A whole batch of good new stuff – Part 2: Web Sites

I read the other week that the average person in Western Europe now spends four hours a week online; I think this must make me special, I’ve just done some quick maths and I’m certain that I spend over thirty hours a week online. Admittedly a lot of that is for work (working on customer sites) so that probably shouldn’t count.

Anyway, there are a few sites that I have found over the last few months that either help me with keeping bookmarks organised, discover new sites or sites that are just interesting. I’ve listed some of them below. All of these sites are free to use.

del.icio.us

When I first heard about del.icio.us I thought was a pointless site and could see why anyone would want to use it. However having played with the site it soon became apparent that it actually was quite useful.

So what is del.icio.us about?

del.icio.us is a collection of favorites – yours and everyone else’s. You can use del.icio.us to:

  • Keep links to your favorite articles, blogs, music, reviews, recipes, and more, and access them from any computer on the web.
  • Share favorites with friends, family, coworkers, and the del.icio.us community.
  • Discover new things. Everything on del.icio.us is someone’s favorite — they’ve already done the work of finding it. So del.icio.us is full of bookmarks about technology, entertainment, useful information, and more. Explore and enjoy.

I mainly use del.icio.us to bookmark stuff that I think may come in useful later. I’ve never really bothered bookmarking stuff in the browser before because you can end up with huge long lists of bookmarks (or favourites) and no easy way to search and organise them. del.icio.us is different because you add “tags” to your bookmarks to add meaning. Tags are single keywords that you can search for later. Very handy.

Del.icio.us can also be good for finding stuff that you are struggling to find with a search engine, you can search through everyone else’s favourites as well as your own, someone is bound to have bookmarked whatever it is you’re after.

stumbleupon

Stumbleupon is similar to del.icio.us insofar as it’s a collection of people’s favourites. Where it differs is the way you get at those favourites.

You register on the site and fill in a form that describes the sorts of sites you are interested in seeing, then you download the stumbleupon toolbar for the browser. This gives you a number of functions, the most important being the “Stumble!” button; every time you click stumble you are taken off to a new site that people have tagged as being in one of the categories you are interested in. you can tag pages to stumble upon which others will then be taken to.
Try it out, you’ll be hooked.

flickr

flickr is a massively popular photo sharing site. That’s it in a nutshell.

You can upload your photos, tag them to add more meaning. Add a description, you can even sign up for one of their blog accounts if you don’t already have a blog. You can choose whether or not to make your photos public, or you can just share your photos with you friends and family.

I haven’t used flickr a huge amount yet, but I suspect I will when the new baby arrives.

local.live.com

There are plenty of websites with maps on; but local.live.com from Microsoft has something that (as far as I’m aware) no other site does: “Bird’s Eye View”!

To give you an idea of what to expect this is a screen shot (scaled down) of Worthing pier. You can see it in more detail along with the rest of the town here. Click on the link and then press the birds eye view option.