Monday, October 30, 2006

Part III: Technorati, Lifehacker, Wikipedia

To continue our exploration of interesting sites to browse, we're going to touch upon Technorati, Lifehacker, and Wikipedia, each of which offers a great selection of new ideas and fun.

Technorati is a collection of blogs. Think of it as a for blogs, showcasing popular and much-discussed ideas. It provides a measurement of different popular blogs and articles.

There are a number of categories of interest - the favorites:
top favorited blogs (those blogs added as favorites to Technorati accounts)
top searches and tags
top blogs
popular internet videos
top news
top books.

Any of these categories could provide inspirations for blog postings, tags to use, new things to read, and the internet videos category provides a useful way to see what's popular on YouTube without being deluged with videos.

This site is aimed for serious bloggers, but is fun to skim through in search of new content as well. Again, searching for specifics can be difficult.

For more browsing fun, Lifehacker is a fun, and informative site. It's useful to find random facts, and it's a good addition to a Bloglines account. The content tends to be aimed at computer users with advanced understandings of Linux and operating systems, but it can offer tips for the casual computer user too.

The whole focus of the site is to make life, and computers, easier to use (which is where the site's name originates). The content varies wildly from offering screenshots of yet-to-be-released products, shortcuts to avoid voicemail greetings, to a way to easily scroll through Firefox tabs.

The site draws upon other popular tech blogs, but manages to keep their content interesting and (mostly) accessible to anyone, with the exception of some of the software and hardware "hacks." (This site defines hacks as anything that's done in an unconventional, and not necessarily detrimental, way. The example of faster movement through Firefox tabs would be considered a hack because it's useful.)

Wikipedia is another widely known site offering just about every subject imaginable. It's also often controversial since anyone can edit content on the site, which means that incorrect facts can be posted. If you're curious about both sides of the debate, Wikipedia's coverage of itself (search for Wikipedia) is fascinating to read. The article goes into far more depth than the average user might want to know, but it's still informative.

This site is a great starting point for information-gathering on nearly any subject. But, beware, the content tends to be quoted and requoted verbatim on other sites. You might have to search for an alternative means of verification if you're researching a topic.

Undoubtedly, this site is the definitive resource available online.

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