Menu Close

GUIDE: My Favorite Web Services – Updated7 min read

Listen to this article

Last Updated: 08.22.12

Blog Metrics

  • Google Analytics – the most awesome and detailed free service, but sometimes too complex for simple metrics
  • Sitemeter – one nice feature is that it can show you who is no your site in real time.
  • ExtremeTracking – has nice metrics on referrers and google searches that led to your site

Blog Tools

Book Publishing

  • lulu –  I’ve looked at the other self-publishing houses, and lulu is my fav – nicer interface, more helpful info, better prices, and they allow you to do as much of the work as you like (your own cover, isbn, etc.)
  • bookland – Free ISBN image creator – save your money, buy your own ISBN and use this site to create the image for your book cover (isbn placement explained)
  • Perhaps worth trying:
    • blurb – integrates with your blog to create blogbooks too.  Nice.
    • iUniverse
    • xlibris – a Random House property, I’m not sure how good it is since WOT warned me that it was suspicious.

Book Tools

  • Perhaps worth trying:
    • BookMooch – swap books with people worldwide

Contact  and Calendar Management

  • Plaxo – Not only does plaxo
    sync with outlook (which you can’t do with google calendar), but you
    can share your calendar online, and they are now somewhat integrated
    with, and you can import your contacts from yahoo and gmail.

ebay tools

  • getitnext – a nice search tool that makes ebay searches easier
  • lastminuteauction – shows you items that are close to closing, witih very few bidders or low prices.  nice.
  • phantombidder – for automated sniping


  • cafepress – There may be better out there, but for creating t-shirts and other merch with your logo on it, cp is cool.
  • spreadshirt – these guys are contenders, have to check em out


  • Gmail – the many firefox greasemonkey scripts make this configurable and usable.  Nice.
  • Yahoo Mail – the new interface is fancy
  • Hotmail – they’ve improved it a lot

Feed Management

File Sharing

  • YouSendIt – for sending large files that you can’t send as email attachments, ysi is easy to use and free
  • DropSend – they have a nice local applet you can use, but was buggy in the past


  • dafont – it is dabiggest and dabest free font download site


  • Geni – the best free, easy to use genealogy tree software around.

Health Records

  • HealthVault – Microsoft has launched this new free service.  We’ll see how well it works.
  • PHR – a site designed to help you understand why and how to manage your own health records.


  • – great way to get low cost will, living will, and other legal documents completed.  A will can be made for as little as $69.  Nice.

Movies and Photos

  • ConvertTube – converts YouTube movies to other movie formats for downloading.  Just plug in the URL, and it does the rest. Nice.
  • Picasa (Google Photos).
    What makes this service the “best” is the free Picasa photo manager software, which allows you to manage, edit, and upload to google photos.  However, google photos is just average in functionality.  My
    beef is that, if you have many photo albums, the default view for your
    list of albums is using a cover image, and after a while, it’s just too
    many.  Sorting or filtering by year, or a simple text list, would be
  • Photobucket (formerly Yahoo Photos) – nice interface, but lacks the picasa software that google has.

Professional Networking

  • LinkedIn.  To tell you the truth, I don’t really use professional networking, but most professionals I know are connected via linkedin.

RSS Reader


  • – though there are a lot of bargain sites out there (see the related post in the last section below), what makes ben’s stand out is that lots of people comment, so you can determine whether or not that cheap headset is a bargain or a piece of junk, or whether or not that vendor really makes good on rebates or not.
  • – don’t forget to look for deals on craigs – you can also get an RSS feed for
    your search, so you can check daily from your feed reader.
  • – most bargain sites focus on tech, but this one also has nice feeds for places like amazon, overstock, etc.
  • Price Protector – when you purchase something, register it here and they can tell you if the price changes so you can get your refund during the price guarantee period.
  • slice – track all your packages automagically. Not perfect, but cool.
  • Universal Package Tracking – paste your shipping number in, and it will provide a nice RSS feed so that you can track your package in your feed reader.

Social Bookmarking

  • addthis – this is for blog owners who want one universal link for users to clip articles with – they can choose the social bookmarking service of their choice, and addthis will remember that choice going forward.  Cool.
  • diigo – like better than Delicious, reddit, etc.

Storage and Backup

I haven’t picked a favorite yet, but here are the contenders, in order of my preference:

  • backblaze – $5 a month unlimited? Unbeatable
  • g drive – integration with other google offerings, like g+ and picasa is improving


  • kayak – Works great
  • farecast –  also a contender
  • yapta – a free plugin that not only does fare comparisons, but will update you on fare changes after your purchase (for a refund)
  • DON’T BOTHER WITH: travelocity, orbitz, cheaptickets, sidestep


Web 2.0