Friday, July 15, 2011

Best Websites on the Internet by Category

I spend a lot of my time on the internet and over the years I have developed an extensive collection of bookmarks. During this time I have found a lot of good websites and weeded out the bad ones. In this post I will share my top recommended websites by category. These are specifically categories that I am familiar with, so not all topics are covered. This is a personal blog so you may or may not agree with my picks. Feel free to voice your opinion in the comments.

Best Video Website: Youtube 
When it comes to uploading and sharing short videos, there is no denying that Youtube is number one.  You can find just about any video on there with a quick search.  The video playback is fast and it has nice community features such as subscriptions, favorites, and comments.  As seen in previous blog posts, I have had many issues with Youtube over the years, but overall they are still the go-to source for watching videos.
Runner Up: Vimeo.  Vimeo is like Youtube, but is more for film makers and less for people that just want to upload vlogs from their webcam.  Vimeo has a lot of great content but lacks the traffic and performance to take over Youtube at the number one spot.

Best Community Review Website: Yelp
Yelp is a great website to find reviews of local restaurants and businesses in your area.  You can post your own reviews of places you have been to and see what others are saying.  Yelp has excellent community features that make the website fun and interactive.  It is a valuable resource for anyone looking to try something new in their home town.   

Best Website for Watching TV Online: Network Sites
For many networks, they will post the episodes to watch on their website after they air on tv. Sometimes you must have an account or must wait a week, but usually they are one of the more reliable sources to see the episodes in high quality.
Runner Up: Netflix. Netflix is a streaming service that has a lot of original content as well as other popular tv shows and movies available for a reasonable monthly fee.

Best Music Website: The Hype Machine
I am a big fan of music and one great resource for finding new songs is The Hype Machine.  This is a website that collects music posted on music blogs around the internet.  It compiles them into a database where you can listen to them on the website.  You can see what is popular and what is new.  You can then link to the blog that published it to learn more about the song, or find other songs from that blog.

Best Email: Gmail
Not too much needs to be said here. Email is important and Gmail gets the job done.  It is very easy to use, it's free, and it has plenty of space.  I like how it saves contacts and makes it very easy to email someone just by starting to type in their name or email address.  If you are using another service and you are unhappy with it, give Gmail a try.

Best General Information Website: Wikipedia
Whenever I need to look up some basic information about just about anything whether it be a person, place, thing, or topic, I usually start at Wikipedia.  Wiki has information on most subjects and it is all in a familiar format that is easy to read.  Yes people may say that it is not 100% reliable because it can be edited by anyone, but this is rare because the community and moderators are good at making sure everything is correct.  They have high standard when it comes to editing and posting new information on Wikipedia which can be good on one hand, but frustrating on the other.  Overall it is a good site for learning what you want to know.

Best Maps Website: Google Maps
Google maps is fast and easy to navigate.  You can get directions, find bike paths, get satellite views and learn about geography with this website.  You can even find businesses and landmarks on the maps.  There is also a community element that lets users contribute their own information to the maps to make them even better.  If you need to get directions, you can't go wrong with Google Maps. 

Best Online Dating Website: Match.com
I have tried out a few dating websites over the years and overall my favorite has been Match.com.  They have a large number of users and the website is very easy to use in terms of narrowing down your search results.  The only downside is you have to pay for it to use all the features.  If you want to try it, here are some promo links for a free 3 day Trial and 25% discount.   
Runner Up: OkCupid. Ok Cupid is a similar dating website but it is nice because they give you the basic features including contacting matches for free.  OkCupid is somewhat more limited that websites like Match.com, but hey, if you are looking for someone and you don't want to pay for a subscription, this one is worth trying out. 

Best Viral Media Website: Reddit  
Reddit has become a great community with groups known as subreddits on just about anything. It is a good resource for news, pop culture, entertainment, and information. Here are some of the Best Reddits to get started.

Best Blogging Website: Blogger
I guess it's no surprise that I picked Blogger for the best blogging platform considering this blog is on Blogspot.  I have tried several different blogging sites such as WordPress, Tumblr, and Posterous, but overall my favorite is Blogger.  Now it is not perfect and I have had many issues with it in the past, but it is relatively easy to use and I think it is getting better as time goes on.  Anyone can set up their own blog, customize it, and start making posts in no time.

Best Shopping Website: Amazon
Amazon is great! They have everything and pretty much always have the best prices.  Whenever I need to buy anything, I always check Amazon. The website is so easy to use. Once you have bought something, they store your information so it makes future purchases very quick and efficient.  They recommend products you might like, and remember things you have looked up so you can check on them again the next time you visit the site. I have nothing but good things to say about Amazon. They are awesome!
Runner Up: eBay. Like Amazon, you can find just about anything on eBay and usually the prices are the best around.

Do you know of a good website that should be on this list?  What other categories should be featured?  Post your thoughts in the comments below.

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