Tag Archives: bookmarks

Charlene Wroblewski’s Favorite Web Sites

Geek!This is Charlene Wroblewski’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

  1. MeowMail.com – This is a wonderful place where people who own cats can come together, take on their cat’s personality, and post. They allow other animals to post, too. A few people post as themselves because their animals have died and they haven’t adopted a new one. Anything can be discussed on the forum, unless it starts an argument or flame war. You can also get a free email address with the MeowMail.com domain. Both the Forum and Email use third-party services to handle the traffic. Also, Mama Mothball occasionally has a very important article.

  2. Security Monkey Blog – This is a good site to learn about the pitfalls of security. The Security Monkey (or chief as he calls himself) has a blog at ITToolbox which has been online since June 2003: Introduction. He has numerous cases that he’s written in serial fashion so we had to wait impatiently for the next installment. Occasionally, there is a very informative podcast – although his fans have been waiting a while for a new one. In looking through all the cases, I can’t decide which one is my favorite.
  3. Woot – This is where you can find daily bargains. Some days, usually on a Friday, they change the item every hour (or when they run out of an item). I bought a Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner once (and saved a ton of money). Items range from inexpensive items, such as USB Flash Drives, to expensive items like 50” widescreen HDTVs. On Tuesdays, the items are sold as a two-pack.
  4. PaperBack Swap – Here’s a service where you can swap books with other readers. There are similar sites out there, such as BookMooch.com. Both of them allow you to enter your inventory of books you want to swap, and create a wish list of books you want. The difference is that PaperBack Swap only emails the first person on a list when a popular book is available. BookMooch emails everyone. Also, when someone decides they want a book when there are many copies available, the first book to be listed is the one that is used. It is easier to rack up points with BookMooch because you get 1/10th of a point for each book you list and 1/10th of a point when you report that you received your book you ordered. PaperBack Swap gives you 2 points for the first 10 books. Both give you one point for each book mailed out – PaperBack Swap, when the book is marked as received (unless you use Delivery Confirmation by using their site); BookMooch gives you the point as soon as someone requests the book. I prefer PaperBack Swap because I get a better chance of getting technical books.
  5. Chris Pirillo – Chris has many interesting things to say. If there is anything you want to know about technology, check his site first. He even has posts about things that aren’t technological. Every post or podcast has some humor in it. And his creation of a social network just for Geeks has been a great idea. Geeks are the best! I wish I had more time to listen to all of Chris’s podcasts. [and no, I’m not trying to suck up!]

What are some of your favorite Web sites?

Social Bookmarking Button Madness

Okay, I understand the need to make it easier for your visitors to bookmark sites on their favorite Web service(s), but enough is enough. I keep finding Digg and del.icio.us icons on sites and pages where they just… don’t… belong! Seriously, Answers.com has deployed a set on every single page. Yeah, because Answers.com answers are just so digg’able. Whatever.

These buttons are annoying more than anything else, serving to show the world just how unpopular your content really is – and I believe that there’s no direct correlation between the number of social bookmarking buttons you place on your page(s) has any direct impact on the number of times those page(s) have been stored in the respective services. Moreover, if a user is really passionate about their selected service, they likely already have a toolbar or bookmarklet installed – further rendering the cacophony of buttons moot!

I had ’em on my site for a little while, then got rid of ’em. They were wasting space and bandwidth – as they’re probably doing on your site right now, too. The only way I might consider bringing them back is if a smart plugin and matching icon are developed. Even then, their future is questionable.

My shit just isn’t important enough to be bookmarked – and neither is 99.9% of the galaxy’s. It’s not that I don’t want it to be bookmarked, shared, or saved – just that I don’t think the buttons are helping anybody, especially if they’re being deployed as they are by the marketing idiots at Answers.com. One or two buttons are somewhat more tolerable, but where does the madness end? Aren’t you leaving out the people who don’t use Digg or del.icio.us by not putting their icons next to the others?

Prove to me that by placing social bookmarking icons on a site, you will see a noticable increase in the page’s / site’s actual social bookmarkings. I don’t believe it, and I’m getting quite tired of seeing them everywhere. Gah! I swear my next post won’t be so negative.