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2011 Web Browsing - How Times Change!
Other websites...you love, hate or can't do without!
Member Name: NinjaBaz
Other websites...you love, hate or can't do without!
Advantages: It's the net, it's awesome!
Disadvantages: Couldn't be without it!
I've written a few reviews since finding the time to 're-join' the site after a period of absence and I'm proud and thankful to have received 2 crowns this week. However, I now need to recharge my creative batteries so I'm going to revisit what I was looking at on the net in 2009, and provide an updated review here for a bit of light relief!
I originally wrote my 'Top 10 Websites' review over 2 years ago. Things have changed in my life quite considerably since then. I have become a father for the first time and now have a 17 month old boy. I also found myself a job as I was unemployed at the time of writing. My hobbies, interests and internet habits have changed somewhat since then, so here goes with my 'all new, browsing review!'
I'll not review any of the original sites in my Top 10 such as Facebook, eBay, Dooyoo, HotUKdeals etc. as nearly everybody lists them, and they've been done to death. I'd like to focus on a few websites that might not be so well known amongst the masses, in no particular order.
This is a social networking site that I never really understood the point of. To me it started out like a 'text-only' version of Facebook, using commands such as # (hashtag) and @ (at) to communicate with other people. As it has developed, Twitter has grown in popularity and is widely used by famous sportspeople, actors, presenters etc. not only to keep in touch with their 'showbiz buddies', but to allow their fans to take a peek into their everyday lives. I'm not one who goes in for worshipping the famous, but I do think it helps to know that they are just ordinary people outside of the limelight.
Using Twitter you now have the ability to post links to pictures and celebrities quite often host competitions on their Twitter profile to win items such as scripts, personal items, sporting equipment and pretty much anything they might have in their possession. I don't post much on Twitter as only 3 people 'follow me', but I find it quite interesting to see how the rich and famous live.
This is a new social networking website, but instead of focusing on staying in touch with groups of friends, this site focuses on communicating and getting to know the people that live in your local area. Simply enter your postcode then select your address to begin the simple registration process. Once registered, the idea is that the other people in your street join up and gain access to the street's message board.
You can send a message out if you're selling something, looking to buy something, want to share a lift with someone, organise a street party, discuss a problem or would like someone to sign for a parcel for example.
One of the coolest uses of this site I think is that a local business could sign up and offer a discount to people living locally. This could get them extra business and make people aware that they have a convenient plumber living just around the corner! It could also save them a bit of money at the same time.
Seems an interesting concept, something a bit different and more useful than posting inane status updates every 10 minutes on Facebook!
I signed up to this site just after I bought my recently reviewed Fuji S1800 Camera. MyFinepix site is based around a forum for Fuji owners, with members offering their expertise and advice for less experienced users. The site runs a monthly themed competition with excellent prizes on offer for the winners, including £200 Digital Cameras! Each member is awarded space on the website to host their own gallery, which is accessible for all other members to write comments or constructive criticism. Members can discuss photographic techniques, equipment and pretty much anything to do with taking photographs. I find it a great help as a beginner and look forward to seeing how my photos start to improve as I take more information on board.
Following on from myFinepix, I've found digicamhelp.com to be extremely helpful when trying to learn about using the functions on my new camera correctly. All manner of advice can be discovered here, from explaining shutter speed and aperture to taking pictures in light and dark conditions. It really does explain things in an easy to understand way and I recommend anyone wanting to improve their photography knowledge to stop by and have a browse.
I've used this site to buy cheaper compatible cartridges for my new Canon printer, since a work colleague recommended them a few weeks ago. The cartridges arrived the day after I ordered and the few empty tanks I've replaced so far have continued to work as the originals did. I received email confirmation of dispatch just a few hours after placing the order, so I've promptly added this site to my bookmarks for future use.
NSNO stands for Nil Satis Nisi Optimum, and is the Everton Football Club motto. Hence, this is an Everton fans forum. I used to use www.evertonfc.com which is the official site, but their forum, 'The Blue Room' got taken down after quite a bit of misuse from members. NSNO is a handy place to drop into to hear the latest transfer stories and have a Football conversation with 'supposedly' like minded fans. I say supposedly as many threads turn into heated arguments, which I can never understand between your own fans. It's a good place to receive updates on match day about the squad for the game, as well as news of goals and chances during the game.
I think HSBC have a pretty good online banking website. You can gain access to all your HSBC accounts including current, ISA, pension, mortgage, savings etc. It is handy for moving money between accounts or making payments to family and friends. Also, you can control all of your Direct Debits from here and easily cancel any old or unwanted ones. Unfortunately, it won't let you make any additional mortgage payments or temporarily suspend pension payments. For more advanced tasks such as these it requires a phonecall to an expensive call centre.
HSBC are currently in the process of adding an extra layer of security to their online banking which is always welcome in my book, and they've always been very helpful when I've had to contact them with security issues.
Owning an Android based HTC Desire phone, the Android Market is a place I frequent on my phone to download the latest apps. I also have a shortcut set up on my PC to the internet version of Android Market. Obviously, on a laptop or PC screen it's much easier to navigate around and perform searches. The site gives you the option to sign into your google account (which is linked to your phone) and once signed in, you are able to select apps and send them to your phone for download. You're also able to search by 'Most Popular', 'Free' or 'Paid' apps, or by 'Category' of app to narrow your search further.
Summary: Love the internet!