Web Technologies, Sites to Check Out over Thanksgiving Break
Those looking for something to do during their Thanksgiving break from work can check out these new Web services: Glue, Plista, Zenbe, Hulu, Blist, EtherPad, DotSpots, Mobspin, Socialcast and Searchme. These social services, search, and productivity tools have a little something for everyone living on the Web.Admit it. You aren't going to be with family or Christmas shopping for your entire Thanksgiving week break. Some of you will have downtime, so why not check out some cool Web technologies you've been mulling but haven't had time to download or test?
It's time to branch out beyond Facebook and Twitter. Here are 10 technology suggestions from eWEEK, including social services, search, productivity tools and a content site you may not be familiar with.
From software maker Adaptive Blue, Glue is a contextual network that uses semantic technology to connect people around everyday things-books, music, movies, stars, artists, stocks, wine, restaurants and more. Glue appears on popular sites such as Amazon, Last.fm, Netflix, Yahoo Finance, Wine.com and Citysearch, revealing friends and other Glue users who visited the same destination. Glue filters out junk by showing users relevant information from friends about things they visit.
Do you ever feel inundated by content on some of your RSS feeds? Perhaps you'd like an editor or filter of some sort. Plista is a social recommendation service that can help. The free Firefox browser plug-in overlays directly onto any Web page you're viewing. Users rate content on the site. Plista responds with recommendations based on the tastes of similar consumers for other things they'd be likely to enjoy, on the same site or elsewhere. Plista also lets users share their recommendations and find others with similar tastes. The tool is free. Here is a list of sites Plista supports.
Zenbe is a free e-mail service that invites your other e-mail content to the party. Users import contacts and calendars from Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL Mail, as well as content from Facebook and Twitter, and organizes it in one console. Users then view messages by conversation or by person, in more of a lifestream view than a read-it-as-it-comes-in view. Two new features: conversation view, which lets users see all e-mail related to a particular conversation with a single click, and favorites view, which lets users choose contacts as favorites.
Let's take a break from social network-type services for something that lets you be a little lazier. YouTube may be old hat to millions of people, so try Hulu.com, an online video venture between NBC Universal and News Corp. Unlike the user-generated content of YouTube, Hulu offers hit TV shows, movies and clips for free on-demand in the United States. This is a perfect site to check out for the holidays, and bookmark for when you go back to work (don't tell your boss).
Still a darling of eWEEK, Blist is the ultimate list organizational tool. The user interface resembles a spreadsheet, which is tied to a relational database on the back end to make list creation and sharing on the Web simple. Here Blist CEO Kevin Merritt shares tips on how to use Blist to create a Christmas list. Blist is currently geared for consumers, but Merritt said the company is moving to cater to the enterprise in 2009.