Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Top 5 Web Sites for Use at Work

Tim's Top 5:
Since today has neared a post-less day, I feel an obligation to push forward.
1) - What one did at work before the Internet boggles my mind. I would be utterly unable to acquire sports information -- the sports radio in the area is poor at best, obviously the TV and newspaper aren't viable options at my desk. But oh, lucky me, I became a professional at an ideal time. The only thing better would have been to do it five years earlier, when the idea of a "search engine" was dazzling and I could spend days looking at people's lists of Steven Wright jokes on Yahoo. Those were the days.

2) - What one did in college when the Onion only updated once a week, I don't know...except I do know, because every Tuesday I would go home from class and check it as soon as I got back. It was a highlight of the week, even if it was only to gloat and point out that they still hadn't topped my own masterpiece "Dumpster Preserves Sanctity of Life". Now that they update it daily and there's sports mine. It's not always good, let alone great, but it's useful.

3) - Apparently I am in the whole "job" thing for the money. What better way to prove it than to buy things I don't need? Amazon has all the things I don't need, whether it's The Avent Isis Manual Breast Pump -- great fun at bachelor parties or the latest book from Lyndon LaRouche, and everything in between. Including sex toys. Seriously. sells sex toys. I find this hilarious.

4) - God bless Wikipedia. It's the world's greatest learning source, with the only drawback being that I'm learning from people who probably aren't any smarter than I am, they're just more committed to gathering information about John Stamos than I am. Still, it fills in as an IMDb for everything in the world that's not movies. And god bless them for that. Like Stephen Colbert said, anything that has a longer entry about his show than about Lutherans has its priorities right.

5) - Aha! The biggest drawback to doing things at work is that it limits my ability to be secretive. I can't live my secret public life there. But that's where the blackberry comes in. And facebook is kind enough to provide a mobile version for people exactly like me -- fiercely guarding their at-work privacy by instead relying upon an item intended solely for work use that is probably as not secure as anything on the Internet could possibly hope to be. But it lets me know who's adding me as a friend based on the fact that I once encountered them...somewhere. Maybe.

Honorable mention -,, This blog is left off solely because of the aforementioned privacy obsession.

Dan's Top 5:

1. - Like fantasy sports, but with the added excitement of capitalist gain. Easily 50% or more of my internet time at work is spend checking this site and making trades. One of these days, I'll be getting myself an gift card as a reward for all my diligence.

2. - If you can't find a video on this site, then it's probably not worth watching. There's a lot of crap on the site, like people talking to their webcams or something, but bide your time and you'll quickly come across a funny video put together by college students. Two friends of mine put together a Youtube video, and it ended up beating student films at a UVA film festival. Also a site that is frequented by everyone else in my office.

3. - I've repeatedly called this site "The Oracle" or "The Source of All Knowledge." If you want to find something out, go here first. I use this to find mathematical equations and properties of physics. Within minutes, because nearly anything in the text is clickable, I'll find myself looking at anything from how to make a dry martini to what was the #1 song in 1977.

4. - Given that I use iGoogle as my web page and have a Gmail account, I feel obligated to put Google here. Google Scholar actually may be the most helpful thing on Earth while I'm trying to research other technical papers. I also have a feeling that Google will soon assume control over the entire internet, so best to start sucking up to them now.

5. - These guys sell everything, right? The cheapest prices I can find for stuff that I may want to buy, but oddly enough I'm less of an impulse shopper here than at Barnes & Noble. Maybe it's because I factor in the mental cost of having to wait for shipping.

Honorable mentions -,,,, (hey...)

Ryan's Top 5:

1. - I can type that faster than most of my passwords. I prefer yahoo to ESPN ; I developed this because past computers (and occasionally current computers) couldn't tolerate the better graphics of ESPN, so it'd take forever to load.

2. - This is not a cop-out; two different websites for two different needs. This, too, I can type remarkably fast.

3. - I won't use this twice as a cop-out. First, I've finally weaned myself off yahoo and now use this as my search tool. Second, it is my primary email now, and for the foreseeable future. (I also still have my bakeru address, my pitt state address, my yahoo address, I'll soon have my kckps address, etc.)

4. - I really want to put this one higher because wiki means so much to me; it got me through Russian history in college. But, let's be honest, first comes sport, then comes email, then comes... useless information. The best time for pointlessness is when you're getting paid.

5. - Nuts to people who disparaged the news feed--it saves me time having to check other people's profiles, and it also makes me feel less creepy by eliminating said chore. I hate myspace but I pretty much check it regularly now, because a lot of my friends use it as their primary networking site. Facebook is a lot cleaner and much easier to use, and uploading photos is easy.

Honorable mentions -,, (a bit Ryan-centered, this one--the website for the Lawrence Journal-World and links to, (another one I can type faster than my passwords), (The KC-Star website, which largely blows), That about covers all the sites I need. Wait, except for THE TOP FIVE OF ALL-TIME, which frankly lately I should put at #...4. (It'll be a while before it supplants sports.)

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