Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012 by Danny Davies
Well folks, happy new year. In a blaze of fireworks and e-greetings, 2012 has finally arrived. And as we stride over the finishing line of a tumultuous year for the internet, All My Faves – your one stop easy guide to the Web – has decided to look past Facebook and Twitter to find 2011’s most unique and interesting sites. We selected the 10 coolest sites in categories like music, travel and education; and then handed the job of picking the absolute best in each category down to you, allowing you to vote on your favorites. And here they are. Ladies and gents, never mind Facebook, here’s our review of the Best of the Web in 2011.
Decide.com – I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “The Age of Austerity” being bandied around by media commentators this year. We’re embarking on an age of penny pinching and bargain hunting. And Decide.com has positioned itself perfectly with the times. It’s a website and a free iPhone app that helps you make those big electronics purchases at the right price at the right time.
In other words, Decide.com uses clever prediction algorithms to warn you if the price of any given electrical product is about to drop, increase, stay the same, or if a new model is about to be released. So you’ll know exactly when to buy that camera, laptop, smartphone or plasma TV you’ve been itching to get your hands on. It’s a great tool, and our users agree, voting it one of the coolest websites of the year. Get smart with your gadget purchases by clicking here!
uWall.tv – I’m absolutely not surprised that this beautiful, free online music player was voted by our users as Best Internet Music Service of the Year. It’s basically an interactive wall of Youtube video playlists featuring the most popular artists and bands of all time. And it’s really simple to use, as well as being great to look at.
You either click on the picture of an artist you like, or search for them in the box provided if you can’t find what you’re looking for on the wall. And then you watch a nicely curated playlist of their music videos from Youtube. Click here to get listening on 2011’s coolest free online music player!
Grovo – 2011 brought us tons of amazing new sites and saw many others grow incredibly fast (Twitter being the prime example). But for the average person using the Internet, most of these sites at often inaccessible (or just downright annoying!). And that’s where Grovo – a vibrant hub of online video tutorials – comes to the rescue.
Designed to help you make the most out of sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Ebay and a whole lot more, Grovo is a terrific service. If you sign up for their free, trial version, you can access the majority of their content (including professional video courses for Google Analytics & AdWords, Facebook Pages & Ads, and Basecamp). For full, unlimited access to Grovo’s courses, they charge $9/month or $99/year. But hey, All My Faves users have voted in their droves to crown their favorite education site of the year, so they would agree that it’s worth every cent! Click here to see if Grovo could help you get to grips with the Internet.
What Movie Should I Watch Tonight? – The popularity of this site among our users in the 2011 vote tells me one thing: I’m not the only employee who (occasionally…) drifts off at work and thinks about what movie I’m going to watch with my hot chocolate/hot date as soon as I get off work!
WMSIWT is a really, really, simple site. It provides you with random movie trailers, organised by genre (which you select from a drop down list on the left of your screen). And that’s it! So on your next coffee break, click here and enjoy a couple of great movie trailers on ‘What Movie Should I Watch Tonight’.
Punchfork.com – Here’s a site with a nobly delicious concept: to collect the Web’s best recipes in virtually any category you can think of, and to showcase them elegantly with big, juicy pictures, on its homepage. Moreover, Punchfork uses social media channels to find out what’s hot in the cooking world right now, and shares that on the site too. Punchfork’s visual approach is just so much more rewarding and helpful in recipe search online.
I couldn’t have picked a better winner of the All My Faves Tastiest Food & Recipes Site myself. In fact, I’m still positively salivating from having browsed Punchfork’s amazing looking array of visual recipes! If you want to enjoy what so many of our users have been enjoying, click here and find your next dinner with Punchfork.
UsingMiles – This is a flight and hotel search and booking site with a difference: It’s totally aimed at getting you to use your hard-earned frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points alongside your equally hard-earned cash.
In a time when we all really should be trying to squeeze every last bit of value out of our vacations, it’s amazing how many of us waste all the loyalty points and miles we build up (according to UsingMiles, $16 BILLION expire without being used every year!). So UsingMiles’ success is in walking the fine tightrope between spending and saving really well! See how far your miles can get you with UsingMiles by clicking here.
Quirky – Now these guys mean business. Quirky offers a mighty innovative platform where anyone from the global online community can pitch an idea for a practical, life-improving invention, or a radical improvement of an existing product. Quirky handles the actual product development and marketing aspects, which pushes forward amazing ideas and makes them a solid, retailer-sold reality.
Quirky’s framework is so brilliant, they produce a new product every few days, and users are invited to take an active part in products’ development. Depending on their level of participation, contributing community members earn hard cash from the products’ sales in stores. And the best part of Quirky isn’t even that… it’s the Shop, where you can buy many of Quirky’s manufactured products that make life so much easier, induced by people like you and me who shared their great idea. A worthy All My Faves winner. Get inspired on Quirky by clicking here.
EatSleepDraw – 2011’s most stylish website is a completely open, free space on the internet for people to submit their art. You’ll find everything from the sublime to the bizarre on there. But either way, it’s totally worth checking out.
Whether you want your art to get found, or to find some great art, click here to browse EatSleepDraw, the All My Faves Most Stylish Site of 2011, as voted for by you clever users.
The Museum of Me – Voted as the top site in our “Cool & Wow” category of websites, there’ll already be a lot of you out there who already will agree with me when I say that The Museum of Me is, well, cool and makes you go wow! For those of you who haven’t tried it yet, it’s a quite remarkable visualization of your Facebook account (including friends, photos, Likes, locations and more) into an amazing video tour of museum exhibition all about you.
The end result is commendable and compelling, and you can share it on Facebook of course, as well as upload it in album form to your account and wall. The Museum of Me is a nice visualization of your Facebook account that aims to make your social circles come to life. Have a go by clicking here.
Skyview – This is an app worth every cent of the $1.99 it costs. Fresh from its success as being named Education App of the Year in iTunes’ very own review of 2011, the Skyview team can now crack open another bottle of vacuum-packed, Space-friendly Champagne, because they’ve also been voted as our users’ favorite iPhone & iPad app of the year.
Skyview is an amazing little app that uses the awesome ‘augmented reality’ effects on the iPhone and iPad to allow you to walk around with your own virtual planetarium in your hands. Watch your favorite stars and constellations fade in and out of your camera view, search for stars and planets’ current location, and track celestial objects’ path through the skies in a 24 hour period (including satellites and the space station!) Available on the App Store on iTunes, you can learn more about Skyview here.