May’s 11

Lauren Reid and Matt Hurst pose for a photo with Pee Wee Herman
Every month I share a list of 7 things shaping my perspective in life. It’s been a couple months since my last update, so I’m going to include a few extra for this edition.

  • Application – Instagram. Instagram has become my preferred way to share photos on Twitter, Facebook, and to make posts on my photo blog Speaking in Megapixels. It’s fun and easy using it to turn cameraphone pics into memorable photos. I find myself increasingly posting Instagram in place of Twitpic to share instant memories over the internet.
  • Blog – Geekosystem. Imagine a blog that brings together the best links from Reddit + Tech blogs + general geeky ideas in a single source.
  • Colleague – Jake Brus. I worked with Jake as a student at American University, and was impressed by his knowledge of branding and creative writing style. A midwesterner educated in DC, Jake is a pragmatic problem solver and great collaborator of projects in the classroom. And since graduating he’s started writing a blog about Place Branding which is recommended reading for anyone who wants to learn about the subject.
  • Music – Harry Nilsson. Probably the best pop musician in the 1960s-70s since forgotten, whose soaring harmonies I can’t help but sing along to myself.  He’s the consummate musicians-musician, and his exploits have since made him the subject of the documentary “Who is Harry Nilsson (and why is everybody talking about him)?”  After watching the film, it’s easy to understand why.
  • Social Network – Empire Avenue. The stock exchange game lets you buy and sell stocks of individuals on social networks, increasing their values based on social media activity. While it’s not meant to act as an social currency like competing influence ratings metrics (Klout comes to mind), it makes for addictive gameplay that effectively functions as a social network in its own right, complete with personal profiles and public comments.
  • Television – The Office. This season we wished farewell to Michael Scott, wrapping up years of plot lines into satisfying conclusion. Nostalgia for the “World’s Best Boss” was hi, and even Ricky Gervais couldn’t resist making a cameo for the character he made famous. No one knows who will play the next boss at Dunder Mufflin, but I’ll be watching along with everyone else.
  • Word Game: Words with Friends. Yes it’s just Scrabble, but by opening up to my network of friends through my iPhone changes they way we can play. Just look up “matthurst” if you want to play a game with me!

Extra credit after the jump:

  • Comic: XKCD. Like thousands of other geeks, I’ve been a reader for years. Lately XKCD has become better known for another reason; creating infographics that help visualize complex subjects like the impact of radiation following the disaster in Japan.  In other words, reading XKCD won’t only help you be a better geek, but also a little smarter as a person.
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY. Constantly the subject of hipster jokes and perhaps overhyped, but always underestimated.  It’s residents are often it’s own biggest critics, but Brooklyn is in the midst of a renaisance of culture and redevelopment years in the making.  Also, I’m proud to call Brooklyn my home.
  • Charity: City Harvest.  City harvest brings fresh food and ecological education to school kids in the urban environment of New York City.  I participated in their Skip Lunch Fight Hunger drive this May 11th, in which $10 will help buy lunch to 43 school kids during the summer months (when school in out).
  • Website: Grooveshark.  A great music service doesn’t need to be a cloud music locker or subscription service, only to let you listen and share songs with friends.  Grooveshark makes both extradonarily easily, and may yet help you discover new tracks at the same time.