Webware 100

CNet has released their 2009 list of the 100 Best Web applications in 10 categories, plus the editor’s choice for the best Web applications that weren’t otherwise included.

There are quite a few, including just about every major browser on the planet. There are a few that are not in the lists, but should be. Here are some of my favorites that are and aren’t included:


Zoho (a winner in the Productivity section) is unlike any other documentation suite online: they have everything – and the most interesting stuff is free. I keep wanting to use them, and would if my work was web-only. One of the most important reasons I like Thinkfree Office is the seamless integration between the desktop and the web; Evernote (another entry) does this too.


Evernote was one of the Editor’s Picks. Evernote is essentially an electronic collection of notes that gets synchronized with their servers and made available to you online. Thus, you can work at your desk with desktop speeds, and let it update to the web so you can look at your notes on the go.


Pidgin (a winner in the Communications category) is the former GAIM instant messaging client, and supports a variety of services, as well as plug-ins. What makes Pidgin so nice is that it runs on everything – it really does. There’s versions for Windows and Linux, a version called Adium for Macintosh, and a text console version called Finch. What’s not to like?


Wikipedia (one of the winners in Search and Reference) is an online encyclopedia that you can edit. If you find a mistake, don’t just complain: fix it! I edit regularly – any time I find bad English, I correct it – doing my part to make Wikipedia an excellent resource.

Not only that, but there is also the French Wikipedia or the Russian Wikipedia – or numerous others that could also use your help – even an Esperanto Wikipedia!

Thinkfree Office

How did they miss Thinkfree Office? This is one of my favorite applications, and I use it daily. I bought the Macintosh version ages ago (before web synchronization was as nice as it is now).

Not giving Thinkfree Office a place in the awards is a real mistake.


This is brand new – perhaps just too new for the awards – but the United States government put all the public data they had available onto Data.gov and made it easily available to all. Certainly, it is of most interest to United States citizens – but a lot of the data should be interesting to others as well.


LinkedIn, to me, is a social networking web site for adults. Professionalism is paramount, and connections can truly be useful and helpful. You can get back in touch with old colleagues and catch up on what they are doing, and more. Not including LinkedIn was a real surprise for me also.


SpiderOak provides excellent backup service with multi-platform support: Windows, Linux – its supported. Old versions of files – and deleted files – can be retrieved from the user interface on whatever platform you are using. Very simple, and very easy.


Toodledo is a To Do List manager: simple, clean, and easy to use. It integrates with iGoogle, with Firefox, and others, along with numerous export and import capabilities. If you are willing to keep your To Do list online (sadly, I wasn’t), this is a must – especially for GTD adherents.


The Read It Later application is no less than brilliant – every time you see a web site you want to read – don’t read it (wasting otherwise productive time): save it and read it later. This is a wonderful idea, and I use it all the time. Now if only I could remember to actually read them….

Wolfram Alpha

WolframAlpha, the new offering from Wolfram is absolute genius. It is like a fact-based search engine – like a cross between Wikipedia, Google, and the CIA World Factbook – but even that doesn’t cover it all. If it has to do with facts or computation, WolframAlpha can handle it.

And that doesn’t even cover Wolfram’s other offerings, like: WolframTones, free computer-generated tones for your mobile phone; Wolfram Demonstrations, explaining and demonstrating mathematical concepts at all skill levels; Wolfram Mathworld, a one-stop resource on mathematics; and even more!

At one time I seriously considered a carreer in mathematics; this site is a mathemetician’s dream come true…

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