One of my favorite activities is reading about and using new technologies.
This started for me when I was about 12 and I was a beta tester for CompuServe’s online-gaming platform. I don’t think there’s a link to it anymore. That was in 1985 or so. I had a 300 bps modem and used a dial-up connection. I had a blast playing computer games all day for free. I don’t think my mom shared my enthusiasm for this, but that’s another story.
As time went on, I experimented with other new technologies.
In 1999, while working for Homestore.com (now part of the Move.com network), I beta tested a Sprint Web-enabled phone. My recollection is that this was one of the first consumer phones that allowed people to surf the Web, though there are probably other phones that I wasn’t aware of at the time. (I looked on Move.com and some of the articles I wrote are still live, but not that one). I have a vivid recollection of gushing over the ability to check my mail on my phone, which seems so commonplace 10 years later.
Since then, I have been suckered into taken advantage of the opportunity to use other emerging technologies and Websites, from Treo (now Palm) phones to the latest social-networking fad site.
Rather than listing specific sites, I think it’s more effective to talk about how early adopters find out about what’s new.
For me, Louis Gray is one of the best resources. I subscribe to his RSS feed and generally join/download about 75% of the sites/apps he mentions. My goal is to one day find out about something before he does. 😉 Here’s his post on being an early adopter.
I also use Twitter to find out about the latest cool tools and sites. Jesse Stay has become one of the people from whom I often get great insights and sites.
Jesse and Louis are two of the people on my Twitter “Influencers” list because of their aptitude for finding the newest and coolest corners of the Web, as well as for their insights.
I’m going to start a tag to highlight the beta beta-ish sites I am using at the moment.
So enough about me. How do you stay abreast of the cool sites and apps out there? Let me know!