Those of us on the development team here at Emma spend a lot of time online. Many of us have been using the Internet in some form since the days of dial-up BBSes and acoustic couplers.
We like to think we have seen a lot of the web and that we are familiar with the best of the best. To that end, we invite you to agree or disagree with what each of us thinks is one great website. Some are work-related, if only tangentially, some are simply cool applications which we admire from a technology point of view, and some are just great ways to explore the things that interest us away from the computer. Yes, we are occasionally allowed to step away from building new features.
Hernan gets great ideas and advice from Jakob Nielsen's UseIt.
"About 10 years ago, I attended a presentation given by Jakob where he discussed the importance of information architecture and website usability long before anybody really cared about those things. He provided some great tips on building websites that will attract users by making it simple for them to find the information they want, instead of just foisting a whole bunch of press releases and unnecessary graphics upon them. His website has an archive of all his posts since 1995 (under "All Alertbox columns") and is a great resource for anybody looking to publish a web page or that will actually be read by the intended audience."
Keeping up to date with the fast-changing programming world is made easy for Matt with the Reddit – Programming feed.
"It used to be that we had a 'yellowpages' for the internet that was a directory of every webpage on the planet, in one book. However, as this internet fad has continued more and more sites have blossomed, it has become hard to find new resources to see what is happening in the tech world. That's why one of the sites that I use most is the reddit programming feed. It's a good look into what's new and what's going on in the technology/programming world."
Kim, our uber-productive Director of Product Development, keeps everything on track with tips from the Lifehacker Blog.
"Lifehacker's dedication to finding efficient, innovative, or sometimes just plain strange ways of getting things done and optimizing work-flow is a great source of ideas and inspiration. Hearing about great extensions and utilities to streamline what techies have to keep up with during the day has been super helpful, and hey – who doesn't want to know how to rehab old speakers into a media cabinet? And speaking of utilities that help keep mundane tasks fun and engaging, I'll give a shout out to flickr and picnik, who managed to make something as simple as reordering photos or quick photo editing a pleasure rather than something I'd rather rip my nails off than do."
According to Chris, content rules at RUKind.org.
"One website that is not tech-related but has an awesome wealth of info on it is www.rukind.org. It's hippie stuff to the bone but the link to other related sites, as well as the amount of updated, cool info you can get there is incredible. It looks really old school, but if the old adage of 'content over prettiness' still holds, I'd take this one any day."
When it comes to keeping in sync, I use DropBox.
Dropbox provides a dead-simple way to sync files (images, word documents, anything) across several machines, access these files online (in a secure way), and even share these files with friends via a simple web link. It's a combination of a downloadable application and a website, but what makes Dropbox's offering really compelling is how simple it is to use. You just don't have to do much to it to sync files, and getting a link to a file for a friend is two or three clicks away. It's a great example of how technology helps make complicated tasks easy and accessible. It might be great way for a small office to make sure everyone can access the latest vacation calendar or get to those image assets for the next email campaign.
This is just a small sample of the websites that keep us working, learning, and exploring. What sites help you make it through your day?