What Bookmarks are on Thomas Hawk’s Firefox Toolbar… or 25 Web Pages I Just Couldn’t Live Without
I’ve read a lot of articles over the past few years about the top 10, 20, 25 websites that people use, their favorite places to go on the internet, etc.
Instead of just writing a post about my favorite web sites, I figured a better indicator of what web sites I use the most would be the sites that are currently set as bookmarks on my Firefox toolbar. These are the sites that I visit most frequently on the internet. These are the sites that I go to every single day and that I’ve found to be the most helpful, interesting and fun sites for me on the internet.
So here is what currently sits on my Firefox toolbar.
1. Flickr Recent Activity. It has been said many times in the past that Flickr is like crack and nowhere do Flickr users go more than their recent activity page. Flickr’s recent activity page tracks all of the comments, faves, and notes that are made on the photos that you upload to Flickr. One Flickr friend put this page to me this way once. You are a bird in an experiment. Every so often if you peck at the red button a pellet of food falls out. Same goes for Flickr’s recent activity. For those of us who already have all the food we need, faves and comments on Flickr rank right up there at the top of Maslow’s famous pyramid. Check your Flickr recent activity here.
2. My Welcome Mat page on Zooomr. Of course, no post with Zooomr would be complete without my disclosure that I’m not just a satisfied photographer on Zooomr, I’m also the CEO, but this is my central landing place at the site. This is where I can see the most recent photos uploaded by my contacts as well as my most recent photos and the most recent photos geotagged in San Francisco. If you are on Zooomr you can see your Welcome Mat here (you have to be logged into to Zooomr to see it).
3. My Zooomr Sets. As many of my frequently accessed images for blogging or otherwise are organized into sets on Zooomr, this is a direct link to my sets page. If you want to see my sets feel free to click through here.
4. Zooomr recent activity. Yes, another Zooomr link. Zooomr recent activity is comparable (although not as good as) Flickr’s recent activity. It’s where I go to see the most recent faves, comments, etc. on my Zooomrstream. It’s presented in a timeline format which is nice. If you are on Zooomr (again you must be logged in) you can check out your Zooomr recent activity here.
5. Twitter. What can I say about Twitter? It’s as addictive as Flickr, is the micro blogging platform du jour, allows me to stay in contact with over 400 people, serves as a great daily record of what I’ve been up to for archive purposes, and is fun as hell. If you are not on Twitter yet, what are you waiting for? If you are on Twitter and want to add me as a contact, my twitter page is here.
6. Facebook. Of course everyone knows about Facebook. It’s a great social network which initially was for high school and college students and now is open to everyone. If you want to add me as a contact on Facebook, I’m here.
7. Magnolia. Magnolia is the site that I use for my bookmarks. I find it more intuitive and beautiful than delicious. This is where I store all of the sites on the internet that I want to find later. It has a really nice tag cloud. If you want to see not just my top 25 sites, but many more sites that I’ve used and discovered feel free to check my Magnolia page out at the link above.
9. FVZ. This is essentially Google Docs, which I use for spreadsheets and word processing. It’s linked to a specifc worksheet that I use everyday where I track the number of photos daily on both Zooomr and Flickr and other Zooomr statistics. Google docs is slower than Microsoft Word and Excel, but you can’t argue with the price (free).
10. Twittersearch. One of my first experiences on Twitter was sending one of those @soandso twitters to someone that I was following. I felt a little bad when I never heard back from her but then quickly got that this user was not following me (although I was following her). Now I make it a habit to regularly search twitter for @thomas @thomashawk and Zooomr, Flickr, and other terms of interest. If you want to get my attention an @thomashawk on Twitter will usually do the trick. You can use this search app to find just about anything that you are looking for on Twitter. Any good new media PR rep worth his salt knows that you can get valuable information about what is being said about your company on social networking sites. Twitter is one of the hottest right now. If you are not following your company on Twitter you are missing out on the conversation. Of course the best PR blogger out there is already very well connected on Twitter.
11. Google Analytics. Google Analytics is where I track all kinds of data from simple traffic to referral urls to more detailed reports on what is going on at Zooomr, the Zooomrblog and thomashawk.com. Google Analytics is an indispensable tool for any blogger and it’s free.
12. Involver.com. I really like involver. It’s a new events site and I think it has the best layout of all of them. It doesn’t have the critical mass that upcoming.org does yet but I think it has huge potential and it’s the event site that I’m going to be using going forward. Involver’s in private beta right now but if you need an invite just shoot me an email at thomashawk(at)thomashawk.com and I’ll send you one.
13. Statsaholic (formerly Alexaholic as of yesterday). Statsaholic is a far more efficient way to view Alexa graphs than on Alexa itself. Say what you will about the inaccuracy of Alexa as a measurement tool for web traffic, it pr
obably gives at least a minor insight into what is going on on any given site trafficwise. You may have to make the adjustments in your own mind about traffic stats given that Alexa is only on IE, etc., but it’s interesting to look at site traffic at it nonetheless.
14. Newsgator Online. Newsgator is my current RSS reader where I track the blogs and websites that I follow. Pretty basic reader that does the best job of any that I’ve tried yet.
15. Deleteme Uncensored. This is my favorite playground on Flickr. It’s a group where I can relax with my friends and a glass of wine, let the hair down, so to speak, and let it fly. It’s really more like IRC chat than a normal flickr group. The group is not for everyone. It’s uncensored nature allows some pretty offensive things at times to be said, but it’s uncensored nature also creates some pretty funny threads. The group also includes a game where people vote on each others photos. 10 “saves” and your photo is saved and sent to “The Folio where some of the best photography on Flickr can be found. It is also eligible for inclusion in a rotating gallery of images limited to 200 on Flickr called DM Gallery. In DM Gallery the person whose image has been saved self currates and selects which of the 200 photos will be removed. This group was the first “uncensored” group on Flickr and has been marked NIPSA (hidden from public search) by Yahoo, likely due to the expletives and other volatile conversation that can take place there.
16. thomashawk.com. Yep, my very own blog.
17. 30 Boxes is my calendar of choice and the best one on the internet.
18. Sitemeter. Sitemeter may get the axe someday as it costs money while Google Analytics is free, but they still do a very good job at tracking the last 4000 visitors to my site and tracking my overall traffic.
19. Techmeme. One of the first places I visit every day on the internet and the best aggregation of tech news and coverage that you can find on the internet today.
20. digg.com. Whether searching for specific interesting stories (Flickr, Zooomr, photography, etc.), finding the best videos to watch on the internet, or browsing the front page and upcoming stories, digg is another great place to go for news and entertainment on the internet. I’ve found some very interesting stories on digg over the past few years.
21. Technorati page for thomashawk.com. I also use Google’s blog search, but Technorati is still a daily must read. I’m also a fan of Technorati’s Link Count Widget. This puts a little Technorati link after every post on your blog that includes the sites that Technorati shows linking to you. A great way to continue the conversation other places in the blogosphere.
23. Blogger. Blogger is the application that I use to publish this blog. I recently upgraded to Bloggers new version and like it a lot more than the previous version. I’ve been tempted and threatening to move over to WordPress for months now but never seem to get around to doing it. Mostly a concern about the conversion not going smoothly I guess, although I’m less inclined to leave the new Blogger now that it seems to have better performance than the old Blogger.
24. Federated Media’s publisher website. You won’t be able to get into this site without a FM user name and password, but it’s where I track the advertisements that are run on this blog. FM does an amazing job at selling ads for me and doing all of the work that goes along with that whereas I do nothing but say yes or no to advertisers and collect checks. I don’t make a ton of money off of this blog, but the money that I do make goes to paying my monthly hosting bill and buying lots and lots of cool camera gear. If you are a blogger with decent traffic you should definitely look into FM. They get some of the highest CPMs in the business.
25. Zooomr Blog. This is where we blog updates about what is going on at Zooomr and showcase Zooomr highlights.
Honorable Mentions: The current search engines that sit in my Firefox search bar. #1 of course Google.com, Wikipedia, All Music Guide, Flickr Tag Search, dictionary.com, YouTube video search. Go to mozdev.org to find sites to customize your own Firefox search bar.
Now, what are the sites that sit on your toolbar? What are the sites that you use every single day and couldn’t imagine living without? Are there sites that I’m missing that might knock one of my current 25 off the list for that coveted space on my Firefox toolbar?
Update, one thing I just noticed is that not a single one of the properties in this entire article is a Microsoft property. Now, I’ve been critical of live.com recently, but if Microsoft expects to make inroads into the internet they should be asking themselves how can we get more sites like the above sites into live.com.