Friday, December 26, 2008

The Good

My next three posts will be three sites that were influential this year to me and stood out above other sites. The other two posts will feature The Bad and The Ugly sites for 2008. I'll be sure to mention several honorable mentions, but for now, I wanted to highlight three sites specifically.

First my honorable mentions for The Good sites in 2008:
  • Twitter leads this group hands down. Despite the down times this year and the immense growth, Twitter to me is still the exact same service now, as when I signed up last year. It also gets a mention for surviving this tough year in social networking.
  •  Twit Live (not related to Twitter) comes in second. Leo Laporte decided this year to kick up things in new media by live streaming his content practically every day. I've always enjoyed his programming, but now it's even more interactive.
  •  Google Reader's advancements have been very important to me this year. Not a day goes by when I'm not checking my feeds, sharing them, and commenting on them. This brings my blogs together, my tech news, my music news, and everything in between. 
  •  My last mention is for Friendfeed. I didn't think an aggregator would be so effective, but they managed to turn that service into a social network of their own. That's what happens when Google's top programmers do their own thing.
I thought long and hard about who I would name as my favorite site this year, but after disqualifying my own beautiful website, blog, and social network, it made my choice a lot easier.

My pick this year for The Good Site has to be last.fm. This has to be my music home on the web. I like and enjoy Pandora, but the social features in last.fm for me win the prize. I can check out what my friends are listening to at any time, even real time. People can recommend tracks to me or give me a quick shout to let me know if something is going on in the industry.

Not only can I listen to or watch the songs that I like, but I know when they'll be in town. I can purchase any track or album. I've discovered so many cool bands from this service.  I can even download a few free tracks or subscribe to a feed in iTunes and they'll deliver those songs to me via a podcast. Now that's smart.

It knows me pretty well, and for that reason above anything else, I call last.fm to be the best of the good for 2008. It will be a favorite site of mine will into 2009 too. Hopefully with the help of this site, we can help the music industry evolve and embrace digital media and the millions of people who use it every single day.