If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them!

Posted on Monday, November 10th, 2008 by

KaboodleKaboodle is a fun shopping community website that offers a unique shopping research experience – it allows people with similar taste to recommend products and discover new things. To use Kaboodle, add products from anywhere on the web to your lists using the Kaboodle Browser Buttons. For those who are already familiar with the “wish lists” feature in shopping websites, this is the site to anchor all wish lists in one place. This is particularly useful for families who want to track popular birthdays or Christmas shopping lists. If you’re interested in buying something for friends or family, you might as well get something they like. In my opinion, the best thing about Kaboodle is that you’re invited to peep into other people’s lists and use their selections as a source for your own shopping inspiration. Instead of spending endless hours searching for your favorite items, find your fave Soul-Shoppers and see what they have chosen.

MTV MusicI still remember the day when MTV first aired at my folks’ house. I was just a kid at the time but I immediately realized that MTV was offering something new, something fresh. They offered a revolution – 24 hours of music videos, seven days a week – WOW!. Although once the global leader in western youth culture, MTV failed to interpret the online streaming video map of recent years and today my nephews use YouTube to watch music videos, not MTV. In a joint venture with other content providers, MTV put up a fight against the uploading trend. Needless to say, it was a short and futile battle. So instead, they have adopted the following wise philosophy: If you can’t beat them, join them! The result is an MTV-based streaming site that offers thousands of new and not-so-new streaming music videos. The interface is quite appealing and is remarkably friendly. Nevertheless, I must admit that even though I have a soft spot for MTV (after all, they’ve made a commendable contribution to my taste in music), my bottom line is this: I will still use YouTube for music videos. Why? because the YouTube upload time is much faster and its video variety is more extensive. Sorry MTV, you are offering too little, too late.

NBA – The National Basketball Association (NBA) is North America’s premier professional men’s basketball league, composed of thirty teams. Eastern teams include: Toronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic, Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Charlotte Bobcats, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Washington Wizards. Western teams include: New Orleans Hornets, LA Lakers, Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers. The season runs from October 28, 2008 till April 15, 2009. May the best team win!

Aviary – Aviary’s mission statement is to make the world’s creation accessible to artists of all genres. Aviary is a suite of powerful creative applications. It currently includes a photoshop-like image editor, an Illustrator-like vector editing tool for making logos, a filter and effects laboratory, and swatch creator to help you match colors. If you have ever wanted to create quality images but couldn’t afford Adobe prices, now you can! They even offer a free trial. The best thing about Aviary is that it’s based in your browser, which means you can use it from any computer without having to install any software. Just in case creative design is not part of your agenda, you can always admire their Hall Of Fame – it is definitely worth mentioning. Check it out.

TasteKid – Taste Kid is an innovative music recommendation site. Like the Pandora website minus the streaming, Taste Kid’s’ animated adviser ‘Emmy’ will recommend different media to you according to the styles of the ones you share. Sketched as a beautiful, shy girl with big, blue, dreamy eyes, Emmy can’t wait to learn about your fave bands, artists, movies and books. In return, she promises to share things you might like. Just to make it more lucid, Emmy is simply the code of the clever algorithm behind Taste Kid. The site’s main goal is to become a leading discovery engine that encourages people to explore their taste by picking into their personal music and movie preferences. I have tried the service myself several times and here’s my verdict: it is worth your time. Although some of their suggestions will be ones you’re already familiar with, you are bound to find something new in every search, perhaps something that will blow your mind. Enjoy the discovery (NOT referring to the discovery channel)!

TOTLOL – If you have kids, this is the ultimate site for you. Come to think of it, I don’t have kids and I still managed to have a great time exploring this site. I particularly enjoyed the Elephant Song. In a more serious note, Totlol is a video website designed specifically for children. It is community-moderated and all videos are submitted, screened and rated by parents. Totlol filters the “bad videos” and it eliminates most of the frustration involved in looking for “good videos”. This is quite similar to AllMyFaves’ Kids page which offers the best sites for kids. Totlol is totally awesome!

Gaza Sderot – This project brings you glimps of real life as experienced by men, women and children in the Gaza strip (Palestine) and the city of Sderot (Israel). It offers an ‘as is’ report of their lives and survival on a daily basis. Surprisingly, a routine of difficult living conditions and the constant threat of air attacks and bombings doesn’t stop people from working, loving and dreaming. This is Life in spite of everything. This remarkable documentation of humankind’s will to live consists of short, 2-minute chronicles, shot by both Israeli and Palestinian teams, day after day for two months (we still have eight more weeks to go). The short stories follow six individuals from Gaza and six individuals from Sderot. By this ongoing documentation of real people, there’s a new story for each character every week and you will be able to intimately follow all of them for 10 weeks. Gaza Sderot is an original project broadcast by Arte.tv, a French-German cultural television station. The aim of the project is to touch and to increase awareness among as many people as possible. For this reason, the chronicles are accompanied with the subtitles of your choice (English, French, Dutch, Arabic and Hebrew). If you are a peace seeker, these videos are simply a must. If peace isn’t part of your vocabulary, please step out of this blog. PEACE, SHALOM, SALAAM!

Bunnies – How do you condense the essence of a full length feature into 30 seconds? With bunnies – of course! What we actually have here is well known movies of all kinds and genres, such as Fight Club, Kill Bill, Brokeback Mountain, Office Space and many more, re-enacted by cartoon bunnies. I find capturing the whole essence of a film in just 30 seconds remarkably clever. This is brilliant, simple and to the point! Well done!

Hotel 626 – Holy S@#t this is scary! Hotel 626 is an online video game and the protagonist is you!. It begins with you waking up in your hotel room in the middle of the night because you hear strange noises. You get out of bed, enter the hallway and from that point on you’re required to go through a series of scary experiences (meaning, challenges) in order to get yourself out of the hotel. Game rules? There’s only one: you can play this game between 6 PM to 6 AM only – don’t bother cheating and setting your computer’s time to 6 PM- it won’t work. Writers tip: Only by confronting your darkest fears can you truly find the light!! Ha Ha Ha ……

PandemoniumThe ultimate attempt to reclaim the greatest muffin ever! Gather enough good muffins while avoiding all kinds of dangers. Gathering good muffins will increase your health. How to tell good muffins from bad? This is explained at the beginning of each level. If you survive, a piece of the ultimate muffin is yours. This reminded me of a great Seinfeld chapter – The Muffin Tops.

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