Sunday, October 26, 2008

#66 Directory 2.0

Thing 66 brought to us by Baldgeek is about directories to help on the Web 2.0 journey. I first looked at AllMyFaves which presents as a great screen of icons. I found a lot of my faves, but was surprised not to find Picnik amongst the photo sites and not to find Foodbuzz amongst the recipes. These are really two of MyFaves that I use regularly. I was also surprised to see Bloglines under the category "Blog" as I think of it as a management tool for RSS feeds.

I tried two icons I didn't know. All recipes looked pretty useful and immediately asked me if I wanted to go to their .au site. I also clicked on the National Geographic icon under Maps suspiciously thinking it wasn't about maps at all. I was pleasantly surprised to find a link to National Geographic's Mapmachine. It looked pretty US centric, but I popped in Athens Greece and then honed it down to Syngrou. Success! AllMyFaves, nonetheless, is pretty US based particularly in services eg banks, couriers etc.

43Marks is a different concept: it displays names and not icons and the idea is that you set up your own lists of favorites in various categories. I signed up very easily and added and deleted and faved sites, as well as setting up a new category Food into which I popped Foodbuzz. Picnik also was not on the original list for photos but it is in Polyxena's list now. 43Marks also has an embryonic tool for managing RSS feeds but I'll be sticking to Bloglines. The task also mentioned doing the tutorial but when I tried to access it I got a message: Tutorial coming soon! Well, it is a beta site.

In terms of sites I don't use, I tried Lonely Planet which is under Travel. I always think of it as a publishing company but guess that it is fine under Travel. I also tried Fandango under Movies. It's a site for finding movie and theatre showings but very US based. I looked up The Duchess which I happened to see yesterday and got comprehensive info about the film. I could have signed up in order to rate the film or give a review. However, if I wanted to find a session I needed to indicate a US place. I decided that I was interested to see what was showing today at Virginia Beach, VA, as some friends are there this weekend. There were three venues and I could have seen Body of lies (and lots of other things I had no wish to see). I suppose the site is useful for its summary of films but there is a very limited number of films included at any given time, ie showing or about to show, and these aren't necessarily ones on release in Melbourne. I think I'll stick to Yahoo at present as it gives me my local cinemas and their sessions. Curiously, Yahoo isn't a Movie site on 43Marks.

The US based nature of the sites notwithstanding, I think 43Marks is a good little tool for gathering together in one place all the sites one uses and categorizing them. I currently have them in my bookmarks but I can see that the tool could be useful. I just have to find a bit of time to input them all...

#65 It's hard to think about anything else

I went on a discovery exercise of most of the sources recommended here in the hope that they would help an economically-challenged historian cum librarian get a handle on all this. The Subprime Primer on was my favourite. When I started second-guessing the dialogue I realized how simplified a view it was! It is good to have some clear sources if the public want to have them, but I think I understood the situation reasonably before.

I find it very hard in this environment to understand the huge amount of US$$ being raised for the presidential election campaign, on both sides but particularly Obama's. And as for the amount of money being spent on Palin's clothes and makeup, well I think the press has been having a field day on this. Oliver Burkeman's article in the Guardian "How to spend $1.5bn on elections - first lavish $150,000 on Sarah Palin's clothes" is just one comment. Spending to boost the economy? I am glad I live in Australia for many reasons.
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