Posts Tagged ‘Apps’

So Just Why Was Pretty Little Liars the #1 Tweeted Series for 2010?

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Number 2???

Let’s be honest, there are better shows out there – True Blood, The Walking Dead, Mad Men etc and all except Mad Men made the Television Twitter Trend Top Ten for 2010, but just why did Pretty Little Liars come in at #2 over all the the highest rated series.

According to Mashable and Read Write Web, teens don’t tweet, however the demographic for this show is decidedly teen with over a million teen viewers watching our over made up band of “heroes,” with a total weekly audience of 2.5 million – the highest ratings ever for ABC Family – coming in a whopping 41% ahead of its competition in the same time slot. Also, there has only been ten episodes of the show, so it isn’t like this is a cumulative effect over 22 eps, as the back half of the series is to be shown in early 2011 with season two (already green lighted and shooting to commence in January 2011) to hit the screens as a late Summer (US) show. Shows that are much more reflective of a tweeting demographic didn’t get up there, plus hugely successful shows such as Glee (can’t stand it) and CSI (peoples still watch that?) that came in located in the lower half of the list. If my pre-Glee blocked stream was any indication of the volume of tweets that must be required to come in at #6, I dread to think how many more tweets about Pretty Little Liars actually racked up.

I talked about the first two episodes of Pretty Little Liars a couple of weeks back and have since watched the entire front half of season 1.

This show is much more teen, tween and family orientated that HellCats, yet here in Australia on GO! it is shown at 9.30pm, with HellCats at 7.30pm. Don’t get me started on GO!’s idea of programming times (remember Chuck?) but I don’t understand why a show that is much more family friendly than HellCats is on after Vampire Diaries, a show with very young adult and supernatural themes.

Love that they are done as dolls - posable yet empty.

In the States however, it was on at an age appropriate time and racking up the ratings and as such the tweets. However it isn’t just the television show. Pretty Little Liars is taken from the very successful tween novels by the same name. Out of curiosity I did buy the first book from iBooks and found it remarkably well written. None of this unnecessary fluff that filled out JK Rowling’s later books, but crisp, clear writing with drama, suspense and real character development. It is also written for the parents who are reading with this children, leading to discussions about age appropriate issues, to ensure that their young girls learn from the mistakes of the main characters and have a strong sense of self worth so they can make the right choices. However it does all this without being preachy and a little bit salacious (as much as it can be with teens).

There are some major differences in the show to the books, but over all it stays true to the themes, plot twists, suspense and character development of the books. In my first review, I said it was intriguingly engaging crap. And to be honest, that does still hold true, but I can certainly see its appeal of the family market. Some times though I want to shake the females in that show until they demonstrate some sense.

Every cliche is in this show. Every single one. From the student having a relationship with her teacher, to the fat girl now thin and popular, to the step siblings having a technically not incestuous relationship, sister in love with her sister’s boyfriend, and let’s not forget the divorce storyline and “sexual tension” between some of the parents. Add into this a mix of Gossip Girl style texts knowing all their deepest and darkest secrets and you can see why this show is so popular.

We are pretty, but also dirty and naughty.

But being popular isn’t enough. If Twitter is about sharing information in real time (which according to Read Write Web teens are not want to do) why is Pretty Little Liars Tweet Rating so high? Some of the tweets tell the answer as they are a direct reflection of not only the books but also the show’s style – cliffhanger after cliffhanger after cliffhanger. A lot of the tweets were watchers hypothesising on what they think might happen, given their knowledge of the books and what has happened in the show. There is also an awful lot of discussion about why characters made the choices they made – whether they agree with the decisions or not – and this reflects nicely back on the books – encouraging the readers to learn from the mistakes of the characters to make the right choices. And of course, there is a fair bit of discussion on what is being worn. Looking at the most recent few pages of search results it is filled with tweet after tweet of how they can’t wait for the show to return on Jan 3rd (US release). That is one loyal fan base.

So the buy in from those watching and therefore tweeting is higher than other shows. Anecdotally, if I love a show, I tweet I am watching it, jump on the occasional discussions regarding it on twitter but that is about it, and I certainly don’t keep mentioning the show in my tweets (I am just too verbose to fit it all in), however these tweeters do and the amount of retweets is just insane.

Finally, it should be noted that I don’t actually know anyone who watches Pretty Little Liars. According to gomiso, none of my friends watch it, and it has been very slow on the uptake with viewers who use gomiso with only 120 people following (compared to the 2k+ Fringe follwers). Also, from people who read my first review of Pretty Little Liars, a whopping 83% came from the US. Now I know my blog is read predominately by Americans and Europeans but even for HowManyPandas that was pretty full on – but then given the lack of suitable time slot for the show here in Australia it isn’t that much of a surprise that there is little to no interest here.

So if we all believe Twitter is the temperature gauge to what is “so hot right now” to quote Mugatu, we should all be turning on Justin Bieber and watching Pretty Little Liars. For a deomographic that doesn’t tweet, they sure have an impact on trends.

PS. Anyone know where I can find top trends in Australia for 2010? Will even accept LMGTFY.com responses.

PPS. The Last Airbender came in at #6 on the top ten tweeted movies – I bet 99% of those tweets were about how bad this movie actually was.

Review – Foursquare

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Queensland - Where Australia Shines (on Foursquare)

Surprisingly, I was speaking to someone who is quite into social networking who didn’t “get” Foursquare. He saw it just as spam and a track, I see it as so much more. I won’t name and shame, but let’s see if I can get this acquaintance (and hopefully you) see the positives of Foursquare.

Some background:
It was initially started as a mobile phone app for NYC (yes the Big Apple), and it transforms the way you enjoy not just exciting foreign destinations, but also your own home town. It is a combination guide, game and social networking application. I don’t know anyone who is “into” the whole points thing past their first week of Foursquaring.

Some thoughts:
Where its strengths lie isn’t in just telling someone where you are, it allows you to find out what venues are “trending” (read going off), to find popular locations with the locals, and must sees that are near by. On top of this, it gives you advice, entered by people you know (as a first preference) on what to order, where to park, what to avoid and how to get there by public transport. Imagine a Good Food Guide or a Lonely Planet Book, but with up to the minute information. That is the power of Foursquare. Also, more and more venues are offering Foursquare benefits. Eg, check in, buy a book and get a free coffee, buy one main, get one entree free, be the mayor at the end of the month and get free cocktails, free meal, voucher etc.

You can also use Foursquare as a search engine to find a great tapas restaurant, places with free wifi etc – you name it – if you can tag it you or tip it – you can find it, even providing you with a nifty Google Map.

Queensland Tourism have just got on the Foursquare bandwagon, with their Shine program. They have listed 50 must see/must do places in the Sunshine State (though they missed a LOT of awesome Central Queensland locations). There is information when you log in there (not to the level or interest that the History Channel has done in the States, but it is a start). Furthermore, if you are into collecting the badges, then after 5 checkins, you receive the spanky new “Shine Seeker” badge.

But why I love Foursquare? With push activated, it tells me things as I walk down the street. For example, I couldn’t make up my mind where to have breakfast one morning, opened the app and recommendations popped up. I found one that spoke of an awesome vegetarian breakfast at a cafe about 250m from where I was standing and headed there instead of the greasy spoon places I was surrounded by.

Obviously, it means that people can find you. Just yesterday I was in a certain Superstore which I knew that a friend was visiting later in the day, yet low and behold he checked in shortly after I arrived.  We worked out where to meet, and then ended up running into more friends, a spontaneous few hours of laughter, lunch and hilarity ensued – totally due to Foursquare.

Pluses:
Discover new places and things to do.
Run into people you like.
Spontaenous fun.
Know what to order and what to avoid.
Become the mayor of your favourite place for great prizes.

Minuses:
People can spam without adding anything useful.
People can find you when you don’t want to be found (you can hide your location).
Only as good as what is put into it.

I would like to suggest this unwritten rule (now written rule) for Foursquare, if you aren’t going to add a comment, don’t Tweet where you are.

As I said, it is only as good as what you put into it, so if you love somewhere, tell the world with a tip.

#threeandahalfpandas

UPDATE: I have now got my own shiny 4sq badge for Queensland. Score!

Sorority Life – Yes one of those annoying Facebook games

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Awesome - so money CAN buy love!

A work colleague reacently mentioned Sorority Life over lunch. Normally Facebook games annoy me no end, but in the interests of science, I entered the secret world of sororities.

Premise:
You are going to uni so you join a sorority. The more events you do and “sisters” in your “house,” the more “power” you have.

Pluses:
You can make an hour of your life disappear.
Hideously addictive.
In game games.
Some nice outfits and accessories.

Minuses:
You buy your boyfriends.
You can stalk your sister’s boyfriend and steal him (apparently guys like to be stalked – who knew!).
You get cred by attacking girls not in your house – extra cred for destroying their lives.
You are encouraged to fight with other girls.
There are WalkOffs where you pit your sense of game style against another.
Since when does a uni student need 5 cars?
Not convinced I will still be playing in another 2 days.

What all good uni students are wearing these days

This game encourages rampant materialism, ego, stereotypes and just down right unacceptable behaviour.

On the other hand it is hilarious checking out what other people see as fashionable and watching guys play sorority sisters.

Oh yeah – the chick with the stupid hair in the first pic is my character – a huge failure in every aspect of the game, but at least she doesn’t have that burny sensation all the other girls have!

#twoandahalfpandas

PS> I have a pet otter – want to make something of it?

UPDATE: I am still playing it – up to level 115 now. Surprisingly enjoyable in that you can play for 5 mins twice a day and not worry about it in any way shape or form. I think I would up it to #threepandas.