Rather than posting your 100 favorite films (which has been done and overdone), you simply post your favorite things about movies. I dig the concept, because instead of obsessing over whether the films you put on a list are “objectively good enough” to put on said list, you simply jot down 100 moments/lines/visuals that have made a lasting impression on you or sneak their way into running gags between you and your friends. Just read below and you’ll get the idea.
So here’s a selection of 100 scenes, thoughts, opinions, quotes, moments, and observations on my favorite films – in no real specific order. It doesn’t necessarily align directly with my top 100 on Flickchart, but most of those films are represented. I did make a concerted effort to make this an audiovisual list as well, so enjoy the sights and sounds of some marvelous movie moments…
It’s an odd film. Dark tone. Strange plot. Unusual scenes. Mysterious events. But it’s just so remarkable. Altered States.
One of my favorite war movies, Three Kings, has an incredible moment showing exactly what happens when you get shot. It’s permanently imprinted into my memory.
Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go is one of the best science fiction movies without spaceships, aliens, lasers, time travel, robots, and all the usual settings for the genre. It’s also an incredibly powerful character study.
The supporting actors in No Country for Old Men are really what make the movie great. The leads all do a fantastic job, but the Coens really know how to cast the small roles with people that bring a sense of realism and history to their paltry roles. Just look at how good the store owner (Gene Jones) is in the famous coin toss scene with Javier Bardem.
The Hangover shouldn’t be as good or funny as it is – but it is. It’s great. Chemistry between actors can make or break a comedy, and this movie nails it.
There are few films that make you feel the testosterone flowing through you more than 300.
The interstitial trailers were arguably the best part of Grindhouse.
A movie about the relationships of people and wine CAN be quite interesting – and at times side-splitting hilarious. Sidewaysproves it.
Effects that serve the story and impress with their technical prowess at the same time? The Curious Case of Benjamin Button works both of these angles in so many ways. It strongly reminds me of an exemplary, feature-length version of an episode of Amazing Stories.
I’m really glad that movies like Up in the Air are made. It’s funny without being cliché. Acted with understated performances. Scripted with heartfelt moments and scenarios that both seem hyper-real and relatable simultaneously. It’s much better of a movie than I ever thought it could be.
Unstoppableabsolutely deserved its Academy Award nomination for Best Sound Editing. Making trains sound as awesome as they did in that movie is not easy. Very impressive.
Even though it’s turned into a mostly mediocre horror legacy franchise, the original Sawis a fantastic film. If you called the twist ending at any point during the movie, bravo, because the rest of us didn’t see it coming. As a result – a brutal, satisfying ending to a grueling movie.
It was only playing in my town one night. There were no promotions for it. No television spots. When we arrived at the one theater in a 100 mile radius that was playing it, it was not on the marquee, and not on any of the placards at the box office window. My friend Eric and I asked if it was playing. The teller nodded. We bought our tickets to this admittedly secret show. We’re still scratching our heads as to why this movie was essentially thrown away by the studio. It’s a pretty fun, cool movie. Equilibrium.
The uncomfortable hilarity of Borat. If you’re not laughing at least once out loud watching this film, you’re missing a funny bone. (Side note: Bruno. Not funny. At all.)
Crawling through the dark subway tunnels with night vision revealing the evil lurking. Walking between fallen skyscrapers. A wonderful monster design. Subtle, but smart use of “found footage” genre tropes. A fantastic marketing campaign behind it – using the shroud of secrecy and ARG techniques to tease us all. Great, great stuff. Cloverfield.
Crazy Gene Wilder. Genuinely scary, unnerving scenes throughout. Early 70s fashions seeping into the costume designs. Freaky midgets. An entire scene devoted to burping to avoid certain death. It doesn’t get much stranger, or endearing, than the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
The iconic score of Batman by Danny Elfman. Still one of the most memorable movie scores on par with John Williams’s best work.
“Dad, how can you hate ‘The Colonel’?” ”Because he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes ya crave it fortnightly, smartass!” So I Married an Axe Murderer.
Some of the best acting-against-yourself scenes, smack-dab in the middle of a wonderful, small sci-fi tale. Moonis simply a great movie.
The best bleak, tragic ending to a film ever conceived. The Mist.
The palpable tension – both between James Stewart and Grace Kelly, and the mystery and paranoia contributing to the unfolding events of Rear Window. Hitchcock at the top of his game.
The justifiably famous moment in Jaws where Roy Scheider is throwing chum into the water, who then turns, now startled and taken aback seeing “Bruce” for the first time (as we in the audience are), and then slowly backs into the cabin to announce what’s on his and our minds… “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
The genuine happiness I felt for longtime musical hero Trent Reznor on winning the Best Original Score Academy Award for his work on The Social Network.
The funniest the Farrelly brothers have ever been, by far, and hilarious performances from the three leads – Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, and the inimitable Bill Murray. Kingpin.
“It says one hundred percent guaranteed, you moron!” ”Mister, if you don’t shut up I’m gonna kick one hundred percent of your ass!” Fast Times at Ridgemont High. (Also, Phoebe Cates pool scene, of course.)
The inspired use of a typewriter as an instrument in Dario Marianelli’s score to Atonement.
My first introduction to the brilliance of Darren Aronofsky, in Pi.
Despite whatever pitfalls Fincher faced from all angles of the industry and having to follow two superior movies, I still think Alien ³ is a good, visually gorgeous film. It just wasn’t what anyone was expecting to see out of a third Alien film.
Still some of the most effectively terrifying practical visual effects ever created. Here’s hoping the reboot/prequel/remake doesn’t rely to heavily on CG. The Thing.
The extreme slow motion intro credits sequence set to Bob Dylan in Watchmen.
A great remake. A stellar performance. A dark, disturbing science fiction horror masterpiece from Cronenberg. The Fly.
The most incredible one-shot ever as we follow Tom Cruise and family in the minivan escaping the devastation in War of the Worlds.
The superb editing makes the film both thrilling and completely comprehensible simultaneously. No small feat. Jam packed with amazing sequences. Inception.
The heart wrenching performance of a very young Christian Bale in Spielberg’s lesser-known war film, Empire of the Sun. It’s rare when a child actor is also the lead in a serious, dramatic film. Even rarer when the acting is nuanced, understated, and telling of a great career to come.
Say what you will, but Titanic is awesome. It made a lot of money for a lot of reasons, but the best reason is that it’s a great story. Perhaps a touch melodramatic, but it’s a tragedy enveloped with intense emotional output. Pretty much everything after the boat hits the iceberg is pure bliss.
How incredibly excited I am to see Super 8, and hoping it’s everything I wish it can be.
“Do we look like the kind of store that sells I Just Called to Say I Love You? Go to the mall.”
Explorersis the cinematic embodiment of how I felt, thought, acted, and imagined as a kid. Use a computer and fair ride parts to build a crude spaceship with a few buddies to find space aliens that have visited you in your dreams? Joe Dante – thank you for making this movie. I still love it.
Incredible filmmaking. If you were ever to point to a piece of cinema as art, this is it. Everyone should see it. Do yourself a favor. Watch Koyaanisqatsi.
Don’t get him wet, keep him out of bright light, and never feed him after midnight. Gremlins.
The best Star Wars parody. Hilariousness from start to finish. So many quotes. Pullman. Moranis. Candy. Brooks. Still a riot. Spaceballs.
“I don’t shut up, I grow up, and when I look at you, I throw up!” Stand by Me.
“‘Empire’ had the better ending. I mean, Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader’s his father, Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. I mean, that’s what life is, a series of down endings. All ‘Jedi’ had was a bunch of Muppets.” Clerks.
Who knew that a love story between a “pumpkin king” and a tattered, stitched-up doll could be so compelling. Doubly so as a stop-motion animated musical. The Nightmare Before Christmas.
The score. The effects. The action. The look. I was obsessed with this film from the moment I saw it, and it’s never ceased to remain a favorite. Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
But action doesn’t get any better than Die Hard.
The T-Rex. Raptors. Every dinosaur, really. Jeff Goldblum. Everyone in the cast is really “on”. What’s not to love? Jurassic Park.
Simply the finest underwater film ever made. The Abyss.
Jabba. Sarlacc Pit. Speederbikes. The final lightsaber battle – slow and psychologically fueled. Vader’s true face revealed. The atonement of Anakin with the defeat of the Emperor. There’s a lot to adore in Return of the Jedi.
Just about every damn thing about Fight Club just rules. What an incredible movie. Score. Characters. Cinematography. Script. Twist. So, so good.
“Cats and dogs. Living together. Mass hysteria!” I was a member of the official fan club. Will always be close to my heart. I love Ghostbusters.
A tale of time travel – and moviemaking – at its absolute best. A perfect script. A classic. It’s hard to imagine that it could ever be done better than Back to the Future.
The best sequel anyone could have ever dreamed to receive. Cameron at his absolute best. The most adrenaline-fueled blend of horror, science fiction, and action by far. It’s incredible. Aliens.
There has been, and probably never will be, a more succinct combination of so many genres so well executed. Out of nowhere, the bar was raised before anyone knew what hit them. My jaw’s been dropped since the first time I saw it. The Matrix.
I wrote a quick post to Google Buzz recently that dealt with a concept and issue that’s been rattling in the back of my mind lately. We consume so much information from so many sources that we’re bound to run into the same stories. The news that becomes popular does so because of it being shared, telling friends, sending it to others, and spreading the word.
Virality is the term that’s been associated with this for some time. Getting things to “go viral” is a key to success, but the value of any story is its exclusivity, or who publishes it first. The above concept image is a visualization of my thoughts on how this issue might be dealt with.
I call it – Flume.
1. flume – noun. - A narrow gorge, usually with a stream flowing through it.
The goal is to group all similar information from throughout the web, from social networks and from all of your friends, and distill it to just the original sources.
You’d have a list of news stories that are by default presented by popularity. Each story would get a score that represents how often it’s cited across the web – based on tweets and retweets from Twitter, inbound links from reactionary blog posts, and personal status update reactions from friends and colleagues on social networks like Facebook and Google Buzz. The presentation would be consistent regardless of the source, with simple links to click and visit any story in detail. You’d have at-a-glance, with no interaction needed from the user, an importance-ranked delivery of information stemming from the people and content sources they value most.
Behind the scenes, the application would detect when a story all points to the same common news event, and instead of you having to look elsewhere through your various feeds, walls, streams, etc., the story would show up only as a single source origin story – all within the confines of one application.
For example, if CNN gets the story first, that’s the one that would show up in Flume. All other stories that were posted anywhere on the web afterwards would be consolidated underneath it. Anyone posting about it on Twitter – hidden. Anything on Facebook about it – not seen. All of the reactions would fall in a toggleable area below each story, where if you desired to drill down into to see what people are saying, you’d know from where it came from and where it was being talked about. But only if you want to.
So how would it work?
You’d use a combination of keyword density, trackback links, un-shortened URL detection, and possibly the Salmon protocol to algorithmically distinguish the content streaming in as either original or reactionary. As more content arrives, whichever source has the content origin first gets the credit. So if your friend on Twitter was the first to post about a story before it arrived to you via someone else on Facebook, you’d only see the tweet. If the blog post came before the Buzz, you’d get the blog post alone.
The mockup design is obviously heavily influenced by TweetDeck. Where the multicolumn view works in TweetDeck’s favor, I’d like to take all the separated information and throw out anything other than the first place something appeared. Rather than having separate columns for each service, I’d want a single column for all news, regardless of source. If you wanted to of course, you could always re-sort it by source if you desired.
It’s a bit like Google Buzz or FriendFeed, where you have a single aggregated stream of information, but instead of being source-centric, the default is popularity centric. It’s throwing TweetDeck, Google Buzz, FriendFeed, Facebook, Brizzly, Redux, Amplify, Google Reader, and countless other web tools into a blender to create an ultimate single point-of-entry news reading mechanism.
HTML5 and web application standards would be ideal for the client to allow for both desktop and cross-platform mobile usage, while a robust database application layer in the cloud would be constantly evaluating and delivering the ranked information requested by the client.
What do you think? Would a single view of content without the same stories popping up over and over interest you? What other features would you expect to see in this application? What are some of the limitations that would prevent an application like this from existing, and how might they be overcome?
While it’s been a rather lucklaster year for new music, it’s been a great year for video gaming. Lots of new IP’s, blockbuster sequels, and next-gen must-plays. Here’s the list of my 10 favorite games that I’ve been playing this year…
#10 – While this might not be the ultimate Ghostbusters game, it comes pretty darn close. Involvement of the original actors, a script written by Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd, and a real feel of bustin’ ghosts made for a pretty great experience. The way they incorporated so many of the original locales and characters into the story in a way that works well saved the game from some problematic control issues dragging it down. Sound effects, dynamic music from the films, and some trademark Bill Murray quips kept things true to the source – and possibly got a new film’s production kickstarted in the process.
#9 – While the strange choice of 2D stylized cut-scenes left most players puzzled, the actual puzzles of running across rooftops at breakneck speeds while pulling off parkour moves relatively effortlessly made a for a really awesome experience. It’ll be very interesting to see where the sequels will advance both the mechanics and plot.
#8 – Even though there were a few expansions for the original game, none of them lived up to the epic of the original. This game came through as a great thrill-ride filled with amazing set pieces, a few genuinely great scares, and a good mix of action and dread throughout. Alma may be a ripoff of Samara from The Ring movies, but she holds her own in the F.E.A.R. universe and certainly freaks you out just as well.
#7 – This follow-up to the zombie multiplayer frag-fest improved upon the original in many ways – from the expanded locations, melee weapons, and an overall thematic tie between campaigns that made it feel even more cinematic. More variation in zombies, improved visuals, and a new cast all made for great reasons to subject yourself to new hordes of mayhem.
#6 – Fantasy games don’t usually hook me, and even Bioware’s previous sci-fi effort in Mass Effect didn’t keep my interest for long, but Dragon Age simply rocks. It doesn’t try to rock the boat and reinvent fantasy gaming. It takes what works and what we already know and makes a world that we can jump right into and start hacking, slashing, and interacting with immediately. An immense game with so many combinations and permutations of outcomes, there’s almost no end to the ways it can be played. Excellent voice acting, tons of humor peppered throughout the campaign, and some really extensive story lines make for plenty of value in a single game.
#5 – While Super Mario Galaxy might be cool, it’s just not the same as the traditional 8-bit NES original, SMB3, or the Super NES’s amazing Super Mario World. We’re all grown up now, and we play grown up games, but being able to be challenged and reminded of the nostalgic fun of our youth is what we want. This game is the best example of that Nintendo could possibly have come up with. Playing a side-scrolling Mario game is what we’ve all been clamoring for, and this one delivers with multiplayer, cool uses of the Wiimote, and plenty of great new gameplay with new suits to grab, secrets to find, and levels to conquer. It’s so much fun, and the best thing the Wii has had to offer all year.
#4 – No one imagined that this game could be anything but great. Epic missions, unrelentingly bad-ass moments from start to finish, and more of the multiplayer that made the original a runaway hit. If ever a game made you feel like you were playing a blockbuster action movie – this is the best example the industry has. It’s not too long, not too short. Performances, design, and virtual camera work all make for one of the best gaming experiences of the year.
#3 – Who thought that something like this could ever be made? How would they get the original tracks to pull apart and make into a game? Well this game stands as a testament to getting it done and making it happen. It’s truly remarkable how much attention to detail there is throughout, and if you’re even remotely interested in The Beatles, you should own this game. It’s fun, chock full of exclusive content, and offers some of the best trippy visualizations seen in video gaming since Geometry Wars. Kudos to everyone involved putting this together.
#2 – What’s this? A goodBatman game? Yes! Finally, someone figured out that there’s a mix of play styles inherent to being the Dark Knight. We want to creep around and snatch bad guys from above. We want to dive into the shattered psyche that convinces a grown man to dress up as a bat. We want to be able to punch, kick, and zipline around effortlessly. This game brought all of that in spades, and brilliantly set it within a fan-favorite locale with Arkham which doubled as the perfect showcase of many of the comic’s greatest villains. Voice acting, exploration, the wonderful Max Payne-esque dream sequences – there’s never been a better rendition of Batman in a game. A must-play.
#1 – DJ Shadow. Daft Punk. DJ Jazzy Jeff. DJ Z-Trip. What else do you need to know? If you care about hip-hop, turntablism, mashups, and DJ culture even in the slightest bit, stop reading this and go pick this up now. The controller is great, the selection of tracks runs an extremely wide spectrum of music, and it makes you feel like you can scratch a record like nobody’s business. Make no mistake – this is not just a cheap Guitar Hero knock-off. This is something that everyone should play. Everyone.
There wasn’t much this year in the way of new music that really impressed me, so I’ve narrowed down my best-of list to simply the top 5 albums I’ve been listening to and enjoying the most this year. I don’t know if it’s me getting more selective in what I like to listen to, or if newly released music is getting worse… In any event, here’s the list:
Having been a fan of Tortoise since TNT, I’ve continued to follow their newest releases to see how far their experimentation will take them. This album is a lot noisier, a lot louder, and seems like was a whole lot of fun to make. There’s less soundscapes and more rocking out – perhaps taking cues from the cacophonous tracks Squarepusher’s been putting out lately.
It seems that the U.K. progressive arena rock group can’t get any more grandiose, and then this album drops. Sweeping symphonic passages merge with raucous rock in a way that no one but Muse seems able to pull off. Simultaneously channeling Queen, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, and so many other influences, Muse still finds ways to bring all of them together to create something new and amazing with each new release. This one didn’t disappoint.
Underground hip-hop doesn’t get any better than this. Creative lyrics, incredibly bombastic percussive beats, and melodies that pound into your brain – this album has personality to spare. Punk rock influence abounds, which helped to immediately hook me in with its combination of brash guitars and fast rhyming. A simply amazing collection of tracks that has been unfairly overlooked by many.
The album that almost broke up the band. Armistice represents the decision to throw out everything that wasn’t working and start over from scratch. The result is a great mix of their sensibilities from previous releases and a strong influence on recording in their native New Orleans. They pull off plenty of energetic anthems, subdued jams, and extended offshoots that still point towards their early DJ Shadow influences as strongly as they always have.
It all comes to this. The top pick for the year’s best album, and it’s not even really a proper album. It’s not released by any label. It’s not performed by any paid artist. It’s the next evolution in new expression through music, and it comes from the most unlikely of creators using the most ubiquitous of sources.
A man from Israel, Ophir Kutiel, (a.k.a. Kutiman) has advanced what DJ Shadow started. While instead of pilfering sources from vinyl scavenged from record stores, he’s taken the same approach slaving away in his home studio utilizing the next big content source – YouTube. What Kutiman has achieved is an unbelievably entertaining and impressive mega-mashup of tiny bits of samples from a massive range of YouTube videos. He’s used them as the instruments, the vocals, and as visually stunning, quick-edit, VJ-style music videos to comprise one of the most unique collections of songs ever made. This “album” ranges from reggae to drum&bass to funk to dreamy ballads without a skip in quality. Every track is a testament to the dedication this man has put into crafting such incredibly detailed works from the hundreds of cited sources. For this combination of talent, creativity, and innovation – Kutiman’s masterpiece easily gets my vote for the best “album” of 2009.
Since FriendFeed’s launch of a new still-in-beta redesign, there’s been much debate over some of the features and style changes – both on blogs, and within the service itself. While any change is sometimes met with reluctance and skepticism, as Facebook has realized with their latest changes, there’s a number of reasons why the aesthetic and functional revamps of FriendFeed are helpful for both its users, and for the proliferation of real-time data on the web. Here’s a breakdown of why I believe FriendFeed has made a lot of correct choices in their transition from data aggregation, to a broad conversational hub for the web.
1. Perceptual Familiarity
Since FriendFeed has a complex amount of data to display, attraction of users unfamiliar to the service proves to be difficult for many casual web users. One of the primary reasons other social networks such as Twitter or Facebook have garnered buzz and widespread adoption are because of their ease of entry, and narrower focus.
What makes Twitter and Facebook‘s interfaces work – showcasing the people that we connect with through the use of avatars – are how we’re used to seeing content displayed. The new inline visual cue from the content’s creator, via an avatar image, goes a long way to breed familiarity and a sense of “I understand this already” for new users. Along with simpler things – rounded edges to the interface, even column distribution between navigation and content – all create a sense of uniformity with services elsewhere – which allows users to spend more time communicating and sharing and less time trying to understand the mechanics to do it.
The ability to have instant discussion about topics across the web is becoming increasingly important to stay relevant in the ever-increasing pace of the flow of news. FriendFeed’s decision to make real-time the standard has propelled the discussion of stories to be faster than even Twitter can react. With a broader userbase, story reaction through immediate discussion on FriendFeed could allow them to become the main source of the absolute earliest debate and dissection of content funneling from the web.
The removal of service icons (the graphical representations of the content’s source) in the new FriendFeed helps to eliminate distraction from viewing the content itself. Ultimately, if you see a picture from your friend, does it matter whether it came from Flickr, Smugmug, or Picasa? Why should it?
Eliminating the distinction between Groups & Feeds also aids the initial comprehension of content management that sometimes confuses users at first. While I do think there’s still considerable room for further term elimination (groups, feeds, filters, friends, subscriptions – there’s just too many), the infrastructure is arriving at a simpler solution to visualize a myriad collection of content.
4. Advanced Search
The new “Filters” of FriendFeed offer a way to save complex searches, which allows for a level of data mining never before available. The following of trends, brands, story topics, and people has never been simpler – or with as much variable control. The simple, but powerful, form-based searches in the new FriendFeed often make for an even more accurate result than even Google or Yahoo can deliver.
While direct messaging has been a staple of other services, FriendFeed’s new implementation takes the concept even farther by allowing for simultaneous broadcast and private messaging. Being able to send content to individuals, or groups of friends on the new FriendFeed, now effectively creates an instant, private, and real-time discussion thread. This is an unprecedented level of immediate discussion. Within seconds, users can be debating the river of information as it flows from the many sources worldwide – in a centralized location. Where reading RSS feeds, or content on blogs or other websites fail to offer the ability to announce a timely, reactive viewpoint, FriendFeed delivers the most spirited, instant reaction on the web – without reloads, comment verifications, captchas, and all of the other barriers that other sites present.
Among all of the advancements, there are still more elements of FriendFeed that require sharpening and refinement, such as:
better user management that allows for sorting your friends by level of engagement
clearer and immediate notification of direct replies within comment threads
and naming systems that are intuitive, and accurate for the various views that FriendFeed offers (“My discussions” for example should not include posts that I’ve never commented on)
Since the site is still being actively refined during the beta process, now is the time to make your voice known of the things you want that aren’t yet present, and the things that are being done right. With an increase in user participation, the developers of FriendFeed have an opportunity to create the largest vehicle of content discussion and dissemination in the world.
Most who use Twitter casually are interested in simply posting their daily exploits for their close friends. Recently the trend to use Twitter for everything from news sharing, to professional networking, to business promotion, is becoming more prevalent as the service’s userbase continues to grow rapidly. As I’ve branched out with my ownpersonal usesof Twitter, I’ve found employing the use of some third-party created tools and applications can help to better manage your relationships, and make Twitter work wisely for a myriad of purposes. Let’s take a look at some of the most helpful of these implementations and see what they offer to all of us working to get the most out of Twitter.
On The Desktop
Digsby has captured a huge segment of the IM market away from other multi-provider clients like Trillian, not only for its instant messaging capabilities, but also for its foray into hooking into social networking. In addition to support for Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, Digsby also has a very capable Twitter client built-in.
Right from your taskbar, you can access your timeline, @ replies, direct messages, archive, and favorites. You can also easily reply, direct message, and mark any tweet as a favorite – in addition to visible posting times, profile images, and indications of which service was used to post the update. You can also use
Digsby’s real-time notifications as your friend’s updates come in. Posting an update also offers integrated TinyURL support, and a character count to keep your posts under the 140 limit. For the Twitter pros, Digsby even supports multiple simultaneous Twitter accounts, so you can keep track of all of your followers on each of your accounts.
TweetDeck, plain and simple, is the new dashboard for the power Twitter user. Using a powerful customizable column format, this Adobe AIR application lets you quickly view any combination of the people you follow on Twitter. Your columns can include your @replies, favorites, direct messages, and any number of special groupings of your Twitter friends. One of the most useful features that TweetDeck offers is the ablity to filter any of your columns by keyword, focusing in on the subject matter you’re most interested in. You can also use TweetDeck similar to a news reader, where you can mark tweets as seen, clear seen tweets, and clear all tweets to get rid of items you’ve already read from your view.
Using the Groups feature, you can split your friends up into clusters of your choosing: people you know in real life, people whom you interact with more often, people who’ve sent you @replies - and show them in their own column. You can also set up columns for search terms – perfect for finding mention of keywords or brands you’re interested to keep close tabs on. For those that are also 12seconds.tv users, TweetDeck lets you keep track of postings there as well. Posting offers a slew of URL shorteners, TwitPic attachment, and inline TweetShrink – for those posts that you can’t seem to get under 140 characters. Even though TweetDeck is currently in beta, it’s an extremely full-featured application for anyone looking to squeeze the most out of Twitter.
If you ever wanted to spread news about your brand, or find people that are particularly interested in specific topics, Twollow does a great job of auto-following people based on keywords. The free web application allows 5 unique keywords to be followed per Twitter account (up to 15 if you go for their premium service), and tells you who the application recently followed for you. It’s a great app if you’d like to have some automation of finding and adding new people to follow.
Another similar service, currently in private beta, is Tweet Manager.
TweetLater provides the most Twitter automation of any web tool: auto thank-yous both public and private to those who follow you, receive digest emails of those that @ reply to you, track keywords and receive digest emails of tweets that match, schedule tweets to appear at a later time, or even distribute your tweets at regular intervals over time. For anyone that is spending a lot of time cultivating a brand on Twitter, TweetLater serves up an impressive arsenal of services.
For the Twitter users that are looking to rid themselves of the non-participants among their ranks, MyCleenr is about as simple a solution as it gets. You’re shown a list of all of the inactive people you follow, sorted by the date of their last tweet. Want to delete that person who hasn’t tweeted in months? Click Delete, and they’re gone. MyCleenr is a quick and well presented service to ensure the people you follow are all ones who remember to post, and post often.
Twitter Karma picks up where MyCleenr stops with additional information to help decide who you should or shouldn’t be following. In addition to showing you when they last updated, you can sort alphabetically, by your followers and those you follow, or those who are mutual friends. You can use these lists to perform bulk follows, unfollows, or blocks. Twitter Karma is ideal for aiding you in your search to determine who you want to keep, or end, your relationships with.
If you’re unable to use TweetDeck, TweetVisor is a fantastic web dashboard to monitor all that’s going on with your Twitter accounts. An auto-refreshing portal of your friends’ tweets, your @ replies, your direct messages, any of your updates that have been retweeted, form and monitor groups of people you follow, and follow your own personalized “hot topics” allow you to keep everything visible quickly on one interface. As a browser-based offering, there’s nothing as complete as TweetVisor’s all-in-one package.
Tweetie is a new Twitter client for iPhone that offers more than any other client currently available on the handheld. In addition to the standard abilities one would expect, Tweetie brings some of the best desktop features, and features from its competitors, to a mobile device.
Like Digsby, Tweetie supports multiple Twitter accounts, so you can keep up with all of your friends across your various profiles. Taking a cue from the original star iPhone client, Twinkle, Tweetie can show you all of the nearby Twitter posts in your local area. If you’re used to being able to find posts that include unique keywords, Tweetie has you covered with its search functionality. Lastly, Tweetie tracks the latest trends, similar to TweetDeck, to keep you up to speed on the latest events hitting the Twittersphere.
There are still some features that would be nice to have for really drilling down into your relationships, getting more from your friends’ updates, and maintaining the quality of who you choose to follow. I’d like to see offerings that allow you to:
View friends/followers by their Twitter Ratio, to determine if they are actually spammers or might have otherwise unwanted peculiarities
Auto-pull all links from people you are following, and display them to you as a “best of day” in order of popularity
Create integrated links: so rather than having to use URL shortening services, the link should be inline with the text, just like a normal web link (Note: This is more an issue of Twitter’s than of a third party enabling such a feature.)
As always, I hope this is the start of a discussion on how we can all use Twitter efficiently and effectively. Please contribute with your own findings and techniques, and feel free to follow me at http://twitter.com/nathanchase, and let me know what you think.
Web & Graphic Designer, Writer, Social Media Marketing Consultant, Co-Founder, Flickchart.com
Internet | Orlando, Florida Area, US
Nathan Chase has worked as a multimedia professional for the last decade in Central Florida. During his career, Nathan has worked on projects with high-profile clients such as Disney, Publix, AAA, UPS, Geico, PBS, 21st Century Insurance, Travelers, Nationwide, and the University of South Florida. In addition to freelance work for multiple clients, he is currently focusing on the social networking website for movies, Flickchart, of which he is a co-founder, designer, user experience architect, marketing manager, and customer support manager.
Specialties Include: * Web Design & Development * Graphic Design * Social Media Marketing * Brand Marketing * Copywriting * Search Engine Optimization * Video Editing & Production * Multimedia Production * Motion Graphics & Compositing * Sound Editing & Design
Acted as consultant on marketing initiatives, created and edited marketing materials, designed branding.
2007 - Present
Co-Founder, Designer / Alachart
Designed and implemented graphics, layout, & front-end construction for a large-scale, social networking website. Also responsible for user experience design, marketing initiatives, customer support, and site maintenance & development.
Design & Marketing Consultant / SCT Performance
Acted as consultant on marketing initiatives, and created and edited marketing materials.
Internet Judge / Lionbridge
Performed optimization judgments for search engine clients to improve results.
Contributing Writer / MakeUseOf.com
Article writing for the technology, internet, and how-to focused blog, MakeUseOf.com
Web & Graphic Engineer / American Safety Council
Designed broadband web sites and motion graphics for broadcast and the web. Determined appropriate layout and graphic design for print and the web. Developed cross-platform projects for use on Macintosh and PC computer systems. Worked as production manager for in-studio video shoots performing audio and video duties for web video projects. Made creative recommendations internally for software and hardware usage within the company and to clients for appropriate utilization of tools to implement their concepts to completion.
Multimedia Designer / Eagle Productions
Designed broadband web sites, interactive CD-ROM and DVD presentations, motion graphics for broadcast and the web. Determined appropriate layout and graphic design for client needs. Developed cross-platform projects for use on Macintosh and PC computer systems. Edited video using the industry standard Avid system. Worked as production assistant for in-studio and on-location video shoots performing audio and video duties. Made creative recommendations internally for software and hardware usage within the company and to clients for appropriate utilization of tools to implement their concepts to completion.
Graphic & Print Designer / Budweiser Quality Brands Inc.
Designed art and copy layouts for material to be presented by visual communications media such as large-scale banners, posters and signs. Determined size and arrangement of illustrative materials, selected style and size of type, and arranged layout based upon available space, knowledge of layout principles, and esthetic design concepts. Utilized the computer exclusively for design and layout incorporating software packages Corel Draw and Paint, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
Technical Service Representative / Convergys
Investigated and resolved computer software and hardware problems of users: Received telephone calls from users having problems using computer software and hardware or inquiring how to use specific software, such as internet applications, printing, word processing, electronic mail, and operating systems. Communicated with users to learn procedures followed and sources of error. Answered questions, applying knowledge of computer software, hardware, and procedures. Asked users with problem to use telephone and participate in diagnostic procedures, using diagnostic software, or by listening to and following instructions. Determined whether problems are caused by hardware or software. Utilized computer and internet resources in addition to talking with coworkers and supervisors to research problems and find solutions.
Winner of 2001 Addy Award - "The River Runs North"
Winner of 2002 Addy Award - "The Sponge Divers of Tarpon Springs"
First Place Winner in 2nd Annual Stetson Student Video and Animation Festival - "Looking Down"
Honorable Mention in 7th Annual Stetson Juried Student Art Show - "Logout"
music, design, film, movies, animation, audio, internet, drums, drumming, percussion, guitar, piano, paintball, gaming, computers, gadgets, video games