Inspired by Michael Arrington over at Techcrunch, (which is really my polite way of saying I totally ripped off his idea), I thought I’d give a quick rundown of the sites and services that I started using extensively in the last year, and would rather not live without. I decided to limit it to my top 5, and checked my history file just to see if anything surprising popped up. Here’s the honors list:
- del.icio.us — I can’t imagine how I lived prior to having this. Years ago, I wrote a Perl script to scan and merge my bookmarks files on all my computers so I could post it to my website. del.icio.us does it so much better and so much easier. It meets my ultimate requirement for software (or just about any other product): it does exactly what I’d expect it to do with almost no effort on my part.
- MyBlogLog — Another great feature that now replaces an old Perl script (actually since retired for a PHP version. Still, you get the point). Wonderful service, and one I highly recommend.
- WordPress — OK, this is one that’s only recently entered my life, but works so much better than Blogger for me. As big a fan as I am of Google as a company, they might want to take a look at what the Open Source crowd is offering these days.
- tech.memeorandum — Tells me what I want to know, when I need to know it. It’s replaced Cnet, Engadget, Gizmodo, and Google News’ tech page as the first thing I check. Beat out Digg, which I also like a whole bunch, by a whisker to gain this spot.
- LinkedIn — I’m becoming more reliant on LinkedIn all the time. It keeps me connected to any number of people, and has helped me locate others I didn’t know I needed to know. Technology is only one part of the job; people is the other, larger part. Technology that helps me manage the people part more effectively makes my life much simpler. I know it’s not as sexy as MySpace in the whole social software realm, but it works for the world I live in so very, very well. I’ve actually been using LinkedIn for more than a year, but as with all network effect kinds of things, it’s taken some time to achieve critical mass in my world.
The nice thing about writing this post is that I get to make the rules for it. So I’m sneaking in a couple of “honorable mentions,” which are the sites I use a lot, but aren’t necessarily new to me (or, frankly, almost anyone else). Without further ado, I’ve got to give props to both Google and Yahoo, both of which manage to innovate (or acquire innovators and integrate them) succesfully. Google Maps, Flickr (which Yahoo bought), Pixoria (the Konfabulator people, which Yahoo bought), del.icio.us (which Yahoo bought… I’m seeing a trend here), etc., continue to provide useful tools that increasingly shape how I get things done.
2006 ought to be fun…