Online apps I cannot do without

I was reading someone’s blog post listing the online apps that the author couldn’t do without. As I read the list, I mentally started making up my own list. Well, here is mine (in no particular order)-

  • WordPress – Cool blogging platform. Let’s you write a blog post without too many distractions. Usage – once a week.
  • Google Reader – My daily peek into 45 sources of information that I want to consume. I don’t read all my feeds, but a quick cursory glance is guaranteed.  Usage – daily.
  • Gmail – I started with a “free” Hotmail account waaay back in 1996. While I opened a Yahoo account too, it was never the one for me. I was a happy :-) Hotmail user until I setup my own mail server a few years ago. And then when Gmail launched, I switched over to it.  Usage – keep it open whenever I am online.  My Blackberry connects me to my email at other times.
  • Google – We all know why.  Usage – I use it so much, I guess they’ve put up a dedicated server just for me :-)
  • Timesofindia – I loathe the site, but twice a day I goto there to do a quick 3 second scan and then close it. If any news is big enough, they’ll put it up in big font. So the 3 second scan does it for me. Usage – insignificant
  • burrp!TV – I don’t watch TV, but on days when I want to catch a movie on TV, I goto burrp!TV. – Usage – twice a week
  • ICICI Direct – Competes with the TOI for the most kachra (garbage) site ever. Usage – once a fortnight, just to make sure that none of my shares did a Satyam on me.

That’s all. While I might visit Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon etc once in a while, I don’t use them on a daily or weekly basis. As you can see, there are NO indian sites that compel a once a day usage. Do you know of any?

Online chess

I love playing chess, so last night I was just surfing around to see if I could find a site to play chess online. I ran into Zapak Games. Now I’ve seen their TV Promos and knew that they had gone live a few months ago, but I was a bit sceptic about them. That was until last night.

First of all, they don’t even require you to be logged-in to play. I  played a game with someone using a “guest” account. Secondly, the whole thing works flawlessly. At least while playing chess. I played around 5 games with  another Zapak user and we were both able interact and play effortlessly. Though, I lost all the 5 games, the site experience was clean.

Good work Zapak team.  It’s a rarity to see an Indian site with such a good user experience.