Category Archives: Culture

Picture 19Tons of support for Twitter lists this week, coming from a new list directory called Listorious and the Seesmic desktop client. That’s dandy.

Twitter lists emerged in the past two weeks as a beta feature for better organizing Twitter content and Twitter contacts. Bubblicious founder Brian Solis mentioned the new feature when it first launched. The potential for Twitter lists is easily recognized, as many third party applications already had some form of group functionality for filtering Twitter content. With Twitter introducing the new functionality along with limited API support, third parties are quick to begin playing with the new capabilities for streamlining users’ Twitter experience.

As a directory, Listorious offers both search and recommendations for Twitter lists. Listorious has smartly integrated with Twitter sign-in, so that any actions taken on the site are immediately reflected within your Twitter account without any redirection. Similar to a blog network and search tool, Listorious extends itself as a single access point specifically for list-related Twitter actions. The result is a useful application for those seeking lists to follow.

This likeness to a blog network indicates the direction in which the Listorious site may head, taking cues from established network catalogs and other recommendation tools. Any success Listorious sees will be attributed to a healthy interest in Twitter lists, as the improved delineation of Twitter content provides the value many users have been seeking from Twitter. That being said, Twitter lists are also likely to act as separate online publications in their own right, further combining the facets of a chat room, forum, instant messenger and blog with comment streams.

The renewed interest in Twitter has provided a unique opportunity for Twitter, developers and end users, as the ability to better filter and consume content means that Twitter has smarter usability. While there is still a great deal of development needing to take place around Twitter lists, the Listorious launch offers a peek at the future potential of recommendation tools designed around Twitter.

seesmic_logo_jul09The current drawbacks of Twitter lists, the API and developing around the new features, however, are somewhat evident in the Seemic support of them. Typical of Seesmic’s insistence on being first to market with integrated feature implementation, the desktop client has added Twitter list support shortly after the feature was announced and offered on a wider scale to Twitter users. That means that there are still a few bugs to be worked out, but the current capacity of Seesmic with its new support for Twitter lists is a unique and interesting look into the future of Twitter lists and desktop applications.

As Seesmic wasn’t designed specifically as a Twitter app, there’s more to Seesmic than just its potential to post content to Twitter. Nevertheless, Seesmic’s dedication to remaining an open and fluid application for cross-network use makes it a great experimental tool in social media.

Seesmic’s integration of Twitter lists provides a useful way to organize relevant content directly within the desktop client, making it even easier to employ remote Twitter management through its application. Remotely interacting with Twitter has become par for the course, with several third party apps providing a good amount of value to Twitter users. The introduction of Twitter lists may endure a deeper interest in Twitter app development, which seems to be the case considering the developments we’ve already seen this week.

Halloween is Tomorrow! Did you know that?

Most of us get sidetracked with real life issues, jobs, families, etc, and get so far sidetracked that we forget to stop and realize that pure fun is just around the corner on days like Halloween. We tend to let our to-do list get filled up with tasks that we dread instead of tasks that are creative and enjoyable, like making your Halloween costume. Halloween is not just for kids, it’s for all of us who are kids at heart!

This year, if you’ve had just no time to stop, smell the roses and ponder what you’ll dress up as for Halloween, no fear! No need to rush the Spirit stores that will be thoroughly picked through by tonight or fight for that last overly priced costume in a bag. Here are some last minute ideas that you may find useful to dress up this year, and all materials are most likely in your existing wardrobe!

Enjoy and HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE! :)

1950s Housewife

Ingredients: Pearls, black heels, dress with lace, apron, red lipstick and hair up in ponytail or bun

halloween1

Directions: Put on dress and tie on apron. Slip on heels and clip on pearls. Top off with red lipstick and tie hair up for perfect 1950’s housewife.

1950s Greaser

Ingredients: cuffed dark jeans, loafer shoes, fitted white tee, leather jacket and slicked back hair

halloween2

Directions: Put on jeans and roll up cuff. Slip on loafers and white Tee. Throw on leather jacket and mouse up that hair to be a 1950’s greaser.

Nerd

Ingredients: khaki shorts, knee high socks, tennis shoes, checkered shirt, suspenders and glasses

halloween3

Directions: Put shorts up high and put on checkered shirt. Pull on socks to the highest they can go, clip on suspenders and add on glasses. Voila – Steve Erkel in the HOUSE

Greek Goddess

Ingredients: Oversized white t-shirt, rope or string, leaves from the yard and sandals

halloween4

Directions: Put on t-shirt and wrap the rope or string around waist. Add leaves from yard to hair and throw on sandals. There you have a gorgeous Greek goddess.

And if all else fails, you can always fall back on dressing as your favorite blogger! Don’t forget to carry your iPhone and update your twitter status as the perfect accessory!

The times, they are a’ changin’, and therefore so are our favorite holidays. Halloween, with its costumes and over-the-top decorations, lends itself to technology (almost as well as Christmas).

CNN has a great round-up of some Halloween tech gadgets this year, including the Cylon Pumpkin (pictured above), amazing hydraulic angel wings, and a costume made of lights.

Over in Avon and Somerset, UK, the local police force will be tweeting for the evening, as they give tours of the jail and even if they arrest anyone.

Miriam Brown, Media Relations Officer for Somerset West will be out and about in Taunton with local officers, on Saturday night, making sure it is a happy rather than horrible Halloween for the residents of the town. She will be providing live updates of the evening via the police Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/aspolice

Chief Superintendent Yannis Georgiou will then be giving a live update of the evenings progress including any arrests. Miriam will be “Tweeting” on Twitter during the evening to update you with the evening’s progress, so follow the events while they happen by logging on to the Avon and Somerset Twitter page and following our Relentless event.

Don’t get arrested. They’ll tweet it.

You can, of course, come up with creative tech-related costumes. I personally think Mac and PC (from the ads) would be easy and hilarious, especially if you’re a two-OS household. (And that’s why I’m a geek.) A black turtleneck , jeans, and an iPod will transform you into Steve Jobs, even without the cash. Speaking of Steve Jobs, iPods/iPhones seem to be a popular costume,

whether you’re an infant,

a dog,

or a rather inventive adult.

Personally, I’m going incredibly low-tech.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Photo Credits:
Cyborg pumpkin from CNN.com
Baby Carrier/iPod from Flickr (CC)
iPod dog from  DVICE

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Cheers!
Tweet Michelle @writetechnology, send her technology news at michelle[at]writetech[dot]net, visit her wine blog when you’re thirsty, and drop by her day job.

On Saturday, I had the fortune of attending and being back stage at the Bridge School Benefit Concert in Mountain View, CA. Before jumping into the concert, I want to share a bit more about the Bridge School and the impact that this benefit has on the students.

The annual concert, now in it’s 23rd year, is the primary source of funding for the Bridge School. The school was founded in 1986 and opened to students in 1987 and my brother, Peter Schlegel, was a member of the inaugural class. Founded by Pegi Young and Jim Forderer, the school was created to meet the needs of kids with severe speech and physical impairments. A group that is marginalized more often than not, the focus on these kids prepares them to lead fulfilling lives.

IMG_0613The concert itself was an amazing musical experience. This year, the show featured Neil Young, No Doubt, Chris Martin (of Coldplay), Jimmy Buffet, Sheryl Crow, Monsters of Folk, Fleet Foxes, Wolfmother and Gavin Rossdale. Adam Sandler is scheduled to perform in place of Jimmy Buffet during the Sunday show. What’s unique about this benefit is that the artists all perform acoustic sets.

No Doubt was by far my favorite performer of the day. Students from the school are seated on the stage behind the artists, which presents a challenge for the musicians, performing for both the kids and the audience at Shoreline Amphitheater. Gwen Stefani and her band were the most successful with that by singing to both the kids and the audience throughout the set. Chris Martin was also amazing. As a solo performer, singing Coldplay songs, he had the unique challenge of using just his voice and a piano to woo the 20,000 or so people in the audience. He did it beautifully and was joined by a violin-playing friend of his after the first song. He was funny, making jokes about his bad choice in hat (which had a “where’s Waldo?” feel) and sharing an incredible musical performance.

Earlier in the evening, Jimmy Buffet took the stage with his happy island music and all had a good time dancing to songs like “Margaritaville”. Sheryl Crow shared an emotional set featuring a lullaby she composed for her son. Monsters of Folk and Fleet Foxes were new bands to me but both impressed the crowd, making the most of the acoustic sets. I was a little late so I missed Wolfmother and Gavin Rossdale but I heard good reviews from the people around me.

This is the one show I look forward to every year. The tickets seem a little pricey but you always get your money worth and it’s all for a good cause. I realize that this post has absolutely nothing to do with social media but is an event that I want to share with the community, especially bay area based people who may be interested in attending next year.

To learn more about the Bridge School, please visit: http://www.bridgeschool.org/

To check out the videos I recorded at the concert head over to my YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/schlegelsteph

mobilegamingAt the Web 2.0 Summit earlier this week Morgan Stanley Internet analyst Mary Meeker presented on several aspects of Internet growth across various devices and services. While Meeker covered the growth of Netscape and AOL, she also covered game consoles and the combined growth of the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

It was an interesting comparison of Internet-related devices and services, yet the data on game consoles and the combined affect of the iPhone and iPod Touch highlighted the importance of social gaming. Even more notable is the fact that the iPhone and the iPod Touch together supersede the growth of popular gaming consoles including the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP.

The iPhone has already been deemed an up and coming force when it comes to social gaming, with several game developers looking to create mobile versions of their game consoles. On the flip side, gaming consoles have increased their social capabilities over the years by supporting Internet connectivity, introducing an entire sub-economy for the monetization and enjoyment of games.

Granted, many of the games available on the iPhone are simpler than what we see on game consoles, with fewer options for graphics, effects and other aspects of game play. Yet the socialability of both the iPhone and gaming consoles create a common ground for the devices. There’s a great deal of potential for social gaming because of the platforms being built around mobile and established game consoles, and that goes for mobile gaming devices as well.

Apple is particularly at the forefront of this trend, as it was among the first to offer a comprehensive platform for third parties to develop and sell applications on its mobile device. The cult-following of Apple products helped the cause, especially when it came to the seemingly limiting factors of purchasing and using an iPhone (AT&T).

Nevertheless, one must wonder at future trends, and how social gaming will play out across all of these devices. From accessibility and downloadability to price structure and “word-of-mouth” marketing via social media outlets, there is a great deal that the mobile and gaming industry can learn from each other.

Current trends suggest a continued merging of the concepts representing both ends of the social gaming spectrum, with developers helping to drive the economy around this industry. Monetization as such has ushered in a series of new options for advertising and direct sales to consumers, as accessibility of game-related content increases.