PC Magazine just churned out a pretty righteous list of what it calls the top 100 undiscovered web sites. It's a very well done list and most of the sites were things I truly hadn't seen before. So I'm going to send the list to all of my friends!
No. I'm not. My friends don't want 100 of anything I have to offer. Take my word for it. Thing is, now what am I gonna do with all these bobbleheads of myself I had made? Another challenge for another time.
Back to the matter at hand: I present you here with a list of Dave Burdick's Top 5 Web Sites From PC Magazine's Top 100 Undiscovered Web Sites.
Hint: I like 'em best when they're both green and business-y.
No, it's not a Star Trek villain, nor is it an artfully/ambiguously-marketed wonder-drug. It's a site that encourages users to rent goods from other users who live nearby. Let's say you live in Soho and want to rent a digital camera. You'd probably end up renting this Nikon D80 at $12/day from somebody who lives within a mile of you.
That's the business side. The green side is, if the site picks up, it might mean a little less buying of new electronics, which can be pretty un-green.
Get a lot of catalogs? Hate 'em? This site purports to help you cut down on the catalogs you receive at home. This would be great for my folks who have different last names and therefore get two copies of pretty much every catalog ever printed. From the site:
The mission of Catalog Choice is to reduce the number of repeat and unwanted catalog mailings, and to promote the adoption of sustainable industry best practices. We aim to accomplish this by freely providing the Catalog Choice services to both consumers and businesses. Consumers can indicate which catalogs they no longer wish to receive, and businesses can receive a list of consumers no longer wanting to receive their catalogs.
I've actually heard of this one before, but I haven't seen it used much. Sometimes I wonder if handwriting will fully deteriorate in the United States within the next fifteen years, and it's because of developments like Jott, which says it'll transcribe your very speech so you can send it wherever. Twitter. Blogs. Text messaging.
That's right: text messaging. You can call a machine which will compose a text from what you've said aloud. I read that and nearly spit out my coffee, but for the fact that I wasn't drinking coffee and do not ever drink coffee. Here's a "user review" from the site:
"I love Jott. It makes sure I don't forget anything and makes texting my two teenagers so easy!"
-Dana S., Mom
Remember: I did not make that up.
PC Mag loses a couple of points on this one, only because I've seen this site all over the place. But this list wouldn't be complete without it, because it's an interesting aggregation of forward-thinking, often eco-friendly design.
The electric car isn't here yet. You haven't saved up and bought a hybrid. You, for whatever reason, can't bike or use public transportation. OK, you've exhausted your green travel options, right?
Not quite. If you do drive a car, the best thing you can do is keep it running as cleanly and efficiently as possible. It's not cheap, but it must be done. So how do you avoid getting fleeced by a mechanic when you don't know what something should cost? Plug in your ZIP code and car info. The site will give you a range of acceptable prices.
Follow Dave Burdick on Twitter: www.twitter.com/daveburdick