Websites I find useful
So the meme… I agree with Stephane that five is a bit limiting. Some of the “big ones” are bound to fill most, if not all, of the five spots. Hence, ten it is.
It’s hard to beat Google. Not just in search, but their entire plethora of web apps these days. I’m a big fan of Google Docs, Google Reader, and Google Calendar especially.
Not such a bit fan of GMail I must admit. “Conversation mode” and sub-par filtering are really not winning with me
Is Facebook really useful, or just fun / a waste of time? Well, it’s both for me. Living abroad and traveling as much as I do, it’s a really useful tool for me to keep up with friends and family.
Micro-blogging, once you get the hang of it (and stop sharing updates between Facebook and Twitter all the time!), makes a lot of sense. A good way to keep on top of things, professional and personal. (although to be fair, it’s mostly the Twitter APIs I use, as I very seldom visit the actual site but always use 3rd party client)
Although Facebook wins on the “social photo handling” so far (can we have three cheers for people tagging, which Flickr also just added support for), Flickr wins in openness, full size photos, organization capabilities, 3rd party integration, groups, etc — which is to say, just about everything else than “fun photo album silliness”.
When I have to book flight tickets, Kayak takes the prize for me. It just works, ‘nuff said.
SeatGuru is a pretty useful tool when you have to chose the seat on your flight. It has a database over most carriers’ planes and have details about each seat. Handy to find a seat which has power for example, where you are not sitting halfway in the restrooms, etc. Indispensable for long flights.
Dopplr is yet another social network, focusing on travels. So now that I have booked my flight, and found my seat, using the two sites above, I use Dopplr to spread the word about my travel so that I can (re-)connect with people I know. Its rival TripIt is basically the same, although their email parsing seems a tad better (for automatically adding itineraries). Still, there’s something about Dopplr that I like better.
Wikipedia has turned out to be the de facto fact finding place on the net, in spite of it being all user generated with all the issues that potentially have. Even so, when I look for facts, it is not exactly a matter of life and death, so it is ok that it could be a bit incorrect.
Amazon has turned into the Wal-Mart of the web it seems, and has also started to be my first destination for shopping online. They have almost everything. Especially now that I have a Kindle, I’ve fallen in the big Amazon trap for books especially. Besides that, for the more geeky people, they also have “this tiny web service business” on the side, which is wicked cool.
Last, but not least, I am an avid “scrobbler”, and send most of my music listening history to Last.fm. Not only does it give me a history of my music listening, but also makes it possible to find recommended artists, find “musical neighbors”, concerts in my area, etc. Moreover I can also check out what my friends are listening to these days. (It will be interesting to see what will for last.fm, with Spotify, Pandora, rd.io, Vevo, etc. all maneuvering around in that space)
Then for the passing the baton / tagging people. I normally do not like these chain things, but here’s a try for the heck of it :)