Are you cool? I’m not.
The truest words ever spoken on film come from Lester Bangs’ character in Almost Famous;
‘The only true currency in this bankrupt world... is what you share with someone else when you're uncool.”
I was intimidated by the “cool kids” when I was growing up until I learned to accept myself and grow into my own skin. It took some time though. They would be dressed in whatever-they-were-wearing at the time and I would feel slightly off. They would be doing whatever-they-did-at-the-time and I would be playing Dungeons and Dragons at the library with friends; but I was ok with that. I’m here to profess publicly that I’m just not cool! I know; this may come as a surprise to some, but I am actually somewhat of a dork. J
Of course now that I’m older, it’s cool not to be cool. It’s actually become cool to be a dork (at least that’s what I keep telling myself). You don’t have to be popular with millions of friends on Facebook in order to know what’s going on in the world. You don’t need to be the Mayor of Four Square to know what everyone is doing on the web! No need for a social network of thousands of people when I have technology to tell me what’s cool and what’s popular!
One way to find out what’s popular on the web is to check out the hotlist supplied by one of my clients (full disclosure), WOWD (http://www.wowd.com/wowd-beta.jsp). Wowd is a tool for searching and sorting the web based on popularity and/or freshness and all personal objectivity aside, I’m really excited about this one. It requires a small download and is actually in private beta right now, but if you use the following link, you can get in (courtesy of me) with a special key; http://www.wowd.com/?key=jb08a7tqgz5y0u.
Another way to know “what’s hot” on the web is to check out where you went or where your friends went with BACKFLIP (http://www.backflip.com). BackFlip is a service that creates your own personal web history and directory, much like a My Yahoo or an iGoogle, as well as share pages with friends and search your own pages with your own customized search engine. For those of us who tend to forget where we were, BackFlip provides a handy little service. Just drag a page into your BackFlip and it’s yours forever!
Maybe they can’t tell you what’s hot or what’s cool, but they can sure keep you organized over at EVERNOTE (http://www.evernote.com/). I tend to be very forgetful, but the Evernote tagline is “Remember Everything”, so I was instantly drawn to them. They provide a tool that allows you to take snapshots of business cards, images and links to whatever you find “cool” and take notes, grab web pages and create clipping files for articles, all online! It’s your very own personal organizer, all wrapped into the web. Now that’s cool!
If you’re looking to discover what’s hot, check out LUNCH.COM (http://www.lunch.com/) and peruse the Similarity Network they’ve created. Just by filling out a few boxes and some basic questions about what you like, they hook you up with people of a like-mind and then you can discover what those people are into! It’s simple and easy and worth a couple of your minutes.
And for one more place to go and share or discover what’s hot or cool in your world, check out HOME-TWEET-HOME (http://www.hometweethome.com/home.asp). Using the wall you can get a quick snapshot of what others are doing on such popular sites as Twitter, Google Trends, and more. It’s a very unique interface that keeps rolling and rolling along. Check out what they can show you and customize it to your own personal needs.
In the world of the iPhone apps, check out DIGGLE to get your Digg fix on your phone.
And don’t forget to send me what you think might be cool or hot so we can share it with the rest of the group!