- AllTop – A smart aggregator of the top sites nationwide. AllTop’s home page is usually weighted in favor of tech news (biztech Twitter champ (and AllTop founder) Guy Kawasaki is a favorite, of course), but you can also browse by category: work, health, culture, sports and more. The site gives you the main link to each site as well as the five most popular headlines from that site. Spend a few minutes here each day, and you will soon be the cool trendsetter at the watercooler.
- Mashable – If you care about social media, new tech and other geeky stuff, Mashable keeps you current. Today’s latest stories include a post on the Twitpic of a napping ticket collector in Toronto as an example of social media journalism, a list of the best phone chargers and information on Google’s Next One phone censoring your curse words. (And if you don’t know what a Twitpic or a Next One phone is, you definitely need to start visiting Mashable regularly.)
- Reddit – A much-cooler version of Digg, where visitors vote stories up and down all day. Dominated by folks best described as lefty atheist pirates. Today’s takes includes a link to a simulation of the old Windows 3.1 (you can even play Minesweeper again), a link to a petition to roll back the Supreme Court decision on corporate speech and a link to a serious report from Doctors Without Borders about how their planes are being denied access to the Port au Prince airport.
One last suggestion is to visit Omegle – which allows you to chat with a random stranger. My first try was a gay teen who was unhappy that I wasn’t also. The second turned out to be a journalism student in the UK (click here for more on our discussion). My new friend Nick says he enjoys learning about people from around the world this way. When he was stuck in traffic the other day, he pulled out his cellphone and used Omegle to chat with folks until the traffic cleared.