I'm on the computer most of my waking hours. Most of the time I'm doing uninteresting things for my job--writing code, responding to emails, reading bug reports. But, in my free time I do things that are a lot more interesting. Well, they are interesting to me, at least. Hopefully they are interesting to you too, because I'm about to tell you about them. These are the web sites I use the most in my spare time:
Yahoo! For years this was the site I used the most. It's better than ever, but I find myself using it less than before. There are just so many other sites that have come along that do the same things. Currently, I use Yahoo! for email, news, and to save bookmarks, notes, and other personal information.
meebo This web site is an instant messenger client that works with all the major systems--Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Facebook, etc. I have family, friends and coworkers on all the systems, so I have accounts on all of them. I like that I can log into all the systems at once, and I really like that it's browser-based. I don't have to install any applications at all.
Calorie Count I track my weight every day on this site. I also tracked everything I ate from April until October. I'm not counting calories at the moment, so I'm not using the full potential of the site. But, I still sign in every morning to log my weight. I'll probably start logging what I eat some time in January or February.
Ikariam This is an MMO (Massively Multi-player Online game) that I play. It's a very slow-paced game, which is the main reason I have chosen to play it. In the game you build things. Each thing you build can take from five minutes to five days and you can only build one thing at a time. So, you only play it for a minute or two at a time and then you have to wait and come back later. It keeps me from wasting hours at a time on the game. I am currently ranked 14th on the server that I play on, which has over 1,000 active players.
Blogger I have only started using this site regularly this month. Before that I neither read nor posted to blogs very often. It's been surprisingly hard to make a post every day, but surprisingly fun to read a lot of blogs. This week I found out that several people have been regular readers of my posts without me knowing about it. I was a bit flattered, but mostly relieved that my posts haven't been read by just four or five people.
Google It goes without saying that I use Google. It's been claimed that Google is the most successful company ever. That may be an overstatement, but you've got to admit that they are extremely successful and deservedly so. You just can't describe how much easier they've made the Internet to use. Currently, my favorite feature on Google is the "hangout" on Google+. My coworkers and I share documents on Google Apps and then use the hangout feature to collaborate over video chat. It's made it so that we're nearly as productive when we work from home as we are when we're in the office. The main difference is we don't waste any time commuting. I also use the site a lot to share calendar information with Rita.
Wikipedia I have saved the best for last. The usefulness of Wikipedia can't be overstated. The kids use it for school. I use it for work. It satisfies my curiosity numerous times each day. Rita and I use it to resolve arguments all the time. It's the largest repository of knowledge in the history of the world and it gets updated almost instantly...and it's FREE! However, the thing that makes Wikipedia so great isn't its usefulness--it's how it came into existence. The entire thing exists because of human generosity. Most of the stereotypical great human accomplishments--from the pyramids to the lunar landing--were all government programs mandated from above. In contrast, Wikipedia has involved more people, more knowledge, and more ingenuity, and it's done it all from the ground up. Everyone involved has freely participated in the project with the altruistic goal of sharing their knowledge with the world. In my opinion, Wikipedia is the culmination of all social and technical achievement of the human race. I'm sure humankind will come up with something better, but for now it is the greatest accomplishment of all time.
I'm curious to know what your most commonly used sites are. (Come, on. I know you're on Pintrist at least an hour a day.) Please post a comment and let me know which sites you find yourself using the most.