As another year comes to a close, I wanted to take a look back at the media that shaped my life during 2012, or at least a few of my favorites. Like most bloggers I love makings lists, and since my career is in communications and marketing I spend a lot of time watching, listening, reading, and playing with the latest media across devices; I’d like to think I’ve developed some critical experience (if not expertise), enough to make a few recommendations While this blog has written more about measuring my own media usage and the quantified-self, these lists take on more qualitative measure to rank what ideas were most interesting and useful over the last year.
Top 12 Memes of 2012
Top 12 iPhone Apps of 2012
- Best New App: Timehop. While most of social media emphasizes the daily pulse of online buzz, Timehop makes your past posts useful again by bringing you daily doses of nostalgia. I’ve been using Timehop for the past 2 years over email, and now it’s even more useful as an app by giving the ability to share old updates with friends.
- Most Improved: Facebook. Recently upgrades to Facebook’s iPhone app, which made it into a native app rather than universal, have improved the app’s functions and increased the rate of upgrades to the app.
- Notable Mention: Aereo. It may not replace a cable subscription, but it will help you watch TV on whatever device you want, including on the iPhone. It’s not strictly an app, but the mobile screen first approach for this great technology merits a mention in the
- Other apps considered: FitBit, Pris, Sonar, Untappd, ScoreCenter, various Subway apps, CinemaGram, Movember, and GetGlue.
Top 12 Mobile Games of 2012
- Best New Game: Turf. This Kickstarted project turned Location-sharing iPhone app turned my daily routine into a real-life game of Monopoly. Picking up where Foursquare’s gamification left off, Turf is an addictive game with creative pixel-art graphics that won me over in 2012.
- Most Improved: Pocket Planes. This pixel-art inspired spin-off of the Tiny Tower franchise makes simulator games fun again, by making players into owners of their own airline empire. I started playing the game over the summer, and many tweaks and improvements (including one update doubling the maximum amount of cities you could own) kept me playing through the beginning of 2013.
- Notable Mention: Draw Something. The first few months of 2012 belonged to a game called DrawSomething, which put a Facebook-connected game of Pictionary into the hands of millions of smartphone owners. Like many others, I’ve found myself playing this game less as the year went on, but it was fun to play with my friends.
- Other games considered: Game Dev Story, Tiny Wings, “Zombies, Run!”, Ghostbusters, Sonic Jump, Tetris, Epic Win, Sonic 4, and Tiny Tower.
Top 12 Social TV Apps of 2012
- Best App: GetGlue. This isn’t a new app, but GetGlue continued to be the best to discuss TV, Movies, and more with like-minded friends. Upgrades to their app this year made GetGlue into a program guide, using your own checkins to recommend new shows, and creating new tools for shows to interact with some of their most engaged fans.
- Most Improved: IntoNow. Another popular app for Social Tv already made checkins a breeze with its audio fingerprinting, but the app added several new social tools. My favorite new addition allows you to use stills from the episode to write your own LOL captions.
- Notable Mention: Olympics Apps. If 2012 was a breakout year for Social TV, then the Olympics was it’s coming out party. When NBC released a series of apps which allowed for viewing and engagement during the games, it encounted some backlash from experienced digital natives, but it also brought new casual sports fans to the social TV party
- Other Social TV apps considered: Miso, Viggle, SocialGuide, Yap.TV, Tunerfish, Zeebox, Clicker, Hulu (kind of), and Boxee.
Top 12 Music Albums of 2012
How I listen to music changed significantly during 2012, as streaming music services like Spotify and Rdio made a bigger portion of my time spent listening to music. As a result I had the chance to listen to more new releases, but also to explore older albums of favorite artists and making new discoveries of my own. Still this post is about what was new and great in 2012, so here are tracks from my own top 12* albums in 2012:
Top 12 Gadgets of 2012
- Best New: FitBit. Since I recieved mine as a brithday gift, I’ve used my personal fitness tracker everyday. What makes this gadget great goes beyond the tech within, but to all the apps and social media connections it makes possible to add a little social encouragement to get into shape!
- Most Improved: iPhone 5. Everything that made the iPhone great is improved and expanded on (literally) into this brilliant new design. In a year when smartphone screens grew larger, Apple stayed true to it’s human-level design to keep the iPhone within hands reach.
- Notable Mention: Nintendo Wii U. Nintendo pushes the gaming envelope again with their newest console, and taking full advantage of the second screen for home entertainment options beyond the games they sell.
- Other gadgets considered: iPad mini, Lytro camera, MacBook Pro with Retina display, Nokia Lumia 900, Nike Fuelband, iPad with Retina display, Makerbot Replicator, Microsoft Surface, and Boxee TV.
Top 12 Most Read Blogs (via Google Reader)
- In order of most read posts on Google Reader: Daring Fireball, Bits blog (NYtimes.com), Alexis Madrigal (The Atlantic), Alyssa Rosenberg (ThinkProgress), Geekosystem, Culture blog (The Atlantic), Silicon Alley Insider, Ikea hacker, About Foursquare, Sean Ludwig (Venture Beat), Hacking Netflix, Underwire (Wired)
Top 12 Most Visited Websites (via Google Chrome)
- In order of recent usage: Tumblr, Facebook, Nielsen Wire blog, Woot, Gizmodo, Mashable, Buzzfeed, Twitter, NYTimes.com, The Verge, Flickr, and TechCrunch.
Top 12 Most Streamed TV Shows (on Hulu)
My Top Tweets of 2012
My Top Stories on Facebook
- Here’s a timeline of my most shared moments during 2012
Top 12 Beers of 2012 (via Untappd)
- Read this full list on my beer blog: The Brew Noob.
What does 2013 hold for me next? It’s hard to know for sure, but my new year’s resolution is to consume media a little less and to spend more time creating media of my own. Thanks for sharing all my great memories during 2012, and best wishes to everyone in 2013!
* While the list only includes 11 songs you can listen to, there was a twelth entry I wanted to include: Beck’s “Song Reader” album. While this isn’t a traditional recorded album of music, I’m looking forward to playing this music myself in 2013.