What We’ve Been Looking at on the Web this Week

16 January, 2009

This is what we’ve been looking at on the web this week.


Untitled Books

Untitled Books is an independent online book shop with a difference. Titles are handpicked by a bevy of booky types and the virtual stacks are split into categories such as Desire, Intoxication and Great Adventures. In addition, you can find feature articles, recommendations and a brilliant section called ‘How I Write’, where published writers share their thoughts and rituals regarding the writing process. The ‘Literary Seen’ section is pretty cool too – a sort of gallery of readers and their current fixations.

The Manchizzle

The Guardian dubbed this blog, ‘The pick of Manchester culture and hub of blogging goodness’, which says it all really. It keeps pace with all manner of Manc goings on, with a nod towards literary events and new writing. It is also home to The Great Manchester Blogroll.

Rainy City Stories

A collaboration of Kate Feld and Chris Horkan, this site is an ‘interactive literary cityscape’. By clicking a cloud on the Manchester map, you can read stories and poems written about that area. Submissions are encouraged from established and new writers.

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BBC iPlayer

The amazing growth of watching TV over the web over the last 12 months has created some excellent tools for watching those TV programmes that you’ve missed. I’m always missing programmes due to travelling etc. so it’s great to be able to access a variety of great content to watch live by streaming or to download later. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly people adopt using media centres at home so they can watch what they want when they want, downloaded over the Internet, signalling the death of scheduled TV programmes. Just in time for us completing the digital switchover!!

Nottingham Forest

I’ve been a Forest fan all my life and it’s not been that often over the last few years that we’ve had much good news to talk about. Having now got rid of our far too defensively focused manager, suddenly the team are scoring for fun and have won their last three games. This includes an amazing FA Cup game at Manchester City where we won 3-0. The highlights on TV were awful, so the Forest site, having proper extended highlights (for a subscription), is a regular visit for me to catch up on all the matches that I’m not able to get to. I’ll remember the freezing cold January afternoon for some time!!

The Boston Globe
- www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/12/the_year_2008_in_photographs_p.html
- www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/12/2008_in_photographs_part_2_of.html
- www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/12/2008_the_year_in_photographs_p.html

I can’t claim responsibility for having found this site, but a good friend of mine sent me some links to some incredible photographs showing 2008 in pictures. Some of the photos are quite graphic, but most are simply incredible. If you’ve got 15 minutes to spare, grab a coffee and have a browse around. Amazing!

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Last.fm is an Internet radio station allowing users to create custom radio stations and playlists from a wide range of tracks. You can listen to music by your favourite band and also find music by similar artists. Registering for a free account allows Last.fm to give you music and video recommendations.

National Express Trains
You can use this site to check times and book tickets for all UK train journeys, as you’d expect, but the thing that makes it stand out from the crowd is the intuitive user interface. This makes planning journeys, checking train times and booking tickets a lot smoother and simpler.

Google Mail
Google’s free email service, Google Mail, has had a lot of new features added recently including a to do list, themes and inbuilt video chat. These, along with the standard features such as the search facility, ‘conversation view’, and the large amount of storage, make it one of the better web-based email clients out there.

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