I’m staring at my toolbar and thinking I am so amazingly reliant on the internet these days. I’m not really thinking of the big 6 (well, what I think of as the big six anyway) of Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Twitter and WordPress but all the other things that I and we, rely on in the house to keep us ticking over. It would be so incredibly hard now to do anything constructive without being able to turn to the net at any time. I’m not sure I could home educate without the internet, I clearly couldn’t run my business without it!
Today I’ve been sitting learning to make something that I can only do because a friend I met via the internet taught my 8 year old daughter, who taught me. I’ve got seeds to plant in the garden tomorrow which came thanks to an internet offer via an internet shop. Then I did something else, made some Fimo models, via a book that I only have because I saw it on Amazon (it would never have been in a local bookshop) but that’s a double edged sword, because the thing that limits my creativity the most sometimes is seeing how amazingly good other people are at a craft I once thought I was good at.
Lovely Jeni has been putting my favourite places on my sidebar and when I looked, it struck me again just how firmly my footprints are on the internet now – and how much I’d miss it if I chose to do without all these tools and places to socialise. I’m still in awe of the Wondering Wanderers, who have gone off grid for a year. *Shriek* It is beyond my children to imagine life without it and yet I only met the internet for the first time when Maddy was small. So much change in 10 years – from videos and lunch time and tea time kids tv only and cds to internet, blu-ray and download films, mp3 players and wall to wall tv. Too much input really.
The kids, if things come up in conversation that we don’t know, just know that Google will know (hell, it even knows what you are GOING to ask!!) and they say “put today on blog” when it has been good. They look through Flickr as a matter of course for memories – it is all just how it is for them. Even Fran barely remembers she used to play games on cd-roms
Life would be less colourful without Flickr and have 6 years worth on there now; I really must do better real photo albums. Fran got me using Picnik, which can work either inside Flickr or as a standalone and it is great for a quick photo edit or for some fun with pictures.
The absolute find of the year (thank you Rachael) has been Pinterest, which lets you make notice boards of web images as design sheets, idea or mood boards or just to share the things you love. I hope it does well – it deserves to.
With not only my real books but now also my ebooks coming from Amazon, I depend on them like an addict 🙄 not sure I quite like it but… well, you an’t argue with how well they operate really. As well as the Kindle and endless Fimo books though, I’ve loved Audible for years. The girls adore their audiobooks and although we borrow some from libraries, the monthly credit for a new book is still a treat. This last few weeks I’ve returned, after an absence of a couple of years, to Goodreads which is appealing not only to my reviewing and reading new author self but also to my OCD side 😀
We use DropBox at home and at work – for the girls it is invaluable because we can swap easily between computers and they can always access whatever they’ve been working easily. And I can easily check up on them 😉 Between my iphone and my computer, I barely write any more – I even use Posterous for lists and notes, just not for anything exciting.
My crafty side finds endless homes, Flickr being wonderful for inspiration, but Ravelry is increasingly grabbing my attention while Etsy has to be the absolute best shopping site for small business and lovers of handmade I have ever come across. Every single bit of it is slick and well thought out.
I succour my soul over at Glow In The Woods, a forum and blog for those who have lost babies and I count days at Fertility Friends, counting off the days between ‘not being pregnant’s and trying to make sense of the whys and why nots in graphs and numbers. So very not me, so very not the site I thought I would end up at.
The girls would have their own set of sites they would choose not to manage without. That’s a post for another day. What about you? What sites and web services do you absolutely need to live your life these days?