My Top 20 – Mark Gorman

Continuing an editorial strand started last week, marketing consultant, Mark Gorman, shares his top 20 blogs, websites, iPhone Apps, software tools, etc.

Gorman, whose consultancy is called Think Hard, is a former managing director of the now defunct 1576 Advertising, which he co-founded in 1994 before leaving six years ago. He is also a former chief executive of IAS SMARTS. Earlier this year, he was, among other things, taken on as a consultant at STV.

The first My Top 20 was from Edinburgh-based producer and director of advertising campaigns, Tim Maguire, with former Scottish Television reporter, Bob Cuddihy, providing the second. A third appeared the other day, from Atholl Duncan, head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland.

1. BBC.co.uk – website – “Much as the BBC's power irritates me, I can't but admire the impact this site has had on the digital landscape and with such marvellous content. I listen, online, to the Hibees on BBC Radio Scotland, on a regular basis, and my music choice is led by 6 Music which, unbelievably, might be a victim of the BBC's success. Please, no.”

2. Spotify – web application – “What can I say about Spotify that hasn't already been said? Wondrous. I heart Spotify.”

3. IMDB – website – “If you are a movie geek, nothing in the universe comes close to this spectacular website which bring a world of opinion and stats to your fingertips. This is a truly indispensable information source and with 485,000 people voting Shawshank Redemption the greatest movie of all time, with an average score of 9.1, you get the feeling that opinion is robust and credible. You only have to read the many highly articulate reviews to realise this is indeed the case.”

4. Facebook – web application – “Love it. Used to hate it.”

5. Twitter – web application – “Hate it. Never used to love it.”

6. The Lyceum Theatre Company – website – “Shows what can be done in marketing terms by being creative and imaginative.”

7. stv.tv – website – “After years in the doldrums, digitally, the new team at stv has really got to grips with its site and is seeing four-fold growth. Watch out for stv local next year.”

8. Digital Agency – blog – “Mike Coulter was a visionary for many years with not many listeners (present company excepted); it seems his time is coming rapidly, though.”

9. if – online bank – “I've banked with if since it started. It works seamlessly. Shame it's being gradually shut it down. Too successful?”

10. Metcheck – website – “Okay, I admit it. I am a movie geek. I am a music geek. But my darkest secret is that I am a weather geek. This is where to satisfy your weather cravings. Kicks the BBC's arse.”

11. Thinkbox – website – “The source of much great content about the B2B side of TV.”

12. Momentumspk – website – “Tony Harding is proving his doubters wrong by carving out a successful and interesting niche in the media world that has got the industry voting on his regular polls.”

13. WordPress.com – blogging platform – “My blogging platform of choice. Currently, I'm involved with four blogs. I won't big them up here. The point is that WordPress is such an easy platform to use that the others should get their coats.”

14. YouTube – website – “It was great. It got better.”

15. Metacritic.com/music – website – “Fab music site. It brings together all critics' views, on an album-by-album basis, and weights scores based on critical authority to give an overall score for each release (not really very good from a user-generated-content point of view). Live at Reading, by Nirvana, is this year's pick of the crop. Of the new releases, you might want to check out Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective on Spotify or YouTube of course.”

16. National rail enquiries – website – “Invaluable travel information in real time that really works. No longer do I set off for the 07:40 to Glasgow only to find out it has been cancelled because the driver took a sickie.”

17. Flickr – web application – “What a wondrous thing Flickr is. Not just as a photographic uploader but as a browser too. Billions of photos at your disposable. Lots of them great. Many that you could use in your next project. But only if you ask.”

18. The Drum – website – “Love it or hate it, the rise of The Drum's website has been fuelled by loathsome anonymous commenting. But that's what makes it fun.”

19. Teux Deux – web application – “Teux Deux (To do. Gettit?). A sweet wee application that I've just found. It's an online to do list generator. Might be rubbish but it's very easy to use.”

20. The List food and drink guide – website – “Simon Dessain and Robin Hodge have been ploughing a foodie furrow in print and now online for longer than I (or they) would care to remember. But if you are looking for somewhere to eat in Scotland, look no further.”

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