Time Magazine has come out with their 50 best websites of 2011. We find that their lists are often chock full of useful stuff—last year’s list introduced us to Wakerupper, which schedules wake-up calls (.5 each after a few free ones) which we rely on to stop pressing the snooze alarm and get us out of bed).
Here are our top five from this year’s 50:
Get Human: More and more companies are putting all of their customer service online, but sometimes you need to talk to a real live human (as we were desperate to do when we hit the digital New Yorker’s lousy site). Get Human digs up phone numbers for companies that don’t list their numbers on their website, so you can TALK TO A HUMAN BEING. We found The New Yorker’s number there, which is nowhere to be found on the magazines website…we’ll we should say we found a number (800-825-2510 Subscription Services) that took us to someone who had the right number for Tech Support (800-873-8271), who, btw, mentioned they’d had a lot of complaints. In both cases, we got a human.
Howcast: Like YouTube but only for how-to videos. It’s how-to categories run the gamut, from Business & Finance to Environment to Personal Care & Style to House & Garden. You can send your still-in-the-dark-ages friend to How to use Twitter and Facebook (it’s amazing how many people still don’t get it) for find out How to Become a Millionaire or How to Tie a Bowline Knot or How to Find a Good Plumber. We’ve found some really good info (and some not-so-good.) The downside, many of the videos start with ads.
DuckDuckGo: Google famously tailors its search results to you, based on your previous search results and tracking technology we find kind of scary. DuckDuckgo is a more impartial search engine, with less ads and clutter and more privacy. We’ve just started using it, and find the results we’re getting apt and useful.
Zen Habits: A site “about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives… clearing the clutther so we can focus on what’s important.” We find ZenHabits advice to be grounding and worthwhile; we takeaway something great just about every day.
Related posts: urawaza: improvising ‘unmapped shortcuts’ at home
dormant websites as messengers + creating systems that work for your unique self
kate spade behind the curtain: “things we love”
bathroom read: esquire’s “what I’ve learned”
‘the world is full of interesting things’ on the massively creative internet and google