The wonderous web has made life a whole lot easier for most. Yes people complain about information overload, spam, useless distractions – I try to imagine my life without the world wide web and all it has to offer. Simply put, I couldn’t imagine my life without the following technologies.
Not to worry however, this list is not meant to introduce sites that you are more than likely well versed in, more as to explain why they are important to me as a user, and why they make my list of top 10.
- Google – The remaining leader in the search engine industry, with more and more competitors entering the market, it is an essential incentive for Google to improve their search algorithms and offerings – delivering the quickest and most accurate search possible for their users. Continuing to grow in leaps and bounds – I have found it increasingly hard to make the switch to any other search engines, a loyal Google user at heart I suppose!
- Twitter – A loyal user since the end of 2008, I will be the first to admit that I didn’t initially see the benefit of Twitter. As the site has dramatically grown over the past year especially, Twitter has emerged as an essential tool within the Web 2.0 space. Real time search, delivering up to date opinions and comments as they post – Twitter is an important channel to monitor. I use Twitter solely for work purposes, and I am provided helpful information and interesting links from the people I follow. Twitter also provides an open platform for me to comment freely on.
- Facebook – Keeping in touch with friends from school/overseas/another life has maintained the popularity of Facebook. Always endeavouring to change and adapt the social platform has kept Facebook fans on the toes, and apart from initial criticism (nobody likes change) has probably ensured the lasting popularity of the site. I do admit I love to see what everyone’s doing, looking at their holiday snaps, and being reminded of friends birthdays, all of which make Facebook a time-consuming and addictive social network!
- Wikipedia – As unfortunate as it was for me that my university made it very clear that Wikipedia was not be considered as reliable references, Wikipedia has stood strong as the site I can rely on for further information on anything ranging from historical events, people, places, movies, books, brands…
- Google Translate – A relatively new endeavour that will allow users to view sites from all over the world – with predictions that in “five years from now the internet will be dominated by Chinese-language content” this tool will allow us to move across the site seamlessly and without restrictions (such as language barriers).
- Tripadvisor – A site that I mention regularly in my posts (I must be a fan!), Tripadvisor and other review sites take a whole lot of stress out of planning a trip. A hotel’s site might provide you with prices, availability and (doctored) photos of their rooms,
- Google Docs – A co-collaboration tool which has made my working life a whole lot easier. Multi version documents shared through emails is now a thing of the past, with documents, spreadsheets, forms now allowing users to see the latest versions and share between colleagues. Best of all is that it’s kept on the cloud (for mishaps like crashing systems, stolen computers and not backing up your files) and you can export them if need be.
- Eatability – I take my food very seriously, and Eatability (and hundreds of other sites like it) put the power back into the customer’s hands. It allows you to choose your meals out carefully, not be scared to try new things, and in the case of a terrible meal – leave your review on the site, to warn future diners of the hazard!
- Google Books – This is the most exciting initiative I have in my list as books/reading/literature and their preservation is something I feel quite passionately about. With future generations almost certainly moving towards being 100% web based, Google’s plan to digitize books soothes my fears that stories and publications would soon be lost and forgotten.
- YouTube – Not only for entertainment reasons, but YouTube has emerged as another source of industry information in a video format. Events and conferences that are taped, vlogs, interviews, spoof videos – this site is fast growing in popularity, contents and visits. Ability to share and embed, ease of upload – YouTube has led the charge for video sharing sites online.
Honourable mention – As so many Google tools feature on my list, I wanted to save Google reader for an honourable mention. A large amount of my time is spent reading through content on the web – blogs and news sites – all aggregated into the one spot for me to read at my leisure. Ultimate time saver.
What sites empower you as a user?