My dear friend, Chris Brogan started a new game of blog tag with  these 2006 wrap up questions.  In your view, what is the:

  1. Most Useful application
  2. Best Web site
  3. Worst Web site
  4. Hottest Trend
  5. Favorite Gadget

So here are mine:

1.  I have to say I love everything Google and Mozilla.   Gmail, my Google front page with the widgets, and Google Documents have changed the way I do things,  They rock!  Although, I have a soft spot for PB Wiki as well.

2. This is difficult, because the definition of best depends on what its function is.  I like Comedy Central’s ability to view shows and queue up favorites;  I like the New York Times website, even when I have to pay for archives;  I love Flickr for photos.  All of these simply work and work well.

3. Worst website- this is also hard.  So many “amateur” and professional sites are set up badly- the navigation is horrible- But one of the all time worst is Thompson Prometric– a website where you can go to schedule professional testing.  I had to use this website to schedule a standardized test for one of my kids, and the website was so frustrating to use, I had to use their 800 number (costing them more money).  You can’t even just find out what times are available to take a test- you have to “Guess” what time you might want to take a test and then they will tell you if it’s available- we went through 30 minutes of this on the phone.  In stark contrast,  The Apple Store does a great job of letting you schedule appointments with a “Genius” at their retail stores from home- I wish all appointment services were set up this way.

My new online pet peeve is the people who are in new media but  make it nigh near impossible to contact them if you need to.   You can’t expect the world to love you and then not give them a way to get in touch with you if an opportunity arises.  If you’re a band, for example, and no one can easily find your contact info, how do you expect to get gigs????

4. Hottest Trend: I think it is virtual collaboration.  I have had long distance projects with several people, working with podcasts, gmail, google docs and wikis to great effect.  I think more people with collaborate on projects even though they are located no where near each other, for real money.

5.  My favorite gadget, outside of my video ipod (Thanks, Hon!) has got to be my Olympus ws-100 digital recorded.  It records with acceptable fidelity for “field” interviews, plugs right into a USB port for download, and I can slip it in my pocket.  Maybe this is the year for a serious web enabled phone, but since we will be paying for it ourselves, we have to be able to justify the additional $45 per month charge.  Not sure we’re there just yet.

Thanks, Chris!