It's not often I just start picking up new websites/services. It's not that I intentionally avoid such things, it's simply that I spend more time writing and recording than exploring. This past week, however, I've jumped in on betas of a few sites that range from the popular to relatively unknown: Brizzly.com, Flowchart.com, Deals.Woot.com.
Brizzly has certainly been the darling of the social media set for the past couple of weeks as every strained to get their invites after being pissed off that they didn't find invites for Google Wave. Combining your Facebook and all of your Twitter accounts into a web interface is fairly cool, although it's been done by sites like Hootsuite and Friendbinder plus others.
I haven't really explored Brizzly enough to find how different it really is from the sites already out there. Maybe that's because I really enjoy the functionality of a stand-alone app for Twitter. I've been using Tweetdeck for the better part of a year now, and I have no real plans to turn back to the browser. I can appreciate the pull toward a browser-based solution by people in Enterprise environments where installing Adobe Air and a Social Networking app is a pipe dream at best. Perhaps in such an environment I would be looking for the best browser solution as well.
I like that Brizzly is doing what it's doing; I just don't know if I want to be doing it.
In looking for an online solution to creating flowcharts, I suppose I should've guessed that flowchart.com would've been a best guess - but I'm not prone to thinking things are that easy and it actually took me a bit of searching to find it. I'm becoming increasingly impressed at the interfaces that are being developed for web applications that create/edit graphics, sounds and video. While this is also a case where a freeware stand-alone app would probably be my first choice. I appreciate that I can do this online.
Flowchart.com does offer a pretty simple interface that I found it really easy to get used to. Admittedly, I have very rare occasion to ever create flowcharts, but I was thinking of making one for a blog post the other night. I realized that, where 10 years ago I used to have a bunch of apps installed on my PC that I could use for such a task, my lack of need to make flowcharts had diminished my software options. At least if I need to make a flowchart in the future, the URL will not be easy to forget.
Wrapping up my triumvirat of web exploration came perhaps the most appropriate site for the upcoming gift-giving season: deals.woot.com. For those of you that fondly remember Woot-Offs when a series of deals would revolve around at woot.com, the makers have basically added Digg functionality to deals. Users can submit their own deals and rate and rank them. What you essentially end up with is a dynamically-changing deals network. As you start to shuffle through some of the deals, you'll be able to sort by keywords, online stores or users and vote up the deals that you like. They've even aggregated a leaderboard that allows you to check out all of the deals stats that you could want.
Living in Canada, there are many of these deals that I can't take complete advantage of, but that's what snowbird parents and VISA are for. Not a brilliant trio of websites for sure - but certainly functional for the right reasons at the right times. I don't regularly "review" websites anyway... I know, a pretty weak lovehate right?
Actually, all this is a prelude to saying thanks to my 302 subscribers on Posterous. I had to wait a week to break 300, but I've been busy and beat and bereft of ideas when I get home most nights. (I hope at least some of you are enjoying the eclectic video embeds.)
I know that when radio stations get one caller for a contest, they have the market research that establishes the ratio of callers to listeners. I have to say that the community here at Posterous has been a joy to share ideas with and to gain so much knowledge from. Thanks Garry and Sachin for kicking things into gear a year and a half ago. Thanks to the new team members for the great additions. And thanks to everyone who has read even one full post from lovehatethings.
I've got to keep writing for sanity alone. If someone enjoys the reading, that's an added bonus. There are plenty of other communities out there. I'm glad I found this one when I did.