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Which web sites do you really need? I mean, REALLY need....

Which web sites do you really need? I mean, REALLY need....

Which web sites do you really need? I mean, REALLY need....

Every day in the PlusNet office somebody will post a “Have you seen this great website?” forum post, a “How cool is this?” message will go around or you’ll see a Twit from a friend claiming that this new site makes the whole Internet as we knew it redundant. I’m sure you’ve been there yourself. Yes, there are a million and one interesting/cool/impressive things floating around on the Internet, but how many of these sites do you personally need? Do you have particular web-sites and web-tools that are so useful that they have actually become an integral part of your life, or as cool as something may be, is it really just time-wasting flotsam? Personally, I really couldn’t do without the trusty old HSBC Internet banking website. I know it hasn’t really been upgraded for 6 or 7 years, but who cares? It tells me how much money I have (or otherwise) and I can pay my credit card bill without having to go through the pain of an automated phone system or posting a cheque in the mail. I find that iGoogle is extremely useful; it aggregates the RSS feeds from all the news sites that I read, and provides me with rudimentary ToDo List functionality and access to all my bookmarks, on whichever of the 3 devices I access the web on. Apart from that, what else is there that I really need? Yes, Facebook is useful when planning my social life and seeing what my friends are up to, Flickr is useful for sharing my photos with family and friends (and also a useful backup of many years worth of photos), and apart from that, cool does not seem to equal necessary. Twitter, Plaxo and Pownce don’t really do anything for me, do they you? Google Grand Central may be of use when they open up the service to the UK, but for now I’ll stick with Skype on my laptop and Fring on my phone. I don’t really watch a lot of TV due to being too busy with other things, so BBC iPlayer isn’t something that I need. I’ll wait for the day when TV stations decide to provide 1 minute summaries of their programming in the style of ZeroPunctuation - much more efficient... Wink So, I suppose that all sounds a bit like Mr Grumpy, but if I don’t need something then I’m not going to waste my time on it. How about you the PlusNet Community Site reader, what web-sites and web-tool do you really rely on as part of your life? Matt Grest Head of Future Development PlusNet

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If I had to choose three sites, it would be very easy - because these are the three that I visit daily. * Bloglines. I've tried Google Reader and I've tried other RSS readers both online and as applications, but I've not managed to shake Bloglines. * BBC News. Even though I'm not entirely certain of their supposed impartiality, the website is head and shoulders above any other UK news service. * Gmail. Kind of essential.
Can't live without the following: *Gmail, Calendar and Google Reader *BBC News *Thinkbroadband *The Register *Online banking and of course the PlusNet Community Site :-)
Community Veteran
Which websites do I need? Hmm... *Smile online banking - it's an online-only bank, so it would be pretty hard to use their services if they didn't have a website. *Facebook - albeit only to a certain extent. It can sometimes be the only easy way of keeping tabs on far-away good friends' lives, which is important to me. *TfL journey planner - I do a lot of commuting and a reasonable amount of leisure travelling so it comes in very useful for planning routes, particularly at times of disruption when my normal route(s) won't work. *National Rail Live Departure Boards - similar to above reasons. *eBay - when I need to make some money (I never buy stuff off there). *BBC Weather - needs no explanation really.
Newbie
I realise having throught about it that there are only about 10 websites that I actually use on a regular basis including various web comics but these are the essentials: The first thing I check every day and also periodically throughout the day is BBC News Also Gmail for obvious reasons Alliance & Leicester online banking Eurogamer for my fix of gaming news
N/A
Gmail - I'd be wading through spam without it. Google Reader - Feed aggregation to keep up with the latest iGoogle - Quick overview of Gmail, Google Reader & Digg. HSBC online banking - Paying rent Google Maps - For not getting lost. I've not long passed my test so this is invaluable at the minute... especially since you can get it on your mobile Cheesy
Grafter
Looking at my History in Firefox I can see that practically everyday I visit; www.bbc.co.uk - for News and Sport www.engadget.com - for news and views on the latest Gadgets www.futuremark.com - which has a good hardware enthusiast forum and gaming news www.hexus.net - has short TV shows on the latest technology and great hardware reviews www.terranovagaming.com - the gaming Community I'm part of and Administrate community.plus.net - so I can check if there are any problems and read the cool Blogs and forums Wink (and not really a website but...) 'MythWeb' on my Linux machine - so I can set my PVR to record TV without needing to switch computers Smiley
Newbie
@MattGrest As I work in the depressing building across the road from you Matt I can confirm that HSBC internet banking was indeed upgraded last year. New interface, new architecture the works. It'll never be web 2.0, somehow I can't see then allowing Tweets to your Bank manager, maybe they'll wait for web2.1, no big organizations go with a new release ;-)
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hotmail iwantoneofthose - for presentsiwantoneofthose - for presents ebay - for buying second hand presents and passing them off as new bbc - for sport and general news cnet / zdnet / pcworld / reg - for tech news flickr - invaluable when you have a new baby xda-developers - for my smartphone microsoft forums - for tech support sheffieldforums - for knowing stuff about sheffield and getting recommendations doodle.ch - great for arranging events
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durr! forgot workplace !! oh, and if you're including internet tools then include fring and pidgin.
Grafter
BBC News; Facebook; Rojo; Google Reader; Remember The Milk; NatWest online banking; eBay; Amazon; oh, and too many others.
I can do without Youtube, facebook, rss feeds and blogs. There's too much going on without complicating matters. I can't do without Ebay, Paypal on line to keep them "inline" and yahoo maps along with Google Earth so I can keep an eye on George Bush and Bin Laden!!!! and of course dear old Plusnet speedchecker to find out why my downloads are taking forever!!
Dabbler
Google (search engine facility): http://www.google.co.uk PlusNet Webmail: https://webmail.plus.net MSDN Library (WIN32-API, MSVC++ Documentation): http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/default.aspx Boost (libs and documentation): http://www.boost.org/doc/libs/1_35_0 Digg (falls uder the 'cool' category but couldn't live without it): http://digg.com/
Grafter
My home pages: (I use FF): Plusnet Member Centre BBC Radio 2 - music while I work Oracle Technology Network Linkedin iGoogle
I dont use Facebook or Flickr because I am afraid of how Polar Rose and the like will develop. I mean I might drop an apple core one day. Love First Direct and the fact it is on my phone too. Also love iPlayer but only to see if I missed anything on Jools Holland's Later, New Scientist to see if I need to buy the mag and Autotrader for the technical performance info that doesn't seem available so easily elsewhere.
The web site Ive been boring people with of late is for National Express East Cost. They took over from GNER last year running inter city trains from London to Leeds, Tork, Newcastle etc and the first thing they did was make the on-train wifi free, which was nice. But the big thing for me is how you buy tickets on their web site. It's a giant leap forward from thetrainline model because you choose your price first and then it shows you the trains rather than the other way round. It's actualy a pleasure to use and it's very easy to find the cheapest fare, even when you a re-booking (that's when you buy to tickets to cover one journey - it can be cheaper to buy a york to peterborough ticket plus a peterborough to london ticket rather than a york to london - I know that sounds crazy but that's the way things are). So if you are buying a train ticket online head to http://www.nationalexpresseastcoast.com/ you'll love it!
Community Gaffer
copmanthorpe: Absolutely. I always buy my train tickets from there now. I've not ever managed to get a free WiFi train though, despite them promising it on the tickets!