- Customize your job search
- Subscribe to specific and specialized news alerts
- Make your Craigslist searches easier
And a whole heckuva lot more. Keep reading for 10 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With RSS Feeds.
Yep, it's true - Hulu is one of the best sources for all sorts of free TV shows in their entirety; anything from recently run network sitcoms to the latest comedies to dramas and much more. You can watch entire series of shows in one sitting, hence the phrase "binge watching".
I've written up a quick getting started guide on how to find all sorts of goodies at Hulu. Read it here at Hulu Online: A Beginners Guide.
Do you know someone who has very little interest in the Web? While it may seem somewhat surprising to many of us who use the vast resources of the Internet on a daily basis, there are a vast number of people who don't find this necessary whatsoever. A recent study revealed that many Americans do not use the Web at all - and in fact, have no interest in changing that part of their lives, for a wide variety of reasons. Read more in this article titled No Interest in the Internet: Why People Choose to Stay Offline.
Identity theft, phishing, hoaxes, online scams, stolen passwords, hackers....the list goes on and on of the potential minefields we can trip through if we're not following common sense safety standards on the Web. Read Privacy on the Web: How to Make It A Priority, an in-depth article written by an online privacy expert that includes ten different ways you can make yourself safer right now.
If you have a particular artist, song, or style of music that you really like, it's nice to find more music that explores that particular genre. There are several sites on the Web that can do this for you auto-magically, including
- Pandora: Pandora is a free way to listen to music online, but not just ANY music. You create your own radio stations, you choose which music will actually be played on those stations, so if something comes up that makes your ears want to bleed, you can tell Pandora to stop playing it (and they will apologize, too).
- Music Map: Just enter in an artist and Music-Map will locate a list of musicians, bands, and singers that are similar in style.
- Last.FM: In the words of Last.fm itself: "Last.fm taps the wisdom of the crowds, leveraging each user's musical profile to make personalised recommendations, connect users who share similar tastes, provide custom radio streams, and much more." Put simply, it's a social music platform.
- Musicovery: What kind of mood are you in? Change your musical selections to Dark, or Energetic, or Positive, or Calm.
Do you have a favorite site for free music? Please share in the comments below.
image courtesy sxc.hu
Cell phone numbers are traditionally unlisted, which is something you've probably figured out if you've ever tried to look one up via a reverse phone lookup. However, there are ways to get around an unlisted number; in fact, there are five different practical things you can do to pull your own Sherlock Holmes and track down those elusive numbers. Read How to Find a Cell Phone Number Online to discover a few ways you can track down a cell phone number using the Web.
If you're looking for a great (free) way to expand your reading circles, then you'll want to check out ReadPrint, a fantastic resource for all sorts of free books, mostly classic literature with some non-fiction titles thrown in for good measure. You can read these books in your Web browser, or, you can head over to the links they give you for each book to download these books straight to your e-reader. Nice!
Confession time: How many books have you downloaded from somewhere on the Web - say, The Top 20 Places to Download Free Books)? I must confess; my e-reader currently holds at least 500 books. How about you?
One of the most interesting aspects of the Web as a whole, at least for me, are online archives: digital repositories of history that are there for us to visit and remember. Here are five online archives that I've been looking at lately that I think are worth your time.
The Book Cover Archive is precisely what it sounds like. Browse through the gorgeously designed covers here page by page; you can also limit your search with a dropdown menu to search by publisher, artist, author, title, etc.
If you've ever wanted to learn more about the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court, then the Old Bailey Online Archives are just the ticket. You can search 197,745 criminal trials dating back to 1674.
Gmane is a mailing list archive. You can use Gmane to search any public mailing list that is subscribed to Gmane (over 10k at the time of this writing).
Don't like the newest version of (insert name here) software? No problem. You can use OldVersion.com, an online archive for older software versions, to find the one that you're most comfortable with.
This is just a brief sampling of the fantastic archival materials that are freely available on the Web for our use. For even more archives, check out Archives on the Web, good, basic list of online archives, with everything from the National Archives to Papyrus Archives (ancient Egyptian hieroglypics!) to Simpsons Archives.
In addition, if you want to search for a specific archive using a search engine (I'm using Google as the default, but you can use these in most other search engines), try this simple search query:
"topic I'm searching for" + archive"
This will get you started. To narrow it down even further, add a domain restriction on that query:
site:.edu "topic I'm searching for" + archive"
You can also search .gov or .org domains for archive possibilities. Last but not least, this little trick seems to be the one that returns the most positive results:
inurl:archive "topic I'm searching for"
This returns results ONLY with the word "archive" in the URL that have information on what you're searching for.
Reddit is a unique social bookmarking and social networking service that offers several Reddit subnetworks for different subjects: science, celebrity news, etc. Learn more about Reddit and how to use it in my article titled Use Reddit to Discover the Web.
More Social Bookmarking: I absolutely love social bookmarking sites - why? Because instead of searching the Web all by myself, I'm able to tap into a whole community of Web searchers who are discovering wonderful things on the Web. One of my favorite social bookmarking sites is Stumbleupon, a service that I use every day to explore the Web. A word of warning, however: Stumbleupon is highly addictive (not kidding!).
If you're looking for information on something that is happening in the world - and you need that news right now - you can't wait until the evening news broadcast or the morning paper to get it. You need it NOW. You can do that with the Web. For example:
- Twitter: Twitter is updated literally millions of times a day by people all over the world. Using Twitter's internal search classifications, called hash tags, you can find information about breaking news globally, many times from the people who are actually experiencing the events as they unfold. For example, trending on Twitter right now (meaning a lot of people are talking about it) are Dear Netflix, Harry Potter, and Gordon Brown. You can also use specialized Twitter search tools to spot trends, conversations, and get the scoop on events before official news channels.
- Smartphones: If you have a Web-enabled mobile device, you have the ability to get breaking news faster than the TV stations and newspaper reporters. I have accessed news updates that are literally hours ahead of "traditional" media, and these updates come with more details, more sources, and less fluff (check out 75 Mobile News Sites You Need to Bookmark to get your news fast).
- The Real Time Web: Blogs, RSS, social networking, social bookmarking.....all of these are ingredients that you can put together to find breaking news ahead of anyone else on the block.You can also craft breaking news alerts to stay appraised of anything or anyone that comes up in a search engine result.