Meet Rob Walker. He likes to write. He writes at Murketing, currently No. 71 on the Power 150. He authored Buying In, which is “a compelling blend of cultural anthropology and business journalism,” according to Time Magazine. Rob’s also the “Consumed” columnist at the New York Times Magazine, a contributor to other magazines, like Fast Company, and a former writer at Slate Magazine. I asked Rob to do some more writing by answering a few questions for my readers. See below:
What two podcasts do you listen to/watch most often?
This is hard because I’m a Podcast freak and it’s tough to pick favorites.
For music I listen to The Sounds In My Head, several “song of the day” podcasts, Ritmo Latino, Andrew Andrew Sound Sound, a couple of WFMU shows, etc. And the NYT “Popcast.”
For non-music, there’s Science Friday, a bunch of other NPR stuff, the Sunday yak shows have Podcast versions and I usually listen to This Week and Meet the Press this way. Plus the Onion Radio News. Among other things.
Don’t stop! The interview continues.
How many hours a week do you spend blogging?
Actually I prefer to say “writing for my site,” not “blogging,” if that’s okay with you. I try not to think of “blogging” as some how being a different form of expression, or genre, than “writing.”
Anyway, I probably spend an average of five hours a week writing stuff for Murketing.com, or other related maintenance of the site.
What cell phone do you use? Who is your service provider? How would you rate them?
I use a very basic LG flip phone, very low-frills. Sprint is my service provider. I guess they’re okay. I’m definitely not a big cell guy.
Last good movie you saw at the theatre?
My wife and I saw I’m Not There in a special screening at a coffeehouse. Not exactly a theater, but not Netflix. Anyway it was pretty interesting – in a good way.
Last good song you downloaded?
“Beg Waves,” by Ponytail
What kind of computer/set-up do you run at home?
I use a Mac laptop, at home and wherever else I may be.
What is your next big technology purchase going to be?
I need a new scanner. Does that count?
What one thing would you change about your blog if you had the time?
I’d like to bring in some other contributors to cover specific areas. This is partly a time issue, and partly a money issue – I’d want to pay them.
What is your full-time job?
I’m a freelance writer. My main client is The New York Times Magazine. I write a weekly column called Consumed, and occasional features. I also occasionally contribute to other magazines, such as Fast Company, and I spent a lot of the last couple of years working on a book.
Can you please explain what’s so great about Twitter?
Uh, no. But I also can’t explain why some people seem to hate it so much.
Has social media made you less social in your “first life?” Why or why not?
I doubt it.. I’m not particularly social to begin with.
What was your first job in high school, college or earlier?
Busboy. In high school.
Do you collect anything? What? Why?
Actually, yes. Bicentennial quarters. I started my collection around three years ago, and so far I have 19 of them. I estimate the value of this collection to be $4.75.
What does the Power 150 mean to you?
I think it’s pretty interesting just to see the list – certainly there were some sites I hadn’t heard of, and it’s fascinating to look at what’s popular and try to figure out why. And it’s interesting to see where Murketing stands from week to week.
What would you do with $3 million dollars?
I assume that I’d deploy a good bit of it selfishly, in some manner that would ensure I could do what I wanted to for the rest of my life. But I’d make an effort to find a way to share the windfall with others who need it a lot more than I do.
You have a book that came out this past summer, is it related to Murketing.com?
That’s true! Thanks for having a “write your own question” options so I could ask myself that! The book is called Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are, and it came out June 3.
And yes, I started Murketing partly because I missed some aspects of online writing from my Slate days, but also because I wanted the site to serve as a kind of bridge between the book and the column – both deal with consumer behavior and consumer culture. So Murketing.com is a place where it can all come together, and I can float ideas and hear directly from readers.
And of course to promote myself relentlessly. So go to Murketing.com and learn all about it.