Clearly, I spend a lot of time on the internet. I’d hardly have started a blog if I hated the medium, would I? What’s not to love about it? In the space of 5 minutes, I can go online, find out anything important happening in my friends’ lives, pay some bills, have a laugh, and browse The Age. So I thought I’d post here a few of my favourite internet links just in case any are unfamiliar to you.
- Ebay. Well, duh. That’s an obvious one. I’m not sure there’s an internet-user alive who isn’t familiar with Ebay. It’s great for just about anything second hand. I buy clothes on Ebay because I can search for exactly what I want, regardless of whether it’s in fashion. It ever-so-slightly reduces my first-world guilt, and gives me license to bang on about the evils of consumerism (stay tuned for a blog on that one – bet you can hardly wait ;-)). Also, Ebay is a bit risky and exciting, like gambling. You never quite know for sure what you’re getting until it arrives. Best of all – it’s cheap! Recently I bought 6 tops – all good brands and suitable for work, for a total of $18.50. Even with postage on top that’s cheaper than the Salvos. Bar-gain!
- The Book Depository. Another useful one. Based in the UK, you can find about any book you want for cheaper than anywhere else (except occasionally Ebay). The prices include postage – I don’t think I’ve ever paid more than $10 – and it’s in your letterbox within a week or 10 days. Of course, I worry a bit about not supporting local bookshops, which we all know are struggling (although less so since Borders closed shop). Sometimes, if I’m feeling cashed up I’ll splash out on a new book, but more often than not it’s second hand all the way. I figure that supporting second hand book shops (real ones, not online) and supplementing this with The Book Depository for something specific that I’m looking for, is an ok balance in an ethical sense. Anyone else fill their day with this sort of navel gazing?
- New Matilda. This is an online Australian independent provider of news, analysis and satire. A little like Crikey, it’s a bit edgy, similar to the Green Left Weekly but readable. What drew me to New Matilda is the satire. Ben Pobjie’s satire is genius. The guy’s a little unstable, I think, and seems to spend his own life online, but that makes for satire gold. Some classics include ‘A Christmas Message from Ben Pobjie’, ‘The Truth about the Internet’ and my personal favourite ‘How Not to Rape People: A Handy Guide for Modern Men and Footballers’. New Matilda is constantly almost folding because they need financial support, so if you’ve got some spare dollars lying around you might like to consider this an investment – at least in my entertainment.
- TED – Ideas worth spreading. I know. This is a bit middle class isn’t it? Any white person worth their salt (I’m not being racist – see listing below before you stone me) is familiar with TED, and I’m a tiny bit embarrassed to be flogging it, since it’s soooo trendy, but the truth of the matter is that some of the talks are actually very good. Honestly. Check them out before putting me in the naughty corner.
- Stuff White People Like. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as hard as when I found this little gem. Think snorting, crying, can’t breathe type laughing. The full list of ‘stuff’ describes most of you and probably everyone we know. When did we turn into such stereotypically white people? Clearly it’s not just me. Were we born this way? Is it nature or nurture, that decides you’re going to love Banksy, Bob Marley and Moleskine notebooks? Clearly all our thoughts are so profound they need to be written in the world’s most expensive notebooks. Or perhaps you sketch in yours, while enjoying a Flat White at Dench on Saturday morning? Incidentally, the guy who started Stuff White People Like came to Melbourne a couple of years ago and did a survey of our suburbs to find the ‘whitest’ suburb. And it doesn’t actually mean White, since us white people love us some immigration and a smattering of refugees. Guess our whitest suburb? This’ll shock you. Not. Go on, guess. The answer is…. North Fitzroy. BAHAHAHAHA. I used to live there. True story.
- Regretsy. This is another “can’t breathe because I’m laughing too hard and I may have just weed a little” site. Regretsy is where all the rubbish that people post on Etsy (a site to sell homemade things on) is re-posted in all its shitty glory for us to poke fun at. There are some rip-snorters on there, made funnier by the comments underneath from the woman who runs the site. Check it out. You won’t regret it.
- Stumbleupon. This is a nice catch-all site, which isn’t really a site – it’s a tool that lets you nominate the things you’re interested in, and then you hit the Stumble button on your browser toolbar and it trawls the net for you, giving you random choices. Great when you’re bored and your stumble account saves your favourites. You can also follow friends, and they can follow you. Also if you find something cool, you can nominate it to be added to Stumble. If you want to sign up, you can find my list of goodies by searching for Gen1980.
- Pinterest. Another popular one you’re probably already familiar with. Although there are men on pinterest, it’s really very girly. To be honest, I don’t go on Pinterest all that often anymore. I find it a bit overwhelming. The page loads, and it’s technicolour girliness and I can’t breathe for the coolness and beauty of all those pictures of STUFF! Still, if you’re in the mood for a Girl-gasm, have a browse, just make sure you’ve got plenty of time and privacy.
- The Interview Project. This is a serious one, the brainchild of Director David Lynch. He and his film crew toured America a couple of years ago and interviewed random strangers they came across on their travels. These are then edited down into very compelling 5 minute snapshots of their lives. It’s depressing as hell actually, and very American. Most of the people he’s interviewed (from the ones I’ve seen) are your quintessential hick, poor-as-dirt Americans. Actually Lynch should start a charity – “sponsor an Interview Project subject”. He’s already got the tug-at-the-heart-strings advertisements ready to go.
- FIP. Finally, something to cheer you up after watching the Interview Project. FIP is one of the Radio France stations and it plays really great, eclectic music. You can download the iPhone app or just stream it online. Also, all the radio announcers are French, so you get that lovely melodic conversation between the music. Who cares if you can’t understand it?
Obviously I could go on for pages, but I’ll stop here. I’d love to know what your online ‘must haves’ are. What am I missing?