I love using the internet. I spend half my life online, both doing work and for recreational purposes.
However, there are some websites that I just waste my life unnecessarily on. These are the kind of websites that don’t really improve you life a great deal, but are incredibly fun and addictive all the same. I’m not going to go for the obvious websites that I enjoying whiling the hours away on, like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Instead, I’m going to talk about some sites that may seem obvious to internet addicts like myself, but perhaps not so recognisable to others.
Before ‘Spotify’ came along, all the cool kids were getting their music fix from last.fm. The site allows you to download a program called a Scrobbler which ‘scrobbles’ all the tracks you listen to on both your computer and your MP3 player. So for me, it makes note of every song I listen to on iTunes and my iPod and saves them all to my profile on the last.fm website, which can be found here.
But that’s not all, it creates charts for your music choice such as weekly, monthly and yearly and recommends new bands to you based on your taste. AND it allows you to play your entire library where ever you are as long as you have an internet connection, just my clicking ‘Play My Library’ on your profile. So for me, I get a pick of the 3500+ songs I’ve listened to since 23rd July 2006, many of which I no longer have.
Plus, you can play your recommendations as well, so you can listen to songs you’ve never heard before but your stats show you’ll love, all for free. Forget Spotify, sometimes going retro is just the better choice!
4. The Next Web Shareables
I only added this to my Google Reader a few months ago, but a big proportion of the stuff I share is from this site.
New media is all about sharing, it’s how funny memes and rumours spread as fast as they do. It’s something that is both useful and potentially detrimental to brands. But as an individual is it seriously fun and easy thanks to sites like TNWS. This site is great for finding the images and stories that will soon spread across the internet like wildfire, so if you like knowing about the latest net fads before the masses, add TNWS to your Google Reader now.
StumbleUpon is a little toolbar you add to your browser with a button you can click to ‘StumbleUpon’ a website. Sounds simple, but the websites are rated by users and you fill in a check list before hand with your interests to make sure the sites you stumble on suit your tastes.
The result is every time you get a bit frustrated with your work, you can just open up a new tab and spend 10-15 mins stumbling upon some awesome sites by clicking the stumble button. The range of sites is amazing, with an engaging and fun site always popping up within a few clicks if you’ve selected your interests. Plus you can ‘like’ websites that you can then share and appear on your profile. Check mine here.
2. Cheezburger Network
If you’ve been surfing the net for a while, there’s not doubt you’ll have come across the plethora of cat images captioned with strange internet talk. These ‘lolcats’ you’ve seen likely came from the blog ‘I Can Haz Cheezburger?‘ a site dedicated to captioning cat images. Sounds stupid, but there’s anything the internet has taught me it is that people love cats, and in the case of this website, cats = profit if the advertising and merchandise has anything to go by.
The lolcats blog is funny, but the best thing about the Cheezburger network is that they have a huge range of blogs, such as FAIL blog a blog dedicated to documenting videos and images of complete failure, Failbook which lets us cringe at just what people are prepared to post on Facebook and Hacked IRL where people have amusingly defaced signs and adverts.
The bottom of each blog shows the rest of the network, there’s a huge amount to choose from and finding this site is almost guaranteed to waste anything from 2 hours and upwards of your day.
Originally a magazine, Cracked.com is a humour website with articles, humours, pictures and blogs. The articles are always written in a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek manner, though the humour and style is not always for everyone and usually best not taken too seriously.
The best thing about the site is the ‘list’ articles it does, such as ‘5 Ways To Hack Your Brain Into Awesomeness’, ‘7 Man-Made Substances that Laugh in the Face of Physics’ and ‘7 Books We Lost to History That Would Have Changed the World‘. If, like me, you like knowing lots of pointless stuff that might one day be useful in a pub quiz or random conversation but otherwise probably won’t further your life a great deal, these articles are amazing. The ‘topics’ are also pretty funny as well.
All in all, this website will probably have you laughing out loud but will ultimately waste many hours of your life.