Rachel Levin: podcast addict

Hello, my name is Rachel and I am a podcast addict. 

I thought I had it under control. I didn’t think I needed them or that they controlled my life, but I was wrong.

Every morning when I wake up, I open my podcast app on my iPhone and press reload. I hold my breath as the new podcasts download like I’ve pulled a lever on a slot machine and am waiting to see if I hit a jackpot.

This morning I was a little disappointed, only two new Fresh Air casts. Really, that’s it? I pressed reload again. No dice. Don’t get me wrong I love Terry Gross as much as the next NPR junky, but two podcasts is no where near enough for my 8-hour shift.

This issue has motivated me to up the number of podcasts I listen to. Until two weeks ago I was strictly a This American Life, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me and Science Friday girl. But after devouring all three show’s podcasts for the week in one work day, I knew I need to take action.

I added Fresh Air, Radio Lab, ESPN U’s College Football and 99% Invisible. But I still don’t have enough to listen to to feed my addiction. 

I wonder if there is a 12 step program.

-Rachel Levin

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Vacation email conundrum

I’m a bit obsessed with my email. Between my work and home emails I get about a thousand emails every day. So, I spend a good deal of my life deleting email in attempts to stay ahead of the monsoon of information. By the the 1,000 emails, that’s just my gmail and my work, I’m not even counting my old AOL junk email or my University of Missouri student email.

I recently took a vacation to Indianapolis. While I checked my gmail everyday when I woke up in the morning and before I went to bed every night,  I did not delete any of them. So, even though I didn’t take a break from my email, I’m still left cleaning up a mountain of messages. It makes the let down of coming back from vacation even worse. 

I don’t know if checking email on vacation leads to healthy life balance, or if deleting them on my vacation would have made my transition back to the real world any better. All I know it that it stresses me out.

I don’t know if there’s a right answer.

Rachel Levin

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Patch :(

So, Patch is reducing their numbers. http://jimromenesko.com/2013/08/09/patch-staffers-will-be-laid-off-and-sites-closed-over-the-next-7-days/

I wonder if Jim Romenesko is really depressed all the time. I get depressed anytime his blog starts trending on my Facebook feed.

It must be a double-edged sword. Layoff are bad, but hit counts are good.

-Rachel Levin

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There is no job security in journalism anymore

The Taliban fired its spokesman. That’s right the Taliban.

I read it this morning in my email from Foreign Policy Magazine.

“The confusion partly stems from the fact that Ehsanullah Ehsan, the Taliban’s spokesman, was fired earlier this month and his replacement, Sheikh Maqbool, has yet to assume his duties.”

That’s right even the Taliban fires its PR people. Maybe he routinely failed to Tweet out claims for assassination attempts before other terrorist organizations? Maybe his mastery of SEO wasn’t up to snuff?

According to the New York Times he was “replaced for ‘creating mistrust’ between the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban movements.”

The New York Times story was posted 16 days ago. I need to do a better job of keeping up on things.

Rachel S. Levin

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Silence in the age of social media

As a journalist I feel like there isn’t really an appreciation for silence anymore. We’re always working so hard to get the Tweet out before our competitors, to constantly update our content so that our viewers don’t go shopping anywhere else for their media needs. We create a whole lot of noise. What good is that noise if we don’t have the substance behind it to back it up?

Maybe I’m just angry at myself because I can’t think of anything else to blog/ Tweet/ post on Facebook about.

Rachel Levin

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Rachel Levin grows up: what I thought I knew in college doesn’t seem to be true

So I based my whole capstone project under the assumption that I did not want to use WordPress for my portfolio site. I thought it was generic. (For those of you who didn’t go to the University of Missouri, a capstone is the undergraduate equivalent of a thesis. For mine I chose to team up with a fellow student and create a system to create journalism web portfolios.)

Today I installed WordPress on my domain rachellevinjournalist.com . This is just another in the long list of things I knew for sure in college that I’m no longer so sure are true.

I decided that even though it is generic, in the cost benefit calulation using WordPress just makes more sense. I work at least 40 hours a week, and I commute for at least 6 hours a week. In addition I blog, Tweet, update my Facebook, Skype with friends, surf news websites, listen to podcasts, clean put my inbox, study for the LSAT and occasionally read a book. My time is worth more to me than having an individual looking resume site.

Also, the free WordPress templates have gotten a lot chicer. I’m a journalist. There is no way I’m paying for a WordPress template.

So come check out my site’s new look. It is not mine and mine alone, but if using a CMS takes a lot less time than hand coding, so I’ll be able to update it more.

It’s not completely finished yet, but it is close. It took me a long time to figure out how to create a system for people to download PDFs. Now that I have that all squared away, it’s taking time to convert all the PDFs to JPGs so that they show up on the site.

Check it out at rachellevinjournalist.com

Rachel Levin

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Podcast love

I absolutely  love my podcasts. My main squeezes are This American Life, Science Friday and Wait wait don’t tell me.

I love the format that Science Friday comes in. Instead of having one episode be one podcast like This American Life and Wait wait don’t tell me, Science Friday splits up each segment into an individual podcast. So one episode is split into about five podcasts. 

Listening to five podcasts make me feel more accomplished to listening to just one. Also, it makes it easier to save the stories I like. If I love one of the stories on this American life. I have to save the whole episode, and when I want to share it with a friend I spend at least 10 minutes rewinding and fast-forwarding to find the story in the hours worth of tape. Since  Science Friday splits them up and labels them individually, I can just save the podcast I want and start it at beginning.

Also, there’s something to be said for the feeling of accomplishments that deleting five podcasts gives me.

– Rachel Levin

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