In the style of classic Radio 1 Sunday evening countdown, I’ll start with website number 10….
10. Travel Republic
6 months ago I’d never heard of Travel Republic, but I’m very glad I did. They are an online holiday booking agents, I won’t call them a travel agents because that is exactly what they claim not to be. The site allows you to book flights & hotels, or both together. Basically you enter the dates and resort of where you want to go, it’ll firstly find you appropriate flights, then once they are selected you pick through a huge selection of hotels, where you can easily filter by their star rating. Having selected your hotel, you then chose if you want transfers, select any baggage options, insurance etc. The difference is that you are effectively booking direct with the airline and hotel, not like a high street travel agent. If you booking a flight, hotel and transfer you end up with 3 separate bookings, each a contract with a different company. Why is this so good ? Price. It’s cheap, very cheap. A £1,700 booking with them was quoted as £2,200 with my local travel agents. Nuff said.
9. Just Eat
Want to sit on your backside and order takeaway whilst surfing the net ? Just Eat helps you do that. Takeaways register their menus with the website, you simply enter your postcode and see a full list of local takeaways who are willing to deliver to your door. Just navigate your way around their menu, make your selection, whip out your credit card and sit back to wait for some underpaid geezer to bring it to you. Takeaway the lazy way. Love it.
It took me a while to see the point of Twitter. Why would the world be interested in me typing 140 characters or less about my morning dump ? Answer is they don’t. So I just started “following” people, companies, websites and organisations that I was interested in. The result was that I looked at Twitter for random tweets that kept me mildly amused whilst waiting for a train, or some similar dull point of my day. You have to appreciate how successful it’s become, and how the world can bore people with 140 characters or less
You have to appreciate any website that just helps themselves to a % of cash that you receive. Then they sit on it for a few days and take the interest. Almost an online bank, PayPal exploded with the excitement around Ebay. Anyone can sell anything online, and charge the buyer using PayPal, it’s simple, effective and costs the receiver part of their hard-earned money. The thing it does have in its favour is you don’t have to wait for a cheque, then wander down to the bank to pay it in, or try and set yourself up as a credit card merchant.
6. Sky News
The big daddy of news coverage in the UK. If you’re ever looking for over dramatised breaking news stories then look no further. They update quicker then the BBC and have plenty of videos and facts about what’s going on. If you want to check the news, then don’t look anywhere else.
5. BBC Weather
Quick reminder that this post is NOT my favourite websites, but sites that you have to appreciate. I am not that dull to add the weather to my best websites ever list, although I am English and we are obsessed with our crap weather. It’s so crap that we need to know if it’s going to rain at 7am when I walk to the station, and at 7pm when I walk back – 2 ten minutes walk that could ruin my day if I get pissed on. Therefore I appreciate the BBC Weather site, as it usually keeps me dry, it has a reasonably accuracy rate and is the best of a bad bunch of weather sites. Anyone still reading at this point of have my 3 visitors all fallen asleep or left this page already ?
Amazon seems to sell EVERYTHING these days. Once an online book store, now an online wonderland of stuff. Amazon allow businesses to sell their goods online, as well as selling their own stuff. So if you want to buy a DVD, a BBQ, an egg whisk, some clothes and some cat food today, don’t leave your seat, just head to Amazon. Best of all, the prices usually beat the competition.
Video clips galore, you don’t need to wait until Saturday evening for “You’ve been framed” any longer. You don’t have to hope that your favourite music video is played on MTV soon. You don’t have to describe to your family overseas how much your daughter has grown since they saw them last, everything can be shown via YouTube. Want to see news coverage from 15 years ago, they have it. Want to share your latest promotion with the world, you can make a video clip and put it in front of millions. Genius.
If like me, your eBay journey started with making 50p bids on brand new items that were selling in the shops for £20, then you found yourself instantly hooked in. Bidding became addictive, you had to win at all costs. After a while buying stuff wasn’t good enough and I dipped my toe into the world of selling. Then I was really, really hooked. People gave me money for toot I didn’t want anymore, it was so much better than giving a black sack to a charity shop, the only pain in the arse was the trip to the Post Office. Ebay has the monopoly on online auctions, and I can’t see any new website beating it, perhaps only Amazon is capable.
What can I say about this website that you don’t already know ? It’s like a car crash, you don’t really want to go back and look again, but something inside you makes you look. A website designed by a bloke, which has become a woman’s dream site. No longer do you have to wait for a postcard from your friends to find out how great their holiday was, you’ve already seen the photos before they arrived back at the airport. It’s the world’s greatest communication tool for people who just want to loosely keep in touch with others that they don’t really know that well, or can’t be bothered to meet up with. Facebook allows people from opposite sides of the planet to share information and keep in touch with one another. It’s not my favourite site, but I do appreciate its brilliance.