Friday, January 12, 2007

Unique Web 2.0 Sites That Connect to Your Offline Life

I've mentioned the aspect of too many social networking clones clogging up the netwaves. Now I'd like to mention some fun little sites that help enhance other sites, or technologies that we use offline. Just for fun, I've listed some alternative uses to some of the sites that you may not ordinarily think of.

  1. Free 411-We've already been dialed into this site thanks to Techcrunch, but it deserved me listing it nonetheless. As the name implies, it's a free alternative to the pricey 411 information. It's a great service that works just as well as my regular service(which I'll never use as long as Free 411 is around).
  2. Jangl-Get a Jangl ID to hand out to anyone you wouldn't mind getting a call from, but your still a little shy or worried about handing out your real number. Sounds like it'd be great to use on dating sites, or auction sites not to mention an easy secure way of connecting with possible new friends through Myspace and forums.
  3. MyWaves-They claim thousands of channels of video in their line up that you can organize and beam to your phone for free.
  4. Mobifeeds-Sick of never being able to take your favorite blog(hint, hint) on the road with you? Use Mobifeed to turn any site mobile.
  5. Meetup-This one needs no explanation. It's been around so long. OK, I have to say something just in case someone doesn't know. Use Meetup to get groups, clubs, or likeminded people together in your area.
  6. YouMail-Free customized voicemail for your phone. It works just like assigning different ringtones to different people in your contacts list, but instead of ringtones yor using different voicemails that you pre-record. Something they don't publicize near enough is their ditchmail feature to permanently rid you of certain callers(no, I don't think it works with restricted telemarketers, but it's still a great feature). I did a story that Gearlive printed, if you want to read a bit about the service.
  7. Fat fingers-Type in what your looking for on Ebay, and Fat fingers searches multiple typos, based on that term, to snag you some great savings.
  8. Flickr leech-This is one of my personal favorites. All it does is search Flickr based on a search term or user ID you give it, and it pulls whole screen fulls of thumbnails. It's such a fun, quick, and easy way to look at photos on Flickr. I find myself surfing through photos almost everyday. I've also used this to find new Web 2.0 sites and other companies.
  9. Semapedia-I'm mixed on this. I decided to list it based on its cool premise that you can tag the real world. It uses Wikipedia to define objects. Enter a Wikipedia URL of the object you want to tag(say your favorite book), print out a Semacode and stick it. Someone wanting to know more about the book can take a picture of the tag with their phone. The tag contains code that corresponds to a particular URL. The person taking the picture will be zapped to that entry in Wikipedia. Still confused? That's why I included all the links in this entry. Go read up on this technology that is already everywhere in Japan.
  10. Snoozester-Schedule a wake up call online, and receive it on your phone. Need a good excuse to get out of something? Have a well placed call to your cell, and get out of that boring meeting...or whatever.
As a special bonus, I thought I'd throw in Beamfile which lets you send files up to 5 gigs in size to people for free. It's a super small program that's simple, intuitive, non-buggy. I think it's almost as good as you could make it. My one beef is that it's slow. I connected to my friend and we barely got an average of 20Kb/ps, and we're both on broadband. Of course your mileage may vary.

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