LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com) - the far-reaching professional social network that allows you to reconnect with old colleagues and acquaintances, offer recommendations on bosses and co-workers and maintain up-to-the-minute résumés that might just catch the eye of Web-surfing headhunters. Quite easy to search and post to, LinkedIn is even easier to use as a virtual Rolodex, looking up those old classmates and new contacts, tracking down where they work and what they do. For being informative without being intrusive, for opening the channels of communication without veering too casual or random, LinkedIn is the forum we still believe in.
Tumblr (www.tumblr.com) - 2010 was its breakout year. The trendy blogging platform has benefited from some high-profile media brands getting on board following a cool interactive Tumblr powered by Newsweek. But the site works just fine for the casual user too. With a variety of free themes available and with tools to make sharing videos and photos a cinch, Tumblr can make even the most mundane updates look visually stunning.
Bing (www.bing.com) – “Because It’s Not Google.” Bing's most effective tool for bringing you info directly from the results page is its rollover page preview. Hovering the cursor to the right edge of any Web result brings up a small window containing text from the linked page. It can even find relevant deep links within that page. It's great for getting a peek at pages that are relevant, and for helping avoid clicking through to pages that aren't. When your mouse is anywhere on top of a result, a vertical rule shows up at its right edge to visually clue you that this preview is available. It's one of those features that you quickly get used to and come to expect.
Box (www.box.net) - You want to share documents? Free or paid, individual or business, Box (which used to go by Box.net) is the site to check out for storing your stuff, secure your stuff, and share stuff with others. It has collaborative tools, file syncing, and you can access it on a smartphone (iphones, blackberrys, palm devices, droids, etc.)
Flikr (www.flikr.com) - Yahoo's picture storage and sharing site remains a favorite due to its ease of use and easy uploading via multiple methods. The recent updates to the interface, such as adding photos to a map, make it even more useful.
Google Docs (docs.google.com) - Do you still rely on desktop-based apps (ie. Microsoft Office) for all of your word processing and spreadsheet needs? It's time to embrace what the internet has to offer. Google Docs and Spreadsheets brings a full-featured office suite experience to your browser, with the sort of dynamic experience we've all come to expect from Google. Best of all, Docs and Spreadsheets allow users to post files directly on a website via HTML codes, and since your docs exist online, you can access them anywhere in the world with a browser.
Mint (www.mint.com) - If you need help managing your finances, give Mint.com a try. This site lets you keep track of your bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments, and more, all in the same place. And best of all, the site is free to use, so it won't cost you, well, a mint.
Pandora (www.pandora.com) - A lot of personalized Internet radio stations have sprung up in Pandora's wake, but sometimes the original—and the simplest—is the best. Pandora lets users create free custom stations based on their favorite bands or songs with help of the Music Genome Project. And thanks to mobile apps for the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and webOS, you can take that customization with you on the go.
Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.com) - With 16 million articles—3.3 million of which are in English (yes, we got that information from Wikipedia). And, as a number of recent studies have found, the site is surprisingly accurate—still, those footnotes are there for a reason.
Facebook (www.facebook.com) - Imagine putting together a list of top Web sites and not including one that has 500 million members. We can't either. That's why this social network, which is so big there's a major motion picture about its founding (which has grossed over $90 million in the box office, yes, we found that on wikipedia as well), is listed here. Addicting and controversial Facebook, for some, is synonymous with the word "Internet."
Twitter (www.twitter.com) - It's not always easy expressing yourself in 140 characters or less, but brevity is really half the fun of Twitter, right? Follow and be followed by different tweople, and effortlessly broadcast your message to hundreds (thousands if you’re good enough) of people throughout the globe.
FlockDraw (www.flockdraw.com) - Don't let the "collaborative whiteboard" description intimidate you—It’s a big blank canvas that you and your friends can draw on together in real—time, with different brushes, colors, and tools. Use the HTML code to post onto you blog or website.
Kideos (www.kideos.com) - Let's be honest, as great a resource as YouTube is, it's not really a site for children. Kideos, on the other hand, offers a great alternative for parents looking family-friendly video content for their kids. The site is broken up into five age groups, between zero and 10 years. The content is largely pulled from third-party video sites like YouTube, but the content is curated by Kideo and streamed through its own proprietary kid-friendly player.
Spreeder (www.spreeder.com) - The Spreeder webapp trains you to increase your reading speed by displaying single words in succession at a high rate. The experience is jarring (as if reading online wasn't hard enough on the eyes), but it does seem to decrease reading delays. Looks like spreeder's also working on a login so you can track your speedreading progress.
Paypal (www.paypal.com) – Pay or get paid with Paypal. PayPal is the faster, safer way to pay and get paid online. The service allows members to send money without sharing financial information, with the flexibility to pay using their account balances, bank accounts, credit cards or promotional financing. With more than 87 million active accounts in 190 markets and 24 currencies around the world, PayPal enables global ecommerce. PayPal is an eBay company and is made up of three leading online payment services: the PayPal global payment service, the Payflow Gateway and Bill Me Later.
Photobucket (www.photobucket.com) – Sick of storing piles of photo albums throughout your closet? Tired of losing priceless photos due to the “elements of surprise” (pets, weather conditions, “photo stealing gnomes)? Protect yourself through Photobucket. Photobucket is the premier site on the Internet for uploading, sharing, linking and finding photos, videos and graphics. Your free Photobucket account can store thousands of photos and hours of video so that you can post slideshows, individual photos, and video clips directly on your website or blog.
Gmail (Email) (www.gmail.com) - USPS is still useful, but where is the “line”? Out with the old and in with the new. The “old” is USPS…the new? Email. Gmail is the Google approach to email, chat and social networking. Practically unlimited free online storage allows you to collect all your messages, and Gmail's simple but very smart interface lets you find them precisely and see them in context without effort. POP and powerful IMAP access bring Gmail to any email program or device. Gmail puts contextual advertising next to the emails you read.
StumbleUpon (www.stumbleupon.com) – Interested in videos about artists who are funny while playing sports which pertain to health issues and religion? Yes, StumbleUpon is that specific if you want it to be. StumbleUpon is a discovery engine (a form of web search engine) that finds the best of the web, recommended to each unique user. It allows its users to discover and rate Web pages, photos, and videos that are personalized to their tastes and interests using peer-sourcing and social-networking principles.
JotForm (www.jotform.com) – Having a field trip coming up? Sick of people constantly “losing” the registration form you passed out just a few days ago? JotForm is a free web form builder. If you need to create forms for your web site, JotForm is a quick and easy form creator. It can be used by first timers as well as advanced web designers and developers. JotForm is a great tool if you need to create contact forms, event registration forms, surveys, lead generation forms or any kind of web forms.
GodTube (www.godtube.com) – Upload and view videos without dealing with the “anything goes” YouTube community. Godtube.com is a video sharing platform offering online Christian videos with faith-based, family friendly content. Godtube.com offers a variety of popular video sections which include; Christian bands and singers in Christian music videos, Christian comedians and comedy skits, spoofs and parodies in funny videos, cute videos featuring kids and animals, sports videos, Christian news videos and inspirational videos. The purpose of the site is for people to be inspired in their walk with Jesus Christ and grow in their knowledge of the Bible with videos highlighting inspirational messages and verses.
BlueLetterBible (www.blueletterbible.org) – “What verses contain ‘jesus is my salvation’??” Easy! Blue Letter Bible's mission is to facilitate an in-depth study of God's Word through an online interactive reference library that is continuously updated from the teachings and commentaries of selected pastors and teachers who hold to the conservative, historical Christian faith. By God's grace and provision, BLB now offers over 680,000 content pages of Bible study resources.
Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com) – Reach out to your congregation effortlessly with Constant Contact.