During all the project research, backlink analysis and general web-hopping I’ve conducted in 2012; I have stumbled upon some of the strangest, funniest and outright odd websites/applications I have seen for a while. But out of this collection of erratic and deranged creations, a number of them have proven to be practical and quite clever. So without further ado, here are 10 websites which I believe deserve a chance in the spotlight:
Twibes is an application which aims to change the way users feel when they use Twitter. By using keyword groups, it assists in finding potential ‘friends’ on Twitter with similar interest to you. It carries out this process by monitoring your tweets and the tweets of others. Common tweets (related to the group) by users are then added to the group of interest within an interface for conversation – prospectively improving the quality of your follow profile and of those you follow. I believe this could be a great tool for networking and creating relationships on the business front also.
Have you ever wanted to know what a website looked like before its extreme, yet professional makeover? Wayback Machine provides an environment to do just that and beyond your expectations. By using ‘snapshots’ and past crawling information, the application is able to deliver representations of websites at particular time periods. Additionally, some of these sites are usable in their pre-evolutionary states, but only a few as the robots.txt file of the websites generally prevents their functionality.
This clever application uses image recognition to identity fonts which are formatted into a visual representation i.e. a picture. The user simply uploads an image or submits a URL to the application. It then analyses the image and attempts to identify the letters within it; and you can correct the application if it identifies any incorrect letters. As a result, a series of possible fonts are delivered to the user. From there, the font may be purchased, or used as a web font (CSS3) if desired.
I can only assume this app is quite well known, but I thought it would be nice to still mention this great example of web AI (Artificial Intelligence). Cleverbot utilises user input to create a conversation between a human being and itself; effectively, it learns from us. It memorises questions/responses and uses them in appropriate situations. A great attribute of Cleverbot is its ability to communicate to users in different languages, even during the middle of a conversation. From reading reviews, it seems ‘the aim of the game’ is to get Cleverbot to ‘trip up’. Apparently it takes quite a while… In addition, it looks like the creators are slowly integrating voice recognition into the application.
When HTML5 came out of the shadows to assassinate Flash-based applications, it opened a world of possibilities with higher performance. The Darkroom project was a good example of HTML5’s capabilities; it allows users to edit and archive photos and images. Also, it has the potential to rival Adobe’s Lightroom, especially as it is open-source and free. The results it delivers are more than reasonable and I feel with some further development, this could become quite an innovative web application.
Do you have trouble sticking to deadlines? Why not blackmail yourself? The application uses Facebook as a mediator to decide whether you have completed a task. The first step is to identify the task at hand and to inform Aherk. The next step involves uploading an embarrassing photograph to the application; it will be posted on Facebook if you fail to complete your task. Once the deadline has passed, your Facebook friends have the power to tell Aherk whether you have completed the task or not via a voting system. This has to be the most hilarious app I’ve come across this year.
It may seem pointless at first; however, it has aided me in several instances this year. The application simply tells you where it’s raining or not within particular areas of the world. But in addition, it will tell you the current weather forecast in that area including the current temperature. It cleverly utilises Yahoo Weather using Yahoo’s query language in combination with PHP to provide an updated weather forecast every half an hour. Forecasts are cached on the first instance to provide users with a fast answer. It doesn’t seem so lame now does it? Moreover, I hope in the future they will make the application responsive to mobile devices as opposed to solely screens.
Is it just me or do you ever copy over something you’ve previously copied accidentally, and then get annoyed at yourself? Control C is a web application designed to prevent this erroneous action from happening. Although it is an application which needs to be downloaded and installed before use, it enables you to store clipboard items in a database on your computer which is then accessible from your web browser. It is able to store various data items such as images, text and even URLs. You’ll never lose any copied data again. And in addition, you can share you clipboard with others; so effectively, it is also a social application. It’s a great way of taking an everyday task and putting a spin on it.
Do you know of any websites which have not had the chance to shine in 2012 (or any other time)? Post them as a comment using the form below. And if you are on Twitter, why not tweet your sites to @RocketMill and hashtag #awesomeapps. Have a great 2013 guys and thanks for reading!