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The Plethora Of Online Tools

What tools do you use online? With the explosion of web 2.0, it’s easy to get lost amongst the commotion. There are new web applications for doing almost anything you’d like to do, but it’s almost impossible to keep track of them all with new ones popping up each day (or is that hour) and the funny names they like to use. However, there are a few that seem to rise as the cream of the crop.

Here’s some of my favorites:

  • Bloglines – Easily the best news aggregator I’ve used so far. If you’re not familiar with news aggregators, they collect RSS and ATOM feeds (like the one in the right-hand column under Syndication) and almost create a custom newspaper. The stories from the feeds can be grouped into categories, which makes for easy reading. I prefer Bloglines to aggregator programs because I read my articles both at work and at home, so that portability is great.
  • Last.FM – If you’ve wondered where I get my music updates at the top of the page, it’s through this great service. By adding a plug-in to iTunes, Windows Media Player, or a number of other media players, you can have songs you’re listening to submitted to a profile where statistics are kept on your listening habits. My page can be found under GuruGreg. There’s lots of other features there as well, but those are my favorites.
  • Kiko – An online calendar tool which I use to keep track of the events at South Pittsburgh Assembly of God (and will have on their website this weekend if all goes well). After experimenting with several options, including SpongeCell and Google Calendar, I settled on Kiko because it provides the best RSS feeds that can then be read and formatted into another page easily (which is how I intended to use it).
  • Intention Cloud – This is a great tool for SEOs and webmasters alike. When given a search term, this tool gathers information from a number of search engines and displays similar terms that a searcher may actually be looking for. A great way to see if your selected keywords actually reflect how people are really trying to use them.
  • del.icio.us – Can’t forget one of the leaders of the web 2.0 revolution. Through the use of social bookmarking (a.k.a. marking pages with keywords you and others found most relevant), del.icio.us has become a great way to alternatively search the web. You’ll get different results from Google, Yahoo and MSN, almost guaranteed. I like using del.icio.us to break up my boredom. If I’m at my computer and I’m not sure what I want to do, I can just open up the main page or the popular page and find interesting stuff to read or watch.

So, that’s my core set of online tools? Am I missing something totally awesome?

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