Would you like to rule the web? Mark Frauenfelder’s new book will help you do exactly that. I thought I knew about most of the cool stuff on the web, but thirty pages into this book it was clear to me that I was deluding myself.
Mark is the founding editor of BoingBoing.net and editor in chief of Make. His book is called Rule the Web. Here are ten things that I learned about by reading it. I am sure you will discover many useful and cool tips in this book. He’s got a blog to keep up to date too.
Sizeeasy. This site enables you to compare the real-world size of things. For example, suppose you wanted to compare an iPhone to a Nokia E90 to a pack of playing cards.
RetailMeNot.com. Whenever I check out of an ecommerce site, I often see a place to put in a discount code, but I never have one. This site provides codes that might work—for example, Old Navy. If you’re an Amazon addict, try JungleCrazy.com.
BugMeNot. This site provides names and passwords for sites that require you to register to use. The New York Times is an example; BueMeNot provides a usernames and passwords that should work. Users report on how often they do, and the site displays the success rate.
Fake Name Generator. Let’s say that you need a fake identity so you can rip a blogger. Or, you’re from another country and the stupid web site won’t let you sign up for an account. Or, you want to avoid giving out personal information at a site. Then Fake Name Generator helps you create a fake identity including phone numbers and credit cards.
PowerController. This software is an iTunes alarm clock. It integrates with iTunes, wakes your computer up from sleep, and never needs to be rescheduled across reboots. If you have to wake up in the morning, it might as well be to the sound of Barry Manilow, right? Sorry, but it’s Macintosh only.
Etsy. This is a site for people who appreciate high-quality, handmade products. For example, it sells gifts like this flower power baby quilt or Puckish 3-way ballance handbag. (I have no idea what this means—I thought it was something to do with hockey.) It’s hard to imagine a gift from Etsy that won’t impress the recipient.
OptOutPreScreen.com. This is the official site of the Consumer Credit Reporting. It enables you to opt out of offers for credit and insurance. Although if you like Etsy as much as I think you will, you may need more credit. At the very least, you’ll know who’s coming after you and when you can go into debt again.
AnnualCreditReport.com. If you over-spend at Etsy, you may to use this site to review your credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Once you transfer over to these sites, there will be all sorts of offers for special services, but the fundamental premise of a free, online credit report is true.
Cellswapper. Suppose that you’re stuck with a two-year contract with Verizon and want to buy an iPhone because you want a slow data network and long battery life. This site enables you to swap in and out of carrier contracts. They should display the ranking of most swapped out carriers—that would be interesting.
TidyUp! This software searches for duplicate files and packages. You can also search by the tag, duration and bit installments of MP3 and AAC sound files as well as clean up iPhoto, iTunes, iPod databases, and Mail mailboxes. I ran it and deleted 275 megabytes of duplicate photos, and I felt as satisfied as after a good teeth cleaning. Macintosh-only again.
Hi there. I really admire you giving Etsy publicity but if you spent more than 5 minutes there you would realize this site is by no means “a chick site”. There are many STRAIGHT men on Etsy that are amazing artists. As well as the fact you are insulting all of the rest of the wonderful female artists by flippantly referring to Etsy as a “chick site”. Yes, its all handmade goods (not stuff) and we are extremely proud of that. But we rather not be labelled so limitedly so please spend a bit more time on the site next time and maybe you will learn a thing or two to share with those who read your blog instead of making base judgements. Thank you.
Okay, I’ll change it to make everyone happy.
fake name generator looks ok but i still prefer www.funnynames.com
You know whats great about “chick sites” like Etsy?
I get to sell stuff like this
BTW, do you have any ex girlfriends, they might be interested.
Numbers 9 and 10 are the real gems on this list.
Swapping cell contracts can be supremely useful for almost anyone who is in need of a change.
TidyUp is perhaps only a fantasy-come-true for those of us who love computers a bit too much. I count myself in this group.
Thanks for the book synopsis, I’ll have to check it out in full.
Etsy is not a chick site. So far from it. It is simply a place where individuals who value uniqueness, art, and the collective “handmade” can go to shop, where they are sheltered from the cookie-cutter commercialism that our Wal-Mart society has taught our misguided citizens to value. Made-in-China junk is not valuable or socially beneficial.
However, much of what you can find on Etsy is valuable and socially beneficial. I realize that living totally handmade is an unrealistic goal. But living with as little Made-in-China junk in my life makes me feel good.
wow. do your homework before you post a comment like that about etsy.
I am a seller on Etsy, and I am not a chick. I don’t think my customers are chicks either.
I’m a bit confused. You state that these are ten things you learned about the web by reading Rule the Web. Are you saying that Rule the Web stated that Etsy is a “chick site,” or is that your personal opinion?
Although I would agree that there are by far more female users on Etsy than male users, I find the phrase “chick site” a bit offensive. Women are women; they are not baby chickens (or broads or dames for that matter).
sorry, but selling a book for money that is produced by collecting a bunch of free tool sites and resources is all wrong…the dude should ONLY be running this on a site and paying homage to the many devs upon whose backs he has built this text….plus many on that list are very old news…i personally covered alias tools on passingnotes (and all of those tools above) at least three times in the past few years….as have others…
ya know, i’m not trying to be mean, but etsy isn’t just us girls. there are a lot of cool guys there too, and they don’t act like wussie boys.
take whamodyne.etsy.com for instance. he makes cool stuff out of concrete.
we just make neat stuff by hand, and we want to sell it. it’s not a chick flick.
Yikes…some etsy comments!!!
That fake name generator is bizarre…especially with phone number and credit card.
If I start getting junk mail sent to a hispanic woman than I will no I fell crime to my address being a part of Wanda Flores’ fake name generation.
Wow, thank you for this list!
From those 10 sites, I simply love BugMeNot.com. Number 10 is also a gem.
Very useful post.
Thank you, for changing the original wording of this post from “Etsy is a chick site” to your current, more accurate description. The artists who share this marketplace place a high value on our creations and our community. Come and browse some more. Try the Art category, or Geekery, or Furniture, all easily accessible from the front page. Check out the blog, labs and teams links from the bottom of most pages. It would be interesting to hear a second opinion.
Just a word to thank you for all the excellent site links. I found some new toys!
And just so you know… not all of us female types were offended by the *chick site* reference. But it was nice of you to edit for those who were.
Hi, I’m the author of the book, Rule the Web, and I want to thank Guy for kindly reviewing it!
Guy’s reference to Etsy as a “chick site” is his opinion, not mine. I am a big fan of Etsy, and in fact Etsy shares a NYC office with the magazine I edit (Make).
And to the person who commented: “sorry, but selling a book for money that is produced by collecting a bunch of free tool sites and resources is all wrong.” Please take a look at the book before passing judgment (use Amazon’s “Search Inside” feature). You’ll see that it’s much more than a list of free sites and services. There’s plenty of how-to and step-by-step information in the book.
The thing is that people don’t realize that when I called Etsy a “chick site,” it’s because I like it. A “man’s site” is boring–ie, cars, gadgets, propeller-head stuff. Thus a highly complimentary description was misconstrued.
Small spelling error – “BueMeNot provides a usernames and passwords that should work”
BueMeNot = BugMeNot
Very good and useful info…But most of the sites which Mark mentiond I wrote it earlier on my blog.Plz..see..
ya thanks for this list! you gotta love “fake name Generator”! …just great lol.
Your gaining too much influence – I didn’t even finish the post – just clicked and ordered on your recommendation!
Great book! We’ve recommended it to our bloggers. I bought mine last week from a locally owned bookstore instead of Amazon.
Hi! This Book is written by a genius! Right now I’m looking for the most stupid book in the universe at my site http://www.themoststupidhomepageintheuniverse.com – which book would that be in your opinion?