Five Random Websites I Love

As I’m sure is the case with you, I come across a lot of websites. Between all of the things I search, the things that are suggested to me, the things that I read about on Twitter or RSS or in magazines, the number seems astronomical when you step back and think about it. I probably only find 1 in 100 sites that are worthwhile enough for me to bookmark or subscribe to.

There are even fewer that I like so much that I tell everyone I know about. I’ll bring the sites up in conversation, I’ll email friends who might find them interesting, I’ll tweet about them, I’ll blog about them. I’m like a one-man PR team for them, and I like filling that role because I think they deserve every bit of it.

Here are five such sites. Hopefully you’ll find some or all of them useful.

Adagio Teas (www.adagio.com)

Adagio Teas

My favorite place to order tea online. I like to buy as much tea as I can locally, and I really like visiting tea shops when I travel, but I always seem to come back to Adagio. Their e-commerce shopping experience is awesome. The usability of their site is fantastic. They have tons of great information, from product descriptions to reviews. The teas are priced very affordably – most teas can be sampled for around $3. Shipping is fast, usually one business day from New Jersey, and if you spend $50 or more it’s free.

Still Tasty (www.stilltasty.com)

Still Tasty

I’m big on not wasting food. If I buy it, I try to eat it before it expires. It just seems like the right thing to do…both economically and morally. If you’re anything like me, you often wonder “how long will this last?” Still Tasty has the answer for just about every possible food. They give you information for how long it will last in various conditions – refrigerated, room temperature, and/or frozen – and they give you storage tips. It’s been an invaluable reference for me.

Simple Desktops (www.simpledesktops.com)

Simple Desktops

Simple Desktops is exactly what it sounds – a beautiful collection of simple desktop backgrounds. I like to keep my computer (and well, everything else too) clean, neat, and organized. I’ve probably downloaded more desktops from this site than I have all other sites on the web combined. Their rules for submission are awesome:

  • All images should be 2560px by 1600px
  • No gradients
  • No drop shadows
  • No lens flares
  • No words, but abstract type is okay
  • No on-image attribution, the attribution is only on the site
  • Save the image as a .png

It’s a great example of “more is less”.

All Over Albany (www.alloveralbany.com)

All Over Albany

It’s no secret that I think Albany, NY is a great place to build a business. But once I moved back after living in Connecticut I often felt “out of the loop” with what was going on. I wasn’t in college any more, nor was I in a traditional work environment where you typically hear about those types of things. Truth is, this area is a really cool, diverse place to live. I just never knew how to find out about all of the cool stuff going on until I stumbled upon AOA (I believe Google Reader suggested it to me…score one for Google Reader). This blog has literally changed my perception of the area that I’ve lived in most of my life. My girlfriend and I have found countless restaurants, events, hiking trails, and even tiny New England towns just a short drive away that we never would have known about. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forwarded or passed along an article from AOA to friends or family. Their “Stuff to do this Weekend” post every Friday morning is my favorite. Whenever I don’t have plans, but I kind of want to have plans (you know that feeling, right?), that post is the first place I look. There’s always something interesting going on.

Song Meanings (www.songmeanings.net)

Song Meanings

There are a billion lyric websites out there. What sets Song Meanings apart is the comments section where people discuss, you guessed it, the meanings behind songs. They’ve been around since 1999 and have a pretty active community. I’m the type of guy who always gets curious about the artist intent behind a song that I like. I’ve never once visited Song Meanings and not found at least one comment on the song, generally there are many pages of comments. Most people just debate their personal opinions and use lines from the songs to debate each other, which is interesting in and of itself, but people also routinely link to sources like articles or interviews with the artist to back up their viewpoint. It’s a really cool twist on an otherwise crappy genre of websites.

What about you: what are some of your favorite sites that I have to know about?

4 comments on Five Random Websites I Love

  1. Thanks for the very nice mention. An honor to be mentioned in the top five. An even bigger honor to be first on that list as well 🙂

  2. Thanks to you I just found 5 new websites I can send to my friends. I think my favorite has got to be Silly Tasty, that is just the most hilarious but ingenious idea I’ve seen on the web in a while.

  3. I agree with JVF above. The Still Tasty site is by far the weirdest site I’ve seen in a while, great find! Can’t wait to share it with some of my college buddies.

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