Archive | January, 2013

22 Important Lessons I’ve Learned about Twitter

22 Jan


Twitter is so much more than just a social network.

It’s a news service, a networking party, an instant messaging platform, a marketing channel, a photo album, a customer service tool, a personal journal, and a performance venue, all in one.

That’s just one thing I’ve learned from my three-plus years of being a tweeter.

I’ve also learned that the more you give to Twitter, the more you can gain from it: relationships, job opportunities, laughs, support, discounts and deals, insight, information, and connections. Lots and lots of connections.

If you use Twitter well, and you keep at it, people will find you and want to connect. It’s worked for me, and last week, I made my 2,000th connection — or rather, she connected with me. So for that, let me recognize and say thank you to Heshie Segal, who was follower number 2,000. Hooray!

Why do 2,000 people follow me? I’m just some random guy who tweets a lot. If you have that same question, then maybe you can understand why I consider that many followers to be a bit of an accomplishment.

So on the occasion of having reached this milestone, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I’ve learned from my years of tweeting. Here are 22 easily tweetable lessons … things that may help you reach a similar milestone:

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It’s Her Against the World

11 Jan

zero_dark_thirty_posterThere’s a scene, late in Zero Dark Thirty, in which CIA director Leon Panetta and his team are sitting around a table, looking at a model of what may be Osama bin Laden’s compound.

The analysts are giving their thoughts about just how sure they are that he is there, and whether they should take action, but none of them can say it definitively.

Then, from the corner of the room, one analyst announces that she’s 100% sure that’s it.

Who are you, Panetta asks.

“I’m the motherfucker who found this place,” barks Maya (Jessica Chastain), the redheaded analyst who spent more than 10 years tracking down Public Enemy Number 1, and is the only person in that room full of men who has the conviction and, quite frankly, the balls to stand her ground.

A decade of such obsessive work will do that to you. Continue reading

Every Man Carries a Badge

10 Jan

gangster-squad-final-posterHey girl, Ryan Gosling is in a new gangster movie.

He plays a Los Angeles detective who is part of a secret under-the-table squad (headed up by Josh Brolin) that tries to take down a local division of the east coast mafia that’s run by Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn).

He gets to wear stylish clothes and be all charming and stuff.

And best of all, he’s paired up once again with Emma Stone, with whom he had amazing, white-hot chemistry in Crazy, Stupid, Love. Lucky guy.

But don’t get too excited, because in Gangster Squad, Gosling is not the cool guy we’ve come to expect, and his scenes with Stone are lukewarm. Blame it on the squeaky voice that Gosling uses if you want. I’m blaming it on the movie itself, which is big and loud, and employs nearly every gangster-movie cliché you’ve seen before in much better movies.

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We Are at the Beach

9 Jan

impossible_posterDecember 26, 2004 was a day like any other.

In Thailand, it was peaceful, warm … a nice day for a family vacation.

And then, just like that, it all changed.

As you may recall, this was the day that a giant tsunami hit southeast Asia, devastating Thailand and leaving death and destruction in its wake.

Among the people who got swept up by the wave were the Belon family, who were on holiday. It’s their story that inspired the new movie, The Impossible.

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Something’s (Cat)Fishy on MTV

7 Jan

catfish-tv-show-logoWhere do all these gullible people come from?

On MTV’s (relatively) new show Catfish, week after week, young people learn that the person they’ve been chatting with on Facebook (or some other site) isn’t who they think he/she is.

If the name and premise sound familiar, it’s because the show is based on the movie Catfish, in which New York photographer Nev (pronounced “nieve”) Schulman meets and falls in love with a girl on Facebook, then learns she’s someone completely different when he and his two friends travel to Michigan to meet her. It’s a true story. (Mostly, anyway — depending on how cynical you are.)

In the hour-long TV show (which airs Monday nights at 11 p.m., and multiple times throughout the week), Nev and his buddy, Max (and a film crew from MTV), travel around the country interviewing people who have met and fallen for someone online. (Like, seriously fallen.) These people chat all the time, speak on the phone, and develop a bond. There’s just one problem: Every time the subject of meeting offline comes up, or even of chatting via Skype, the faker comes up with an excuse, like that he/she has to go out of town.

catfish-the-show-mtvThe stories always sound suspicious and too good to be true — especially to television viewers who (should) know better — which is partly why it only takes a simple web search and a phone call or two before Nev and Max have evidence that the online paramour is likely a fake. Then they take the episode’s subject to meet the person offline, where they all learn that the person is, indeed, not who he/she said he/she was. Continue reading

3 Resolutions That Will Make 2013 a Better Year

4 Jan

calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutionsI’ve changed my mind.

On Tuesday, I said I wasn’t going to write down any resolutions this year, only things I was looking forward to.

But as the days passed, and I started to think even more about how I wanted 2013 to be a better year than 2012 was, I remembered the simplest but most important thing: Change begins with me.

This won’t be a better year if I don’t make it so. I need to cause positive change for me and others around me.

So I decided to write down some resolutions after all.

Of course, the usual ones (like eating better, working out more, not being quite so distracted by social media, trying new things, etc.) apply, just as they always have.

This year, the resolutions I have in mind are bigger, more important ones.

Here they are.

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My Favorite Part of This Past Weekend

3 Jan

kids holding handsMy niece and nephews (as well as my sister and brother-in-law) were in Boston this past weekend.

We had a really fun time. It was a great way to end the year.

The six of us managed to pack a lot of stuff into the three days, especially given the snow storm on Saturday, and when they left on Monday afternoon, the three kids apparently fell right to sleep in the car.

That’s one sign of a good weekend.

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Frick and Frack

2 Jan

promised-land-posterMatt Damon is a very likeable guy, and someone moviegoers can easily root for, whether he’s playing a genius from Southie, an amnesiac CIA assassin, or a corporate informant who makes a lot of stuff up.

But in the new film Promised Land, we know pretty early on that Damon is not the guy we want to see come out on top.

Here, he’s playing Steve Butler, who, with his partner Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand), tries to convince the residents of a small farming town hit hard by the tough economy to sell their land and allow an energy company to drill there. These two city folk arrive and quickly establish a local story and appearance, buying clothes from a town store (managed by the Man in Black himself, Titus Welliver) and emphasizing their Midwestern upbringing. It’s sketchy and inauthentic right off the bat. Continue reading

27 Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2013

1 Jan

Boy-with-binocularsI woke up this morning with a big smile on my face.

It wasn’t because 2012 is over, and it wasn’t because of early reports that the fiscal cliff situation was resolved.

It was because 2013 is here.

Sure, some people feel that today is just another day, and January 1 isn’t so different from all the other days of the year. But when the year that just ended wasn’t one of your favorites, you wake up on January 1 with a new outlook, a blank slate, and renewed hope.

Suffice it to say, I’m in a better mood today than I was yesterday.

2013 is going to be a great year. How do I know? Because there are a lot of good things on the horizon. Continue reading

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