Commonplace Reading — Issue #19

Adam Tinworth
4 min readNov 19, 2017

Hello. It’s Saturday night. The girls are sleeping well. My wife is marking. I’ve got a glass of whisky beside me and an iPad Pro in front of me.

Let’s do a newsletter.

Digital Life

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Can You Get Addicted to Trolling?

Short answer: yes. It’s the long answer that’s interesting, though.

Zoella social

The furore around Zoella’s teenage tweets proves how low we’ve set the bar for public

There’s a very interesting question lurking at the heart of this piece, after Zoella was revealed to have been marginally less brand-safe bland in her early teenage years. Do we have scope in our new digital culture for people to make the mistakes of youth, grow, and learn from them? There’s some pretty idiotic stuff I wrote over 15 years ago still online, and much if it doesn’t really represent who I am now — but it’s part of the journey of how I got there.

This is a cultural adaptation we need to make, I think.


Dumping food in the Koi pond: a lesson in fake news —

This year’s Interactive Journalism MA students are building up a head of steam on I liked this piece analysing how too many journalists got a story about Trump wrong.

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Fake followers are ruining influencer

Or: how the characteristics of influence are so easily faked. Influencer marketing feels very “bubbly” right now — when that bubble bursts, it could be nasty when it happens.

Fake News about Fake News, or How do I hire those Russians?

Some interesting analysis on the effectiveness (or not) of the Russian attempts to influence elections via paid social media. (I’m still convinced that their insertion of memes that spread virally is a way more significant part of their impact).

Mental Health Break

Cultural Context

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Why do women get all attractive if they don’t want to be harassed? Glad you

Nice, clear explanation. Another cultural adaptation we (and by ‘we’, I largely mean men) need to make: people can enjoy being and feeling sexy, without that meaning they are sexually available.

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Jony Ive on Apple Park and his unique, minimalist W*

Rare in-depth interview with Jony Ive and stunning images of the new Apple Park — Interviews with Ive done outside the normal circle of tech journalism are always more interesting, to my mind.

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Good News for Young Strivers: Networking Is

I suck at networking, and yet I seem to have built a reasonable training and consulting career without it. It’s been interesting watching people whom I might politely describe as talent voids achieve fleeting success through networking and appropriating the language of deeper thinker — and then seeing how quickly that success passes.

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Why You Can Focus in a Coffee Shop but Not in Your Open

Research suggests the problem isn’t the noise, but the interruptions. Since I stopping having real jobs five years ago, coffee shops are my offices — and I’m way more productive than I ever was as a full-timer. This helps explain why.


I’ve been doing a lot of work on video over the past 15 months or so — but little of that has made it into the public eye, as yet. Here’s a little glimpse. I took advantage of a family trip last weekend to test out the GoPro Karma Grip — a gimbal stabiliser that produces some pretty impressive results even when I’m running backwards…

And finally…

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Due South is now available for free on

One of the genuinely great shows of the late 90s. It mixed crime, humour and a dose of magical realism, supported by superb writing and acting. And it didn’t outstay its welcome. This is what I’ll be doing once I’m finished here.

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That’s all folks. Hope you enjoyed it — or at least found something useful in it.

See you at some indeterminate point in the future…



Adam Tinworth

Blogging since 2001, journalisting (which isn’t a word, but should be) since 1994, and sleep-deprived since 2012. Journalism lecturer, consultant and trainer.