State of the Web: 50 Internet things I’m thankful for

State of the web thanksgivingThe leaves have fallen off the trees. The frost has rendered our windshields useless. And in a couple of days, most of us will be sitting around a table, pondering the things in this world that make life worth living. (Or, you know, stuffing our faces with turkey and fighting with the in-laws.) That’s right, it’s Thanksgiving time. So for this week’s State of the Web, I’ve put together a list of all thing Internet-related things for which I’m thankful, for better or worse.

  1. Google search: Still the best way to settle any debate
  2. Reddit: It’s called the “front page of the Internet” for a reason
  3. Skype: Putting long distance rates in their place (i.e. the grave)
  4. Tumblr and all its GIFs: Because GIFs are back
  5. Hacker News: The best way to keep tabs on those rascally Silicon Valley types
  6. Techmeme: If you want to know why tech blogs write about all the same stuff, this is why 
  7. Twitter: Sometimes annoying, never boring, vital during a natural disaster 
  8. Chartbeat: Nothing is more addicting than watching people flood to your website in real-time
  9. Electronic Frontier Foundation: Because nobody helps keep the Web free with as much fiestiness 
  10. Google Maps Street View Collections: I will never travel everywhere I want to go, and this makes that less painful
  11. Chilling Effects: It keeps tabs on government attempts to stifle online free speech, something my smart friends say is important
  12. This Is Now: Actually, real-time Instagram uploads might be more addicting than Chartbeat’s analytics
  13. NYTimes.com interactive graphics: Because The Gray Lady knows how to make infographics that aren’t worthless
  14. Library of Congress Thomas legislation search: It’s old and ugly looking, but it’s the best way to find out what the heck Congress is up to
  15. WhoIs: Sometimes you just need to figure out which idiot made that website you hate
  16. Google Transparency Report: It makes me feel like Google isn’t an impenetrable juggernaut feeding on our private data, at least a little
  17. PrivacyFix browser plugin: Not only does it block ad trackers, it tells you how much you’re worth to Google and Facebook
  18. The Week’s ‘Only in America’ flipbook: Because ‘Murica!
  19. The Onion: Duh
  20. Tor: Your every online move is being watched (without Tor)
  21. Netflix Watch Instantly: The only way to not have cable (without losing your mind)
  22. This thing: Seriously, check it out
  23. Wikipedia: Sure, it might sometimes be inaccurate – but who cares, really?
  24. The Pirate Bay: Not because of the free (illegal) movies, but because the fact that it’s still up and running is punk rock
  25. IMDB: Until movies are no longer a thing, IMDB will be the place to find out about them
  26. Dear Blank Please Blank: I have no idea what this is, but Caleb told me to include it
  27. The Atlantic’s In Focus photo-blog: Stories told in big, beautiful photos, just as it should be
  28. Vimeo: Because its clean look kicks the crap out of YouTube
  29. Quora: For when Google leaves you hangin’
  30. @YourAnonNews: The only Twitter feed you need to know what in tarnation Anonymous is up to
  31. Audible: Because reading while driving is really dangerous
  32. Wi-Fi: Cords needs to die
  33. XKCD: Do I have to explain?
  34. What If?: The infinitely curious Randall Munroe at his finest
  35. Pandora: No other service makes being too lazy to make playlists a good personal quality
  36. DuckDuckGo: Search without all the Big Brother tracking makes me feel in control
  37. HBO Go: “Game of Thrones” anywhere – need I say more?
  38. Hide My Ass VPN: Sometimes you just need a little privacy (or to watch “Downton Abbey” before it hits the U.S.)
  39. Space.com: The fact that we can leave this planet still blows my mind
  40. Peer-to-peer online sports broadcasts: Because watching soccer in the U.S. is hard
  41. Imgur: Every other image hosting service is too hard after Imgur
  42. Craigslist: Used dirt bikes just aren’t going to sell themselves (to me)
  43. Online bill pay: Who has time for mail?
  44. Overheard in New York: Six years later, it’s still funny
  45. TOS-DR: Because terms of service need to be summarized
  46. Louis CK’s website: Louis CK is the bald bastard who figured out how to sell entertainment media to Web users the right way
  47. This other thing: Almost as awesome as the last thing
  48. Amazon: Deep in my soul I know it’s evil, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t have good customer service
  49. Arts & Letters Daily: The best way to make people think you’re smart
  50. Free porn: Because we’d all be lying if that wasn’t on here

Have something on the Web that you’re thankful for? Don’t keep it a secret! Let us all enjoy it in the comments. Remember: We wouldn’t have Thanksgiving without “giving” (or the pointless slaughter of countless Native Americans). Happy holidays!

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