It seems like every blogger at one time or another creates a top-ten list of their favorite applications or web sites. I, on the other hand, refuse to get sucked into the whole top-ten post fad. After all, ten of anything is almost too much to consider. Respect my time, filter the list and give me your top-three, I say! So, without further adieu, here are my Top 3 Favorite Web Sites of 2005.
Where I read most of my tech news these days. If you are not familiar with Digg.com, it is a web site where individual users submit technology related stories for review, but rather than have an editor decide which stories go on the home page (wakeup, Slashdot!), the users do. The more users that “digg” a story, the more likely the story is to appear on the home page. Check it out. In my opinion, the best way to experience Digg is to subscribe to the RSS feed.
Everyone loves bookmarks, but the problem with bookmarks is that they live on one computer and if you have a lot of them, it can be difficult to find a bookmark you saved so many months ago. Del.icio.us (a funny looking address that makes use if the .us top level domain) solves both issues by allowing you to save your bookmarks online so they are accessible from any computer. In addition, you can add keywords (“tags”) to your bookmarks making it easy to search your archive. Finally, Del.icio.us allows you to share your bookmarks with others and browse the bookmark lists made public by other users to discover new things. Give Del.icio.us a try. If you are like me, you will never use your built-in browser bookmark feature again.
Google Home Page and Netvibes
As RSS feeds become more popular, I am increasingly asked which RSS reader I recommend. The truth is that I built my own RSS reader as part of a personal home / web start page I created for myself over a year ago. It seemed to me that the best place to read RSS feeds was on my home page, not in an external reader. I still feel the same way. I continue to use my hand-rolled home page application but two sites that offer a very similar (and at this point a better) experience are Google Home Page and Netvibes. (I know, two choices instead of one, but I like both for different reasons!) Netvibes is the more advanced of the two in terms of customization and RSS display features. Google, I like…well, mostly because it’s Google; perhaps I have become conditioned to the brand but they consistantly turn out great stuff. I will leave it to you to decide which you like better.
That’s it — my Top 3 Web Sites for 2005! I hope you find at least one of them useful.