This week I have compiled a list of what I believe are the top ten websites of 2010. Why? Because I have a desk job, am 25, and have many hours of free time on the internet each week. Inevitably I have found websites that have become favorites and also–I love to make lists.
Etsy is the online bazaar of handmade fashion, food, toys and home furnishings. This crafts-only marketplace is every family’s one-stop shop for decorating the home, clothing the kids and buying grownups’ toys.It’s also a great way to support local artists in your area. My sister in law, Zoe, has a wonderful Etsy shop. Check her out at www.zoedawn.etsy.com
Vimeo is the video-streaming service of choice for creative types — the indie alternative to YouTube’s blockbuster. For casual viewers, Vimeo is the place for shorter, artsier clips. Search for “President” and you’ll find a humorous animated pop-up book that catalogs George W. Bush’s presidency. Enter the same term into YouTube and you’ll find relevant music videos and old news clips. Not better or worse–just different. One of my favorite Vimeo finds is Marcel The Shell. I’ve also used it to upload personal videos of weddings and family events. Easy to use with a very pleasant interface.
3. TED Talks
Short for Technology Entertainment and Design, TED is a set of annual conferences that brings together some of the world’s best and brightest thinkers to deliver talks on their realms of expertise. While tickets to the conference are super-scarce and super-pricey, TED gives back by making its archives of TEDTalks available online for free. Some top picks: Steve Jobs on “How to Live Before You Die” from 2005, and Benjamin Zander on music and passion.
WordPress was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal blogging. Started in 2003, this online publishing service has grown into the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day. As an active user of WordPress, I can testify to its ease of use and aesthetic appeal. My personal blogs include Acquired Taste and Baby Baer. I am also part of Circle Feast, a recipe sharing site my friends and I started to stay connected through food. Also make sure to check out my sister-in-law Zoe’s increasingly popular WordPress blog about Whole Eats and Whole Treats and my bff Carrie’s travel blog about her upcoming trip across the country with her husband, Jake!
StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that finds and recommends web content to its users based on pre-selected interests. Its features allow users to discover and rate Web pages, photos, and videos that are personalized to their tastes. If you haven’t used StumbleUpon, clearly you don’t have enough free time on your hands. It is the classic time waster and one of the most addicting tool-bars ever created. StumbleUpon has allowed me to discover gems such as Awkward Pregnancy Photos and Extra Special Christmas Cards (a must!), 1000 Awesome Things, Epic Fail Blog, AutoCorrect, We Are Hunted, and the ever inappropriate Poop Senders.
On 8tracks, you can do two things: listen to a mix, or create a mix. Listeners can search for a mix by artist or genre, stream it in a legal, radio-style manner, and follow others who make compelling mixes. 8tracks believes handcrafted music programming trumps algorithms. Think radio in the 1970s, mixtapes in the 1980s, and DJ culture of the 1990s through today. DJs share their talent in taste making, providing exposure for artists. Listeners get a unique blend of word-of-mouth sharing and radio programming — long the trusted means for music discovery — on a global scale. Check out my mixes here. Carrie also has some great blends. What a great way to share music!
If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, this is a website that will surely drudge up memories that are hiding in the corners of your mind. Updated daily by creator Hillary Buckholtz and public users, “I’m Remembering” is full of pop-culture nostalgery From The 80′s & Early 90′s. Favorite finds include Furbies, Gak, Ring Pops, Dream Phone, Yak Baks, and The Mouse and the Motorcycle. The interface is kind of cumbersome, but you won’t be disappointed if you grew up hoping for a lite-brite at Christmas.
The Huffington Post is a progressive American news website and blog founded by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, and Jonah Peretti, featuring various news sources and columnists. The site offers coverage of politics, media, business, entertainment, living, style, the green movement, world news, and comedy. A one stop website for your all your news needs (and it’s easy on the eyes).
If you’re like us and don’t have TV, Hulu is the perfect solution to staying up to date with must-see TV such as Modern Family, The Office, 30 Rock, and Glee. Easy to use and perfect for those who aren’t dishing out dough for expensive cable costs.
Saying I love Wikipedia is kind of like saying I love Google–it almost doesn’t need to be mentioned because it’s so obviously wonderful. Wiki (if you were born yesterday) is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 17 million articles (over 3.5 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site. It has no ads, which is awesome, and is kept alive only by donation. Not only can you look up your favorite actors, authors, bible stories, and businesses–but you can also check out really interesting lists (and you know I love lists!). Long live Wiki!