Here is my promised “Best Webs of 2009”. Let me define my use of the word “best”. I don’t necessarily mean the ones with the largest traffic counts or the ones that garnered the most design awards last year, but the ones that from my experience can be of the greatest use to my technically oriented readers; those that meet my standards for readability, usefulness and accuracy of content. If you want the top traffic sites, look to alexa.com for their top 50. Here goes, sort of in order!
The most important Website overall is Google, hands down the best search engine and so much more, a great, customizable Home Page for most anyone. The only rival to the features of Google is Yahoo and I do not consider them close. If you want an alternative search engine, try Bing or try WolframAlpha for computable information.
Second spot goes to Facebook because they are the premier social networking site, with due respect to MySpace and Twitter and the others.
Amazon is my top choice for online retailing in spite of the huge popularity of eBay. Amazon also makes it easy, pretty much does it right and covers a huge amount of stuff you might want to purchase. Amazon provides an immense interface for small retailers and individuals who want to sell new or used equipment and books.
YouTube has to be mentioned because of the huge number of visitors and the vast inventory of videos that are linked to their site. There is something for every taste and preference on YouTube and their offerings are always topical. Beware, there is no censor to keep offensive uploads off of YouTube.
My next site is not in Alexa’s top 50, but it is very useful to PC users. FileHippo is my choice for downloads for a couple of reasons: they are fast and clean and they don’t just put any old software on their site. If you look at their top downloads list you can get a sense of what might be useful to you.
For technical questions about computers or the Internet, I recommend Webopedia, even though traffic data might direct you to Wikipedia. Remember that Wikipedia definitions are reader generated and while many are accurate and trustworthy, some are subject to question. If you want to know how to do something, try eHow.com. For example there is an article at eHow that tells you how to use WolframAlpha.
Number seven, if you’re counting is cnet for technical news and for reviews of techie products. If you want to see what’s new or coming down the pike, here’s the spot. They can also give you reviews on anything from a camera to laptop or almost any techie toy.
My last top pick for 2009 is my favorite technical guru for those of us that are not real gurus. If you want to read one tip of the day or refer to one technical Website, select Kim Komando at Komando.com. She also has a weekly radio call in show on Saturday mornings in our market.