Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday fun for Dec 29, 2006

By now, I'm sure you've realized that I like to find funny and interesting videos on the Web. But there are a lot of videos out there, and you can end up burning a lot of time trying to find the good ones. So this week, I'm going to point you to a cool application I "stumbled" upon recently.

It's called, appropriately, StumbleUpon.

It works in a couple of ways. First, it's yet another online social network, which lets you register a profile and search for like-minded friends. But the site uses a unique way of presenting interesting sites, videos, etc. to you that it thinks you will like, based on the preferences you've put in.

Note that if you don't want to give the site a lot of your personal info, it still works just fine. You can either open the site's webpage, or for real convenience, you can download a toolbar for your browser that makes stumbling as easy as one click.

And while you stumble through the choices offered, you can tell the site whether you like the selections or not, so it learns what kind of content you like.

To be honest, I haven't used that part of the site very much, although it seems to work just fine.

But its the second option, called Stumble Video, that I've been using and really enjoying.

You just sign up and start clicking. Once you've entered a list of topics you're interested in, the site will start serving up video clips from all over the Web that it thinks you might like. Again, you rate them while you watch and if you don't like it, just click again to serve up a new one.

It's very addictive and a lot of fun.

For example, here are three sites that I Stumbled Upon in one sitting:

-- How to Reach 100,000 People for $1 - Highway Blogger

-- Internet from the old days -- This is a fascinating report by the CBC's Bill Cameron about the Internet phenomenon, from the 1980's, I'd guess.

-- Pumpcast News -- People pumping gas at a self-serve suddenly realize the video monitor they're watching is talking directly to them.

And, of course, no collection of video clips would be complete without at least one cool guitar video...

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