September’s 7

Matthew Hurst inspects artwork based on the DC metro transit map
Every month I share a short list of ideas that I think deserve recognition, or at least have some currency in my own sphere of influence .  It’s been a little while since I shared my latest influences, so I’ve included an extra thought this month I hope will introduce you to something worthwhile.

App: Chump Dump. I admit that I have a problem: too many friends and followers on Twitter to keep tabs on those who’s ideas I care about the most. This app should help me attain a better balance (or at least a lower ratio) by helping me loose random twitter followers, particularly those most prolific narcissists currently clogging up my Twitter stream.

Blog: Wonkette. With Election season in full swing, I’ve become a daily reader once again of this DC-based liberal rag with its tongue planted firmly in cheek. Sarcasm runs thickly through each post, pulling together the best (and most embarrassing) news clips from around the blogosphere to add their irreverent take on our nation’s partisan political dysfunction.

Film: Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Comic books, video games, rock and roll; what’s not to love in this romantic comedy? Of course it’s geeky, so I love it.

Meme: Check-in Fatigue. As an early adopter of location-based social media, I’ve been anticipating the growth and inevitable backlash against these platforms as they mature. It’s interesting to watch my friends walk through the same curiosity, excitement, and disappointment as these services start to become adopted by the mainstream, most recently Facebook.  What was first a fun, new way to connect with friends and meet people has grown into an all-consuming competition that frustrates new users with legitimate privacy issues.  Of course I’ll still be playing along, so don’t hate the players (hate the game).

Music: Plastic Ono Band by John Lennon. His solo effort has become the anthem of my summer, driven by irresistible hooks, existential uncertainty, and all the emotional power of a young man trying to plant his roots in the world. Lately I can identify with those themes.

Social Network: Glue. At first the name of this social recommendation engine is puzzling, until you realize it’s apps and extensions help it connect media and the net. The cousin of Facebook’s Liking system improves on their social graph parent, allowing you to add semantic status updates; telling your friends what you’re watching on TV, reading, or listening to.  With the impending closure of my prior favorite Hot Potato following their purchase by Facebook (congrats y’all), it’s refreshing to see former Facebookers go on to create innovative social media outside of the mothership.

Television: True Blood. Sure the series is trashy romp with thinly veiled allusions to sex, drugs, and southern hospitality meeting the occult. It’s also driven by nuanced characters living in the well-crafted universe by writers who keep me guessing at every twist and turn. I’m a fan.

Theory: Transparency. It’s what helped me become interested in becoming a PR pro, and now it’s part of my daily work. So in the interest of full disclosure, I want to acknowledge that I’ve begun working at The Nielsen Company as a Communications Analyst, specializing in Online insights on their Communications team. Otherwise you should consider the opinions I express here as my own ideas, and not necessarily those shared by my employer.