Chirag Desai


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Quinoafied.

The (moderately overdue) annual home screen post.

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Until next year!

Calmer waters, and bigger smiles.

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Hey everyone, we’re running our 2020 #podcast listener survey at the moment and could use your help. A few minutes of your time goes a long way in helping understand preferences, dislikes and how things may have changed last year. Oh, and it’s okay if you don’t listen to podcasts, there are a couple of questions for you too :)

We really appreciate your help: https://forms.gle/BadHRF2TbFY5psac7

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Thanks Campaign Middle East for the chance to air a few thoughts about #podcasts, some news that made headlines this year and how brands can approach the medium.

Read more at Campaign Middle East.

Announcing @amaeya ’s fall slate with four new shows

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Today, we announced our fall slate with new shows—that’s 14 shows in total being produced by a single podcast network in the UAE. With a journey that began in 2017 as a thought about what I’d like to do in this untapped space, AMAEYA Media blossomed into a platform that has spurred some of the most inspiring & powerful conversations among change-makers of our region at large. There are numerous people to thank today, especially those that jumped on the train because they ‘got it’ & believed in what I could deliver—and all of you.

Today marks a showcase of a couple years of hard work by a lot of people, and there’s more to come! Our strength lies in all those wonderful stories and histories we’ve uncovered through the years.

I hope you’ll join us for what’s coming next as well!

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The Little Things

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There are things left to say,
They can’t be spoken of today.
Cuz what’s just been said,
Can’t be pushed away.
It’s okay
No matter what we say.

— Neel Adhikari

I’ve been enamoured with Dice Media’s Little Things thanks to a worthy recommendation from a close friend (both seasons are on Netflix. It didn’t quite work at first glance—something was just off about the pilot—but it grew on me. How so many things in our life are about the little things; the peace you get from the little things that help you take on the day, day after day, after day.

We’re not perfect, we’re not slick.
We don’t steal, just like thieves, we are thick.

Here’s hoping it stays that way.

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It’s one thing to use a bunch of images in your email signature. It’s entirely another to use an image with text in it as your email signature. How is this useful to anyone?!

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Part II of my conversation with Lucas Skrobot on Own The Future where we continue our chat about podcasting (monetization), social media and why I appreciate @manton’s take on vanity metrics on micro.blog.

In case you’d like to hear it, Part I is here.

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Lucas Skrobot (Own The Future) was kind enough to invite me to talk about what drove me to podcasting, the AMAEYA FM journey & general trends. And yes, we do talk about podcasting numbers, how to get started and rating success.

Part II is available here.

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A Desai is on stage! #WWDC

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Giving up on a long-standing friendship is very, very hard to do. But sometimes, you’ve just got to pull the plug. When it’s one-sided for too long, when you’re disrespected directly & indirectly over stupid things, when the friendship runs only because you take time out to message and check in. I get everyone has things going on, but the friendship’s been on the ventilator for nearly two years. Sorry, but I can’t do this anymore.

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Always good to get a comment in, especially on local podcast trends :)

The rise of podcast culture in the UAE

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Waaaay off base, buddy.

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There was something that attracted me to The OA when it first came out and that’s been more than reinforced with Season 2. Absolutely exceptional storytelling arc by arc, the kind that creators could learn a lot from.

Take a bow, Brit Marling (and Zal Batmanglij & the OA team)!

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There’s a new vurger in town.

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On the most recent episode of Savvy Talk, we talk about the power of audio. I expect I’ll have a bit to say on the Spotify acquisitions soonly.

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Spotify acquires Gimlet and Anchor!

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Holy sh1t.

Spotify PR:

[Spotify] today announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire Gimlet Media Inc. (“Gimlet”), the renowned independent producer of podcast content, and Anchor (“Anchor”), the company leading the market for podcast creation, publishing, and monetization services.

Commentators have been talking about the potential impacts of a potential Gimlet Media acquisition by Spotify over the last few days. Suffice to say it’s a big deal that the acquisitions also include Anchor, for all companies involved, but also for the voice & podcasting world at large.

Can’t say I’m a huge fan of the development, but it is a great set of gets for Spotify. The Netflix of podcasts just arrived by acquisition.

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At least someone is still trying to write good release notes. Thanks Careem for the morning smile.

The Triangle may have printed its last issue ever

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The Triangle Editorial Board:

For over 90 years, The Triangle has dropped a new issue in stands across campus every Friday morning. But starting next week, that may not happen anymore.

This wasn’t easy to read. The Triangle has shaped almost everything about my adult life in some way — from working with student volunteers and bringing them back each week, understand layout & design in ways I still use, media, guidelines, standards & maintaining ethics. Not to mention the annual April Fool’s issue, The Rectangle.

The Triangle, like other printed publications, has suffered significant losses in revenue as a result of a shift to online media. Websites like Craigslist and Facebook have nearly decimated the revenue The Triangle used to bring in from classified ads, and online ad platforms have forever changed the way businesses buy advertisements.

Considering this was the primary (only) source of revenue 15 years ago when I ventured into those offices, I’m a bit surprised that other sources did not develop when the first signs of these changing trends came through. Not remotely implying it wasn’t tried, and I understand the challenegs. The Triangle was always a volunteer organization that never took University funding. I’m just saddened to learn that the paper is currently out of revenue due to the reliance on print ads.

If you’d like to:

…you can make a contribution at thetriangle.org/donate. If you think you can help in other ways or just want to leave a comment, you are encouraged to contact Mike Avena, Editor-in-Chief, directly at editor@thetriangle.org.

The top 10 fastest growing cities in the world are all in India

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World Economic Forum:

According to research institute Oxford Economics, all the top 10 fastest-growing cities by GDP between 2019 and 2035 will be in India.

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In its latest economic forecast, the IMF says that India’s economy is set to grow faster than China’s this year, at a rate of 7.4% in 2019 compared to China’s 6.2%.

With a favourable demographic profile and a large and growing consumer market, India is likely to be the most compelling growth story of the decade.

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The story behind Dubai’s first food tour company, on the latest Tales of the Trade:

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Our highlights from the season thus far (and fun season giveaways for our UAE listeners!) on the latest Tales of the Trade:

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From a city often accused of not having enough culture, the story of a locally grown and yet one of the very few dedicated improv theatres in the world, on the latest episode of Tales of the Trade.

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Such a lovely video by John Lewis & Partners this season, featuring Elton John. Simple, effective (& warm) creative.