Rob Walker March 2013 Newsletter: Yahoo News, and other news...

Hello all. Rob Walker here. It's another sporadic email newsletter. ...

MY NEW GIG: I think last time around I mentioned that my focus for 2013 involved "making a living." Good news on that front! Earlier this month I started a new gig as a tech/culture columnist for Yahoo News. In some ways, what I'm doing for them is not unlike what I did for Slate all those years ago — frequent posts, a variety of lengths and subjects.

I'm pleased, in fact, to be working again with some other Slate alums, including Chris Suellentrop, my new boss, and the wonderful Virginia Heffernan, whose work I've admired forever. Honestly, everyone I've dealt with at Yahoo has been great and I've been having a lot of fun with this new new thing.

You can find my Yahoo work here: As far as I know there is no RSS feed for it, but I'm trying to post links as they go up to my Facebook page and my Twitter. (I also might increase the frequency of this newsletter — feedback welcome on that idea.)

I imagine the column will be a work in progress for a while as we try new things, but I'm liking a recurring Friday feature called the Weekend Linkdown; this post about why Apple should invest in crazy projects instead of upping its dividend is a good representation of other entries so far; and I'm happy about the response to experiments like this substantial Q&A with Douglas Rushkoff. My first post functioned partly as an introduction to my big-picture thinking for this column, and is here.

I'm definitely on the lookout for tips and ideas for this new column, so if you've got 'em, don't be shy!

MEANWHILE: I will continue to contribute to Design Observer (and in fact I'm working on a long post for D.O. this weekend), and my work will pop up here and there as time allows. Most recently I had a feature in Bloomberg Businessweek about the cult of Evernote, and a piece in the new issue of The Atlantic about a man who has sold shares in ... himself. Also worth mentioning: I had an incredibly good time doing this oral history of the Pencil Factory for Print. I'll be mostly focused on the Yahoo column for a while, but there is some other stuff in the works; does a fair job of collecting longer pieces as they appear.

Oh, I should also note that in June I'll be part of an impressive crew teaching at SVA's D*Crit Summer Intensive; application deadline coming up, more here if you're interested in that.

ON THE PERSONAL PROJECTS FRONT: Less to say here, although Unconsumption continues to attract an ever-growing audience, thanks probably more to my collaborators than to me — but I still get in a good post every so often! Beyond that, just a few bits of news.

First, some of you may recall that every year I conduct an empirical review of my music-listening data from iTunes, and use that to shape a semi-subjective Top Ten. Usually I do that in early January. This year I did it, uh, today. It's here. Second, I made a one-minute video in connection with the Google Search Results Tumblr, and submitted it to a MoMA open call for "abstract" videos. Third & finally, some of you also may recall the Where Were You? project, which I haven't updated in any public way in two years — but I'm working on it! A brand new biennial issue should be ready in a month or so.

THAT IS ALL! But please feel free to spread the word about any of the above, or indeed this newsletter (, and please keep in touch with your news and other feedback: