Posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 by Danny Davies
Every week, to ensure you’ll never be bored, we scour the web to find ten interesting websites. We like to call these top websites our ‘Weekly Faves‘. They can be any kind of sites: fun sites, games sites, news sites, video ones, great pages for shopping, artists, design… literally anything. Every week, one or two stand out as particularly unique or fun, and we decided that they deserve their own monthly post. But seeing as we haven’t done any for 2012 yet, here’s our list of the top 10 best websites of 2012… so far!
Unsubscribr - If you’re like us and enthusiastically sign up for new, interesting sounding services… only to then realize that you’ve inadvertently filled your email inbox with a ridiculous amount of junk / bulk mail, Unsubscribr is a tool you really need to try. It’s the simplest way we’ve found to unsubscribe from all those mailing lists that seemed like a good idea at the time but soon stalked your inbox, distracting you from what you really need to read! As long as you use Gmail, AOL or Yahoo Mail (it doesn’t yet support Hotmail, although we’re assured they’re working on it!) you can get rid of all the junk you need to within 5 minutes and a few clicks. Simple, useful, exactly what we like to discover on the web. Click here to try out Unsubscribr.
Switchcam - Switchcam is the website for every music fan who missed that amazing concert their favorite act did at Hollywood Bowl (eg. me + John Mayer in 2010), and wades through Youtube for hours, looking for the best live clips of the show: Switchcam relies on passionate human curators to crowdsource the best versions of fans’ videos taken at live concerts and DJ sets, and sort them into magic song-by-song video playlists of any particular gig. And the best part is that the video (and sound if you choose) switches between cameras during the songs, to give you multiple perspectives of the same concert… kinda gives you a better view of the concert than if you were actually there! Click here to see if your favorite artist has a curated concert playlist on Switchcam. If they don’t, you could always make one yourself there too
Loudlee - Another beautifully curated website that should reduce your chronic dependence on Youtube (while still using its videos and music) is Loudlee. It’s a completely FREE, online, personalized music library and player that curates Youtube’s vast database of videos and songs into equally vast, searchable collections of artists. You simply search for who you want to listen to and then add that artist and their discography to your burgeoning library. You can then share your library, likes and listens with your friends via Facebook.
In our opinion, the best thing about Loudlee is that you can listen to The Beatles’ best albums on it, for free and incredibly easily – which you can’t do on Spotify and have to pay for on iTunes. Although that’s just our personal choice Click here to start making your online music library on Loudlee.
Makers – If you’ve been lacking any inspiration recently, here’s a nice little library of exclusive, revealing video interviews with some of America’s most powerful, famous and trailblazing women in their fields. Makers is produced by Emmy Award-winning and Oscar nominated filmmakers Dyllan McGee, Betsy West, and Peter Kunhardt, and developed by PBS & AOL, so it was hardly surprising that the digital platform they created would have the emotional chuzpa to go with the intuitive web user experience needed to get Makers off the ground and into this list. Click here to take your pick of insights from some truly inspirational ladies (or get a preview with this gem from Ellen Degeneres below!).
Wondermind - If you have kids, and naturally they’re better at using the internet than you are, make sure you direct them to this absolute gem of a website. Wondermind is a beautifully crafted, interactive site that teaches kids (and grown ups too) about how the brain works. It slickly combines the science behind the brain with a little Alice in Wonderland themed world of minigames, quizzes and videos. That it works so well is hardly surprising, given that a joint project by the Tate (Britain’s premier modern art gallery), Bafta award winning games studio Preloaded, interactive video director Martin Percy and a London University professor. Click here to have a go on Wondermind. And don’t hog it, your kids will want a go too
I Waste So Much Time - If you already think you waste too much time looking at funny stuff on the internet… probably best to look away now! From the makers of one of our fave coffee break sites of 2011, Attack of the Cute, comes I Waste So Much Time, which aims to show you funny pictures + videos, and let you rate them. And that’s it. Couldn’t be simpler – just go on I Waste So Much Time, look at funny pictures or videos and interact with them, clicking on one of three buttons underneath (“Awesome”, “What the What!?”, or “Boring”). Try it: It’s free; no annoying facebook sign-ups to get through; and it’s fun clicking on the buttons. I have no more to say on the matter, you know what you have to do!
Pocket – While All My Faves is (in our humblest of opinions ) the easiest way to save your bookmarks across all your devices, Pocket is a great companion tool to save any articles, videos or images you like the look of, but don’t have the time to read right now, whatever device you’re using. Within the click of a button (either the Pocket browser addon or a ‘read it later’ button on 300+ apps including Flipboard), you save whatever you want to view again later (this article included?) onto your own personal Pocket dashboard. Very useful indeed if you ask us! Click here to check out Pocket.
Buttoned Up – We’ve added Buttoned Up into our list due to popular demand from users who’ve been so pleased with the barrage of handy hints and tips for organized living this website has provided, since our original Weekly Faves feature. It’s a super site built by four mommies who seriously know how to organize, for other mommies and daddies who, well, don’t. Or not as much as these guys anyway! The ‘Tools & Giveaways’ section is a particularly useful part of the site, filled with downloadable lists designed for organized living like a ‘Back-to-School Checklist’ and a holiday gift budget form. Buttoned Up might just change your life – it’s that useful!
Cowbird – Sometimes 140 characters just isn’t enough. It’s arguable that Twitter sums up our modern fast moving world, where we are satisfied by an endless rush of throwaway one-liners. The creators and curators of short story community Cowbird would heartily disagree – having created a never ending web of online short story tellers, linked almost magically by the subjects of their stories: the people, places and themes they evoke. A sort of modern day diary for the online generation, you can write or record a visual, picture, video or sound-based online diary or story, and share it with the world. Cowbird then is a different type of social network. One where every story you tell is placed in your virtual library, where it can take pride of place forever. Sound intriguing? That’s because it is! Click here to get story telling, or check out the growing library of short stories already created.
PicMonkey - Last but certainly not least, if you’re a wannabe professional, amateur photographer like me and the rest of the All My Faves team, you may have heard of PicNik, the online ‘Photoshop for Dummies’. You may also have heard that they’re closing themselves down. And you probably won’t have yet heard that PicMonkey has popped up ready to take its crown as the easiest, cheapest way to make your photos look awesome, using the Internet. It’s more comprehensive and less one-dimensional than Instagram, and it’s so much easier to use than Photoshop: you simply drag any photo from your computer onto the designated box on the website, and then select from a huge range of photo editing tools that will make your photo look way better than it did originally, without much effort. It’s free (for now), easy and fun, so click here to try out PicMonkey.
If you like these sites, you can easily add them to your own customized Faves Page with All My Faves – and get new, cool websites every week, direct to your homepage. Click here to join for free and try us out.