2009 Web Reviews

Image representing Care2 as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

For the first time ever I spent most of Cyber Monday on the internet, searching for bargains. Since I was not in the market for electronics, my shopping adventure did not lead anywhere. Which is probably a good thing, since I have been exhorting the message about shopping locally in this column for years. Thus, I betrayed my own advice and wasted much of a day glued to my monitor, all for naught.

What I did not do, and should have, was to go back to columns I wrote in March about finding coupons, rebates, discount codes and alerts for good bargains. I would have discovered that Jet Blue was offering excellent prices for one day only on Cyber Monday for one-way travel. The best Cyber Monday deals may have been hidden from the masses of online shoppers, whereas those insider bargain-hunter websites would have been a better choice than a Google or Bing search.

All this brings me to the topics I will be covering this week and next. I’m taking a second look at all the websites I’ve mentioned here since January, and I’m picking my favorites from each month’s listings. (All of the listings are archived by month at https://cyberscribbles.wordpress.com).

Just one thing I want to do before getting into this week’s site reviews. I need to apologize to those of you who used Care2.com to send cards, based on my recommendations. Actually, the site is fine and the e-cards are great. But unless you want an emailbox full of messages from Care2, use a dummy email address before signing up for their free service. Okay. Let’s get on with this week’s reviews.

February 2009

Two websites I mentioned popped out at me right away. The extremely useful Gasbuddy.com is a money saver, if you don’t mind driving a few more blocks to find the lowest gas prices in your area. Bless those local spotters who take the time to log their findings on Gasbuddy for the rest of us to use.

Another site that I use frequently, and that you will like if you are an avid newspaper junkie—is ThePaperboy.com. If I want to know what’s happening in another part of the country, I can have The Paperboy lead me to links to local papers just about anywhere. And by the way, the Beacher is listed there.

March 2009

If I had remembered to check BargainBriana.com, I would have known about that Jet Blue offer on Cyber Monday only. But for as long as I have been writing this column, I have visited thousands of websites and just cannot remember all of them (nor do I bookmark that many of them). That’s why having the archive on the CyberScribbles blog is so useful.

StillTasty.com is another useful site that I had forgotten. It tells you how long it’s safe to keep certain foodstuffs before they go bad.. Another site that fits the usefulness category is CriminalSearches.com, if you are an employer or are perhaps thinking about pursuing a relationship with someone you just met. Be warned that this is a bare bones effort, in beta. It’s free, and that’s nice. But if you are really serious, you’ll probably need to dig much deeper, or use a fee-based background check service.

We didn’t get too far this week. I see that I’m out of room. Next week I will continue with what I consider the Best of 2009 sites mentioned in this column this year.

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~ by IndianaDunesPoet on December 8, 2009.

2 Responses to “2009 Web Reviews”

  1. Just to clarify: It’s easy to avoid getting those Care2 messages you mentioned, if you don’t want to receive them. Just uncheck the sign-up box, when you send the e-card.

    But many people like those Care2 email alerts, which are all about good causes, and ways to make the world a better place, often in partnership with well-known nonprofit groups. You also can choose which causes you care about, so the emails you get are only about those causes. Care2 makes it easy to unsubscribe at any time, with a link right there in the email.

    Glad you liked the e-cards. Here is my personal favorite:
    http://www.care2.com/send/card/6043

    • Thanks for the clarification. In my quest to review a number of sites at one time, I rushed through the process without reading carefully. My all-time favorite nonprofit is at http://www.rmr.org.
      Paula McHugh

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