I’m completely obsessed with movie soundtracks - often torturing late-night dinner guests with Schindler’s List and On Golden Pond themes. If I had a shred of musical talent and could compose music, I would absolutely be scoring films. Alas, I’m relegated to geeking out over amazing composers instead….here’s my top-ten list which I fully reserve the right to revise at any time.
9) Victorious, Ennio Morricone - The Untouchables, 1987: He’s just genius - the first, but not the last time on this list.
8) Suo Gan, the Ambrosian Junior Choir, conducted by John Williams - Empire of the Sun 1987: So fitting for the story to have a young choir kick the movie off.
7) Vide Cor Meum, Patrick Cassidy and Hans Zimmer - Hannibal 2001: Creepy film, awesome song and scene.
6) First Sleep, Cliff Martinez - Solaris, 2002: Sexy, sultry & sci-fi - just like the film, an expert blend of the three…supporting one of the most amazing love stories.
5) The Mission Theme, Ennio Morricone, - The Mission, 1986: This is one where I knew the score before I ever saw the film, having missed it until about a decade later.
4) Theme from Schindler’s List, Itzhak Perlman, John Williams & Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra - Schindler’s List, 1993: It’s so hard to even comment on this one. I remember sitting alone in a theater seeing the film for the first time and just sobbing at the atrocities on the screen.
3) On Golden Pond, Main Title, Dave Grusin - On Golden Pond, 1981: Perfectly captures the emotional sentiment and setting of the movie.
2) Cinema Paradiso , Ennio Morricone - Cinema Paradiso, 1988: I can barely listen to this without tearing up. Barely.
1) Building the Barn, Maurice Jarre - Witness, 1984: You can hear them building the layers of the house as the layers of the song build upon each other.
Paprika - amazing recipe app for novice to expert cooks. Fav features include an in-app kitchen timer, super smart cross-recipe grocery list (groups ingredients and organizes by store department), and in-app browser that pulls recipe components into a consistent format for ingredients, directions, tags, etc.
It’s a good and bad thing that I’m a bit of a tech early mainstreamer and in this case it didn’t pay off. Returning my Jawbone UP device for a refund tomorrow as should everyone - no questions asked, refund. However - the concept is valid - how bored are you on the treadmill? What would you give for a personal assistant to get on ya for sleep, water intake, food choices and over all movement - we all would.
My best to all of the folks who take this concept and build on it - I loved the focus on sleep, mood - brilliant!
Bring on the next gen gadget - and for those 2 people who read this - I promise to indicate when I’m on a trial vs. recommend a buy. Lesson learned - *bows*
Recently, I had the opportunity to work with a client who was facing what is becoming a common dilemma among marketers. Their budgets were cut drastically, they had the same workload as before the cuts and had aggressive revenue growth targets for the coming fiscal year. Sound familiar? Me too.
So - what was especially interesting was that each agency the client was working with had obviously done a lot of work in the previous year, and there were efforts to integrate social, digital, advertising, etc on a tactical level - but somewhere along the way an imbalance occurred that compromised the client’s business goals altogether. The problem - a lack of integrated “new” marketing strategy exacerbated by the “new” (read: chaotic) marketing services landscape.
To state the obvious, everything is changing. There’s massive change occurring in the way we work, play, connect, learn & live. It’s exhilarating and sometimes very overwhelming. While I don’t know that my point of view is unique, I’m certain there are folks in my network struggling with the same things I am so I thought I’d share a few thoughts on navigating life 2.0.
Be Your Own Start-Up - There’s never been more of an opportunity to design your own path to success. Considering the boom of new industries, the fact that on people hold 10+ jobs on average in a lifetime, the amount of educational content online and now-boundless networking opportunities there is no excuse for complacency. Which leads me to….
Set & Track Goals - Struggling with time management myself while working in social media marketing I found a great e-book that reminded me of this fundamental, but with an approach I adore. Jim’s process starts with with identifying your core values and then setting lifetime, 6-months-to-live, annual and quarterly goals. This is an invaluable way to ensure your goals are well-rounded and include both your personal and professional passions.
Filter - Focus is the New Competitive Advantage - I am the worst offender of sometimes over-committing and hyper-socializing with my network of friends, family and colleagues. I’m addicted to people and social media has been the best and worst thing to happen to me! However, I learned quickly to be extremely selfish with my time and how I spend it - being raised as an only child helped this immensely. There is no way to know everything, read everything or publish everything possible - so pick the best sources and do your best to block out the time wasters (like reading the same thing retweeted 50 times).Some examples, limit your twitter feed to 2-3 sources per category of interest, use G-mail/Outlook filters to de-clutter your inbox (yes, retailers, I’m looking at you) and timebox yourself on Facebook.
Don’t Burn Bridges - For Real. - This sage, and obvious advice has never been more important than in the digital age. Pretend you have ratings & reviews tied to your existence for life. You do. Aim for 5 stars in all your interactions in business and in life.
Unplug - Again, I’m working on this one myself, but I know after spending the past year in a very balanced work environment that emphasizes quality of life in support of quality of work how important this is. Eight hours of sleep, mediation, yoga, feeding your brain, exercising, whatever your mix, prioritize it and back away from the technology enough to recharge.
Most of all - establish your own best practices and share them. We are all adapting and by no means is the above comprehensive enough to address the rate or spectrum of change happening in our lives.
You probably know all the ways this can be made healthy so I won’t bore you, but what I will say is that the prep is totally worth it and don’t be scared of all the peppers - I cut back and it was too mild. Especially for Texicans!
I’m not switching over to a paid subscription just yet. Here are a few reasons why (and yes I know ads are typically a reason TO switch - see #1 & #3):
1) Limited catalog: last week I used Pandora and Spotify side by side all day hoping to justify investing in a Spotify subscription rather than iTunes. I was unable to find 7 of 9 songs on Spotify that I’d identified on Pandora. I’ll remain a free user for now.
2) Holy app-hostage: For the record, I tweeted that this bugs me about Skype as well. When I close an app, I want it to close. For real. Like every other app that has ‘minimize’, ‘fullscreen’ and ‘exit’ shortcuts at the top right corner (which is all of them). Otherwise, replace the exit “X” with an icon symbolizing that I only kind of want to close it, but want something a little stronger than just “minimizing” it. Maybe a winking smiley?
3) Ad screen saver: I get that as a lowly non-subscriber I have to deal with ads - but having to click around the ad splash page every time I pull the app window up on top of audio ads and standard display is over the top. Subscription-based software apps are exponentially growing in number - discretionary income, not so much. So before ruining my free experience expecting I will pay - try addressing #1 and showing me that you care about my eyeballs which bring in the ad revenue to support you until then.
4) Audio ad irrelevance: Okay this wasn’t a planned inclusion, but as I was writing this, an audio ad for a Tejano album interrupted my best of Madonna playlist on Spotify. Wherefore art thou contextual merchandising rules? Granted, I dig Los Lobos and a number of other Hispanical acts - - but Conjunto is reserved strictly for family weddings in West Texas. Want my ad click, try again.
5) Music discovery: Friend playlists < My music genome (i.e. Pandora): Don’t get me wrong - I love, love, love seeing my friends’ playlists on Spotify - at least the ones who like the same genres as I do. But that’s as smart as Spotify is - the friend + genre, which is a nice supplement to my music genome on Pandora. But my music genome is fed by 25 stations that I’ve created and refined based on secondary and tertiary attributes of music - and that I can blend together using quickmix for the ultimate can’t-decide-what-I’m-in-the-mood-for day. (i.e. most)
It’s not enough now to create a super cool app - at this point, there are category leaders across the board and in the event that I do try, buy or license your app when I already have an incumbent in a category (fitness, music, etc) I’m looking for the business case to switch, or um, not. Meanwhile, I’m sticking to my current mix of:
Pandora One Premium (paid) for finding music that I then test drive on Spotify (free subscription) until I decide I really need to buy on iTunes where all my other paid music is sourced. For now anyway.