Next up, I spent a very entertaining hour with John DiGilio (Reed Smith) and Gayle Lynn-Nelson (LexisNexis), going through “60 sites in 60 minutes” (although we did overrun a little – but I doubt anyone minded!). The sites were divided into 10 categories: Blogs, Resources, Research & Reference, Travel, Technology, Search, News & Info, Consumer, Productivity, and Fun. I won’t go through every site here (the PPT and handouts are available here, if you want a full list: http://drop.io/60sites – incidentally, drop.io was one of the 60 sites. Looks potentially very useful), but here are a few that grabbed my attention:
OneLook: John referred to this as the “mother of all dictionary sites”. OneLook will
search hundreds of online dictionaries, and has lots of nice extras. I could also see it being useful for solving crossword clues (and would feel less like cheating than another site mentioned!) I do prefer to use print dictionaries where available – I just like flicking through them. I have a lovely Bloomsbury dictionary at home (which my boyfriend insists on referring to as the English Book), but a site like this could be really useful for my work computer.
RollYo: customisable search engine. Build your own search by telling RollYo which sites you trust. Will definitely be using this!
Grand Central (soon to be Google Voice): looks like it could be massively useful, but I’m not sure whether it’s actually usable in the UK. Certainly one to keep an eye on.
iBraryGuy: John’s own site. Microblogging for librarians. The newest addition to my RSS reader!
GetHuman: possibly the most useful site in the whole hour! Tips on how to get past companies automated phone menus and talk to a real person. Covers hundreds of businesses, including UK-based!
MoFuse: Tool to make an existing website mobile-friendly
Pageonce: Makes all your online accounts – bank account, email, everything – accessible in one place with one password. Hmmm. Not sure about this one – could see it being useful, but not sure I’d want to compromise my data security for the sake of a little convenience. Think I’ll pass.
Think Geek: FUNS!!! Seriously, I want everything on this site. Those of you who enjoy this blog so much you’re just racking your brains to think of what you can buy me to show your appreciation, just pick anything at random from Think Geek. Wait, what do you mean you weren’t planning on buying me anything? What did I start this blog for, anyway??
FixYa: Online tech support, manuals and troubleshooting.
There were also quite a few sites which I was already aware of, like mashable, addictomatic (which I know from Phil Bradley’s blog), ning and whatis (that one I’d really recommend bookmarking – has been enormously useful on my course, and in training some less tech-savvy new staff members in my old job); and lots which I didn’t think would be as useful to a non-American like myself. I’d recommend having a look at the full list, there’s lots of really interesting things I haven’t mentioned here.