Organizing Your Social Network and Other Online Accounts with Digsby and Hootsuite

If you have a lot of accounts from different social networks and online services (like me), then you may find it clunky to logon to various websites,  email accounts, and chat applications just to keep you updated with your social circles or message someone from your contacts. This is hard to manage and totally time consuming. Luckily, there are tools that can help you organize these accounts more efficiently.

Digsby: IM + Email + Social Networks

Courtesy of digsby.com

Courtesy of digsby.com

Digsby is my ultimate weapon of choice for tracking my online stuff. It’s a chat client, email client, and social media manager rolled into one neat application. Updates from your social media are displayed real time through a popup. You can manage your contacts from different chat applications and message them on the fly. You can even check your notifications and Timeline if applicable to your accounts. It also comes with an email feed which has shortcuts to common features like open, delete, and mark as read. Digsby hosts a wide array of platforms:

  • Google
  • Windows Live
  • Yahoo
  • AOL/AIM
  • Facebook (of course)
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • ICQ
  • LinkedIn
  • Jabber
  • POP Email
  • IMAP Email

With Digsby, it won’t be necessary to open a web browser or another chat client (Except if your’re using Skype XD).


HootSuite: Social Network Management

Hootsuite

Courtesy of hootsuite.com

If your only concern is managing your social network accounts, then Hootsuite may satisfy your needs. It features a dashboard style of presentation, organizing each account into tabs and each feed into streams. A stream may display marks when you receive new updates like posts, photos, and messages. I tried this when TweetDeck removed its connectivity with LinkedIn which is such a shame. Other than the default social network sites supported by the application, it also features an app directory which acts like a plugin to provide more connectivity to your other online accounts like youtube, tumblr, even RSS feeds which is great now that google reader will shut down by July. Not all of the apps are free though. The supported platforms are listed below:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook (duh)
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+ Pages (Only the pages  feature, not the actual stream)
  • Foursquare
  • MySpace
  • WordPress (See you your posts as well other blog posts from your subscription)
  • Mixi (Popular social netowrk in Japan)
  • App Directory (Youtube, Tumblr, RSS, Instagram, Evernote, and a lot more)

The main application of Hootsuite is web-based, but mobile versions are available for iOS, Android, and Blackberry.

With these tools, you can follow your online accounts across different platforms in one convenient and organized space. However, remember to utilize its features to increase your efficiency and not to reduce your productivity. (~^_^)~

One Game A Month? Challenge Accepted!

One of my goals for this year was to bring my (game) ideas to life. I’m now working for a video game company which is my dream job, but I love to develop on my own game ideas, so I join game jams and other contests as much as possible. My co-worker who is also dedicated in joining game jams alternatdev introduced me to a site called onegameamonth. As the name suggests, your goal here is to make one game per month, so you must consider the time constraint when developing your own game. Make sure that you design your game to fit with the amount of spare time you have.

Rules

There are none, and that’s the beauty of it. The founder McFunkypants intended to make this a fun activity, and he sees no fun in policing each participant, so he decided to trust each of them (yep that includes me). You have complete freedom in choosing your own tools to develop your game and even the target platform. In fact, you’re not prohibited to venture outside the realm of video games. You can also create card games, pen and paper games, board games, whatever type of medium you prefer, as long as it can be identified as a game. Porting and sequels can also be considered as a new game, so if it makes it convenient for you, then you can choose this development path.

Ownership of the Game

You own the copyright of the game. You can sell it outside if you want or monetize it in any way you see possible. The games can be distributed outside the site. The entries may also come from your previous game jams like the one I made last Global Game Jam which served as my January entry.

User Profile

You need a twitter account to join the challenge. Your games will be posted, separated by month. The activity has its own gamification system such that each participant has a set of achievements fulfilled by specific user actions. The achievements range from a simple profile update to submitting games for several consecutive months. Your profile also has its own level, which increases by gathering experience points from achievements that you unlock. Isn’t that cool? (~^_^)~.  You can even post for other roles that you need for your game. If you’re lucky enough, someone from the community might offer his or her help.

Some of the achievements that are available as a participant

A User Profile in OneGameAMonth has a record of achievements fulfilled by completing some user actions and submitting your games.

 

To be honest, I’m having a hard time keeping up with the tight schedule. After all, I have a full-time job, a blog, and some contests to participate. However, the satisfaction of finishing a new game and the improvement it brings to my game development skills are enough to keep me motivted until my twelfth game.

My Top 5 Not-So-Mainstream Martial Arts Action Stars

Ever since I was a kid, I was really amused with all the classic Kung-fu movies. Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Bruce Lee play a significant part of my childhood. With Jackie Chan now finished with his last major action movie (though he will still film more action movies without the stunts and starring roles), I felt a little sad knowing that I won’t see anymore of his death-defying-stunts and totally unique humor imbued in his well choreographed action sequences.  However, there are a lot of other Martial Arts action stars who have a great potential to follow the footsteps of this legend or even surpass him. With this, I give you my own top 5 not-so-mainstream martial arts action stars.

Some Rules First

First of all, no Steven Seagal, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Van Damme, Chuck Norris, or Bruce Lee. These men have already reached a reputation of epic proportions. I prefer those who starred in more than one action movie, except if his or her performance is really that exceptional. It’s also a big plus for me if the star doubles as the director, stuntman,  and/or fight choreographer.

The Runner-Ups

Before proceeding with the top 5, I would like to include some other action stars who are worth mentioning.

Lateef Crowder – A capoeira practitioner, this guy’s unique and fascinating art had contributed a lot in the movies that he’s in. My personal favorite is his fight with Tony Jaa in The Protector. He also starred in Tekken as Eddy Gordo, the only appropriate cast that I’ve seen in this disappointing movie.

Mark Dacascos – A very agile martial artist in my opinion, hiss fight sequences are fairly fast and well choreographed. I’ve only seen a few of his movies, but most of them have been impressive. My favorite movie is Cradle 2 The Grave where he played as the villain and fought one-on-one with Jet Li.

Wu Jing – Based on my observation, this guy has very good footwork. His fight sequences may include some noticeable ropework, but it was not obtrusive if you look at the entire choreography of his fight scenes. My only rant is that some of his movies have a depressing story. I just didn’t like it. Anyway, my favorite fight scene is in SPL, where he had a one-on-one match with Donnie Yen. This fight is totally awesome.

Now for the Top 5…

5) Scott Adkins

I first saw this guy in the movie Undisputed 2. He’s actually the antagonist in this movie, but his moves were a lot more awesome than Michael Jai White. Good thing he became the main character in Undisputed 3 which showcased what this bad-ass is really capable of. He already worked with a lot of famous action stars, including Jean-Claude Van Damme (Assassination Game), Jackie Chan (The Medallion), and Jet Li (Unleashed). He’s also the stunt double for Deadpool in X-men Origins: Wolverine. Just take a look at this film montage to see how good he is (*_*)

4) Iko Uwais

First time I watched The Raid, I was astonished on how good the Indonesian production had pulled this off. The movie had breathtaking fight scenes and excellent cinematography. More than that, the main actor, Iko Uwais also displayed a superb performance during the action scenes. Now I know the potential of the martial art Pencak Silat  when it comes to action movies, thanks to him. Before watching the said movie, I suggest checking out Merantau first. The movie has good action sequences too, but I like the other movie better. Here’s the trailer for The Raid.

3) JeeJa Yanin

Her first movie, Chocolate, was a hit in Thailand and for a good reason. The interesting plot and Jeeja’s amazing combat skills really captured the attention of the action movie fans. She also does her own stunts, and I’m telling you, her stunts are no joke at all. Just see this trailer to see what I mean. You can also catch her in the Thai-Korean movie The Kick, a good mix of Taekwondo and Muay Thai action. Highly recommended.

2) Donnie Yen

To be honest, I’m not sure if this guy is still qualified in the not-so-mainstream category. In my opinion, he’s noticeably more popular compared to the other entries in this list. In any case, he’s well known for his portrayal of Ip Manthe mentor of the late Bruce Lee. He did justice to the powerful art of Wing Chun thanks to his incredible hand speed. However, I think his best performance as an action star is seen in Flash Point. He was trained in MMA style of fighting just for this movie, and he did very well.  I never thought that I would see a UFC-like fight scene in a fast-paced manner. I commend his flexibility to use different martial arts, from Shaolin Kung-Fu to Kickboxing. He even used Jeet-Kune-Do as seen in the trailer below. Other than that, he also collaborated with some of the famous action stars like Jackie Chan (Shanghai Knights), Jet Li (Once Upon a Time in China), and Sammo Hung (SPL). For this entry, I’ll leave you with a trailer for Legend of The Fist, a continuation of the Fist Of Fury series popularized by Bruce Lee.

1) Tony Jaa

Combat skills? A certified muay-thai pro. Stunts? How about sliding under a stopping car or jumping in the middle of a circular barbed wire? I think this guy is the action star who may come close (if not equal) to Jackie Chan’s capabilities. He can do totally complex fighting scenes, specially in dealing with huge number of goons. He can perform parkour sequences like jumping on walls, swiftly passing through tight spaces, and even backflip to break lampposts. He’s popular for his starring roles for the Ong-Bak series with part 2 as my favorite series since he combined different martial arts to create a magnificent montage of fight scenes. By the way, he is a Jackie Chan fanatic himself, that he even included a scene in his movie, encountering a Jackie Chan look-alike in an airport. This movie will have a sequel which will also star Jeeja Yanin.  Just thinking about what these two can do is giving me goose bumps. I’m having a hard time which movie trailer to show here since all of his movies are really top-notch, so instead, I’m giving you a video of his live demonstration for the promotion of Ong-Bak. You’ll be amazed specially on the last part.

Next Post: Make 12 games in one year? Challenge accepted!

Random Quote – Bruce Lee

Random Quote - Bruce Lee

Left – tagabalon (http://tagabalon.tumblr.com/) cosplaying Lei from Tekken
Right – ironfiftynine (https://ironfiftynine.wordpress.com) cosplaying Marshall Law from Tekken
Photo courtesy of: tagabalon
Edited by: ironfiftynine

This quote serves as a reminder to master a desired skill rather than just tapping the surface. I find this hard to follow since I’m a man with a myriad of interests. Nevertheless, I always make it a point to continuously hone my skills in the craft that I learned for years now… programming. How about you? In what skill are you dedicated to improve?