As the internet morphs into Web 2.0 before our eyes, the tech wreck appears but a distant memory. Once a dumb dumping ground, the information superhighway is becoming smarter, more intuitive and highly personalised. Thanks to the mass uptake of broadband, a new breed of websites are revolutionising people’s daily habits. Here are three that caught our eye.
Without doubt, the best photo sharing site around. Like most of the best online service, Flickr began life as a creation of humble independents. It wasn’t long before the site attracted a cult following and was snapped up by Yahoo! With its simple interface, ease of upload/organisation, full control of privacy settings and the ability to post photos in themed groups where they can be commented on and bookmarked, Flickr has managed to turn the often tedious and awkward process of photo sharing into a pleasure (and an addiction for many!). It embodies the core promise of Web 2.0 – bringing together people from diverse worlds with common interests to participate in a shared experience, where they determine their level of participation. If you’re interested in photography, or just want to share your digital photos with friends and family, check out Flickr. You won’t go back.
REMEBER THE MILK (www.rememberthemilk.com)
A relatively new offering, Remember the Milk (RTM) is online Nirvana for all those list-o-philes out there (you know who you are). If you consistently leave behind a trail of dog-eared paper scraps marked, “TO DO,” then this is your future. RTM is a list repository, a diary, an alarm clock and an email service. You group your lists according to categories (work, study, personal, etc.) and order them according to a mix of time sensitivity and importance. Reminders can be sent via email, instant messaging or SMS, and RSS functionality is also present. There are a few bugs to be ironed out in this early beta, but the advantages are obvious: your lists are gathered in one spot, available everywhere you go (well, everywhere you have internet access). The only draw back is getting over the addiction to that sweet sound of pen striking parchment as you work your way through various lists. A single left click on “complete” will have to suffice.
Not a web 2.0 offering, but a blog (the vanguard of Web 2.0) dedicated to reviewing the latest releases and news in the Web 2.0 world. Nothing slips undetected under the TechCrunch radar. As the name suggests, TechCrunch can be quite technical (exhibiting that baffling esoteric swagger unique to technology blogs), but it provides trenchant and comprehensive analyses of the latest and greatest website services. According to the site’s introductory blurb, “TechCrunch is a weblog dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing every newly launched web 2.0 business, product and service.” It certainly keeps them busy, and it’s a great place for you to kill a few hours and get an idea of what’s just around the cyber corning.