10 February 2010

Five sites I can't live without
(other than the obvious ones)

There are a lot of websites out there, but I wanted to list a few I can't live without (not counting e-mail, facebook, Twitter or Google -- those are given). Some of these are related to my creative endeavors, some are just for fun. But you will always find these in my bookmarks file.

1. last.fm

It seems like everybody is working with Pandora these days, but for now -- at least until I find time to let Pandora figure out my musical tastes -- last.fm is the internet radio station for me. Type in an artist, and bam! You get an entire radio station built around that artist. You can also create stations built around more than one artist. As far as internet radio goes, I'm first for last.

2. Dictionary.com

I know, I know, there's nothing like a giant-sized hardbound volume of the Oxford English Dictionary sitting on the shelf to impress people with your reference book collection. But when I'm working on the computer, dictionary.com does the job just fine. I use the thesaurus feature more often than the dictionary, and I find that it serves me well.

3. bit.ly

When I first got onto twitter, I sent a direct message to one of my friends asking what all the "bit.ly" links went to. There's nothing quite like showing your ignorance when you're first starting out. I quickly learned that if you're going to share your life in 140 characters, you need something to shorten your hyperlinks. Bit.ly is it. I love this link shortener, especially they way it tracks clicks on your links. It gives me a thrill to see people actually clicking on the link to this blog moments after I upload a new post.

4. Media Matters for America

Last year, when the healthcare debate started heating up, many of my conservative friends started spewing out all kinds of figures and rhetoric, much of it gleaned from talk radio and Fox News. Media Matters, headed by eminent journalist David Broder, takes conservative media to task for distortions and outright lies. I love this site. Keep callin' 'em out, lefties!

5. Scribd

I haven't used this site in a while (thanks to the ongoing-and-unannounced hiatus for "Committed"), but it is an incredibly effective tool for me when I'm posting episodes on my website. Thanks to scribd, I can output a PDF file directly from InDesign, upload it, and then get code for embedding in my site. I'm sure there are better ways to do this, but for a (mostly) non-technical guy like me, Scribd fits the bill.

1 comment:

Walt said...

hey have you seen "//about:blank"? I love when I open my browser and there is nothing there. It makes me appreciate the internet, just long enough before I start surfing and realize I should be doing something else.