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The best of 2006…

Following up on last year’s post, here’s the 2006 rundown of the sites and services that I plain old refuse to live without. While I limited it to 5 last year, there’s just too much good stuff this year. Here’s the honors list:

  1. — Sure, I put in the first spot last year, too, but I can’t imagine what I did before it came along. Best service going.
  2. — I love this site. Lots of folks seem to talk about Pandora as an equal, but I think beats it hands-down. It seems to play the right song everytime.
  3. O’Reilly Safari — O’Reilly launched this a couple of years ago, but it’s come on strong lately, increasing their book selection to include business texts as well as technical references. While I don’t use it religiously, I still haven’t considered ending my subscription. They’re definitely onto something here.
  4. YouTube — Um. Duh. Is there anyone on the Web who doesn’t use YouTube regularly?
  5. Ballbug — While I still spend more time with tech.memeorandum, its kid brother provides me the information I used to not have the time to get to. And with only two months until spring training starts, you can bet I’ll use it even more.
  6. FlockFirefox 2.0and IE 7 got all the press, but Flock might demonstrate where browsers are going better than either. I switched to it pretty exclusively until Firefox 2.0 came along, and still use it a couple times a week. And yes, I do refuse to link to IE 7. You can just do so much better, Redmond-ites. For one thing, you could let me save RSS feeds to…
  7. Bloglines — OK, Google Reader has made some nice changes lately, but Bloglines still works better for me. I’m curious to see how this plays out in 2007.
  8. Google Analytics — Along with MyBlogLog, it provides me all the information I need to run this site. Surpisingly powerful for its cost (that is, free), particularly when compared with heavy hitters like Omniture or Hitbox. It provides the best of the basics, along with a handful of more sophisticated analytics. Well worth checking out for your site’s metrics.
  9. FeedBurner — I had to get FeedBurner in here someplace. Almost half my regular readers get their daily dose through my feed alone.
  10. Meebo — I don’t know what’s going to happen to a site like Meebo if we ever get interoperability among messaging standards, but, until then, what a great tool.
  11. I felt this list wouldn’t be complete without at least a couple of blogs that I also can’t do without, especially since I’m seriously behind in updating my blogroll. Along with the regulars of Anne, Robbin Steif, and Fred Wilson, I’m a huge fan of Sam Decker, John Jantsch, and David Armano, too. Enjoy them.

Much like last year, I’ve got an honorable mention, and once again, it’s Google. While some backlash is beginning to make the rounds, they still do so many things so right. Along with Analytics and Reader mentioned above, their Docs & Spreadsheets, News, personalized home page, AdSense, Desktop, etc. provide so much value. Oh, and if you haven’t heard, they also bought YouTube. I’m with Richard MacManus on this one. They’ve had quite a year.

Update &mdash Michael Arrington and C0. have a comparable list. Well worth checking out. 800-Free-411 was new to me and particularly cool. Enjoy!

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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