The week has been exciting for both international and regional startups. Facebook was down for 30 minutes. The GIFs on Twitter aren’t actually GIFs (Wait, what?). Amazon has released its very first smartphone.

In Asia, Sequoia Capital has made its first investment in Taiwan. India’s Housing.com has raised US$19 million. Ashley Madison talked to us about daily active users in Singapore and South Korea after the ban.

This is our fourth week in publishing this special Fireside Fridays series, where a few of the editorial staff writers get together to share their literary recommendations.

Podcasting for Beginners: The Complete Guide to Getting Started With Podcasts / Buffer
Ever wondered about podcasting? I know I have, long before I took a stab at co-creating Bootstrappers, e27’s very first podcast series about starting up without external funding. We partnered up with Launchbyte, who helped us to produce the show.

Yes, podcasting is still very much “a thing”. In July 2013, Apple celebrated garnering one billion podcast subscriptions through iTunes. These subscriptions “span 250,000 unique podcasts with eight million episodes in over 100 languages”, according to The Verge.

If you’re still unsure about podcasting, just go ahead and experiment. Low risk, potentially high returns. Besides, audio is so much easier to deal with than video.

– Elaine Huang, Correspondent (Southeast Asia)

Economic Commentaries: Have virtual currencies affected the retail payments market? / Sveriges Riksbank
I follow developments primarily in the Bitcoin world, as I believe it’s an interesting technology with incredible potential, as well as possibilities of modest wealth for early adopters who play their cards correctly. But by extension, understanding Bitcoin requires understanding digital currencies and payments.

Digital currencies, especially decentralised platforms like Bitcoin, hold a lot of potential for disrupting traditional payment avenues. In the process it can empower merchants and grant them greater autonomy in the face of institutions such as banks and credit card companies, which have their own legitimate agendas and interests, but whose policies can disadvantage smaller merchants.

It provides a great introduction to digital currencies and is highly insightful. A good read for an beginner or expert.

Shiwen Yap, Correspondent (Southeast Asia)

I Am Sexist / Eurogamer EIC Tom Branwell
“…it’s really hard to talk about sexism (in games or otherwise) when a large proportion of your audience hasn’t realised it is sexist, whether subtly or profoundly.”

Sometimes we unwittingly write sentences that acknowledges stereotypes, be it race or gender. This piece from Eurogamer’s Editor-in-Chief is mostly an admission on how video game journalists like myself can come off as sexist, but not on purpose. Rather, it’s the male-dominated culture of gaming that leads to such small-but-noticeable bouts of ignorance, which thankfully is taking in change as it evolves.

This male perspective piece goes well hand-in-hand with the Polygon article about diversity in last week’s Fireside feature. Besides, any article that ties in a book about racism called Experience into accidental gender stereotyping deserves some attention, right?

– Jonathan Toyad, Games Editor

How Having a Daughter Will Change Your Leadership Style
“A study of Danish companies showed that male CEOs actually started to pay their female employees more after they became dads to daughters. Firstborn daughters had the most influence–at their dad’s companies, the wage gap (the amount similarly qualified women and men are paid for similar work) closed by three per cent after they were born.”

It is frustrating when you are paid less even if you are equally qualified (in most cases, more qualified) than men — all because you belong to a certain gender. With all these talks around us on equality, it is saddening to see that the glass ceiling for women very much exists. This piece resonates with me because I come from a country where women are treated as second class citizens. This article talks about how a daughter makes you a better leader. I say a daughter makes you a better person. Period.

– Maneka Tanwani, Assistant Editor

Other Reads:

Feel like an impostor? You’re not alone / The Next Web

This video is a lot about internet fame, and a little about Phil Fish / Polygon

WeChat is nothing like WhatsApp—and that makes it even more valuable / Quartz


Mt. Gox CEO Returns to Twitter, Infuriates Burned Investors / WIRED 

Your Questions About That New Ridiculous App Yo, Answered / BostInno

Featured Image Credit: Anastasios71 / Shutterstock