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The edge of Flash

by Rob Ford

It's 5:25 a.m. here just outside of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. I have a deadline to meet — writing my Edge column. I'm pretty sure deadlines are something we all need in our lives to focus the mind. The busier we get, the more deadlines help us get things done. The same is true for the interactive world, especially in the new mobile era.

Speaking of mobile, I am just about to launch a brand new mobile showcase for FWA. By the time you read this, I am hoping it will be live — that is if we manage to hit our deadline for it. The new FWA Mobile Showcase will feature one amazing mobile project every day. I am hoping to start including at least one great mobile project in future columns, so make sure you submit your mobile projects to the new FWA Mobile Showcase.

Now let's return to our regular business...amazing websites made with Flash technology.

Cheestrings — Mr. Strings' World Tour

Cheestrings — Mr. Strings' World Tour

Cheestrings — Mr. Strings' World Tour

Site by Fallon London & B-Reel

What better way to start than with some fun? This is a two-dimensional side-scrolling racing game where you get to completely create your own racing machine and race it across the world as you join Mr. Strings on his world tour. Along the way, you'll meet hypnotic beavers, exploding pandas, and even some elusive shy cows. There are also 24 power-up codes, which were displayed on Cheestrings packs, but if you don't have a pack in hand, you can try this power-up code: 27684.

To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit www.thefwa.com/site/cheestrings-mr-strings-world-tour and click REEL.

IS Parade

IS Parade

IS Parade

Site by HAKUHODO & spicebox & Id Inc. & AID-DCC Inc. & GRAND FUNK INC.

So everyone is on Twitter these days. (I'm @fwa.) There are a lot of creative Twitter-based sites now that utilize tweets, but this site gets a bit more creative than the others because it focuses on what most people focus on themselves when on Twitter: followers. It's a very simple idea with great execution. Basically, you type in your Twitter name, and then you are shown a Twitter parade with your followers following you while holding up their avatars. This is best seen on the site itself so check out these two examples: @fwa and @Adobe. Let's join the parade.

To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit www.thefwa.com/site/is-parade and click REEL.

Adidas Match Tracker

Adidas Match Tracker

Adidas Match Tracker

Site by 180 Amsterdam/Riot & group94 & DISTRICT01

We won't even start the soccer vs. football debate here. Because I am writing this for the United States, let's just call it soccer. This is an impressive and in-depth application-style site that lets you visualize every pass, shot, formation, and goal for almost every moment of Europe's biggest soccer tournament by using real-time data from the UEFA Champions League matches. You can find out about shot distance, number of passes, body skills, and much more. This is a visual delight for stats junkies.

To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit www.thefwa.com/site/adidas-match-tracker and click REEL.

30ml

30ml

30ml

Site by Yu Yong

I love it when a creative personal portfolio site comes along, and this is a real treat from Yu Yong, who is an interactive artist based in Shanghai, China. This is another simple idea yet a very creative one. Yong uses modeling clay and stop-motion video to create a unique site that showcases her talent. Each lump of clay morphs into another as you load from one section of the site to another. The site is so intriguing that you can't help but click everything just to see what will happen next.

To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit www.thefwa.com/site/30ml and click REEL.

Battle of the Cheetos

Battle of the Cheetos

Battle of the Cheetos

Site by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners & North Kingdom

When the dream team gets together — Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and North Kingdom — you know you are in for a special treat. And this site does not fail to impress. You get to command a Cheetos army and conquer the entire World Wide Web. As you prepare for battle, you choose which website you want to battle across. You can battle across Mashable.com for example, or you can even add your own site. This site is also cleverly integrated with Facebook Connect. Enlist now.

To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit www.thefwa.com/site/battle-of-the-cheetos and click REEL.

Digital Invaders

Digital Invaders

Digital Invaders

Site by GrupoW

It's always wonderful to see some delightful two-dimensional animation, and this site has plenty. It's a site for a creative school to discover the next generation of digital thinkers, and I'm delighted to see such creativity for the website. Quite often creative school websites are bland and corporate, but this site is rightfully at the opposite end of the corporate scale. I am sure potential students will be immediately intrigued by this school, which is becoming known as the first digital school of Mexico.

To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit www.thefwa.com/site/digital-invaders and click REEL.

Allen Solly

Allen Solly

Allen Solly

Site by BC Web Wise

I was really pleased to see such a great site coming out of India. I have been watching the design and development community in India for the last ten years, and it excites me to see this level of creativity and quality production at last. I hope it's the start of a new wave. This site uses great 3D and perspective views to showcase a fashion and leisure clothing line.

To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit www.thefwa.com/site/allen-solly and click REEL.

Epilogue

Without consciously trying, I managed to select sites from all over the world today — the United Kingdom, Japan, the Netherlands, China, the United States, Mexico, and India. This is why the Internet is such a global revolution and an unstoppable force. It also proves how creativity is everywhere in the world, and the stage is there for everyone to enjoy and exploit. I feel privileged to be in a position to bring all of this together in my column on Adobe's website. In fact, it has been almost four years since I started writing these columns. Maybe I should do a special edition roundup of the best landmark Flash sites I have written about? If you'd like to see such a column, let us know.

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Rob Ford founded The FWA Network in May 2000 and since then the network has received over 150 million visits. The FWA Network showcases projects that use cutting edge technology for desktop, mobile and offline, together with showcases for photography as well as video. Rob is also the author of three bestselling books of web and mobile. Check out The FWA Network.