I started 2011 fresh by listing the things I could live without from 2010, but have found many more worthwhile ideas to share over the last month.
Application – IntoNow. I’ve been trying a half-dozen TV check-in apps, to share the shows I’m watching with friends and to chat with other viewers, but they’re all are kind of the same. This app stands out by becoming the Shazaam for TV and Movies, recording an audio-fingerprint which instantly recognizes the show I’m watching with a single push of the button (even if it’s a live broadcast!). So it fits into the lean-back experience of TV viewing, almost like you’re not using an app at all.
Blog – The Atlantic. As a long-time reader of the magazine, I’m surprised I hadn’t been reading their blogs earlier, especially since their editors seem to have fully embraced the medium. My favorites include Alexis Madrigal for literary tech analysis (rather than reporting/punditry) and a handful of contributors behind their Culture blog.
Colleague – Alhan Keser. I worked with Alhan at Blue Fountain Media, and he impressed me immediately not only for his understaning of SEO and social media (what he hired me for), but for his insight into a consumer’s behavior as they use the web. He effortlessly combines thoughtful web design with online marketing tactics, to create successful websites that build business for his clients. It’s a rare talent in the business to wear both hats. Fortunately Alhan is more than a talented co-worker, but he’s also a nice guy that I’m glad to count among friends.
Film – Black Swan. This film benefits from the visual magic, strong symbolism, and cathartic plotlines we’ve come to expect in Darren Aronofsky’s films. As a recovering film student who has written about the director before, I can assure long-time fans like myself would not be disapointed by this early favorite for the Academy Awards.
Event – Social Media Week. As social media starts to become synonymous with the rest of the internet, this year’s series takes place in cities across the world. At last year’s Social Media Week I was nominated for an award (albiet minus social media), and this year i’ll keep learning and connecting with other like minded professionals in New York City.
Music – Arcade Fire. The band that I’ve loved since I was still coming of age continues to grow up with me, releasing an album many others also consider the best of the last year. They’re also one of the last great rock music bands that make use the lost art of the album, and in these winter months they’ve re-entered my rotation.
Social Network – Hashable. At networking events during Social Media Week, we’re all looking for a replacement to the traditional business card. While there are lots of apps to trade contact information, Hashable is a first of its kind network that meets the actual goal of building networks through the exchange of information. Connecting with your Twitter account is just the first step of using this network to connect with other people.
TV show – King of the Hill. I’ll tell you what… this show is a brilliant sitcom of post-Reagan suburban America. My friend Gabe Bullard as a better summary of why this series makes us laugh, which is also why I’ve run a marathon through 8 or 9 seasons over the past couple months.