Ten web services I can’t do without

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I started to think about the impact that connectivity makes in our daily lives, after one of my colleagues was worried about getting mobile broadband connectivity on a trip to Cardiff. So this prompted me to think about the ten web services that I can’t live without.

Putting this blog on the list would be conceited and I left Facebook off because I think that it lacks quality. Jedward and the Cheeky Girls are proof that just because something is popular doesn’t make it good – I could spend a whole blog post writing about why I dislike Facebook but will leave it unsaid for another day.

Accuweather just missed the cut, but I find their service particularly the ‘Real Feel’ number invaluable. I even ponyed up for the premium mobile application.

The list is no particular order of merit:

  • Bloglines –  I have an eclectic and wide range of online reading material that I like to keep up with. Whilst I have a Google Reader account, it is set up as insurance against IAC shutting down Bloglines. I find Google Reader intrusive and not as productive as Bloglines. In addition, Bloglines works better on a mobile phone and power my blogroll
  • Delicious – is my memory. I am a web pack rat and it comes in handy for research or pulling together case studies for presentations. I keep a minimal amount of bookmarks on my computer, mostly bookmarklets to take advantage of Google Translate, subscribe to a blog and pull up the local weather
  • Google – as well as it being my default search engine, Google is also my currency converter, calculator, spell checker and timezone checker. The site has a surprising amount of shortcuts that make my life a lot easier. They don’t require any technical skill, more details here
  • Teoma – one of the best kept secrets of the web, Teoma is my back-up search engine if Google isn’t giving me the kind of results that I want. If anything Teoma is more relevant than Google is on its search responses. It naturally doesn’t trawl as much of the web as Google and it isn’t as good for real-time or semi real-time content like the latest blog posts. But it does have a clean interface reminiscent of Google previously. If you hit the ‘Google found approximately 150,000 results’ and you can’t find what you are looking for in the first page (which you should have set to 100 results per page) then give Teoma a go
  • Email – my primary personal email account is an Apple IMAP account (now sold as MobileMe), but I’m old school so I have a .mac address. I also have a couple of other IMAP accounts with a more limited circulation. IMAP is great as it allows you to sync your account across multiple devices and not pay a fortune for Microsoft Exchange
  • iDisk – I know lots of people swear that Dropbox is the best, but I still like to use iDisk for large file transfers like presentations. Apple has progressively improved the product and I know it inside out
  • Flickr – if Delicious is my memory of facts and figures then Flickr is my visual memory I use it as an aide memoire, image storage for my blog and as a kind of photo scrapbook
  • Twitter – is the new IM. Instant messaging on my iPhone and on corporate networks can be a bit haphazard. Twitter gives you the direct message capability of IM but also allows for broadcast messages and syndication of content
  • Skype – whilst all the fuss is happening in the iPhone world about Facetime I am more interested in Skype. Its combination of reasonably-priced VoIP calls and free Skype calling together with robust file transfer and chat messaging has made it ideal for business communications and keeping in touch with friends in far flung places
  • LinkedIn – I’ve got business out of LinkedIn, polled opinions on the best content management system for a particular purpose and received recommendations on a web hosting company in Hong Kong. LinkedIn is an invaluable business tool