I started to come up with a list of some of the most meaningful technologies for me in 2008. The one thing that they have in common is that they all changed the way I do something. Amazon is starting to change the way I shop and read. Hulu is changing how I watch TV. Zemanta is changing how I blog. It's not usually a complete revolutionary overhaul; I read the same amount with the Kindle, for instance, but what and how I read, and the way I purchase books, is shifting.
I'm curious to hear how technology has changed your life in the comments.
The Ten Technologies That Changed My Life in 2008Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr
Amazon's iPhone app: I'm not yet taking full advantage of it, but I love what Amazon's doing in the mobile space. Take a picture of a product and it will try to find the link to it on Amazon, where you may be able to buy it at a better price. This uses the manual lookup via Mechanical Turk, which could wind up being an incredibly valuable 'secret' weapon. Meanwhile, while this app hasn't totally changed things for me yet, Amazon's WAP site is also incredibly useful. I was in Best Buy recently and saw a great deal on a Canon camera for about $150, and I've needed a new point and shoot. I checked Amazon and it sold for about $105. Plus, Amazon had 375 customer reviews, which meant a lot more to me than the opinion of the generally non-existent sales clerks at Best Buy. I went home and ordered the camera from Amazon right away (I'd have done it from my mobile device but needed to dig up a gift certificate code to apply).
Facebook Connect: I love how easily I can now interact with various sites thanks to Connect functionality. We're just starting to see what we can do with it.
FriendFeed: The best thing I do with FriendFeed is scan it before any campaign planning, or when I want to know more about a topic in how it's represented across the web. Its public timeline is probably one of the most underused tools - search for what any FriendFeed user is posting across dozens of services online. It doesn't replace other tools like Twitter Search, but it does make it much easier to get a rich view into online activities.
GPS: I know, this is broad. I'm referring specifically to the $10/month VZ Navigator app I used on my summer road trip. Yet it could have been any other service. It makes one of my favorite activities, travel, so much better and freer, and I'm already starting to enjoy some of the more mundane or entertaining options through iPhone apps and the like.Image via CrunchBase
Hulu: Because of Hulu, I now watch 30 Rock religiously on TV, and I didn't have to watch the full episodes of Saturday Night Live since the election clips made it online after (I always forgot when those Thursday specials were on anyway).
iPod Touch: I've become so much more disappointed with my Samsung i760 since I got this. I'm still not ready to leave Verizon and use the iPhone as a phone, but I love the apps for both utility and gaming. Image via CrunchBase
Kindle: It hasn't yet changed how I read. But it might, and it's already starting. I don't lug as many books around when I travel. I'll buy some books on the Kindle when I think the odds are pretty good I'll just read them once.
Twitterfox: This firefox plugin is what I use most often to write and read tweets. Yet it hasn't been showing me all the replies lately, so I may find alternatives for 2009. Runner up for Twitter: Twitturly, which makes it so easy for anyone, whether or not you use Twitter, to see the most popular links being tweeted. It's how I found this amazing fan trailer for a Thundercats live action movie, for instance.
Image via Wikipedia
Wii Fit: Especially now that it's cold in New York, I'm so happy to have this as a way to push myself to work out. And the passive-aggressive tone it takes gets the guilt flowing every time.
Zemanta: The best thing about Zemanta is the easy embedding of images, which makes for a richer blogging experience both for writing, and, I hope, reading. Its feature set keeps getting better; I'm sure embedding video is coming. Great work to the team here.