Exploring the Web

Last week, as I was demonstrating Ning in my office, someone asked me how I find things like this. Honestly, I could not remember when or how I discovered Ning, which prompted me to pay attention over the past week, and to ask you.

(It was also a good excuse to write a short post since I’m still recovering from some wrist strain.)

So what did I find in the past week or so, and where did I find it? Twitter, unsurprisingly, has been the best source, though not always directly. Second best is what I’ll call “secondary finds,” when I visit one project and then follow to the author’s other projects. Blogs were a close third.

I should admit that I didn’t keep notes or stats, but I’m fairly good at keeping track of things like this, so I trust my own numbers.

CheckYesOrNo.info is a nifty, Twitter-friendly site for yes-or-no poll questions like “Will you participate in Mozilla’s FF3 Download Day June 17th?” (Yes.) Found it when @benrasmusen tweeted a question.

Issuu is a publishing social network. They have some kinks to work out but I see definite potential here. Found it when my cousin tweeted a link.

Twingly is like Technorati reborn, a new, more focused blog search tool. Chris Brogan blogged about it.

LaterLoop helps you store sites to read later. Very popular on Twitter.

TimeToMeet.info is from the same people as LaterLoop, and is a very slick multi-timezone meeting planner.

These are just some of the highlights of this week. I’ve perused quite a few little projects here and there, some good, some bad. I think there are three things that lead to discoveries like this:

Keep your eyes open. When people link something, check it out (or use LaterLoop and do it later).

If you see a link like http://checkyesorno.info/93, try getting rid of the “93” and visit the site itself. Visit the site, not just the page.

If you like a site, scroll down and look at the footer. Most projects, particularly by independent developers and small companies, have links to the developer’s site, which probably has links to other projects. Look at their other projects. If someone had one good idea and put it together, odds are they’ve had others.

Any more ideas from out there in the blogosphere?