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
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
Rejected iPod Engravings]]>
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.
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
Cell For Cash]]>
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.
Viral Video Chart
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.
Web 2.0 Name Generator
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]]>
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.
Save The Bunny
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.
Stair Fall (h/t to TDavid)
Cat With Bow Golf]]>
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]]>
This week’s winner of the site of the
week (cough: weeks) was Tube Battle. I’m not sure why I like competitions so much, but Tube Battle is a lot like another favorite site of mine, PickTheHottie.com TubeBattle puts two videos up against each other and the audience votes for their favorite ones. They have categories ranging from comedies, to movie trailers, to viral videos, they even have a sexy category for the Break.com crowd.
One drawback to using the site was that it does take a bit of a time commitment, if you really want to play the game right. If a video was really lame, I wouldn’t watch the whole thing, but for a lot of the videos I found, they weren’t the sort of things I’d look for normally.
By finding a new way to organize videos, Tube Battle has been able to create it’s own community beyond YouTube. It’s another neat example of how the web 2.0 community is using existing technology, in order to create a unique experience. By taking embedded content from other sites and rearranging it for their users, Tube Battle has created a new way to discover video content.
Congratulations to Tube Battle on winning this week’s site of the week award. The nominations for next week’s award are listed below. You can vote in the sidebar. If you know of a good site that should be nominated for site of the week, please feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to take a look.
Go 2 Web 2.0
This week’s winner of the site of the week contest was Tower Blaster. Tower Blaster is a game that is very simple, yet surprisingly entertaining. It wasn’t until I had been playing it for a half an hour, that I realized there was an education component to the game.
The goal of the game is line up a series of blocks in numerical order. You don’t have to get them exactly in order, you just need to make sure that each block has a higher value than the one above it. Once you get all of your blocks in order, you win that level. During the game, you compete against various opponents who have unique skills that they bring to the game. Some opponents have the ability to block you from seeing their progress, while other opponents, are more organized, but let you see what you are building.
The game starts off by letting you use blocks numbered 1 – 50, in order to build your tower, but as the game progresses, they limit the number of blocks that you can use. In total there are 8 levels for you to work your way through. This gives you a good number of levels to play through, yet still keeps it so that even a casual gamer can beat the game with a little practice.
Congratulations to Tower Blaster on winning this week’s site of the week award. The nominations for next week’s site of the week are listed below. You can vote in the sidebar. If you’d like to nominate a site, feel free to contact me and I will add it to the pool of nominees.
Museum of Hoaxes
Given the technology focus on my site, I never thought that a woman’s magazine would win site of the week, but Queendom’s great tests won this week’s award. Queendom is a site that hosts lots of polls and tests that you can use to answer all of life’s riddles. Most of the polls are for the types of things that you’d find in woman’s magazines, but the have polls for men too. I’m probably the wrong demographic for the site, but I still thought it was entertaining. My favorite tests were some of the more random ones. When I took the test for whether or not I had baby fever, here is the advice the site gave me.
“Although one day you may consider becoming a mother, presently it is the farthest thought from your mind. In fact it may not even exist in your five-year plan. Whatever your opinions on motherhood are, one thing is certain. You are not anxious to endure the agony of childbirth, the sleepless nights, nor sacrifice your freedom for next twenty years. Perhaps the idea of dirty diapers dampens your spirits or you may simply feel that you are still not ready to appreciate the pleasures of motherhood. You could be at the pinnacle of your career, finishing a degree or focusing on becoming a better person. You are wise enough to realize that being liable for another life is a huge responsibility. Being a mom is great â€¦ when you are ready! “
They are right about the dirty diapers, but I’m not too worried about the agony of childbirth, I plan to leave that up to somone else. The site also has more in depth tests, but you have to pay to get the detailed answers for the report and what’s the fun of answering 200 questions, if you can’t see what it means.
The nominees for next week’s site of the week award are listed below. You can vote in the sidebar. If you know of any good sites, you can send them to me and I will add them to the pool of contestants.
Blood Gut’s and Gore
I love the creative commons license because it allows me to use other people’s photos by giving them attribution for the work. The photo I used above for example, was originally taken by Grant Mitchell on Flickr. Some artists would prefer to lock down their content, but if someone wants to use Mitchell’s photo’s, he doesn’t mind sharing his content with the rest of the community.
All of my own photos have also been licensed under creative commons. Some artists might worry that other people will use their photos for free, but my opinion has always been, that there isn’t much value to my photos anyway, if other people don’t have an opportunity to see them to begin with. If someone wanted to use one of my photos in a marketing campaign, I’d probably request some type of payment, but if someone wants to share one of my photos with a larger audience, I certainly wouldn’t want to stop them from presenting my work.
Flickr also has a creative commons filter that you can use to find photos, but by default, their search field includes a lot of all rights reserved photos and it’s frustrating when you find a great photo, but someone doesn’t feel comfortable letting you use it.
Another perk of using Every Stock Photo, instead of Flickr directly, is that you can search more than just one service, for photos that people are willing to share. Currently, the site indexes over a million creative common photos, from a number of different sites.
Every Stock Photo is a great resource, but there are a few ways that they could improve the site. I’d like to see them add more sources to their filter. Right now the service relies pretty heavily on Flickr, but looking through the search results, I didn’t see any hits from Photobucket, Zooomr or Webshots. Because Flickr already offers their own creative commons content search, by adding extra sites, it would significantly enhance the value proposition of using Every Stock Photo’s portal instead.
The site also doesn’t offer much in the way of sorting photos. One of the cool things that you can do on Zooomr is sort photos by how awesome they are. Zooomr and Flickr both use an algorithm to figure out which photos are good and which ones are junk, but Every Stock Photo doesn’t seem to take interestingness into account. This makes it harder to find the best photos on the site, unless someone has specifically tagged the photo for the term that you are looking for.
Overall though, the positives of the site, more than make up for the negatives. There are a lot of people out there willing to share their photos with the rest of the world, but sometimes finding people open to sharing, can be more difficult than it’s worth. Every Stock Photo, helps you get around this problem by making sure that every photo you see, has already been approved for people to use on their own sites.
Congratulation to Every Stock Photo for winning this week’s site of the week contest. The nominations for next week’s site are listed below, you can vote in the sidebar. If you know of any good sites that should be considered for nomination, feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to check them out.
Area Code Database
Queendom: Land Of Tests
Most of the sites that win the Davis Freeberg site of the week award tend to be focused on the positive things in life. Whether it’s a site that gives you quick access to information, some kind of a game or a neat community that has developed, it is the ones that contribute something positive, that tend to do the best in the voting. This week was a little bit of an exception though. Instead of a feel good winner, we had a dark horse canidate take the weekly award.
This week’s winner was the complaint generator. The site allows you to enter in anyone’s name and it will randomly “customize” a complaint against that person or business. The site was originally created by Scott Pakin as a gag, but I’m sure that there are plenty of frustrated customer service reps, who didn’t get the joke. When I entered in my own information on the site, here is the letter that it sent me.
Okay, let’s do it. Let’s exercise all of our basic rights to the maximum. One of the first facts we should face is that Mr. Davis Freeberg wants us to believe that we can solve all of our problems by giving him lots of money. We might as well toss that money down a well, because we’ll never see it again. What we will see, however, is that at this point in the letter, I had planned to tell you that the pragmatist position is that stereotyping and victim-blaming is not more respectable when it is performed by a member of the group being demeaned. However, one of my colleagues pointed out that he has made a big mistake. Hence, I discarded the discourse I had previously prepared and substituted the following discussion, in which I argue that Mr. Freeberg wants us to emulate the White Queen from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, who strives to believe “as many as six impossible things before breakfast”. Then again, even the White Queen would have trouble believing that honesty and responsibility have no cash value and are therefore worthless. I prefer to believe things that my experience tells me are true, such as that Mr. Freeberg does not tolerate any view that differs from his own. Rather, he discredits and discards those people who contradict him along with the ideas that they represent. Mr. Freeberg knows how to lie. It’s too bad he doesn’t yet understand the ramifications of lying. Imagine a world in which he could create new (and reinforce existing) prejudices and misconceptions whenever he felt like it. I would like to go on, but I do have to keep this letter short. So I’ll wrap it up by saying that Mr. Davis Freeberg finds it easier to discuss other people’s problems than his own.
What’s funny about the letter is that if I really received this as an email or a comment, I would think that it was real and that I had actually upset someone. The letter goes off on a few tangents, but it is ambiguous enough, that it would make me wonder who I had offended. While the site is really a joke, I could see how people could take this seriously, if they received it from someone that they didn’t know. I can also see how the social networks could use this site as a new weapon against businesses that they are upset at.
A few years ago, I never would have thought that an online mob was possible, but it’s starting to become increasingly common for mobs to form at places like Digg and use their numbers to go after businesses that they are upset with. These mobs extract their own brand of justice by crank calling companies and posting slams against them in online forums. If one of these mobs got ahold of the automatic complaint generator, things could really get dicey. There are many businesses that are legally required to respond to complaints and if someone started snail mail spamming complaints, they could come up with some really crazy letters, that would be hard to respond to. I’m not advocating that someone should do this, but I still bet that we do see someone use the complaint generator in this way.
Overall, I found the complaint generator to be very entertaining, even if I could not understand half of what it randomly writes. Congratulations to Scott Pakin on winning this week’s site of the week contest. The nominations for next week’s site of the week are listed below. You can vote in the side bar. If you know of any sites that should be considered for nomination, please feel free to email them to me at Davis at DavisFreeberg.com and I will add them to the pool of weekly canidates.
Every Stock Photo
It’s a good thing I’m not a paid blogger because I do terrible with deadlines. Once again, this week’s site of the week is a little bit late in coming out. Rather then try and bombard you with all the sites I need to get caught up on, I think I’m just going to make the site of the week less structured and will sneak in the few I’m missing at irregular intervals throughout the year.
This week’s belated winner was The Free Sound Project. Free sound is a great site, where it’s users can upload sound effects and then allow others to use the effects under various creative commons licenses.
Lately, I’ve been getting more and more involved in video and one of the things that is a huge pain in the neck is having to track down sound effects that you want to use in various clips. There are a number of paid services where you can pay royalties to use their content, but most of the services look pretty spammy and I’ve got a suspicion that these sites are very trustworthy and are using a little blackhat SEO magic to get to the top of Google’s search results.
When it comes creating videos, I’m anything but a pro, so the prospect of paying someone, just so that 10 of my friends can watch a vacation video, isn’t really all that appealing. At the same time though, it can be really frustrating to want a certain sound, but not be able to locate one for free. That is where the Free Sound project steps in. With most of the clips that are uploaded to the site, all you need to do is give attribution to the individual who originally recorded it and you can mix, mash and burn to your heart’s content.
What’s really nice about the site is that because they have such a diverse community, you’ll find all kinds of neat effects that would be harder to find on the more focused paid services. It’s also very easy for users to contribute sounds to the site. Unlike stock video footage or even photographs of newsworthy events, you don’t have to be in the right place at the right time to get an effect that someone might be interested. You don’t even need expensive equipment, you just need a sound recorder and a healthy interest to classify and upload various noises that you come across during your day.
Of all the features that our included on the site, I had the most fund playing with their random sound button. Given how many sound clips that they have, you never know what to expect and it’s a good way to find new sounds for videos, that you wouldn’t have thought of using otherwise.
Congratulations to the Free Sound Project for winning this
weekend’s week’s week and half’s site of the week. The nominations for next week’s site of the week are listed below. You can vote in the sidebar. If you’d like to nominate a site for consideration, send me an email at Davis (at) DavisFreeberg.com and I will add it to the list of nominees.
The Hype Machine is one of the more controversial picks to win site of the week because, one of the many things that the site lets you do, is search and listen to pirated music on the internet. Hype Machine takes the position that they aren’t pirating themselves because they do not provide downloads to listeners, but they are rather just pointing streaming links to .mp3′s that other bloggers have loaded onto the internet.
Regardless of whatever ethically grey issues people have with the site, the Hype Machine is a great tool for finding new music and they really do encourage their listeners to support the bands by buying their music, if they like it. In addition to being able to stream many songs, you can also download
an mp3 a crappy DRM infected file from either Amazon or iTunes, directly from the site. If you aren’t willing to pay for a DRM file, then the Hype Machine also lists upcoming performances for each band, so that you can support your favorite bands by seeing them live.
Hype Machine is a lot like TechMeme, only for .mp3s. They have a pretty extensive list of bloggers that regularly blog .mp3 files and whenever one of the bloggers adds a song, it automatically gets added to the front page of their site. Unlike Techmeme though, the hype machine actually tries to strip out the duplicate links to try and keep the site clean.
One bad part about the Hype Machine is that they only have .mp3′s and don’t do podcasts. Most people using the site are probably looking for music to begin with, but it would be neat to be able to see which podcasts were being talked about. It would help listeners better figure out which ones are worth taking the time to listen to and which ones we should take a pass on. There are of course other sites that specialize in podcasts, but personally, it’s a feature that I think that the Hype Machine should have.
Getting access to a bunch of great songs is cool, but one of my favorite parts of the Hype Machine is that they let you monitor the music by creating RSS feeds for bands or songs that you are looking for. This is a great tool for finding b-sides, covers or new music by your favorite artists. It also helps to serve as a good reminder to keep coming back and checking out the new stuff that shows up.
Congratulations to the Hype Machine on winning this shortened site of the week contest. The nominies for this week’s contest are listed below. You can vote in the sidebar. Voting will close on Friday morning, so get you votes in early. If you have a site you’d like to nominate for the site of the week, send me an email to Davis AT davis freeberg . com and it will be considered for nomination.
The Freesound Project
All Star Skate Park
This week’s winner of the site of the week contest was What the F . . . . ?!?! What the F is a collection of funny classified ads that have shown up in various papers over the years. The ads were uploaded to Scribd.com by someone with the handle of Sanctifyer. Sanctifyer has also uploaded several other documents that are worth checking out as well, including a collection of funny things that people say in court and a well written inspirational piece on happiness.
In reading through the various ads collected on What the F, my favorite had to be this unique description for someone looking to get rid of their dog.
“Free To Good Country Home – 3/4 Rotweiller, 1/4 Shepherd. 3 years old, female, spayed, very intelligent. Loves to eat live rabbits and kittens.
Loves to play ball with kids. Call after 5pm.”
Congratulations to What the F on winning this week’s sites of the week contest. The ads really were better than anything that I’ve ever seen on the Tonight Show and offered great entertainment for the week.
The nominations for the site of weekend are listed below, you can vote in the sidebar. If you’d like to nominate a site for consideration, you can email me at Davis at DavisFreeberg.com.
The Hype Machine
I am sorry to my friends and readers, but my posting has been light for the last few weeks. I’ve been taking a bit of a break from blogging and while that is ok for my regular articles, when it comes to the Site of the Week contest, it puts me behind on my master plan. To compensate for my laziness, I have decided to double the pleasure by hosting two sites of the week contests, until I catch up. The contests will run much shorter, so get your vote in now, but their will be twice as many sites for you to be able to check out.
This weeks winner of the site of the weeks was Scribble. Scribble is a website where you can make drawings online and then share them with other people. I’ve never been very good at drawing with a mouse, but it is still a great way to kill time and do something creative.
One of the things I like about the site is that you can see Scribbles that other people have made. Unfortunately, there are no permalinks to the drawings, but I had more fun looking at what other people were making, then trying to draw my own. Scribble was designed by Grant Robinson, who also has a great page filled with links that he finds on the internet. Congratulations to Grant on winning this week’s site of the week contest.
The nominies for one of this week’s contests are below. You can vote in the sidebar. If you know of a great site that should be included in the site of the week contest, you can email me at davis at davis freeberg dot com and it will be considered for nomination.
Fax It Nice
What The F
So far, most of the winners of the site of the week contest have been internet sites that help people find useful information on the net, but this week’s winner is a 180 degree turn from the past sites that have won. Instead of helping you find useful information, Useless Information specializes in finding obscure facts that people don’t normally come across.
Other then using the information to impress your friends, there isn’t really much that you can do with the facts that you find on the site, but they are entertaining nonetheless.
For example, had it not been for Listerine, Band-Aids wouldn’t have been created. While interesting, I think I can safely say that I can’t imagine any scenario where I may have needed to know that tidbit.
Not every article is filled with fun facts though, some of the articles written on the site are just plain bizzare. Reading the story of Mike the Headless Chicken made my stomache a little uneasy, but it’s a pretty incredible tale.
Congratulations to Useless Information on winning this week’s site of the week contents. The nominations for next weeks contest are listed below. Please vote in the sidebar. If you’d like to nominate a site, shoot me an email at Davis @ DavisFreeBerg . Com and I will be happy to check it out.
Secret Fun Spot]]>