2010 was an exciting year. We had a bunch of new inventions as well as some older ones getting incredibly popular. The web changes faster than ever before, thanks to the huge amount of competition and the fact that over 3 billion people are online. As a business owner, this can be an incredible challenge for you. As a consumer, it’s an incredible delight. If you haven’t been aware so far, there are many new things you can do in 2011 thanks to these recent inventions. Here are the top 5 (they’re all free):
1. Get 50-90% Discounts Using Groupon (and its clones)
Groupon wasn’t invented last year. But it took off in 2010, resulting in several billion dollars valuation and an offer from Google to buy it for 6 billion. And guess what, they rejected the offer! Now, I leave it to you to decide if that was a stupid move, but I think this offer is enough to demonstrate the incredible influence Groupon has on the way we shop things online.
In 2011, expect more Groupon ‘clones’ and even more discounts on products. One disadvantage of this model is that you shouldn’t expect 50%+ discount on hard goods. Those businesses don’t make high profit margins so it doesn’t make sense for them to give so big discounts.
2. Experience Wikipedia On a Next Level with Qwiki
Qwiki’s job is to “turn information into an experience”. Let’s say you want to learn more about the international space station. What you would ordinary do is go to Wikipedia and read about it. With QWiki, you’ll be presented various information (from different sources, including Wikipedia) on a picture and a person speaking in the background.
Now, the fascinating this is that they want to do this automatically, make unique video presentations on every topic in the world. Something like Wikipedia and therefore the name: Qwiki.
3. Find Who Owns an Email Address Using Facebook!
Not many people know this: You can search by email on Facebook. You have to be logged in if you want to do that, though. This is not a new feature but it has been gaining steam for 2010. Facebook is definitely the #1 free people search engine, among many more you can see in this article.
4. Quora – Q&A Wiki
Quora is a new service that became extremely popular in 2010. The mission of Quora is to have the best answers for every question in the world. To do that, they must include collaborative option in their answers (which they did) and get smart people to answer on board (I can’t say they did this because you can improve on this any day). You can comment on answers, suggest deletion by marking the article as ‘not helpful’ and so on.
If you are tired from stupid answers on Yahoo popping up every time you type a question into Google, then this is a new hope. Hopefully they will improve
5. New Way of Protection Against Hackers with CloudFlare
I’ve been using CloudFlare free option for 2 months now and was surprised to see how many ‘nasty’ people come to the site and what they do. Some attempt to do a dictionary attack (by discovering the password on my blog), some attempt to leave spam wherever they can and so on. CloudFlare basically relies on crowd-sourcing (getting their data from many different security sites and users) to find malicious users and block them from accessing your site. It’s a pretty good deal considering this is a free service (they also have a $20 option but I personally plan to get it only after I get more than 5000 users daily or something like that).
Maybe I forgot to mention some really innovative service above? If I did that, you can feel free to remind me in the comments below 🙂