Friday, July 3, 2009

The Round-Up Volume 1, Issue 29: Icons – Past, Present and Future

This week’s Digital Influentials column is dedicated to the memory of the last week, where we witnessed the unprecedented passing of three indelible icons from 80’s popular culture; Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and of course, Michael Jackson. Each one of these personalities left a lasting impact on the hearts and minds of many of us who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s and for many different reasons.

Ed McMahon is best known for his wisdom and wit and as the complementary second voice vs. that of Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, but Ed McMahon was also known for Star Search; that precursor to the plethora of reality TV talent shows we see today and who was responsible for first exposing us to today’s pop culture icons like Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Usher.

Farrah Fawcett’s face was all over the 70’s as a result of her involvement in Charlie’s Angels, but she re-emerged in the last couple of years as she battled cancer and appeared off-Broadway as well as in a number of television roles.

Michael Jackson was Michael Jackson and there’s not much else that can be said. I still remember where I was when I first watched him glide across the stage at the Motown 25. His performances were epic and he entertained hundreds of millions of people around the world. Thriller is a classic and part of the cultural canon of America if not the world.
This week we pay our respects to those pop culture characters who’ve passed as we try to identify some of the companies that are hoping to become icons in their own right. This week we point out just a few places to look…

COLLECTA ( came on the scene just a couple of weeks ago, but it seems to be making quite an impact. Collecta presents a collection of recent, real-time search results that helps you see what’s going on right now. Type in any of the names for your favorite pop culture icons and see what’s being said about them right now! It’s “Human Nature” in action.

If you just “Can’t Stop Till You Get Enough” of what’s being talked about right now, check out TINKER ( from the folks over at Glam Media Labs. Tinker gives you a more graphical way to see what’s being talked about right now, but focused on Twitter. If you “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” online, you might as well know what everyone is else is up to first!

If you Twitter quite a bit and want to know how influential you really are, then check out TWINFLUENCE ( and see for yourself. It’s a good chance to check out the “Man In The Mirror” and come to terms with what people listen to when you “Say, Say, Say” what you do through Twitter!

Following the Twitterati path that we’ve started here, let’s also check out TWITALYZER ( which is another tool for seeing how much impact and success you’re having in the micro-blogging sphere. Twitalyzer presents a “Black or White” analysis of your success online. You might not be as successful as you think, but you’re probably more successful than “Billie Jean” or “Dirty Diana”, right?

And if you’re having one of those “Bad” days where you just feeling like screaming out “Leave Me Alone”, check out BADHAP ( Bad Hap is like FML and it provides a little line of sight into what other horrible things are happening to people just like you. Somehow, hearing what sucks for other people seems to always make us feel better!

As for the world of iPhone Apps that are hoping to become the next “P.Y.T.”, check out VANS SK8 for a cool, branded skateboarding game and TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR, just because it’s EA and EA always creates cool games for the iPhone!

Thanks again for reading – now “Beat It”!

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