Some Interesting Discoveries – part II

A few new sites I think are interesting, useful or both.

Here’s a 10 second overview of each one and why you should check it out:


I have recently become more interested in getting visitors to my site to act, than getting those visitors in the first place. Why? Because there are many ways to get people to your site, but once they are there, if they don’t buy or use your service, then you don’t really have a business now do you? Here’s a tool that makes links to your site VISUAL with a small thumbnail preview. This helps with getting traffic as people who see a link to your site will also see a site preview.

But what about conversion? Well one of the biggest problems webmasters face is “how to decrease the bounce rate?” What if your internal linking also had previews, making sure people STAY on your site, and hopefully end up committing or purchasing.

The fact that so many companies and websites are using this tool tells me there are more benefits… soon to be checked out.


I looked at social bookmarking a few years ago but then abandoned it – somehow it felt unnatural to be posting hundreds of links on different sites as bookmarks and I was worried that Google would penalise sites that do this.

Social bookmarking has since come along way with loads of different sites specialising in different ways. OnlyWire is an aggregator, automatically posting your news, blogs or links to about 50 different services, and you can easily post only to the specific site you want, without having to log in each time. Seems to be a useful tool for link building (to help with SEO) if used with moderation and if you know which sites would work for each particular link you are posting.  

investment required: loads of time
return on investment: automatically use 50 different tools which bookmark, organise and promote your links to different communities; building links and making your information more accessible. 


Think iGoogle but much, MUCH better. I love Google and use so many of their services, but I am afraid NetVibes is everything iGoogle could have been and more.

In my opinion, NetVibes has two main uses:

  1. Use it as your browser homepage – with all the information you want to see when you first come online: mail, facebook, twitter, weather, news, blog feeds etc. This profile is private and only accessible to you.
  2. Use it to promote yourself, your company or an interest. Think a combincation of, squidoo and iGoogle. Here is my unfinished public NetVibes profile:


We recently bought a new Canon G12 from Camerabox, and while it is yet to arrive, I can say that this site is by far the cheapest (we looked at many sites and different models), unless you can get your camera from the States, which is even cheaper. Also, they provide a 5 year warranty. Can’t wait for it to arrive.

Two weeks and no camera. Camerabox may be cheap but their customer service is nothing near the level we have come to expect from an e-commerce business. Next day delivery… FAIL. call-back request…. FAIL. promises to fix their mess… FAIL. Buying from them again… NEVER!

Let me know your thoughts.

Some Interesting Discoveries

During the past two weeks I have come across several interesting discoveries on the Internet – new sites that are either in BETA or have only just launched (some of these you will not yet be able to sign up to without an invite):

Here’s a 10 second overview of each one and why you should check it out:


Take all that data out there on Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn and loads of other social services, then “sift” and extract only information that is useful to you. Quick Example:

“Datasift can present you with a stream of the Foursquare check-ins at every Starbucks around the world, and then filter them down to everyone with a Klout score of 50 and saying something positive.”

Suddenly social media becomes much more measurable, useful as a quick market research tool and data from various sources can be combined to tell one story.


Take you entire social media experience and document it on a timeline, which you can then quickly scroll through to find: trips, posts, photos, tweets, videos and links you have shared in the past.

A fantastic tool for storing, sorting and quickly finding anything you have ever shared.


One page, a snappy bio, your picture, cool url & all your social networks in one plae. Its the perfect link for your e-mail signature to replace having all your social networks listed.

Think of this as “the profile” – a virtual snapshot of you.

My profile:


While the above sites are pretty cool, Quora has so far been most useful. This is a site for asking and answering questions and while there are now a few such sites out there, Quora is perfect if you want to find answers for very specific kinds of questions.

All the early adopters and techies that basically keep sites like Twitter going are on here, answering questions about start-ups, e-commerce, entrepreneurship, funding and other related topics. This site is heaven for anyone interested in technology related businesses and innovations.

Within one day of asking, here are the answers to my first question.

North West Fund

There is nothing technically interesting about this site – just the message its putting across. After a long recession and funding cuts to the North West Development agency (NWDA), the North West is once again providing funding for entrepreneurs in the region. Unfortunately no more grants (like the amazing Innovation Voucher) but still, good to know the taps are open once again. Time to submit the business plan!