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diavolobella's avatar

What is the best online discovery you have made in the past year?

Asked by diavolobella (7920points) January 24th, 2013

It might be an online store, a song, a video, a person, a game, a product or involve a theme (a historic event, the natural world). It may also be available offline (a brick and mortar store, for example) but you discovered and utilize it primarily online. Something that you like so much that you visit it regularly, have shared it with others or would like to.

What is it you like about it? For example, is it entertaining, educational, weird, fascinating, silly or serious? Has finding it benefited you in a particular way? If you became a Jelly this past year, Fluther might be a good example.

Please share your favorite online discoveries of the past year.

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30 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

Musical groups that I never – ever – would have found otherwise.

Presented, in no particular order:
Neko Case
Radical Face
The National
Vampire Weekend
Nicki Minaj

And a slew of others. These are not the bands that 59-year-olds typically discover or fall in love with. Or would ever find except online. (I’m not going to the places where Nicki Minaj is popular, for example.)

Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll listen to Gaga, too.

diavolobella's avatar

I’ll offer several of my favorite discoveries this past year.

I run on a treadmill at least three times a week. I usually listened to music on my MP3 player or watched a TV show, but I got really bored. Then I discovered a site called Virtual Active ( that makes onsite virtual running DVDs. They actually go to different scenic places and film as they run. It’s like being right there. I also like that they give you two options: a basic run where it’s just the scenery and music and a guided version where a coach gives you instructions on speed, incline, etc. You choose the option you prefer. I’m totally hooked on these workouts and they never get boring because there is so much to see. They ramped up my enthusiasm for running so much that my speed, endurance and overall health have truly benefited from using them. I recommend them to anyone who runs on a treadmill (they have hiking and biking videos too). My two favorites are the Germany and Northern Italy runs. Preview of the Germany run, which I totally addicted to:

This is technically a rediscovery, but I love the Musee McCord Montreal’s history games. The Victorian Period and Roaring Twenties games are educational, but also funny and a little weird. They crack me up. I’d forgotten about them until this year.

I also rediscovered what I think is one of the most beautiful and creative game sites online. His games are charming and exquisitely rendered.

Two musicians that are absolutely fabulous. I discovered them online and my work has allowed me the good fortune to get to know them offline and they both have become my friends. They are not only incredibly talented, but lovely human beings.

diavolobella's avatar

@CWOTUS The Decemberists are incredible!

Coloma's avatar

I recently discoverd a community radio station KFOC! lol
They broadcast up the mountain from me by abot 20 miles and I am trying to find an improv. partner to start a little comedy/talk show. So excited!
The Fok you say!

The station manager is extremely enthusiastic about my idea and is actively seeking a tag teamer for me to partner up with.
Go figure, I have lived here for 7 years and never knew about our local community radio station.

diavolobella's avatar

@Coloma That is so cool!

CWOTUS's avatar

Oh, I forgot Hot Chip. They do a better version of Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (with Peter Gabriel) that’s better than Vampire Weekends. I wouldn’t be finding any of this stuff offline.

ETpro's avatar

Best design tool of the past year, Color Scheme Designer. Click on the RGB color value to the lower right of the color wheel, fill in a color value, and then select what sort of complimentary color scheme you wish to use.

bookish1's avatar

Great question, @diavolobella.

I guess at the top of my list would be Fluther! This place makes my tentacles quiver with delight.

Very recently a friend showed me , which is an online repository of all (?!) television footage from France, for all of history O_o I could spend hours on there. And fool myself that it’s ‘research.’

I got into Hulu just this past year. I bit the bullet because they have every season of Arrested Development, but I’ve been enjoying other stuff. It’s pretty hit-or-miss for movies, but very good for TV. I watched the pilot of Night Rider tonight! And they have every season of Daria, finally!

I’ve also gotten into recently. It’s dangerous, because I love shoes, but I don’t have money for them very often. But they have free returns for a year and a wide selection. I just got a pair in the mail yesterday. First shoes I’ve purchased in at least 4 years!

@CWOTUS : Da Foc?? Best of luck with your comedy show.

Pachy's avatar

I discovered Youtube! Not the site, per se because I had already been going to it for a long time. What I discovered was the value of its “How To” videos, and also all the old clips of TV shows and movies from my youth.

Coloma's avatar

Aaack! How could I miss fluther!
Oh that dreary jet lagged day almost 3 years ago. I will never be the same. :-D

gailcalled's avatar

An easy way to shop for items that I hate shopping for;

Shower curtain for stall shower
Heel cups
Cashmere sweater from Vancouver, BC
Astronomy book with good star charts and matching photos of stars
Lo-cal organic cat treats
Fleece yoga pants
Vitamin pills and herbal meds.

diavolobella's avatar

Oh man, I can’t believe I forgot this site. High definition versions of really old photographs. They make it possible to feel like you have stepped into the past and allow you to see fine details you never could before.

jca's avatar

I have been looking at a lot of blogs on decorating and other “fun” subjects. It’s a great time waster, when I’m looking to waste time.

Also in the category of time waster is Pinterest.

I have recently been spending more and more time on the site Trip Advisor. I post reviews of restaurants and hotels, I have been reading other travelers’ forum posts on their trips to Orlando, as I’m planning a trip there, too.

In the planning for my Disney trip, I find there are tons of sites about Disney and Orlando info, but one great one is called Mouse Savers. It has tons of tips on saving money in Disney and other theme parks. I recommend it for anybody planning a trip there.

diavolobella's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room I CONSTANTLY watch old television commercials on YouTube. You can find things on there you were sure you’d never see again.

Bellatrix's avatar

This news site was shared with me. I like it a lot.

Coloma's avatar

I count on my daughter to find the most incredible youtube videos.
She is a chip off the old mother block and we can watch youtube videos for hours together. Laughing and laughing. :-)

bookish1's avatar

@Coloma : But she’s too cool for Fluther, eh? :-p

Coloma's avatar

@bookish1 She lurks around, her name is 8convulsions.:-)

desiree333's avatar

Etsy, Tumblr, and Youtube. I suppose I’m cheating a little bit because I’ve been on Tumblr for more than a year and have known about Youtube since…forever.

But, I never realized how awesome Youtube can be until recently. I found some awesome channels (ex. Pangea Piercing, Hilah Cooking, and Those Pesky Dames). This sh*t is better than Netflix.

OpryLeigh's avatar

This week I discovered which I am very excited about!

Jenna Marbles is my favourite discovery of the year though!

rojo's avatar

Well, I thought I had discovered a new route to India!

but it turned out to be just another call center.

flutherother's avatar

I enjoy the cycle tours described on the crazy guy on a bike website. I used to do a bit of cycle touring myself and I really appreciate these write ups.

Bellatrix's avatar

Oh that is very useful @wildpotato! Did you ask a question? Care to share?

newtscamander's avatar

Ooh, I like this question!

I found an in-browser writer that clicks like a typewriter- I think it’s nifty because I switch between writing and researching without minimizing any programs.
I found this cheery website.
I found this for drawing online.
I found a great website for comparing mobile phones, cars and cameras with each other.
And I always find lots of great recipes online whenever I want to cook something extraordinary.

wildpotato's avatar

@Bellatrix No, I haven’t asked one yet, I just like the blog. I’ll let you know if I ever do ask a question, and if she picks it.

Bellatrix's avatar

Excellent @wildpotato! I rang up a mortuary once to ask question and the man there was so helpful. Glad you shared.

susanc's avatar

Hennessy Youngman on YouTube. The art-world genius.

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