Monday, August 07, 2006

20 of my most favourite websites

With over four months to go until the list-making nirvana that is the end of the year I thought I'd satiate my list-making appetite with a quick round up of some my most favourite websites by category. These aren't the cool new kids on the block but the sites which I come back to day after day. You should already have most of them bookmarked. If not, I heartily encourage you to do so. Better still, post them to your profile :-)

Auction: eBay - don't throw away your useless junk, sell it!
Audio: Odeo - thunder unfairly stolen by iTunes podcast directory
Blog: - never a dull moment with Mr. Coates
Bookmarking: - still the best in its field
Competition: Photo Friday - behold the power of the aggregator!
Email: Yahoo! Mail Beta - drag and drop email. on the web. lovely
Film: IMDb - the premier resource for any self-respecting film buff
Finance: smile - the way banking should be (ethical)
Maps: Google Maps - watch out multimap, there's a new sheriff in map town
Music: - a genuine innovation in music discovery
News: BBC News - quite simply in a league of its own
Personalised homepage: netvibes - still my homepage after 3 months
Photography: Flickr - quite possibly the most finely crafted website ever
Reference: Wikipedia - how did we manage without it?
Retail: Amazon - loving that long tail...
Search: Google - still the daddy, still not evil (hopefully)
T-shirts: Threadless - awesome business model, awesome site
Travel: TripAdvisor - never stay in a shit hotel again
Video: Vimeo - smoother than silky the silk worm's silk pyjamas
Web stats: StatCounter - stats can be fun!

(Yes, t-shirts did warrant it's own category...)


Anonymous said...

But why does Ebay have such a god awful interface, and pathetically low standards for sifting out multiple submissions, commercial (aggregated) v personal (individual) sales, and terribly heterogenous product summaries in the header line. Rarely has a category-killing product been so bad.

And asking users to use HTML to break their summary paras! You get huge dollops of text. Web 1.0 is still failing to breakthrough in parts of this site, let alone 2.0.

As for delicious, if you upload by accident a load of dodgy bookmarks (e.g. preinstalled commercial rubbish), woe betide you: you need another bunch of apps to get rid of them. Delicious is a bit too cool for school.

As for BBC, coverage is wide and the site is robust: but articles are badly categorised, such that whether it is a piece of reportage, op-ed, fun 'magazine' feature, or what is lost in the melee, and the site structuring doesn't solve this. Depth wise, tech reporting is atrociously bad (seems to be aimed at not very tech 12-year-olds; "this is a mouse, yes funny I know!"...not quite, but not far off - Click journalists are imbeciles and Bill Thompson is an outrageous bore and pseudo-iconoclast), and much of the rest (cf. my article on the site! and also my private debate with the enviro editor Richard Black, which I can share at some point) is 'balanced' by ridding a problematic situation of real objectivity in favour of a status quo. The number of times when a piece that is 'safe' has links to mentioned entities, against times when, if it is 'not safe', it has no links, is very high. I think the huge tsunami of user-content, swamping original copy by many orders of magnitude on many items (look at what a Pandora's box of irritation the Editors' Blog unleased), will radically change the site. And the f****ing video player with it's withered list of useless categories, and the fact that links to video mostly don't work in Safari, etc. What a waste of space. BBC may be ahead - and I need make no comment on the genuinely splendid radio player, sanity reigns! - but that's because there is no competition! is still too much of a 'peaches and gravy' generator for me, and I remain irritated by the Gracenote-style appropriation of public generated information: Pandora is my bag.

If you'd squeezed a category for blog search on there, and put Technorati on top, I would have been able to rail against another hard to use site: google, or google news, is often better than Technorati (as it is better that so many other search sites).

...cantankerous, moi?

Other than that, of the stuff I know, I sort of agree!

Anonymous said...

But what's your favourite radio website?