Monday, February 16, 2009

A Note About "Interesting Websites"

Some of you may have noticed that I have a list of interesting websites to the right. Every so often I add a site to the list but I have never introduced them as I've posted them. So, since I have some spare time on President's day, I thought I would write a sentence or two on each of them. There is one commonality--all are backed by well known venture capitalists.

  1. Zemanta. Contextually relevant pictures, links, and suggestions for email and blogs. Ba

    Blog better using ZemantaImage by chucks via Flickr

    sically, you download Zemanta to your browser and while you are typing an email or blog post, Zemanta suggests pictures, links, or tags you may want to add. You can even easily pull a quote from another blog and include it on your blog. Even as I type this, my Zemanta tool bar to the right suggests several pictures for "President's Day" as well as links to useful trivia and blog posts. See the image to the right.
  2. BillShrink. Checks credit cards and cell phone offers to ensure you are getting the best deal possible. You enter your balance/monthly fee, your interest rate (for CCd's), zip code, usage, etc. and BillShrink will come back to you with the best result. In the case of cell phones, it list alternatives by signal strength.
  3. ScrapBlog. You can create stunning multimedia scrapbooks online for free! Rather than simply send your friends sterile pictures, you can personalize your vacation, first day of school, with one of Scrapblog's templates or create one of your own. It is free to register, create and share your multimedia scrapbook online, but if you want to print it out, that will cost you. Not a bad business model.
  4. SearchMe. This is a new way to search the web. SearchMe lets you see what your looking for. Choose your category and you'll see pictures of web pages that contain your answer. This way, you can scan the web page for the necessary information before clicking through. It uses "stacks", which, if you've cycled through the top-movies section on iTunes, it has a similar feel--web pages cycle through your view as you move the toolbar from left to right, or right to left.
  5. Yelp. No rocket science here. Yelp is an easy way to find what's good, or not so good, in your area. You type what your looking for in the search bar and then your zip code and a list will populate with user reviews.
  6. Wetpaint. A Wetpaint website is built on the power of collaborative thinking. Here, you can create websites that mix all the best features of wikis, blogs, forums and social networks into a rich, user-generated community based around the whatever-it-is that rocks your socks. A social website that’s so easy to use, anyone can participate.
  7. Widgenie. If you're one to include polls or other types of tables in your blogs or just want a sharp looking graphic then Widgenie is for you. You can register for free, customize data and create a graphic to post to your blog, facebook, or igoogle account.
  8. Prosper. Looking for extra money? Prosper creates an online meeting place for those seeking money and those that have money but want a higher yield on their investment. It's a social lending site. You can apply for a loan or make a loan. Only there aren't any banks involved directly here. If you're looking for a loan, then you enter your information and those willing to make loans, will bid on your loan. Prosper asks for a lot of information on the borrower and will pull a credit score to show to potential lenders. Lenders can slice the data any way they want and bid for high or low-risk loans. What if you don't want to expose all your money to one person? You can spread your money around. If you have $1,000 to lend, you can parcel that out between different borrowers.

There you have it. Some creative sites all aimed at making the universe more efficient. Also, since these are all venture backed companies they are all in the early stages of creation and I know CEO's are open and anxiously awaiting feedback from interested users. So take a look and don't be afraid to drop them a note via their "feedback" links if you don't like something. They will welcome your input with open arms.

4 comments:

Nate said...

Dude, reread your post and make sure your "your" and "you're" are right. Feel free to delete this comment.

Jenga said...

I refuse to. I hope your not confused.

Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...

Nate,
Nate,
I have offered many times to be Jenga's blogmistress (aka editor), but he refuses, apparently wanting grammatical errors to sully his otherwise fascinating posts.

Also, delete your own freaking comment.

Jenga,
Nice post.