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Posts from the ‘Social Media’ Category

You Must See “Catfish”

“Catfish” is one of the greatest movies I’ve seen lately.

To begin: I love documentaries. Like many people my age, I started with Michael Moore’s flicks in high school (say what you will about his politics, but the man knows how to make a documentary interesting. His style has been copied – by liberals and conservatives alike – many times over.) Over the years, I’ve enjoyed all the “mainstream” documentaries like “Super Size Me”, “Food, Inc.”, and “Grizzly Man”, as well as docs on favorite bands like The Beatles. I go crazy over nature docs like “Planet Earth” and “Oceans”, and Ken Burns has (of course) always been a favorite (I’m working through his “National Parks” series right now). Some other recent favorites: “Jesus Camp”, “Trouble the Water”, “Inside Job” and “Exit Through The Gift Shop”, although “Exit” may or not be a real documentary, depending on what you believe. I personally believe it’s a hoax. Which leads me to “Catfish”.

Catfish

“Catfish” is presented as real. Its directors have defended it to the end (WARNING: spoilers), despite questions from other documentary directors and moviegoers at Sundance. But it’s just so bizarre that it can’t possibly be real. If these guys (directors Henry Joost and
Ariel Schulman) staged this whole thing, then they are geniuses, because it feels so natural, even as unexpected plot twists unfold. In fact, Joost and Schulman have so mastered this (faux-?)documentary form that they were brought on to direct “Paranormal Activity 3” (which was probably a major step-down for them. Bad decision.)

Basically (if it is real), Joost and Schulman are New York videographers who picked up their cameras when Schulman’s brother Nev (a photographer) began an online fling with a girl he met on Facebook. The original purpose was just to document the stages of an online relationship, but the experiment quickly devolved into much more than that.

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Turntable.fm – The Social Music Revolution

Besides Spotify, the other online music service rocking my world lately has been turntable.fm. These two web applications could not be more different, but I love them both equally. If you want an easy and fun way to discover new music while earning music cred with the internet, read on.

Spotify is great because it’s basically your iTunes library, but with every song in the world. (Except for some holdouts like the Beatles, but who cares about them, right?) You use Spotify to listen to that album you’ve been thinking about buying but aren’t sure about just yet, or to discreetly listen to that Boyz II Men album you used to love but don’t want to be caught with on your iPod, or to (if you have Premium) carry the whole world’s music with you on your phone, available for streaming whenever you want.

Turntable.fm is different. It serves two purposes:
1. Discovering new music
2. Sharing your favorite music with friends – or total strangers – in real time.

turntable

A typical turntable "room".

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You’ve All Seen This

It happens time and time again. The weather changes (or doesn’t change for days) and the techno-literate masses take to the Twitters and Facebooks to show their approval / disapproval / adoration / dismay / indifference to their current meteorological situation.

This is normal. It’s human nature to want to discuss the weather and how we feel about it, which is why that conversation fills endless small talk and beginnings of awkward first dates. But I’ve recently noticed a disturbing (and slightly annoying) trend.

It starts like every other status. A person will post or tweet about how the sun/rain/snow/locusts makes them feel.

status 1

Maybe a couple of days later (or even sooner), they’ll do it again.

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The Swedish Invasion – Spotify Hits The U.S.

The last 12 months of my technological life have been focused on my iPhone. I don’t think I’ve bought any gadget that has affected my daily goings-on as much as that little smartphone. But as great as it is, there’s always been one necessity that the good folks at Apple have neglected to address for so long: how to allow me to carry all my music around with me at once.

I have a lot of music. My current iTunes count is 12,339 songs, or 69.19 GB. Which, obviously, does not all fit on one 8 GB iPhone. And syncing just takes so long with a 99% chance it’s going to mess up more than halfway through. I’ve long wanted a way to choose any song while in the car or access my entire music collection at work.

I tried a couple solutions, one with a service called Subsonic, which required some hacking and for me to always have my laptop on and open at home so my music could stream straight from my hard drive. When that got tiresome, I just started taking my laptop to work. But that doesn’t solve the iPhone/car problem.

Enter Spotify.
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No Ads for Me

A week ago, Katy told me about Google AdSense. Through posting discreet ads on her blog, she was able to score at massive $15 check after only two months! OK, I know that’s not much, but for someone who’s about to get shamed into frugal-ness by Dave Ramsey’s class, a little extra for a cup of coffee or two is nice.
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The Other Social Network

You all have seen the trailer for the Facebook movie, right? Well, if you haven’t, here it is:

Pretty interesting: a movie about the mysterious beginnings of Facebook. I’m not exactly sure how exciting a movie about a website will be, but for all the internet lovers out there, it could be worth a look.

But what’s even better is this parody trailer about the failures of MySpace. These people hit it dead on:
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