Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Few of My Favorite (Digital) Things

As a little Christmas present - I offer a few of my favorite digital things for 2013. I chose these things because they represent an interesting approach to digital literacies and composing for the brave new digital world in which we live. Or maybe just because I thought they were cool. Anyway - enjoy!

  • The best new interactive web thingy is Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" multi-channel music video. Oh, yeah they did that - and it's pretty cool. It's the coolest provocation to digital creativity since Arcade Fire's interactive "Wilderness Downtown," (which I still use in my intro to Digital Literacies class.)
  • My favorite (though sometimes frustrating) socially-connected app is WAZE. You probably heard about it this year when Google bought the app from its developer for about a billion dollars. It's like Google Maps meets Twitter - a free navigation app that allows users (er, uh, their passengers,) to share info with other travelers such as traffic jams, accidents, weather, and, ahem - location of police. (Admittedly, I started using this last year I think.)
  • For me, and I suspect millions of others, TripAdvisor has stolen time and attention from my other travel and dining apps like Yelp and UrbanSpoon. It's desktop website and smartphone apps work well together to provide friendly, useful and comprehensive collection of user-reviews on dining spots, hotels, attractions, etc.
  • Did you know you can use video backgrounds for PowerPoint? I just started using this really cool feature this year. Formerly, you'd have to shell out big bucks to get this effect - or use hinky 3rd-party apps that never failed to, uh... fail.
  • And, though it is hardware, I just gotta say - I love the Jambox by Jawbone. I use it around the house for the worlds most portable best music, but its easy-synching with my smartphone and laptop means I can have awesome sound for any presentation, regardless of the available equipment at the venue.
What will 2014 bring? I don't know - but I figure that, whatever it is, it will be delivered by my Amazon Prime drone.