Monday, January 17, 2011

When Utilities Repeat Themselves

Last year, many educators found themselves frustrated by the demise of free Nings.  We also saw Wordle go offline for a brief time.  Recently, I discovered Xtranormal, no longer had a free component.  Often when these kinds of things happen we go into panic mode.  What are we going to do without our favorite application.  Well, we can either pony up and pay for it or we can find a free alternative.  And that's what today's utility is all about. When the Ning crisis hit, I simply did a Google Search with the related modifier and that's how I found out about Socialgo, Grou.ps, Grouply and a host of other alternatives that I was able to blog and tweet about.  But that's not really a utility is it? In the meantime, I have discovered SimilarSites.  This is a very basic utility and I won't even pretend to know how it works. Basically, you simply type in a URL and SimilarSites  will come up with a number of alternatives that offer similar features to the site you plugged in.  This has been a life saver since more and more utilities are either selling out or going to a "pay for play" model.  If it's one thing I've learned in the last 13 years.  There is always more than one way to achieve your goals on the interwebs.
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