Kevin Kelly’s Recomendo. Before Kevin Kelly was the executive editor of Wired, he edited Whole Earth Review. I became hooked when he took over WER, and loved his Whole Earth book, Signal (which was based on an issue of WER that turned me on to Factsheet Five and the zine world). For the past few months, Kevin has been quietly publishing the wonderful Cool Tools email newsletter. It consists of reviews of “cool stuff”:
I include any books, tools, software, videos, maps, gadgets, hardware, websites, or gear that are extraordinarily handy or useful for individual and small groups. The best items are those that open up new possibilities. I depend on friends and readers to suggest things. Generally I try something out first if I can. I only recommend things I like and I ignore the rest. Tell me what you love. Suggestions for tools better than what I recommend always welcomed.
I bought a first aid kit for my trip to the islands based on Kevin’s review in Cool Tools. You can see all the past picks from Cool Tools on Kevin’s Recomendo site. Also, if you email him, he’ll put you on the Cool Tools list. Link Discuss [Boing Boing Blog]
Kevin Kelly’s Whole Earth Review was one of my favorite reads. The tools perspective was (and still is ) a powerful one, especially because it demands a level of mutual respect between tool and tool user. Tools are multi-purpose and what you create with them depends on the skill and discipline of the user as well as on the quality of the tool. That’s a lesson that gets forgotten in the marketing speak that makes empty promises of pushbutton ease of use and productivity for nothing.
Turns out that the Recomendo site also has an RSS feed, although it is titles only.