Community & Social Networking

How About We . . . Try a Simple, Powerful Dating Website Concept

On most dating websites — including virtually all the most popular ones like or eHarmony — users find who they might want to go out with and then try to arrange a date with that person. But there’s one dating website that flips that notion around: HowAboutWe.

As in, how about we . . . try riding a tandem bicycle together. How about we . . . run around the city “one upping” each other on random acts of kindness. How about we . . . make a mixed tape from both of our music . . . totally gorge on chocolates all day while visiting different candy stores . . . go to my house and watch me play Halo for 17 consecutive hours . . . bike along the lakefront and have a progressive picnic at each beach . . . try skydiving . . . take in an opera . . . go avenge my father’s death . . . buy the craziest hats we can find and walk around town ignoring the stares . . . take a drive with no destination in mind . . . go to trivia night at a local bar . . . go blueberry picking. How about we . . . attend the Air Guitar Championships.

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The Best Niche Dating Websites

We previously wrote a review comparing Match, eHarmony and the best dating websites. But depending on who you are — and what you are looking for in a potential partner — you might be better off on a dating website that targets a particular niche. There are a huge number of such sites. We’ve scoured them all (or, at least most of them), found our favorites and arranged them in these categories:

Seniors and Baby Boomers
Those looking for a fling
Professions and lifestyle
Personal interests
Odd and unusual

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Should the United States privatize its social security system? Should Turkey be granted entry into the European Union? Should Israel dismantle some or all of the settlements it has built outside of the country’s 1967 borders?

Those questions, and many more, are often the subject of polarizing debate. That’s especially true online; a sadly large number of people seem to think that anonymity and geographical distance afforded by the internet gives them free license to insult and spread vitriol. (We are constantly shocked how that’s true even on a non-partisan, non-political site like this one; imagine the comments we didn’t approve on our review of the best submarine movies).

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Architectural Criticism Crowdsourced

Fans of Spot Cool Stuff’s architecture posts—especially those who wish we’d be able to publish them more frequently—would do well to check out Open Buildings.

The goal of the Open Buildings website: collect as much information as possible about the world’s cool architecture.

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Quirky Crowdsourced Products

Moments ago, Spot Cool Stuff placed a pre-order at the Quirky online store for a Trek Support Backpack. The waterproof, airport-friendly backpack comes with a form-fitted electronics dock and a 7-hour battery. You charge up the backpack and then can use the dock to charge up to three gadgets at once while on the go.

The Trek Support Backpack is very cool. Or, we should say, it seems to us like it will be very cool. And we aren’t the only ones who think so. Afterall, the Trek Support Backpack is the product of virtual crowdsourcing—it was proposed, vetted, designed, refined and branded by a diverse online community. All the other items sold through Quirky are communally designed too.

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How To Make Free Phone Calls Via Twitter
spot cool stuff WEBSITES

Spot Cool Stuff is fascinated by the ever expanding functionality companies are bringing to Twitter. Some hotels offer concierge services via Twitter. Some take-out restaurants allow customers to place orders via Twitter. And now at least one VoIP company, Jajah, is launching a service that places telephone calls via Twitter.

Here’s how Jajah’s Twitter calling works:

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Alltop: This Time It’s Personal

As the popularity of RSS feeds have grown so have the number of sites aggregating RSS feeds. Spot Cool Stuff’s aggregator of choice is Alltop, a self-described online magazine rack of popular topics.

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Your Personal Online Wedding Planner

We wish there were some sort of Life Tracker equivalent.

Many a bride-to-be—and none too few grooms—have nightmares about the logistics of their upcoming wedding. The invitations, the music, the catering, the flowers, the rehearsal dinner and on and on and on . . . keeping it all organized is tedious and stressful.

To help engaged couples rest easy there’s Wedding Tracker, an online service through which you can not only organize your wedding but to build your own personalized wedding website as well. The service costs $60 (or $25 if you only want the website builder). To see if Wedding Tracker was worth it we tried it out:

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