Archive for category Site Of The Week

Davis Freeberg’s Site Of The Week

Rejected IpodI may have a tendency to give Apple a hard time, but I can’t deny that I was a little bit envious when I heard about their engraving services. When you purchase an iPod from the Apple store, they offer a service where you can have a personal message engraved onto it. Why aren’t more companies offering this type of customization to their customers? Apple has always been known for their marketing prowess, but I think that this one of the subtle, yet brilliant things that they do for their brand. Their customers already love their products and by making it easy for them to add a personal touch, they’ve been able to create a unique experience for them, despite the fact that they are selling to a mass market. It’s these sorts of little things that makes Apple such a marketing powerhouse.

Apparently though, this program does have it’s limits. Apple has always associated their brand with radical thinkers, but if you’re a little too radical, they’ll refuse to tatoo your message to the iPod.

This week’s winner of the site of the week tracks the various engravings that have been denied. For most of the ones that were blocked, it’s pretty easy to understand why Apple wouldn’t engrave them. There were a few that were borderline OK, but I can understand why they wouldn’t want their brand associated with some of the f bombs. I was actually more surprised by some of the ones that they let slip by.

Of the engravings that they actually banned, my two favorites were “When my battery dies, so will you” and “10,000 Stolen Tunes Inside”. Of the ones that slipped by Apple’s filters, I liked the “Your mamma uses a walkman.” (what a great insult) and the “this iPod makes up for my small hard disk.” Congratulations to MethodShop on winning this week’s site of the week award. It may not be the most useful site, but I found it entertaining.

If you’d like to nominate a site for site of the week, feel free to contact me. The nominees for next week’s site’s are listed below, you can vote in the sidebar.

Seeqpod (h/t to Dale Dietrich)

Wall St. Pop

Inkling Markets

Davis Freeberg’s Site Of The Week

1, 2, 3, 4, I Declare A Kitten WarNormally, I’ve got a pretty anti-pet policy in life, but even I had to vote for this week’s winner of the site of the week contest. KittenWars is a website where pet owners upload photos of their kittens and where web surfers can then vote on which ones are the cutest.

I usually try to run and hide when people want me to look at photos of their fuzzy little furballs, but this is a cat fight I don’t mind taking part in. It’s like PickTheHottie, except for kittens.

I’m not sure why I’m so fascinated with games, but I’ve always been a big fan of any site that offers fun contests or challenges. KittenWars is no exception, there is something about the interactivity that really appeals to me. I keep telling myself that I’m going to click just one more time, yet I can’t stop voting on contest after contest. On the site, you can also find lists of the cutest (and not so cute) kittens on the site, but it was the voting that I found the most entertaining.

Congratulations to KittenWars for winning this week’s site of the week contest. The nominations for next week’s site are listed below, please vote in the sidebar. Feel free to contact me, if you’d like to nominate a site worth visiting.

WordPress Theme Generator

iBlocked

Rejected iPod Engravings

Davis Freeberg’s Site Of The Week

Cell For CashOver the weekend, I left Casa Del Davis and had to put all of my stuff into storage while I figure out where to call home. While I was packing my stuff into boxes, I came across my very first cell phone. It was an old Nokia 3395. I original got the phone for “free”, as part of a service package with Cingular, that to this day I still regret. Normally, I’m pretty good about getting rid of old junk, but for some reason I kept it and it’s been hiding in my closet, ever since I took it out of service.

Since I knew that I’d never use the phone again, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to test out CellForCash, this week’s winner of the site of the week contest. CellForCash is a website that purchases used phones from people who would throw them away anyway. On the site, they give you the option to take the cold hard cash or you can donate your proceeds to 911CellPhoneBank.org, an organization that helps provide used cell phones to people who can’t afford them.

Seeing how my Nokia 3395 wasn’t exactly appreciating over time, I figured I would sell it for anything and be glad I wasn’t having to pay some kind of recycling charge. Unfortunately though, my model was a little too out dated, even for CellForCash and they wouldn’t take it, so instead, I put my Audiovox SMT5600 into their site, so that I could check out the resell value on the phone I’m using today. I couldn’t believe it when they offered me $4.

$4 would be worth it, if I wasn’t using the phone and just wanted to get rid of it, but the SMT5600 has been a pretty good mobile device. Sure, the Window’s interface is barely usable and the file transfer system is buggy as all get out, but it can play music and videos, without me having to spend a small fortune on an overpriced iPod.

Since I had a feeling that CellForCash might be lowballing me, I took a look at Ebay, in order to figure out what the free market really thinks my Audiovox is worth. It looks like with the right photos and a zingy description, that I could probably get closer to $30 there, but of course then I’d have to deal with the hassle of creating a listing and run the risk that I might end up not getting any bids.

In the end, you may not end up getting top dollar from CellForCash, but it is an easy and convenient way to recycle old cell phones. You may end up only getting beer money out of it, but that’s still a lot better than leaving it at the bottom of some box in your closet. Congratulations to CellForCash on winning this week’s site of the week award. If you know of a good site, feel free to send me a nomination. The nominees for next week’s award are listed below, please vote in the sidebar.

Poom!

Callpedia

Kitten War!

Davis Freeberg’s Site Of The Week

Walk This Way

This week’s winner of the site of the week contest was Walk2Web. Walk2Web is a site that allows you to analyze outgoing links on a particular website or blog. On the site, you enter a domain name and then you can trace how that site might be connected to others.

This functionality can come in handy in a couple of ways. On it’s most basic level, you can use the site to find new web pages, that may be relevant to sites that you already pay attention to.

On a deeper level, you could also use Walk2Web to help identify connections that wouldn’t seem obvious without being able to see the big picture. While, some of the connections don’t reveal anything, if I wanted to learn more about a blogger’s social network, I’d try running their site through Walk2Web, in order to see which websites are showing up on their radar.

In order to play around with the site, I decided that I’d play a game of Six Degrees of Davis Freeberg, in order to see who I might be connected to, in the vast maze that makes ups the innerweb.

When I put my domain into the site, it gave me several paths to go down, but I decided to pick, Just Talking Out Loud as my first step. From there, I discovered Andreas Viklund’s internet blog. Andreas is a 27 year old blogger and web developer from Sweden.

From there, I found Kelly’s World. The cats on Kelly’s World are a little bit freaky, but I did like the technology and video game coverage on the site. On Kelly’s World, there is a link to site named 54 North.

54 North is still in development, but there is an interesting link to Centro Flamenco on the web page. Centro Flamenco is an oasis for Salsa dancers. They dance company was founded in 1989 and performs throughout Canada each year. Salsa dancing isn’t my particular cup of tea, but that’s only because I was born with two left feet.

On Centro Flamenco, there was a link to web photographer, David Cooper. I’m not sure if David has set up a Zooomr account just yet, but on his website you can see some examples of his work.

Normally, David’s website isn’t something that I would stumble across on the net, but thanks to Walk2Web, I was able to see that I’m actually connected to his site in a convoluted way. Part of what makes the web such a unique experience is the ability to travel deeper and deeper into a story. By creating an easier way to understand the link relationships that exist between websites, Walk2Web has made a filter that is entertaining and useful.

Congratulations to Walk2Web for winning this week’s site of the week contest. If you’d like to nominate a web page for the site of the week, please contact me and I’ll be happy to look at it. The nominations for next week’s site are listed below, please vote in the sidebar.

Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon

Pfigg

Cell For Cash

Davis Freeberg’s Site Of The Week

Dazzlesphere?I love the web 2.0 movement, but I still wince every time I hear a wacky web 2.0 name. I’m not sure how each website or company came up with their name, but it’s fair to say that today’s generation of entrepreneurs, did not get straight A’s in spelling during Elementary school. Whether it’s Joost, Pownce or Zooomr, when it comes to 2.0 names, you can pretty much throw spelling out the window.

Even when you don’t have to worry about spelling though, coming up with a creative name for a business is still not an easy task. This is why I found this week’s winner of the site of the week contest so entertaining. The Web 2.0 company name generator not only semi-randomly suggests fun names for businesses, but they also allow you to check to see if the web domain is available (something that the CW network apparently forgot to do before merging the WB and UPN.)

Over the last week, I’ve played with the site quite a bit, but even though the random button would suggest good names, the domains were always taken. Finally, after my 1,000th attempt, I came across a web 2.0 name, that someone hadn’t already snatched up. Unfortunately though, something about BubbleBridge.com, just didn’t scream Freeberg, so I resisted the urge to register the domain.

Some of the suggestions that I loved, but were already taken, include Yakizio (not sure what it means, but it sounds cool), BlogStorm, Kavu, and Trumba. Unfortunately BlogStorm and Yakizio have been taken by squatters, but it does look like Kavu and Trumba are both being used by legit businesses. I’m not sure if they actually got their names from the 2.0 generator, but it would be pretty funny, if they picked the names for their businesses from the site.

If I was really going to name a business, I’m not sure that I’d depend solely on the web 2.0 generator for ideas, but it’s still a fun site to play with and would be especially helpful, if you wanted to assign code names to your household chores. Doing the dishes may be a drag, but rename them Operation BubbleBridge and start assigning RPG points and who knows, maybe you can con your kids into thinking that chores are fun.

Congratulations to the Web 2.0 Name Generator for winning this week’s site of the week award. The nominees for next week’s contest are listed below, please vote in the sidebar. If you’d like to nominate a site, feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to look it over.

Chaos Faction

Viral Video Chart

Walk2Web

Davis Freeberg’s Site Of The Week

OperatorIf you’ve ever tried to contact a business for technical or customer support, then you know exactly how frustrating it can be, when you are trying to get a hold of a live agent. Sometimes, the automated phone systems may have the info. that you need, but 9 times out of 10, I’ve found that it’s easier to ask someone a direct question, than to navigate through a maze of options.

One trick that I learned to use, a long time ago, is to immediately hit *0 and sometimes it will take me to a live operator. Other times, it will disconnect my call and send me back to zero, so I always try this early on in the call and phone back, if I need to.

Mashing buttons into my phone, in order to get to the right department for a company, is a little annoying, but not as bad as the voice activated systems. Half the time, they can’t understand me and if you don’t use their keywords exactly, it’s easy to get reset back to the beginning of the menu. The other half of the time, the system will understand me just fine, but I don’t want to share my password and the last four digits of my social security number with other people in my vicinity.

As technology continues its march forward, this has been one area where consumers have been forced to take a step back. Luckily, this week’s winner of the site of the week can help consumers take back control over phone queue hell.

NoPhoneTrees.com
is a website that is devoted to tracking telephone numbers of live people at various companies. I’m not sure the total count, but they have contact information on everything from the California DMV to the Xbox customer support line.

In order to test the site, I decided to use it for a few companies that I’m a customer at. While I was able to get a hold of live agents who could assist me, a few of the times, I ended up in the wrong department. While it’s nice to have a hot line directly into a company like Schwab, it doesn’t really help me all that much, if my account information isn’t available to the person I’m calling.

With a little bit of research, I could probably track down the numbers directly, but having so many in one localized place makes it more convenient to go back to on a regular basis. Congratulations to No Phone Trees for making consumer’s lives easier and on winning this week’s contest. If you’d like to nominate a web page for site of the week, feel free to send me an email. The nominations for next week’s contest are listed below, please vote in the sidebar.

List Pic

Web 2.0 Name Generator

Fun Distraction

Davis Freeberg’s Site Of The Week

RadioThis week’s winner of the site of the week contest was a site that got in early, on the Podcasting craze. Podcast Alley was quick to recognize that people wanted to express themselves via radio and from the start, they built their community around these content creators. Whether it’s been interviewing other podcasters, highlighting some of the best podcasts out there, or creating forums for fans to interact in, they’ve done a great job of creating a positive environment where podcasters can share information and ideas.

One of the things I love about the web 2.0 revolution, has been how multidimensional it’s made media. When the net first started, we saw flashes of what would come, but it was nothing like I expected. There was an occasional audio or video clip, but the quality was substandard and there was no interaction.

Now we have whole social communities that form around content. As the barriers to entry have been lowered, we’ve seen a proliferation of individuals who are eager to contribute in one way or another. I knew that one day, radio and video would make it’s way to the internet, but I didn’t expect a social revolution to drive it. It hasn’t happened overnight, but YouTube is disrupting TV, blogging is taking over the newspapers and podcasts are displacing radio.

People say that content is king, but when you have such a large explosion of information, content quickly becomes commoditized and it’s the businesses that can make sense of it, that become the new king. This gives the aggregators a lot more control, than the professional content creators like to admit.

I don’t normally listen to a lot of podcasts, but I do enjoy the format. Many of them are just as good as talk radio, except instead of mindless banter, I get to hear them talk about things that I’m actually interested in. This weekend, I had an opportunity to listen to Podflix’s review of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead series.

Having recently watched the entire series, I was thrilled to be able to listen in on a bunch of guys, who enjoy talking about zombies eating people’s entrails. I know that not everybody is into horror films, but I love them and that is the beauty of podcating. What other’s consider amateur content, is A level material to someone who is interested. The key is matching up the listener’s interest with the content creators. Podcast Alley does a great job at this.

Congratulations to Podcast Alley for winning this week’s site of the week award. If you would like to nominate a site, feel free to send me an email. The nominations for next week’s contest are listed below. You can make your vote in the sidebar.

McAfee’s Site Advisor

No Phone Trees

Candy Wrapper Museum

Davis Freeberg’s Site Of The Week

Cat Catches EagleThe winner of this week’s site of the week contest was Cat With Bow Golf. Cat Golf is an unusual, but highly addictive Japanese flash animation game that was created earlier this year. While I wasn’t able to understand all of the Japanese instructions, the game is pretty easy to figure out, just by playing it for a few minutes.

Basically, you control a cat with a bow and arrow. The goal of the game is to hit a target with your arrow. The only catch is that the cat is connected to the arrow, so everytime you shoot at the target, you also go flying across the screen. As you are flying, you can fire a second shot and it will change your trajectory.

The levels in the game are a lot like the courses you’ll find at your local miniature golf course. There are obstacles that you have to go above or below and there are times where you need to think beyond just one shot.

The further you get in the game, the harder the levels get. I played the game a lot over the last week, but as hard as I tried, I couldn’t finished the game with a par score or better. For every Eagle my cat caught on early levels, I had plenty of triple bogeys at the later levels.

Overall, Cat Golf won’t make your internet surfing any more efficient, it won’t give you access to special information or provide any unique insights into technology. It’s not the type of site that will save you money or provide a tangible benefit from using it, in fact, if you go to the site, it will probably be a waste of time, but from an entertainment standpoint, it’s a great way to waste time.

I’m not sure what is is about the game makes it so playable, but there is something about the Cat Golf that makes it easy for one quick game to turn into a marathon gaming session. While the graphics aren’t going to compete with Halo, the combination of the easy rules with it’s unique game play, makes Cat Golf a lot of fun.

Congratulations to Cat with Bow Golf on winning this week’s site of the week award. The nominations for next week’s site are listed below, you may vote in the sidebar. If you know of a good site that should be considered, feel free to send it to me and I’ll be happy to consider it for a nomination.

Desktop Blues

Save The Bunny

Podcast Alley

Davis Freeberg’s Site Of The Week

When I Grow Up I Want To Enter A Demolition Derby

This week’s winner of this site of the week contest was Indeed.com. Indeed is your typical job search engine, except on human growth hormones. Instead of of restricting their search to one job site, they aggregate many different jobs listings into one easy to use interface. This can be helpful in many ways.

If you are looking for a highly specific position, you can put in certain skills or keywords that describe what you are looking for and instead of focusing on one set of search results, you can compare a more diversified pool of options. I learned long ago, that different businesses react to technology in their own unique ways. Some businesses would rather advertise in the paper than on Monster.com. As a job searcher though, why pick one site, if you don’t have too?

I also liked Indeed.com for the data mining features it provides me as a blogger. There have been plenty of business decisions leaked through careless job listings and it’s something I check regularly on many of the companies I follow more closely.

A quick look at the results for TiVo, reveals that they have a partnership with Solectron and that they are looking for more people in their call center. I’m not exactly sure how their relationship with Solectron works, but I did think that this was interesting, even if it wasn’t front page news.

One downside to Indeed.com is that I did not see any Craigslist listings on their engine. I’m not sure if this is related to licensing agreements or their business model, but the more sites that they can include, the better the results will be for job searchers. A lot of people think that content is king, but when there is so much information out there, sometimes it’s the companies that can make sense of it all, that succeed.

Congratulations to Indeed.com for winning this week’s site of the week contest. If you know of a good site, feel free to contact me and I will be happy to consider it for the pool of nominations. The nominees for next week’s award are listed below, you can vote in the sidebar.

Darwin Awards

Stair Fall (h/t to TDavid)

Cat With Bow Golf

Davis Freeberg’s Site Of The Week


(Warning Song is NSFW)

The winner of this week’s site of week award was the innovative music site, iJigg. What makes iJigg so unique is that unlike sites like Pandora or Last FM, they let you find music in a more social environment. Artists are encouraged to upload their tracks to the service, where users can vote and comment on the ones that, they think are the best. Just like Digg, the more votes a song gets, the closer to the home page it gets.

The site is still very young, they only had their beta launch last December, but already their traffic is going in the right direction. This really is a very unique way to find music. By interacting with real people, instead of a recommendation service, it opens up possibilities to find things way off the beaten path.

One of the other cool things about iJigg, is that the site isn’t just for North American listeners. They support Portuguese, French, Japanese, Thai, Hindi, Chinese, Spanish, German, as well as other languages. Users can either filter songs for certain languages or you can use the global language support, to find music that is good, even if you can’t understand the lyrics.

I was able to find a little bit of mainstream content on the site, but overall, it looked pretty clean. iJigg has a feature where people can report copyright infringement and they take the song down. When I first checked out the service there was a great mash up of Modest Mouse’s Float On and The Beastie Boys, but by the time I had gotten registered, they had already removed it. Not knowing whether or not content will be there later on is kind of a drag, but I can appreciate iJigg’s efforts to keep the site on the up and up, even though they depend on user submissions.

I just wish that the studios would quite freaking out about the mashups and realize the promotional value it can have, when people discover an old song all over again.

Overall, iJigg has created a very impressive set of tools that you can use to find new music. The community is developing nicely and already it’s a fun place to hang out. Even though, I’d like to see more mainstream content in the search results, I’m just as happy to find artists who are still trying to make it and who appreciate the extra attention. There really is a lot of amazing independent music out there and it’s neat to see a site that is helping them connect to eager listeners.

Congratulations to iJigg on winning this week’s award. You can check out their blog here. If you’d like to nominate a site for site of the week, feel free to send me a link and I’ll be happy to check it out. The nominees for next week’s award are listed below. Please vote in the sidebar.

50 States In Ten Minutes

I Love Music Video

Indeed.Com – One Search, All Jobs