Wednesday, November 21, 2007

10 Great Time-Wasters

Okay, a bit of a confession.

Underneath my mild-mannered, super-mum, volunteer-extraordinaire, domestic- & culinary-coordinator exterior lurks...a geek.

Yes, I confess - I'm just a wee bit geeky, especially in regard to computers. I don't care to know how things work under the hood, but I've always been interested in what you can DO with these babies.

I've only had broadband for a couple of months. (OMG...I had to use the dial-up service at the preschool today - it's like giving birth, you forget the pain after it's over! But I never want to do dial-up again! Come to think of it, I don't want to give birth again, either. Oh dear, I'm digressing...) Just like when I first had Internet access at home, I've been a bit like a kid in a candy store, unable to resist all the colourful goodies arrayed to tempt me. (And the best thing is, so many of these are free...)

Who has "free time" these days? Who am I kidding that I have time to lose myself when there are so many other important calls on my time? Oh, I'll just have a quick...and then I'll do the dishes... :p

So I thought I'd share my Top 10 Time-Wasters with you. Some are pretty obvious and well-known and some you may not have heard of. Enter at your own risk.
(Please don't write and abuse me. You can make up your own excuses...)

I'm not even going to include Google Earth (the best way to find any place on the planet) or Facebook (rapidly becoming the best way to find any face on the planet), because if you're reading blogs, let alone writing one, you'll have heard of them.

In no particular order:

1. StumbleUpon - An amazing way to travel the web, discovering new sites, photos and videos based on your own interests and those of other Stumblers you meet. Responsible for many of the finds listed below, and I'm sure many more to come.

2. ScrapBlog - One for the photographers and scrappers. Obviously, a cross between blogging and scrapping, a sleek, well-packaged online scrapping site with lots of tempting templates to display your prized images to family or the world.

3. The Experience Project - I have barely scratched the surface of this one, but think it is such a fabulous idea. Register anonymously, and begin to share experiences, goals, confessions, interests and so on to discover other people in the world who have shared your experiences, and can relate to your feelings. Can be as deep or as shallow as you make it.

4. BookCrossing - I have been a member of this site for a few years, and fluctuate in activity, but it is another concept I adored when I first discovered it. Around the world, participants are tagging books with BookCrossing labels or bookmarks and "releasing them into the wild" for other people to discover, log into the web-site and track their progress.

5. RecipeZaar - The Web abounds in cooking and recipe sites, but this one has long been a favourite, so much so that I even lashed out on a full membership last year. Trust me, if you're into food and cooking you'll enjoy this one. I keep thinking I'll get all my recipes up there one day...but there are always new ones to add, and find, and test...

6. Musicovery - An interactive webRadio site with a really simple interface and a nifty little mood-setter. You can use it for free with LoFi quality or upgrade to paid membership for HiFi quality, no ads and the ability to save your favourite songs. Great selection.

7. Writing.Com - I was a HUGE addict of this site a few years ago, and it was major therapy for me after Jack's birth - I had time to write, and pain to write through and this site gave me a community of writers who wanted to read my work. I was a bit bummed when it went from totally free to a two-level system, 'cos they set a limited storage on the free accounts and I actually lost a lot of work (I know, I know - the writer's digital maxim, save, and save again.). I'm sure it's still a great community for writers of all levels of experience and genres.

8. Wordsy - Another one for those serious about writing and reading. A great way to share and access information about books, writing and related media. This is my newest discovery.

9. Sketch Swap - This little site is deceptively simple, and dangerously addictive. Do a little sketch, maybe write a little message with it, and it takes your "art with heart" and gives you someone else's in exchange. Dare you to stop at one!

10. MyShutterSpace - A social network for digital photography enthusiasts of all abilities - a great way to pick up useful tips and see some fantastic photography from around the world.

News of the day - the Big Feller went away for work again you now all know what I'll be doing with my evenings after the wee man has gone to sleep...when I'm not blogging here, or checking my Google Reader to see what you've been doing, or my FeedBurner stats to see where everyone has gone...!? :)


Ginny said...

Oh, these are absolutely great! Thanks so much for lining to these sites - now I know what I'll be doing over the holiday weekend when all the madness is over.

mountainmama said...

Good luck, ginny...and remember, you've been warned!

Kuniko said...

Well said.

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