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2011 Best and Worst of the Internet and Pop Culture

Posted by BFG Communications on December 29, 2011

Week in, week out, the BFG content team trailblazes the Magical Internet Lands to bring you back only the finest in Internet and pop culture treasures. We read the Internet so you don't have to.

The content team has doubled in size over the last year, so take a few moments to get to know a little something about each of our team members as we reflect back on the Hits and Misses of 2011. We hope you'll enjoy this little stroll down Amnesia Lane.

Best Thing I Read (Or Listened to on AudioBook)
Sloane: Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson
Brian: Just Kids, Patti Smith
Celby: Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Hal: Still Life With Woodpecker, Tom Robbins
Kristina: Blood, Bones, and Butter, Gabrielle Hamilton

Favorite Blog or Website (besides this one, of course)
Sloane: For 91 Days
Brian: Gawker
Celby: Texts From Bennett (even if it was a hoax)
Emily: Color Me Katie
Hal: AdVerve
Kristina: Laughing Squid

Best Internet Meme
Sloane: Paula Deen Riding Things
Brian: Nope! Chuck Testa
Celby: First World Problems, Women Laughing Alone With Salad, Things People Don't Say About Advertising
Emily: Honey Badger
Hal: photo memes: planking, owling, horsemaning, stocking, leisure diving

Worst Internet Meme
Sloane: Rebecca Black
Brian: X all the Y
Celby: Y U NO GUY
Emily: planking
Hal: Rebecca Black
Kristina: Rebecca Black

Best New Technology
Sloane: Songza
Brian: Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock App
Celby: iPhone 4
Emily: mobile payments
Hal: Instagram
Kristina: physical .GIFs (Okay, so maybe this is more like anti-technology.)

Brand #Win of 2011
Sloane: Real Life Angry Birds
Brian: Ben & Jerry's Schweddy Balls
Celby: Volkswagen's "The Force" commercial
Emily: Apple for iPad 2, iPhone 4S and Siri
Hal: Slurpee's "BYO Cup Day"

Brand #Fail of 2011
Sloane: Kenneth Cole's tweet making light of the Egyptian protests.
Brian: Dr. Pepper 10: it's not for women.
Celby: Summer's Eve's "Talking Vaginas"
Emily: Google+ for not living up to the advance hype.
Hal: Lowe's for contributing to the wussification of the American male and folding to pressure from hate groups.

Favorite Time-suck
Sloane: Surfing Foodspotting for the ultimate in #foodporn.
Brian: 5-0 Police Scanner App
Celby: Procatinator
Emily: chatting online with friends
Hal: Moonlight Mahjong for iPad
Kristina: Gears of War 3

Favorite Twitter Account
Sloane: The Bronx Zoo's Cobra
Brian: Your Friend from High School
Celby: Borowitz Report and Shit Girls Say
Emily: Geekend
Hal: Mike Leffingwell (Thanks for the tip, Alex!)
Kristina: Tyson Hesse

Song of the Year
Sloane: "Moneygrabber," Fitz & The Tantrums
Brian: "Lego House," Ed Sheeran
Celby: "Lonely Boy," The Black Keys
Emily: "Look At Me Now," Chris Brown
Hal: "The Death Of You And Me," Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Kristina: "Cruel," St. Vincent

Album of the Year
Sloane: 21, Adele
Brian: Stronger, Kelly Clarkson
Celby: Watch the Throne Jay-Z & Kanye West
Emily: Watch the Throne, Jay-Z & Kanye West
Hal: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Kristina: Rip Tide, Beirut

Movie of the Year
Brian: Midnight in Paris
Celby: The Fighter
Emily: Water For Elephants
Hal: The Adjustment Bureau
Kristina: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Best New TV Show
Sloane: (The Return Of) "Beavis & Butt-head," MTV
Brian: "Hart of Dixie," The CW
Celby: "Wilfred," FX
Hal: "American Horror Story," AMC
Kristina: "Ringer," The CW

Best Thing I Ate
Sloane: Crawfish tacos at the Baton Rouge Blues Fest.
Brian: Shrimp & Grits at J. Christopher's in Savannah.
Celby: Prince Edward Island Mussels
Emily: An unidentified Korean BBQ joint outside of Atlanta.
Hal: Kelsey "KY" Brown at Wild Eggs in Louisville, KY.

Worst Thing I Ate
Sloane: Mystery cheese omelet served on a Delta cross-country flight.
Celby: Late night soggy hot dog.
Emily: tripe soup
Hal: Deep-fried butter at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Best New Place I Visited
Sloane: Argentina
Brian: Old town Alexandria in Washington, DC.
Celby: Chicago
Emily: Spain
Hal: Nashville
Kristina: The West Egg in Atlanta.

Favorite New Trend
Sloane: The iPhone as all-the-camera-you'll-ever-need thanks to the 4S and a mix of after market gadgets.
Brian: Free streaming music via services like Spotify.
Celby: Wedges and sequins.
Emily: virtual stores in real world locations
Hal: military-inspired details in clothing
Kristina: midi skirts

Trend I Wish Would Hurry Up and Die
Sloane: Mustaches. If you're not Magnum, P.I., it doesn't work.
Brian: "Almost homemade", because it's not.
Celby: LMFAO fashion
Emily: overconsumption
Hal: Lady Gaga (not literally)

"Awesomely Bad" Award
Sloane: planking, owling
Brian: "Scream 4"
Celby: Courtney Stodden's Twitter account and TV appearances.
Emily: Texts From Bennett
Hal: eHarmony "Can't Hug Every Cat" Songify Video Remix

Inspiration of the Year
Sloane: Graffiti tour of Buenos Aires.
Brian: Helen Bonham Carter for reminding me what a true artist is.
Celby: Tina Fey
Emily: Steve Jobs
Hal: Steve Jobs

WTF! Moment
Sloane: Weiner-gate, as in Anthony Weiner. 'Nuff said.
Brian: The Rapture(s)
Celby: Ryan Gosling not being named the Sexiest Man Alive.
Emily: NDAA, SOPA
Hal: Charlie Sheen
Kristina: NBC cancels "Community"

#EpicFail of the Year
Sloane: The Netflix price hike, followed by the Qwikster announcement, followed by Qwikster's demise.
Brian: No iPhone 5.
Celby: The Kardashians
Emily: Rebecca Black
Hal: reality television

#EpicWin of the Year
Sloane: The St. Louis Cardinals nearly missing the playoffs, only to end up winning the World Series. They're not my team but this was spectacular.
Brian: The Royal Family. They now have the Middletons and the world's attention once again.
Celby: Nike Better World
Emily: Geekend Keynote by Baratunde Thurston
Hal: The return of good writing to television. e.g. "The Walking Dead," "Hell On Wheels," "Justified," "American Horror Story," "Mad Men."

Most Overused Buzzword
Sloane: "synergy"
Brian: "dynamic" or "guru"
Celby: "implementation"
Emily: "engagement"
Hal: "viral"

 
 
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Who Owns Your Twitter Followers?

Posted by Hal Thomas on December 29, 2011

Who owns your Twitter followers: you or your employer? Strong cases can be made for either viewpoint depending on the circumstances. That's why it's probably best, if you're an employer, that you cover this in your company social media policy. (You do have a social media policy, right?)

If you're considering a job that will include the use of social media and the organization in question does not have an established social media policy, it's probably a good idea to negotiate your retention of your own social media accounts beyond the duration of your employment. Otherwise, insist that new social media accounts be created for utilization on behalf of the organization.

Get ready. We're going to see a lot more of this sort of thing in the coming years.

FOLLOW-UP:
I had the opportunity to discuss this topic on WSAV Tech Tuesday, January 3, 2012.

 
 
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Not Your Grandmother’s Polaroid Camera

Posted by Kristina DeVega on December 29, 2011

Introducing the Polaroid Z340, the classic Polaroid Instant Camera’s younger and more tech savvy sister. What makes this camera special is that it can edit your pictures like a digital camera and then print them out like the old school Polaroids we love so much.

The 14.0 megapixel camera comes equipped with an LCD screen where you can view your photos and edit them to your liking. The editing capabilities are simple, like cropping or adding a filter to your picture, but the coolest part is being able to instantly print and view your masterpiece and all of its tangible glory while still keeping a digital copy on the camera’s SD card.

We can finally have our proverbial cake and eat it too. The Polaroid Z340 features digital camera capabilities while staying true to what Polaroid cameras are known for -- a quick and easy way to capture, print, and share photos with your friends. Though we are moving further away from the real world and into our cozy megabyte-manageable lives, the nostalgic and ironic allure of making the digital into tangible objects is an ongoing trend, especially with photography. For example, Postcardly is a service that turns emailed pictures into snail mail postcards and relies on the novelty of receiving postcards--as backwards as that may seem.

This hybrid camera is something that photography nerds, hipster folks, and tech geeks can all flock to, especially with the last hurrah of 2011 coming up. I definitely wish I could get my hands on one for New Year's Eve festivites -- things can get pretty weird awesome after midnight.

 
 
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