Recommended reading: October edition

This month: Obama 2.0, Apple’s culture of innovation, the rise of Nick Denton, and iPad user interfaces.

Education of a President
New York Times Magazine

Though Obama clearly electrified the American public back in his 2008 election run, since taking office the press have often portrayed him as a more enigmatic figure. It’s become something of a journalistic clich? to portray the “real” Obama as a cool, cerebral and inward focused president. That’s precisely why Peter Baker’s New York Times Magazine profile of Obama is especially fascinating; Baker reveals a lot of nuggets on Obama’s steps ahead (“Obama 2.0”) and little insights of Obama’s day to day (basketball trash talking, bewilderment at today’s polarized cable TV climate.) Required reading for almost anyone with even a vague interest in U.S. politics.

Search and Destroy
The New Yorker
The Demon Blogger of Fleet Street
New York Magazine

Nick Denton occupies a unique position in the American media zeitgeist; a British tabloid and financial reporting import who has wielded a decidedly New Media blogging weapon against Old Media’s cast of usual suspects (New York Times, Conde Nast.) Arguably his diverse stable of blogs at Gawker Media have cast wide influence and set the blueprint over much of what’s pulled off RSS and Twitter today. So what makes Denton tick? Both The New Yorker and New York Magazine probe further with exhaustive research and interviews with Denton and his associates. Read both articles as it’s illuminating to see each publication’s take; The New Yorker naturally takes a slightly darker and more skeptical view from it’s vaunted Old Media perch.

You Can’t Innovate Like Apple
Pragmatic Marketing

Clearly legions of businesses would love to emulate the meteoric success of Apple in the last decade; their string of hits is virtually unmatched in the tech industry. This article gives a bit of an inside look into Apple’s brain trust, workflow and methodology. While the article’s overarching tone dissuades almost anyone thinking they can match Apple’s workflow toe to toe, it nevertheless presents a lot of great ideas on how to encourage an innovative culture in the workplace.

iPad as the New Flash

When Jeffrey Zeldman, one of the “godfathers” of modern web standards, delivers an opinion it’s often required reading. Given said opinion centers on the iPad, a device with enormous technical and cultural cache, only sweetens the deal. Zeldman takes a rather interesting slant on the mishmash of iPad app user interfaces and design, drawing a lot of parallels to the days where Adobe’s Flash technology was the dominant creative web platform on the block.