Two interesting sites and the Watcher’s Council submissions

Some people do spring cleaning.  I do fall cleaning.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve cleaned out drawers, closets, and cupboards.  That was the easy part.

For the past couple of days, I’ve been cleaning out my Quicken program.  I am not a natural born accountant, and I’ve managed to make quite a mess of things.  Actually, the blame isn’t all mine.  Some of the mess started years ago, when I didn’t have primary responsibility for the accounting, but I worsened the mess, because I wasn’t paying attention to things outside my direct frame of reference.  All of which is to say that I’ve spent the last few days going through hundreds of financial documents dating back five years, and spent a lot of time on the phone with the banks.

There is some good news:  I haven’t lost any money.  I’ve just managed to assign it to the wrong places in Quicken.  The other good news is that my financial nose is clean:  there’s nothing hinky here that should worry me or my accountant.  It’s just not as tidy as it should be.  In retrospect, I would have done better to skip Elizabeth Warren’s law class and taken a basic bookkeeping class.  My life would have been easier.

So, that’s why I’m not blogging.  However, I came across two interesting sites that I wanted to share with you.  After that, I’ll introduce you to this week’s Watcher’s Council submissions.

Site 1 is a listing site called “Shared List.”  The internet and lists just seem to go together.  After all, computers make compiling and updating lists fairly easy.  I’ve been thinking about lists a lot, because I can get paid real money if I can create posts built around lists.  The only problem for me is that I’m not a natural list-maker.  I tend to have a more free form approach to ideas.  If I have a thesis, I can present it in organized, linear fashion, but I’m just not someone who goes around thinking “top five reasons for X” or “top ten best things about Y.”  A site that encourages list making fascinates me, because I might be able to hone my skills there, or at least get ideas about what kinds of things interest people.

Site 2 is a new site called “PlaceGuides.”  The theory behind place guides is that traditional maps are quite limiting.  They show geography, street names, and things of general and generic interest to all people.  Thus, a map will designate the site of a theater, park, university, restaurant, etc.  What a map won’t do is show that this is the park where you kissed your first boyfriend, or that here is the theater where the Tubes first performed.  PlaceGuides allows individuals to take a map template one that shows geography and street names, and to layer over it their memories, or their interests.  For example, if you’re a Chinese food aficionado, you could create a PlaceGuide listing all of your favorite Chinese restaurants in the Sunset district.  More than that, you could include pictures, music, videos, and your own personal reviews.  I tried it out and, while I was initially a little leery of it, I really got into the act, and had a wonderful time strolling down memory lane.  Then, once you’ve got your PlaceGuide set up, you can share it with friends, fellow hobbyists, students, etc.  It’s pretty cool.  Right now, PlaceGuides is beta, so it’s only got San Francisco neighborhoods, but you might want to keep an eye on it.

And now, the Watcher’s Council’s submissions for this week:

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions