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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Guardian's Top 100 Sites

Guardian of UK has come with a well compiled list of top 100 sites in 20 different categories. Excerpts with edits and my views added:

Millions of users now find it hard to imagine life without the internet - without email, instant messaging, web search engines and online trading or gaming. Over the past decade since Online was launched, it's the web that has made the difference. It has made it easier to access all the net's facilities, and encouraged a huge explosion in the number and diversity of websites. With the web still expanding, Guardian has taken the opportunity to ask Online's readers, contributors, and some of the Guardian's journalists to suggest the 100 most useful sites. It is a sign of the vast reach of the web that it was constricting to have to limit coverage to 20 categories with only five sites in each - a lot of great sites have not made the cut.With more and more information coming online, the benefits of being connected can only increase, and in the next decade, few lives will remain untouched by the web.

Category :Blogs

Typepad has unseated blogger.com as our favourite personal publishing tool. Like Blogger, it will also host your site - although you have to pay - but it will let you transfer your own domain name over too. A high level of control over content and layout, plus decent default templates top it off. Statcounter shows who's visiting your site, and helps you understand why they're there. Technorati lets you see who's linking to you. Blogdex shows what the blog community is obsessing about. Once you've mastered writing a blog, start the radio version with iPodder.org

Category :Buying and Selling

The theory used to be that the net let you spend less time shopping, freeing you up for more interesting stuff. Now it's become clear that the net has drawn many into the shopping experience more deeply. EBay remains the most amusing place to browse. The small sellers in Amazon's Marketplace are great for tracking down deleted/out of print items. The shopping search site Kelkoo allows you to research products, compare prices and find out if the stores are signed up with the Isis (Internet Shopping is Safe) trust mark scheme. The Apple iTunes Music Store could do with some tweaking pricewise, but it still looks like the future of music retail. For offbeat gifts and early adopter gizmos try Josh Rubin's Cool Hunting blog.

Category :Community

You should be able to find a community for any interest, however niche, on the web - but for geek news, the best port of call is Slashdot. Orkut, a site that lets you communicate with friends of friends has replaced Friendster as the peer network du jour, but those wanting to focus on their local area might visit Craigslist, an eBay-meets-Loot which now has sites for London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Dublin. Del.icio.us is a bookmark manager that lets you store and organise your web favourites and then share the sites you browse with others, while Flickr is an online photo gallery that lets other people look at (and comment on) your pictures

Category :Email

Hotmail is the free email service everyone knows. It's also dangerous, because Microsoft will delete all your messages if you don't log on every 30 days. However, it's an obvious choice for people who use Microsoft Messenger, MSN Spaces (Microsoft's new blogging service), and Internet Explorer, because they all work together. But if you just want web-based email, go for Yahoo. It is cleaner and faster, and you can forward email to a phone or pager. Yahoo only provides 100 megabytes of free space, whereas Hotmail provides 250MB, and Google's Gmail a gigabyte (1GB). One drawback with Gmail is that you cannot sign up: you have to be invited. My first choice is Bluebottle. It's free, it offers 250MB of storage, and as well as web access, it supports POP3 and Imap, so you can use a proper email program from copy.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"