Tag Archives: 7

October’s 10

Matthew Hurst riding on a boat by Lower Manhattan, New York City

In the last month I’ve begun new endeavors, publishing my first major Press Release and attending AdWeek as representative of my new employers. You could say I’m on a roll, so In celebration of 10.10.10 here are the Top 10 ideas shaping my life over the last month.

Blog: Mashable. I read Mashable every day because it is the best source of current news on social media and online marketing, period. When Facebook was down this month I looked to them for the first to explanation of what was happening and why. Ditto on Foursquare and Twitter. It’s become such an obsession of mine a friend recently asked “when did you become the Mashable promoter?”. Thanks to Pete Cashmore and company for giving me something to look forward to reading everyday.

Colleague: Sean Ludwig. I want to recommend Sean because he’s a talented journalist and writer with in-depth knowledge of technology (especially mobile) and experience using social media.

Film: The Social Network. As a Film Studies major and Communications grad, I think I’m qualified to say this film lives up to the hype. Audiences should already be aware that the film is not biographical, and I like it better that way; their writers created dramatic (if oversimplified) characters who would make this film enjoyable to anyone, even if they’ve never used Facebook (including Mr. Sorkin). In other words, Mark Zuckerberg is going to become the Bud Fox of this generation; see this movie and bring a Friend.

Meme: Rally to Restore Sanity. I plan on attending this satirical event, organized by the producers of The Daily Show and Colbert Report, at the end of this month. Establishing once again my own zealousness towards this radically irrelevant television program, I’m looking forward to renewing irony in DC. Hopefully with thousands of other friends of rational discussion. Continue reading October’s 10

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). Continue reading September’s 7

January’s 7

Because every other meme or trend ends up getting shared on Twitter, each month I offer at least 7 new ideas worth remembering. In celebration of the new year here are 10 important ideas I want to share.

Application: Red Laser. I think of Sales as framing devices that convince me into buying things I don’t really need. Red Laser turns my smart phone camera into an barcode reader, from which it can search online for the best prices on each item. By adding much need price context to my shopping, I needn’t miss out on saving money on a good deal any longer.

ColleagueKristin Arena.  I met Kristin through mutual friends who (like her) studied broadcast journalism at Mizzou’s J-school (which is widely reputed to be the top school in the country).  I’ve come to know Kristin even better through Twitter and Social Media.  She is in the enviable position to take advantage of this convergence, having transitioned towards a career in PR. She would make a great addition to any organization interested in its future.

Game: The Simpsons Arcade.  This is the arcade game you remember playing in your movie theater’s arcade, bumping elbows and all, lovingly recreated as a new solo adventure on your iPhone or iPod touch.  Easily the best licensed Simpson’s game I can remember and worth the few bucks it costs.

Nostalgia: the Gawker decade.  Because journalists love retrospectives, we’ve experience a deluge of nostalgia leading up to 2010.  I think Robot Chicken got it right; today’s rampant materialism and memes are just tomorrow’s sitcom fodder.  Sorry BoingBoing.

Social Network: Tumblr.  OK so maybe Tumblr is more like a blog than a social network, but the same might be said of Twitter.  Although it’s nothing new, I’ve only started to use Tumblr to it’s full potential recently.  Besides The Brew Noob, you can follow my status blog Retweet This or my photoblog Speaking in Megapixels.

User-generated thingie: Waze. This GPS enabled app for smartphones combines the usual map/routing capabilities with crowd-sourced traffic data.  There’s also a gaming element to Waze that has me hooked. Waze encourages me to use my iPhone while driving about as much as the TomTom app would, except I get to keep the $100.  Now if only I had a car…

Video: Simon the IT Dummy. Full Disclosure: I helped promote this video series as an intern with 2ChicksInc. I’m sharing it of my own volition now, because I LOL’d. And because Simon is a Geek Stud.

December’s 7

xmascard-finalEvery month I share a short list of ideas that I think deserve your attention, or at least commandeer my own.  This month I’ve included a few extra as an early holiday gift to readers.  I want to wish everyone a Happy Holidays, and hope to see you in the new year.

Blog: Framing Science. Matthew Nisbet will change how you understand science.  We take for granted that the facts should speak for themselves, but our understanding of these complex subjects are largely a matter of communication.  His blog covers so much of what I learned in his classroom, and it is recommended reading if you care about climate change, public policy, or evolution.

Colleague: Nina Keim.  I met Nina as a Graduate student at American University (maybe Classmate is a better title), and have always been impressed by her initiative.  Unlike some of my peers, Nina displays an endless curiosity; she seeks out new ideas in communication and isn’t afraid to try them out for herself, often before their value is readily apparent.  Rather than merely acting as an informer, Nina embodies the role of an opinion leader in her own right.

Meme: PR does not equal “Press Release”. Sure Press Releases still work, but the question is “should you send one?”  At #PRCamp we first realized that the words Press Release should never be used near anything Social Media.  PR practitioners build relationships and tell stories, and in today’s media landscape that cannot be limited to broadcast and print news releases.

Music: Bob Dylan’s “Christmas in the Heart”.  I’ve made many jokes over the past month about the music video, which I’m convinced will soon become another Rick Roll.  What convinced this unassailable icon to record his first Holiday album may have been a favorite charity, but I’m convinced it must’ve been Santa.

PR Agency: 2ChicksInc. Full Disclosure – I’ve been working (as an intern) with this start-up PR group over the last month.  Working with the women who are its namesake, I’ve learned how a boutique PR firm can use their expertise to innovate online campaigns.  And their generous part-time position has helped me continue my own career search (thanks again for the opportunity).

Shameless Plug: The Brew Noob. My side project has evolved from 140 charecter beer reviews on Twitter into a Tumblr blog of own right.  As usual, I’ll test the brews so that you can enjoy tasty beers.

Social Network: Hot Potato. Why use hashtags or checkins if you only want to talk about an event while it’s happening?  It’s not meant to replace Twitter or Foursquare, but its a new take on an old idea. Another revelation we made at #PRCamp was that not everyone will use Twitter (the brand), but that SMS/mobile messaging (the idea) were here to stay.  Try it.

Continue reading December’s 7

November’s 7

Since moving to New York City I’ve kept busy; enough so that I skipped the month of October with this recurring feature, in which I share the ideas currently shaping my life. Between applying for jobs, connecting with professionals, and getting acquainted with the neighborhood, I have more to share than ever.

Blog: Scouting NY. At the last Future of Local Media NY event we talked about finding a niche for your blog; I think Scouting NY has an appeal to an audience outside this city. By treating New York not as a tourist or resident, but as a scout for film locations, it reexamines the metropolis as though for the first time. Be sure to check out their series revisiting locations from famous films set in NY, including my favorite “Ghostbusters”.

Colleague: Jonathan Coffman. I connected with Jonathan not as a professional, but as a peer; he was one of the first people IRL from Twitter. Since then he has made himself available as a professional resource, but with a personal touch using social media . Jonathan seems unafraid of ambitious projects, and inspires others to try the same through his personal example; to say he has developed a personal brand is an understatement.

Group: #PR Breakfast Club. Of all the professional networks I’ve been connecting with, this online group must be the most friendly. Almost immediately I was welcomed into this tight-knit club upon joining their happy hour on Twitter, and IRL that courtesy was returned. This club is connected in every sense that a group should be.

Meme: BAD09. I had the opportunity to participate in the third annual Blog Action Day, and I’m glad to say I wasn’t alone: 13,604 blogs helped spur discussion of Climate Change. This 500% increase in blog posts were read by over 18 million estimated readers, demonstrating the power of individual bloggers to organize and influence others online.

Music: The Beatles RockBand. Since September it seems like The Beatles have been everywhere, and now they finally come together again through this special edition of the music game franchise. Playing as the fab four might seem intimidating, but this game manages to pull it off; I have been singing along the whole game. You will respect Ringo after playing the game, and It’s still the only way you can (legally) download The Beatles music.

Social Network: MyPRSA. If all social media is based on building relationships, who better builders are there than PR professionals. Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel by competing with other social networks MyPRSA incorporates them into a professional network that better connects colleagues, so this relaunched network is indispensable for job seekers like myself.

Website: Craigslist. We all will need to use this site at one time or another, because it is the closest thing to a monopoly on the internet. Many sites do specific aspects of Craigslist better (and make more money), but if you want to find an apartment or job, this is usually the best place to start. For a site that looks almost the same as it did 10 years ago, Craigslist has developed a model for web 2.0 communities.

September’s 7

Every month I share a list of trends and great ideas, because of the benefits they have brought into my life.  This last month has been filled with personal triumph and tumult in which I’ve finished an internship in DC, visited friends far away in Kentucky, and celebrated a 3rd-anniversary in NYC (where I’ll be living by the next time I write this feature next month).  For extra credit, and because this assignment is late, please keep reading after the bump for a few more good ideas worth sharing this month.

Blog: Lifehacker.  Whenever I’m in search of inventive solutions to everyday problems, (including some I didn’t think were problems), this blog is my default resource.  Apartment hunting? Check. Turn an old PC into a NES arcade? Ditto. Going paperless in the home and office? Indeed.  Lifehacker makes the impossible seem practical with it’s a DIY aesthetic.

Colleague: Renan Borelli.  As a colleague at NMS, Renan was an exemplary addition to every team: innovative, analytical, and fiercely ambitious. As a mentor of my own he demonstrated climbing the ladder through his own example, and shares my passion for social media.  I’m also happy to call this colleague a friend of mine.

Comic: Toothpaste for Dinner.  I LOL’d.

Location: Louisville, Kentucky.  This river city is is more than a one horse town; it’s a metropolis of burgeoning home-grown food, culture, and is the home to many of my esteemed colleagues.  On my recent visit I rode in a VW Karmann, tasted inventive brews, listened to a coffeehouse concert, and attended the Kentucky State Fair.  I would visit again.

Meme: Auto-Tune anything.  This should be old news, but in spite of Jay-Z’s wishes this vocal gimmick refuses to go away.  It has been the subject of much debate between me and my colleagues lately.  And now with the “I am T-Pain” iPod app, this fad is irrevocably bound to this time in history (or at least news coverage of it).

Politics: Health Care Reform.  Regardless of what you think the best solution would be, the status quo in is unsustainable.  Those who believe in shutting-down necessary changes, through the undemocratic tactics of an angry mob, only serve to protect those who profit the most from the injustice of a health care system which leaves us more sick and poor. We need to reform our health care system, now or never.

Social Network: LinkedIn. So your boss wants to become your friend on Facebook? Well you could play with your settings, or you could redirect them to your LinkedIn network. Let’s keep our professional relationships in a professional setting, where you can fully take advantage of professional networking in ways that Facebook just isn’t designed to facilitate.

Extra Credit: Continue reading September’s 7

August’s 7

They say one’s influence is limited not by the frequency of their communication, but by the quality of ideas and recommendations. At risk of diminishing my own role as an online opinion leader of sorts, here is my monthly anthology of 7 ideas I think are worth sharing with others.

Blog: Things Marketing People Love.  If you ever work in or with a marketing agency, this will make you LOL.  You have heard these words bandied about as if they were sacrosanct, although on their face they mean very little.  Since we’ve already learned about white people and journalists, why not marketing?  And make your own submissions via Twitter.

Colleague: Gabe Bullard.  Back when we were working on Highway 61 (revised), there was no one who’s insights into online communications I trusted more. That hasn’t changed, so if you’d like to share these ideas, he’s still on the internet.

Meme: #hcmyth . With so much disinformation being active spread about Health Care reform, why not make fun with ridiculous myth-making of your own?  My colleague Beth Carpenter helped start and promote this hashtag on Twitter, which set off any number of LOL funny myths about health care.  My favorite? “RT @tobytobitobe : Under ObamaCare, all Starbucks beverages will be pre-ordered “skinny, nonfat, hold the whip.” It’s for the best. #HCMyth

Music: Blip.FM . As you might have guessed reading my post about music and opinion leaders, I am enamored in the peer recommendation system of Blip.  Or maybe I just enjoy playing DJ, even if it’s just to my Twitter followers.

Social Network: 3121. This is an idea who’s time has come; the social network for Capitol Hill staffers. While you need a House, Senate, or Committee email address to sign up (still in beta), it’s easy to see the promise of a networked directory (3121 is the extension of the Capitol switchboard) that connects people and ideas in such a focused audience. Congrats to the National Journal and New Media Strategies, and god luck on launch.

Theory: Balance of Power. In politics, this describes a group of strategically allied parties that come together to create parity in systematic power.  In the world of hip-hop, there are Great Powers (Jay-Z, Kanye West, 50 cent) and middle powers (The Game, T-pain, everyone on Def Jux). This theory actually works well when it’s explained at length, so please

Video: Mister Rogers defending PBS to the US Senate. Your favorite neighbor was always there for the children, inspiring many generations of kids to know they are special and loved.
One time I was asked “what’s cool and new in your ‘hood?”, to which I replied:

Being polite, friendly, and helpful. Lately I’ve been helping my new neighbors move in, or even just talking with them about things I would ordinarily care less about. Since we’re together we might as well stay. Sometimes they don’t even steal my packages.
But as usual, the cool things in my ‘hood are IMAGINATION and MAKE BELEIVE. It helps out a lot when you live on the wrong side of the trolley tracks. Won’t you be my neighbor?

Please support your local public media.

Continue reading August’s 7