Twitter previews new profile design layout

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on April 12th, 2014

Twitter is rolling out a new design layout for web profiles. The most prominent visual changes are larger profile photos and customized headers that mimic Facebook’s profile and cover photos. Dig a bit deeper and you’ll see that the update allows users to pin a tweet to the top of their feed; this locked-at-the-top tweet serves as an extension to a user’s bio and provides followers and potential followers alike another window into seeing what you’re all about. You may also notice magnified tweets that appear larger in your feed; these are called your “Best Tweets” and they appear larger because they’ve received the most engagement such as being Favorited or Retweeted a lot. Also, when you check out other people’s profiles you can filter between all Tweets, Tweets with photos/video, or Tweets and replies–a new way to quickly search a person’s feed by content type.

The new profile layout is slowly rolling out to all users “in the coming weeks.” If you’re new to Twitter and sign up today you’ll automatically see it. For everyone else, you can preview the new layout today by flocking over to certain celeb accounts such as @ChanningTatum and @KerryWashington.

[Via Twitter]

Google, Twitter and Facebook mark the highlights of 2013

Posted in Entertainment,News,Video,World by Scott Meisner on December 30th, 2013

Google’s year-end Zeitgeist, or “spirit of the times,” continues to impress with its far-reaching grasp on what we searched for and talked about over the course of the year that was 2013. The search giant calls it their “most global Zeitgeist to date” as it includes over 1,000 top 10 lists spanning 72 countries. Their “Here’s to 2013″ retrospective video highlights the people, places, and moments that captured the world’s attention throughout the year. Of all the lists the one you’re most likely to want to see first is the top 10 global searches of 2013. Falling in line with years past, the list includes celebrity/world leader deaths, hot technology, and a viral video to boot.:

  1. Nelson Mandela
  2. Paul Walker
  3. iPhone 5s
  4. Cory Monteith
  5. Harlem Shake
  6. Boston Marathon
  7. Royal Baby
  8. Samsung Galaxy s4
  9. PlayStation 4
  10. North Korea

Head over to the Zeitgeist homepage to explore the myriad trending lists. There, for the first time, you’ll also find an interactive Trends Globe that allows you to play around with a 3D global map showcasing the top search trends of the year by day in cities around the world. Like I said, impressive stuff here.

Jump after the break to see how Twitter and Facebook are celebrating the big two-oh-one-three. (Click here for more…)

Twitter drops #music app to promote discovery

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on May 2nd, 2013

Twitter is expanding its horizons with a new app called #music. It’s a simple service, really, with a snazzy user interface that helps you discover new artists, see what’s popular, and preview and share tunes. The app is organized into five sections: Popular (new music trending on Twitter), Emerging (Hidden talent found in the Tweets), Suggested (Artists you might like), #NowPlaying (Tweeted by people you follow), and Me (a section that lists the artists you follow). Essentially the service scans your Twitter activity (people you follow, specific artists you follow and interact with, etc.) to aid in the discovery of new music you might like. The main portal is the Popular section and the UI displays interactive images of artists that you can tap on. You can preview tracks, share them, and download them via iTunes. Additionally, the artist squares give users quick access to a musician’s Twitter page where you can find out what artists that musician is following. In addition to iTunes for track previewing, #music is tied to Spotify and rdio; if you subscribe to those streaming services, you can link your account to enable the app to play full tracks.

Currently Twitter’s #music app is available in Apple’s App Store free of charge; if you have an Android device you’re out of luck for the time being. However, you can test drive the new service in a desktop browser at music.twitter.com if you live in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand; the desktop layout mirrors its mobile counterpart. In time, the service will expand to more devices and countries.

So watcha waiting for? Go get your discovery on. #getlucky

[Via Twitter]

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Twitter turns 7

Posted in News,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on March 23rd, 2013

On Thursday, March 21 Twitter reached its seventh year in existence. To celebrate the occasion the company released a short video highlighting some of the most memorable moments shared across the world via the social platform. Did you know that Twitter currently has well over 200 million active users creating over 400 million Tweets each day? And it’s only getting more popular by the second. From company founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet to the explosion of tweets made by people from all around the planet, Twitter has proven to be a resourceful and entertaining destination for breaking news, laughs, and everything in between.

[Via Twitter]

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Google, Twitter and Facebook mark the highlights of 2012

Posted in Entertainment,News,Video,World by Scott Meisner on December 28th, 2012

Google’s annual Zeitgeist takes “an in-depth look at the “spirit of the times” as seen through the billions of searches on Google over the past year.” At least that’s usually the case. This year, Google studied an aggregation of over 1.2 trillion searches that people typed into Google Search. Using sources like Google Trends and internal data tools the company was able compile lists that distinguish the most popular searched terms organized into topics like Images, Athletes, and TV Shows. The top 10 trending Searches worldwide this year were Whitney Houston, Gangnam Style, Hurricane Sandy, iPad 3, Diablo 3, Kate Middleton, Olympics 2012, Amanda Todd, Michael Clarke Duncan, and BBB12. The top 10 trending Events worldwide were Hurricane Sandy, Kate Middleton Pictures Released, Olympics 2012, SOPA Debate, Costa Concordia crash, Presidential Debate, Stratosphere Jump, Penn State Scandal, Trayvon Martin shooting, and Pussy Riots. The top 10 trending Consumer Electronics were iPad 3, Samsung Galaxy S3, iPad Mini, Nexus 7, Galaxy Note 2, Play Station, iPad 4, Microsoft Surface, Kindle Fire, and Nokia Lumia 920. Head over to Google’s Zeitgesit 2012 page to discover and explore trending topics from 55 countries all around the world. In addition to the 838 lists, Google’s created an interactive map that shows where and when some of the most popular terms spiked around the world. Watch Google’s inspirational look back at 2012 in the Zeitgeist video pasted above.

Jump after the break to find out how Twitter and Facebook are celebrating everything that went down in twenty-twelve. (Click here for more…)

Access your Twitter archive today

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on December 19th, 2012

At last, Twitter is making it possible to go back in time and explore every single tweet you’ve ever tweeted into the Twitterverse. Starting today, the company is rolling out a new feature that allows you to download an HTML file containing your Twitter archive that contains all your tweets (including retweets) you blasted out since you signed up for the service. The archive loads in your browser and features an interface you are used to by now. A history of your tweets is organized by month, or you can use the search bar to find tweets with certain words, phrases, hashtags, or @usernames.

To access your archive, login to your Twitter account and go to Settings, Account, and scroll to the bottom where you’ll find a new option to “Request your archive.” Click the button and check your email for instructions on how to download and view your archive. According to the company this new feature is rolling out “slowly, starting today with a small percentage of users whose language is set to English.” So if you don’t see it at this very moment, be patient. For everyone else, the ability to download your archive will come “over the coming weeks and months.”

Now go on, memories await.

[Via Twitter]

Twitter embraces filters, more profile personalization

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on December 12th, 2012

Twitter is imitating its competition–namely Instagram, duh!–by giving its users the ability to place a variety of filters on top of photos. At launch a total of eight filters, “ranging from black & white to vintage,” are available to play around with. You can see how each filter affects a single image at once, or you can swipe through each one full-size. In addition to filters, the latest update to the app also brings auto-enhance and cropping for photographers looking to tweak their images on the go. Download Twitter in the App Store and Google Play today.

In related news, the character-limiting social networking company is introducing a new way to further personalize your profile page. Since Twitter’s inception users have been able to upload a profile picture and a background image for desktop tweeters to see. Now there’s a third option thrown into the mix: header photos. Now you can choose an image to display on your profile page that exists above your timeline and behind your profile picture. If you choose not to upload one, a static grey rectangle will house your profile picture, name, handle, about info, location, and website. To add a header photo, go to Settings, Profile. Once put in place, like your profile picture it will be viewable on mobile devices as well as the desktop interface. This was initially introduced in September, but as of December 12 it has rolled out to all users. So have at it!

Jump after the break to view two cartoony clips that explore Twitters new announcements.

[Via Twitter 1, 2] (Click here for more…)

Google’s Zeitgeist & Twitter’s Year in Review look back at 2011

Posted in News,Technology,Video,World by Scott Meisner on December 17th, 2011

2011 has been one helluva year. One question that should be lingering on your mind: what did people search for and tweet most about in 2011? Answers come straight from the source. This week Google pushed out their Zeitgeist 2011, an interactive look at the most popular and the fastest rising terms in many categories across many countries around the world. The results are in and the #1 fastest-rising global query in 2011 is… Rebecca Black! That’s right, the YouTube star famous for the annoying but admittedly catchy song “Friday” is at the top of the chart. Rounding out the top five is Google’s very own social network Google+, the late Jackass star Ryan Dunn, defendant Casey Anthony, and the video game Battlefield 3. The second half of the top ten includes three Apple-related items (iPhone 5, Steve Jobs, and iPad 2), singer Adele, and Japan’s Fukushima plant. At the Zeitgeist website you can view top ten lists from a myriad of countries.

Twitter followed suit and released their own Year in Review portal. Things are broken down by the year’s top stories and hot topics. It should come as no surprise that Charlie Sheen was the most talked about actor (the #2 worldwide hashtag was #tigerblood) and four of the ten tech trends are Apple-related. In another section Twitter calculated how many tweets per second occurred during major events over the course of the year. The MTV Video Music Awards saw 8,868 tweets per second; Steve Jobs’ resignation 7,064; and the raid on Osama bin Laden 5,106.

All in all, it can easily be said that 2011 has been a year of change. Google does a good job highlighting our impact on the world on a global scale in the video embedded above.

Twitter gets a new look, again

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on December 11th, 2011

On Thursday Twitter announced that it’s rolling out another new look for its homepage. This time around, the desktop and mobile experiences are getting simpler and streamlined. (New) New Twitter is organized into four sections: Home, Connect, Discover, and Me. Let’s take a brief tour…

Home is home to your personal collection of tweets. The desktop version is organized into two columns. To the left there’s your personal info including your name, profile picture, your number of tweets, who you’re following, and your followers; there’s also a link to your profile page and a way to quickly compose and send out a tweet. Underneath that you’ll find follower suggestions and the trending topics list. To the right there’s the familiar list of incoming tweets from the people you follow. The new interface allows tweets that are attached with images and videos to expand so you can easily explore embedded media. Replying, retweeting, and favoriting tweets are all just one hover and click away.

Connect acts as a hub very much like the Activity Feed of the old Twitter. It’s the place where you’ll see who has followed or mentioned you, retweeted or favorited one of your tweets. Tweets are organized by Interactions and Mentions. A search bar sits at the top and you can use it to find and discover people by entering their @username or full name.

Discover highlights trending topics and stories that are being talked about on the social network. This section is organized like this: Stories, Activity, Who to follow, Find friends, and Browse categories. Stories that are shown to you are based on recent popularity as well as your connections, location and language. Activity shows everything your connections do related to the accounts that they follow. See who else your connections follow, their lists and what Tweets they favorite, retweet or reply to most. In Discover the search bar at the top allows you to enter a hashtag or keyword to further explore a topic of your choice.

Me servers as your profile page and it can be fully customized from here. A gallery of your recently tweeted photos and videos are stored here, as are your Direct Messages.

The new Twitter design is the network’s most simplistic to date, and best of all it transfers over to the mobile space too. Whether you’re accessing Twitter from a desktop or your cell phone the experience will be nearly identical. How do you enable the new look? Easy! Download and login to the latest versions of Twitter on your iPhone or Android device and then you should be able to access the new desktop version. Twitter says they’re working on rolling it out to all users “over the next few weeks.”

[Via Twitter 1, 2]

Microsoft aims to bring “natural user interface ads” to Xbox

Posted in Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on June 23rd, 2011

Teenagers are social creatures; it is known. That’s why Microsoft is experimenting with Kinect to bring interactive and socially-inclined advertisements to Xbox 360. Such ads that take advantage of gestures and speech captured by Kinect are being called “natural user interface ads,” or NUads for short. Imagine you spy an ad for Coke that piques your interest. Say aloud “Xbox, tweet” and the console will automagically send out a short message and link to the ad to all your Twitter followers. New scenario: You see a spot for Adidas that’s advertising a promotional event and want to learn more about it. Simply say “Xbox, more” and instantly you’ll receive an email with more information about the sponsored event. Here’s another: You see an ad for NBC’s The Voice and you can’t miss tomorrow night’s new episode. Speak “Xbox, schedule” and the console will send a reminder to your Windows Phone and you’ll be alerted before the episode begins. Watch the video embedded above to see all these voice commands and gestures in action. Others include “Xbox, near me” and voting for your preferences by waving your hand.

Ads suck in general. But new innovation like this might just inject a spark of excitement into the viewing experience. Social interactivity is all the rage these days; add these elements to advertisements and perhaps the act of watching them will be less painful.

[Via MicrosoftAdvertising]

Twitter brings photos and videos to the forefront, improves search

Posted in News,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on June 1st, 2011

Hello Twitterverse! Today I have some exciting news to share with you. Twitter has teamed with Photobucket to introduce an integrated photo-sharing service for all users. The company will be releasing a feature that allows you to easily upload a photo and attach it to your Tweet directly within Twitter.com. Additionally you’ll be able to easily do this from all of the official Twitter mobile apps, too. If you don’t own a smartphone the company’s working with mobile carriers to figure out a way to send photos via text message. And here’s the best part. Twitter is rolling out “a completely new version of Twitter search” the brings tagged photos and videos into the mix. For example, if you upload, attach, and tweet a picture from a shuttle launch and include the hashtag #launch, you will be brought to all of the most buzzed-about tweets, pictures, and videos relevant to that specific hashtag. Relevant and expansive photo and video clouds are just a click away. In addition, the revamped search engine promises to deliver more relevant Tweets when you search for something or click on a trending topic.

So when can you expect to see all these new features hitting the social network? The improved search engine is being rolled out today, the Twitter.com photo upload service will make its way to users over the next several weeks, and the mobile apps will see an upgrade that’ll bring these enhancements “soon.” Jump after the break to see the new search+photo services in action.

[Via Twitter] (Click here for more…)

Microsoft details Windows Phone 7 additions and improvements

Posted in News,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on February 19th, 2011

This week Microsoft hosted a Windows Phone 7 themed press event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There they spent time refreshing people’s minds about what differentiates Windows Phone 7 from the rest of the competition; namely they went over the mobile operating system’s smart design, hubs, and glance-and-go live tiles–all of which you should already know about. A chunk of the event, however, also spent time previewing the future of WP7. Multitasking, Internet Explorer 9, broader Skydrive connectivity, and Twitter integration are all coming to the OS later this year; get all the details presented in easy to swallow bullet-point form below.

  • Multitasking: At launch Microsoft decided not to allow multitasking support for third party apps due to battery life concerns. But now that’s changed because the company has figured out a way to make multitasking work without significantly draining the battery. At the event Microsoft demoed switching in and out of a game. Say you’re playing a game and want to make a phone call. To jump out of gameplay and initiate a call, simply tap the Home button, select the appropriate hub and make the call. After the call is complete, tap the Back button and you’ll instantly be returned to your game. You’ll find that the game automatically paused itself, so you can to resume the session without missing any in-game action. Microsoft also figured out an intuitive way to view open apps at once and quickly switch between them. Press and hold the Back button to bring up a new tasking switching view that displays your open apps in a card-like fashion (think WebOS). You can swipe left and right to see your open apps and tap one to instantly return to it right where you left off. Microsoft highlighted multitasking with third party music apps, too. Music can now play in the background (yippe!). Microsoft demoed Slacker; now you can play a radio station inside Slacker, initiate the task switching view, jump into another app like Email, and the music will continue to play in the background. In addition, music apps are tied to WP7 audio controls, meaning that you can control a third party app’s volume and playback options (play/pause/forward/back) using WP7’s built-in audio controls that are accessible on the home screen when you press the hardware volume buttons.
  • Internet Explorer 9: The next version of IE is coming to WP7. IE 9 will bring hardware and graphics acceleration to the platform, taking advantage of those speedy mobile processors that are making their way into smartphones. Microsoft pressed the point that the core browsing engine in IE9 that ships on PCs is the same core browsing engine that will ship on phones. This is good for developers because if their site performs well on the PC, they know it will work well on Windows Phone. HTML5 content was distinctly prominent in the demo with no mention of Adobe’s initiative, so don’t expect Flash support to come with this update.
  • Skydrive connectivity: Skydrive is to WP7 as iDisk is to iPhone. Get it? Skydrive is essentialy Microsoft’s version of Dropbox which allows users to view, edit, and share documents in the cloud on their devices. Skydrive will live inside the Office hub (so there’s no separate app download required) and it brings support for Office documents in the cloud. If you’re already logged into your Windows Live account, there’s no need to login in to access the cloud drive at any time.
  • Twitter integration: Since launch Microsoft has incorporated Facebook status updates and pictures in the People and Pictures hubs, respectively. With the new update they are welcoming another social network into the fray. Twitter integration is coming to the People hub where it will co-exist with Facebook in a similar manner to it; your contact’s tweets will appear alongside their status updates.

That’s the bulk of new WP7 features demoed at the MWC event. However, there are three other points to make. (1) At the event Microsoft briefly previewed a futuristic demo that ties together WP7 with Xbox’s controller-less motion accessory Kinect. The prerecorded demo featured the Kinect game Rally Ball and it showed one person standing up flailing their arms at the oncoming storm of rubber balls and two others using their WP7 devices to wirelessly control the amount and location of the balls on their respective device’s screens. In essence this is a preview of real-time cross-platform gaming between phones and game consoles, and it’s a neat trick to say the least. Look after the break to see it in action. (2) Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer invited Nokia’s Stephen Elop to discuss the newly formed partnership between the two tech companies. Elop pretty much reiterated everything he previously mentioned at his own event, but some choice quotes stuck out here. He said, “Microsoft and Nokia together represent a natural partnership. People are getting it.” The world is shifting from “a battle of devices to a war of ecosystems” and that with Microsoft they can become a competitive force in this transforming environment. Nokia will “accelerate the adoption of the Windows Phone platform” by “bring[ing] iconic hardware [and] incredible industrial design [to] a leading operating system.” (3) Coming in early March is copy-and-paste functionality (along with CDMA radio support (hello Verizon and Sprint devices), and other performance improvements)!

Go on, hop after the break to find videos demonstrating multitasking, IE 9, and the Kinect companionship.

[Via Microsoft] (Click here for more…)

Social Network Sneakers

Posted in Design,Images by Scott Meisner on November 30th, 2010

Check out these “social network sneakers” designed by Gerry Mckay for Adidas.  These are purely conceptual sneaker designs for now.  If people start demanding these be produced for consumption, Adidas can give the go ahead to make it happen.  Though various blogs are hatin’ on the very idea of a sneaker based on a social networking website, I happen to find the designs extremely attractive.

Mckay’s idea is to merge the classic Adidas Superstar sneaker (which celebrated 35 years in 2006) with Twitter and Facebook branding.  The Twitter Superstar features the recognizable light blue color scheme and Twitter ‘bird’ logo as a “visual element.”  The Facebook Superstar is inspired by Facebook’s dark blue on white color scheme and it features the Facebook type logo at the heel of the shoe and on the tongue beneath the Adidas logo.  On the inside wall of the shoe two Facebook slogans read: Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you” & “Making the world open and connected”.

Take a closer look at the Superstar sneaker designs in the gallery below.  Sure, socially-inclined sneakers sound lame but these designs are simple, smart, and definitely appealing.

[Via Behance, here & here; BuzzFeed; Gizmodo]

Twitter intros push notifications for @mentions

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on November 17th, 2010

This week Twitter introduced a neat new feature for mobile users: push notifications for @mentions.  Whenever you are mentioned in the Twittersphere you can make it so that you receive a text message or push notification from the Twitter app so that you’re instantly notified about it.  The push notification part only works with the latest version of Twitter for iPhone, for now.  Twitter is also bringing push notifications for Messages to Twitter for iPhone, a feature that Blackberry users have already been privy to.  To enable these new notifications, tweak your settings at twitter.com/devices.  Twitter says they’re working on bringing these new slate of features to Android and Windows Phone 7 users soon.

[Via TwitterBlog]

Ping welcomes Twitter into its social network for music

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on November 12th, 2010

Social network explosion!  Apple has partnered with Twitter to bring Twitter integration to Ping, the “social network for music” built into iTunes 10.  After linking your Twitter account to your Ping account inside iTunes, all of your Ping activity (whenever you Post, Like, Review, or tell your friends why you purchased a song or album) will show up in a tweet be seen by all your followers.  And if you opted to preview the new Twitter redesign, Ping’d tweets will come complete with playable song previews and links to purchase and download music from iTunes.  If you see a tweet that’s got Ping data in it (either a tweet sent within Ping or a tweet with an iTunes link attached), you can now click a new music button and this will superimpose the tweeted song or album on the right side details pane, allowing you to see album art, preview, and listen to songs.  So watcha waiting for?  Connect up and let the good times roll.

[Via TwitterBlog]

RockMelt, a modern browser with a social twist

Posted in News,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on November 11th, 2010

Sick and tired of the same old desktop browsing experience?  Are you constantly logging into your Facebook and Twitter accounts and checking up on your latest RSS feeds?  If you answered “yes” to one or both of these questions you might want to give RockMelt a spin.  RockMelt, backed up Netscape founder Marc Andreeseen, is a modern browser with a social twist.  First off, it’s fast.  It’s built on Chromium, the open source project behind Google’s Chrome browser; so if you’re used to Chrome browsing speeds, you know what to expect.  Here’s the social aspect.  To use RockMelt you must sign into it with your Facebook account; that’s right–it’s the very first web browser you sign into.  But there’s an upswing to this; you can access your browser information, including social integration, RSS feeds, and more, on any computer that has RockMelt installed.  Social integration, right.  So you log into the browser using your Facebook account.  The left side of the browser populates a list of your Facebook friends and you can chat with them, send and receive messages, and view status updates.  The right side of the browser stores your Twitter followers and their updated tweets, along with a running list of website icons representing individual RSS feeds so you can keep tabs on your most frequently visited sites.  RockMelt boasts “push notifications” meaning that it will keep track of and alert you to updates from Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds.  The browser also promotes URL sharing among your connected social networks; there’s a built-in URL shortener that’ll push your favorite sites and posts to friends.  Search is faster, too.  Worried about privacy?  Don’t be.  RockMelt developers promise that login information and settings are encrypted before they are sent over to RockMelt servers for cloud storage.

Want to get in on the RockMelt craze?  The browser is currently in beta (so expect numerous bugs pop up) and the developers are enabling the Internet at large to participate in an early access hands on with it, so along as you’re willing to fork over your Facebook username and password (remember, that’s required to use the browser).  Hop over to the RockMelt homepage to “connect for an invitation.”  It runs on Windows and Mac.  Look after the break for a video demonstration to learn more about RockMelt.  For beta software it runs pretty well, and if you’re a heavy Facebook/Twitter user you’ll surely appreciate the social integration aspect.

[Via RockMelt] (Click here for more…)

24 Hour Coco Cam is LIVE right now!

Posted in Hilarity,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on October 21st, 2010

On October 20th at 1PM EST/10AM PST Conan’s HQ in Los Angeles started broadcasting LIVE to the Internet!  They shoved a camera in the stairwell of their “comedy bunker” and you don’t want to miss all the crazy shenanigans that’s going down right now.  The camera will remain on for a whole 24 hours.  So far you’ve missed dancing tacos and a dude in a dog suit playing poker and drinking a water bottle through his eye hole.  Watching the live stream is quite mesmerizing in the strangest way possible.  Click here to access the stream.  And if you’re on Twitter, go on and request the production crew/interns that pass by to do something crazy; don’t forget to hashtag your tweet with #LiveCocoCam.  Right now it’s 4:30AM EST on the 21st, and there’s a late-night party going down, so whatcha waitin’ for?

Update: It’s over, folks.  Head over to Team Coco to watch highlights from the 24 hour cam.  Every wonderful shenanigan has been saved for posterity in video and still image formats.  Fun fact: according to early estimates, some 660,000 people tuned into the live stream at some point during the 24 hour period.  As Deadline so emphatically points out, that is the average audience TBS gets in the 11PM hour with George Lopez!  Get ready America, Coco is coming.

[Via TeamCoco]

Community is going animated for the Christmas special [Update: "Twittersode" to precede the premiere]

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on September 21st, 2010

Series creator Dan Harmon is ready to take Community to a whole ‘nother level, quite literally in fact.  Season 2’s Chistmas episode is going to be entirely stop motion animated, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer-style.  Earlier this summer Harmon shared his excitement over the possibily of making such a unique episode.  “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do but, I never anticipated having the ability to do it,” he told NYMag.  “Jeff Gaspin at NBC woke up one morning and thought Community should do an animated episode.  I was like, ‘Well, that’s weird, because that’s the kind of stuff I’m usually suggesting and guys like him veto.”

Upon hearing news of the holiday surprise, a number of the cast members also couldn’t contain their enthusiasm for it.  “It is so hard for me not to tell everybody I know about it,” says Danny Pudi (Abed). “The minute we read that script, I was over-the-moon excited.  It’s like that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special that you see every Christmas. But in true Community fashion, it’s also a little subversive and a little dark.”  Alison Brie (Annie) said, “When I found out, I fell in love with the show all over again!”  Star Joel McHale (Jeff) revealed, “I can confirm that we are not yellow [ie. The Simpsons], and we do not have a talking dog [ie. Family Guy] in the episode.  But all your favorite Greendalians will be going animated.”

Can you imagine an animated Senor Chang and Starburns?  It’s going to be great.  In related news, you should know that Community also has planned a top-secret, big budget Halloween special featuring–you guessed it–zombies!  “Knowing too much about this particular plot would ruin it, but I promise it’s an awesome, one-off crazy conceptual episode with plot points and effects that are more familiar to horror film fans than our show’s fans,” says Harmon.

Community returns Thursday (9/23) at 8PM on NBC.

Update: Starting at 7PM ET (one hour prior to the season premiere) the main characters of the show will communicate with one another in a conversation using Twitter.  This “Twittersode” is being described as a “prequel” scene to the premiere ep.  According to EW,  “they’ll make arrangements for their first meet-up of the year, as well as preparations for their first class, Anthropology 101.”  A class we all know will be led by the one and only Betty White.  You have two options to watch the prequel convo go down: (1) Head over to www.nbc.com/CommunityTwittersode or (2) follow the Community gang on Twitter and watch it happen live in your Twitter feed.  Hop after the break to find all the characters’ Twitter handles.  (Mind you these are Twitter accounts for the fictional show characters, not the actual actors’ Twitter names.)  Happy tweeting!

[Via EW, here, here & here] (Click here for more…)

Twitter homepage redesign on the way

Posted in Image cache,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on September 18th, 2010

Earlier this week Twitter announced that a homepage redesign is coming to a browser near you.  The new design is built around a two column style, a look that is reminiscent of many Twitter apps for mobile devices.  On the left side resides your timeline of tweets.  The timeline features infinite scrolling, meaning you won’t have to click a “more” button to view older tweets.  @mentions, retweets, searches, and lists are housed directly above the timeline “creating a single, streamlined view on the left of the screen.”  And above all that sits the “what’s happening now” status bar.  On the right side you can view personal account information such as tweet count, your most recent tweet, your list of followers and who you are following, favorite tweets, the lists you are on, suggestions for who to follow, and the trending topics.  Along the very top of the site is the search bar and links for home, profile, messages, compose a new tweet, and account settings.

Other than showing your personal information, the right column is also used to present contextual info and embedded media from tweets.  When you click a tweet from your timeline, additional information related to the author and subject of the tweet shows up in the right column.  Twitter has teamed up with a bunch of social media sites (including DailyBooth, DeviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube) so that when you click a person’s tweet in your timeline, an attached image or video will instantly appear in-line in the right column; no more clicking links and being forced to view media content in a separate portal.  And if a tweet is geotagged with a location, a miniturized map will show up in the column too.

Now don’t go too crazy.  The 140 character limit and all integral aspects of Twitter are staying the same.  This is purely a relaunch of the site design to make things more streamlined and accessable.  The new Twitter is currently being rolled out as a preview to limited number of users.  The redesign will be pushed out to all users “eventually.”  It shant be too long I presume.  Look after the break to watch an introductory video.

[Via TwitterBlog; NewTwitter] (Click here for more…)

Twitter rolls out “Suggestions for You”

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on August 4th, 2010

So you have a Twitter account and you follow your friends and a handful of celebrities.  What if I told you there was a way to follow even more people (and potentially gain more followers) who share similar interests as you?  A new feature called “Suggestions for You” now located in the Find People section does just that!  The Twitter relevance team has discovered a way to harness an algorithm that can “suggest people you don’t currently follow that you may find interesting.”  Factors including people you follow and the people they follow are taken into considertation when you use the new tool.  Login to your Twitter account and see what’s suggested to you.  If you happen to find someone you’re interested in following, click “Follow”; if the results include people you’re not interested in following, click hide and the tool will remember not to suggest those persons again.

[Via TwitterBlog]