The more time you spend on the internet, the more you realize that some things should be a tiny bit easier than they actually are. Here are a handful of sites I use a lot to make my day-to-day comings and goings on the internet a little bit easier, quicker and less stressful.
(1) isup.me (aka Down for Everyone or Just Me?)
I might just be impatient, but when I go to a site that doesn’t load instantly, I assume it’s down. Then I wonder: Maybe it’s just my computer? That’s where isup.me helps. The site has one purpose: is a site that you can’t load down for everyone, or just you? Type in the URL you want to check, wait a couple seconds, and you’ll know if it’s on your end or their end. If it’s on your end, restarting your (in increasing amounts of desperation) browser, computer or router should do the trick.
Short on time but still want to keep up with the internet’s latest and greatest? Check out popurls, which aggregates the best of the internet for your viewing pleasure. From the day’s most popular headlines to top stories on trending sites (like Reddit, Digg and HuffPo), popurls is like one-stop shopping for your internet needs. You’ll be able to keep up with most of the diehard internet dwellers, even if you only have a minute or two to browse.
Forecast.io is a great way to check the weather without all the junk that most weather sites tend to muddle their pages with. You can check the current temperature, the forecast for the next hour (or 24), and then some. This won’t necessarily save you time, per se, but it’ll make checking the weather a much cleaner experience.
Link-shorteners look great on social media, and give off the impression that you’re a real internet pro. Why send a boring traditional ULR when you can send a short URL? Signing up for a free bit.ly account and you can even customize your short URL. Applying for a new job? A short URL to your resume like bit.ly/HireMe1 (but something less pandering and more creative, ideally) shows an extra bout of creativity over a regular URL. I prefer goo.gl because it’s tied to my existing Google account, but both let you track every shortened link to see how many people have clicked on it… which means you’ll know if the awesome stuff you find on popurls is being clicked on by your friends!
Heard of it? If you’re only using Google as a traditional search engine, you haven’t scratched the surface. Google can do so many things that it has an official site dedicated to its tips and tricks. Did you know Google lets you search a particular site for a news story or information? By typing, “google glass site:shellypalmer.com” (without the quotes), you can find any information we’ve posted on this site about Google Glass. It’s sometimes quicker to do it this way than by going to a site itself because links you’ve visited will be highlighted in purple. Google can also do math problems and conversion for you, too. Simple multiplication, teaspoons to cups … you name it, Google’s got your back. One of my favorite ‘secret’ Google tips is search by image. Head to Google Images, click the camera in the search box, then can upload a picture (or paste a photo URL). Find different sizes of that picture, images similar to it and pages that feature that image. Not sure who painted that piece of art you love? Google knows! Want to get a larger version of that photo? Google can help!