I'm not an overly big fan of the social networking and/or 2.0 websites, but I do use a few of them. The big ones (Facebook, Last.fm, Delicious, Flickr, and Twitter) have already been rehashed in great detail, but there's a couple others that really do what I need them to do, and are worth a mention here – namely, Goodreads and RunningAHEAD.
Goodreads is my favorite book-related website. In essence, it's a way to catalog and organize books. You can use it any number of ways – as a way to log what books you read, categorize books in your library using "bookshelves" (essentially tags, so you can put one book on multiple "bookshelves"), review & rate books, and then add friends so you can view all of this information on other like-minded people's accounts. I find it a great way to keep track of what I'm reading, how many books I'm reading a year, whether I already have a book in my library and whether I've read it, whether I'm borrowing/lending a book from/to someone else, and even my wish-list of books (hint: make a bookshelf called "wish-list" and then you can direct people to the books on it directly).
In addition, everything is hyperlinked, so clicking on the author of a book will bring up a list of his/her works, clicking on the title of a book will show links to pages where you can read reviews and/or purchase the book, cover art is imported automatically, and you can subscribe to a feed and/or summary email of someone's activity, if you want to see what they've read/rated lately.
Goodreads is completely free, with no limit on the number of books you may have in your library. They even have easy ways to import books from a spreadsheet or from ISBN numbers, if you already have them in some other format. If you join or are already a member, be sure to add me as a friend – I love to see what other people are reading and how they rate the books they've read. My profile is here, and it's easy to sign up and start keeping track of your own books!
Recently, I've gotten back into running regularly for exercise, and as part of my efforts, I find it interesting and motivational to log my running activity. Prior to signing up with RunningAHEAD, I used to keep all my runs in a spreadsheet on my computer. The biggest issue with this was I never seemed to have a copy of the spreadsheet on the computer I was near after finishing my run. Now I have a single, centralized location where I can enter my workout information, track my running shoes and the mileage I've put on them, and even map routes and add extra information about my run. The website also has some decent graphing and trending tools to allow you to visualize any of the data variables you choose to record regularly. The site even has capabilities to join or start a training group – all members that join are listed together under the group heading, and you can then chat in a separate group forum, share running reports, etc. Overall, a very nice little site that does what it should do, and is free to boot.
If you want to see my RunningAHEAD info, my info is here. Be aware I only update on a weekly/biweekly basis with all of the runs I did that week, once I download them from my Forerunner, so it may not show the most recent run status for me.
[NaBloPoMo 2008 – #29/30]
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