520 or so, and bought myself an iPad.

I’d never actually done that before. I’m typically a “wait and see-er” when it comes to anything that costs more than $5, and like to be a version behind because it’s too easy and too expensive to get caught up in being an early adopter. But the iPad was different.

The biggest question most people have for the iPad is simple: “what will I use it for?” It’s bigger and less pocket-friendly than your cell phone. It’s smaller and less versatile than your laptop. It’s not really a netbook, or an ebook reader. So what is it, and why do I need it?

Continue reading

20 Ways to Kill a Few Minutes Online

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

I rarely have long periods of time with nothing to do – there’s not typically time to read a book, or watch a movie, or take a nap (granted, “take a nap” requires at least three hours in my world). What I do have, multiple times a day, is somewhere between three and ten minutes with nothing going on and nothing I can do about it. Whether I’m on the subway, waiting for food to come, or at my desk trying to look productive at work, these brief periods pop up all the time.

To be honest, I don’t want to be terribly productive during these periods. What I do want is to learn something, be entertained, or just have a way to goof off while I’m waiting. At the same time, I don’t want to be completely wasting my time (if I’m doing that, why aren’t I sleeping?) – the key is to find the balance between useful, interesting, and feeling like work.

Continue reading

How to Make Any Computer Your Computer

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

For the sake of clarification, this article will not be any of the following: instructions on how to steal every computer in existence, how to hack every computer in existence, or how to make so much money you can just buy them all.

What it will be is a look at a couple of ways to make it so that you can use any computer without changing how you work. Why? Think of it this way: on your home computer, you’ve got a set of bookmarks. You’ve got passwords saved, all your files, and a whole workflow for how you do things. Without an enormous amount of work on your part, any other computer you use – work, laptop – is going to look different. That means re-entering passwords you’ve probably forgotten, hunting down websites you forgot the URL for a long time ago, and a lot of hassle.

Continue reading

Location, Location, Location: The Case for Location-Based Social Networking

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

There’s this new fad, in the last six months or so – it’s called “location-based social networking.” Applications like Foursquare and Gowalla are growing in popularity, Yelp has added a location-based network, Twitter lets you tag your tweets with information about your location, and everyone from Facebook to Google has thrown their hat into the ring.

All these apps work on your phone (and most work on pretty much any Internet-connected phone), letting you check in and look around wherever you are, no matter where it is. They all work essentially the same: you go to a place, and tell whichever network you choose where you are. “I’m at Starbucks on 61st and Lexington Ave,” you might say. Then, FourGooYelLoopTwitWallaFace tells you information about your location – who’s there, what’s there, and more. At first blush, that’s actually a frightening thought. Google already knows everything about my online presence, do I really want the Web to know where I’m having coffee?

Continue reading

7 Ways to Make Instapaper Rock Even Harder

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

Instapaper is, whether you’re on a computer or on the go, the single best way to save things to read. Whether it’s magazine features or blog posts, you can save posts for reading and then read them anytime you want – even offline.

In a nutshell, Instapaper works like this: you find something you want to read. You click a bookmarklet in your browser that says “Read Later.” The important text and images get saved to Instapaper. You visit the Instapaper website, and you can access your whole reading list. Alternatively, you use the app for the iPhone, or any of a number of third-party apps, and you can download your reading material for reading offline.

Continue reading

How I Work

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

This is a long-overdue post for me. I even promised to write this post tomorrow, five weeks ago. But, at long last, this is the full explication of how it is that I get things done.

The first thing I should tell you is that this is an ever-evolving system. There are a few things, hardware and software, that have been around for a while, but there’s also a rapidly revolving door of applications, gadgets, and all sorts of things that come and go from my desk. What I’m sharing here is a snapshot, a look into the things that make me tick and keep me ticking right now.

I share these things not because they’re unique, or even particularly interesting. I do it because I’ve gotten so much from reading how other people organize, get things done, and work – this is me giving back, so to speak. And here we go!

Continue reading