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Archive for Friday, February 27, 2009

Net Worth: Co-workers’ suggestions lead to fresh Web sightings

February 27, 2009

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Since I’m the one with the “Internet column,” you would think folks would always be asking me for suggestions about intriguing new sites.

Quite the contrary. I’m usually the one roaming the News Center pestering co-workers for Web tips, mainly during the stretch of the week when I need to get serious about cranking out the 475 words in this column.

So today’s Net Worth presents a collection of recommendations for lesser-known sites that merit checking out. But I wouldn’t want to get any of my co-workers in trouble by implying they might be wasting office time perusing such sites. So to protect their privacy, I’m going to refer to them via pseudonyms — in each case a pseudonym culled from the pages of Dr. Seuss.

Co-worker Snorter McPhail proposed I surf Failblog. This consistently uproarious site collects pictures and videos in which a subject fails miserably at something. Recent submissions include videos of failed news interviews to failed products such as the best-forgotten E.T. Finger Light, which looks like something that should be hocked in an Amsterdam sex shop.

After a conversation involving a recent exotic vacation, Sylvester McMonkey McBean turned me on to Virtual Tourist.

The site bills itself as a “worldwide travel community where real travelers and locals share real travel advice and experiences.” In practical terms, the site boasts 1.4 million tips and represents a great way to interact with those who have recently visited a potential destination.

For comparison sake, I immediately viewed what Virtual Tourist had to say about Lawrence. It broke the information into categories such as hotels, restaurants, things to do, off the beaten path, tourist traps and dangers. You’ll be happy to learn Lawrence was deemed far less dangerous than Mogadishu.

Siblings Jo and Mo Redd-Zoff were talking their heads off about improving their language skills through eduFire. The site is a platform for community-driven learning over the Internet. Tutors from around the world help patrons take classes in foreign languages, exam prep and more.

So if you’re in the mood to learn Flemish from a real person without leaving the house, this is your ticket.

Finally, Zanzibar Buck Buck McFate mentioned how much fun his daughter was having with Paper Toys.

The site provides “the latest and greatest paper fold-up toys. Just print, cut, fold and glue.” While there are numerous kid-friendly options such as dinosaurs and the Statue of Liberty, the offerings often veer way outside the box. Oddball favorites include Bill Gates’ House and a Bruce Lee paper doll complete with nunchaku.

Among the upcoming models slated for production: Dr. Seuss characters.

— Entertainment editor Jon Niccum explores facets of pop culture that have established a unique niche on the Internet in Net Worth. He can be reached at 832-7178.

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