Mike Koehler is the founder and chief strategist of Smirk New Media, an OKC-based digital marketing agency that began in 2010. He said he was happy to share his daily media consumption habits — just don’t ask him to share his Screen Time report on his phone.
Where do you get your news first?
I’m a little embarrassed to say Twitter, but alas, it’s been my ride-or-die social media home for more than a decade. Lately, I’ve been waking up and asking my Alexa if the world has ended.
What app do you open first in the morning?
Email, though Wordle has been giving it a run for its money lately.
What newsletter always gets clicked open?
I have become a Substack addict of late. So many good newsletters give me a reason to be equally annoyed and hopeful about the world. My daily mix includes Austin Kleon, Why Is This Interesting, Seth Godin, Culture Wins (by OKC leadership maestro Kevin DeShazo), Fortune’s CEO Daily, trend-follower After School and Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters from an American.
What podcast do we need to be listening to?
My time for long-form podcasts has shrunk lately, but I try to get at least three daily ones in my ears — The Writer’s Almanac, The Christian History Almanac and The Daily Stoic. If I have time in the afternoon, it’s the Kottke Ride Home. Deep-thinking celebs: Dear Hank & John and You Made It Weird by Pete Holmes. For my English soccer obsession: Men In Blazers.
What social accounts should we be following?
After years of wanting to burn it to the ground, I have acquiesced to TikTok. Sign up and limit yourself to a niche you love — in my case, comic book and movie factoids — and you’re bound to find some exuberant creators. Reminds me of old YouTube. On Twitter, Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) for great political news and OKC’s own Jenni Carlson (@JenniCarlson_OK) for the local sports scene. On Instagram, it’s all about the OKC food community plus local brands and creatives making great content (@clintonaverytharp on Insta for retro furniture restoration). Sorry, is this too long? I do this for a living.
What music should we add to our playlist right now?
My musical tastes range from bad to weird. I subscribe to an email newsletter called Flow State that sends me new artists to listen to while I work. The latest finds include Rhucle, Sven Libaek and Arushi Jain. Go-to music for my nerd brain: They Might Be Giants, Milk Carton Kids, Les Baxter and Weird Al.
What books are making you think?
If you want to change how you think about and look at the world, read The Art of Noticing by Rob Walker. Every page gives you exercises about literally changing your perspectives about what’s around you. I recently finished LaserWriter II by Tamara Shopsin, a love letter to the early days of computer culture. Arbitrary Stupid Goal, her book of essays, got me hooked on her world.
Is there any other media you consume that
If you need comfort food on YouTube, I recommend Jelle’s Marble Runs and long video walking tours of cities around the world.