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10 websites to watch in 2009

Sites that will dominate your year online

2008 was the year of Twitter and Facebook, but which sites will dominate 2009? We've put together a list of the 10 sites we think you won't be able to live without this year.

Boxee

With the internet video landscape becoming large and more scattered, many of us would welcome a well-designed tool to help us make sense of it all. Boxee gathers video from all over the web (YouTube, CNN.com, and many others) and puts it in a very neat and easy-to-use interface that can be accessed on your PC or on the TV in the living room.

boxee

This creates something like a programming guide for internet video, such that you don't have to surf around to different video sites - all your favourite web video is right in front of you. Boxee also accesses and organises the video, images and music that you have on your hard drive.

As web video destinations become more numerous and diverse, they all must answer the user's basic problem - ‘What do I watch when I don't know what I want to watch?' - to keep the eyeballs. Boxee's main means of doing this is letting you get viewing suggestions from perhaps the best source you have - your friends. You form friend groups with other Boxee users, and you can see what they've been watching or they can proactively suggest stuff to you.

The current version of Boxee runs on Intel-based Macs, Apple TV, and Linux machines (it works particularly easily on Ubuntu distributions). A Windows version should be ready soon, Boxee says.

Blackberry Application Storefront

Research in Motion (RIM) had a big year in 2008, releasing smartphone after smartphone in a valiant effort to keep all those 'CrackBerry' addicts from jumping ship and buying iPhones. The devices and the software that runs on them have become sexier-looking more entertainment-oriented; RIM has added an element of fun to a device that's traditionally been a business tool.

RIM is also taking a page from the iPhone playbook by opening up a store for independently developed BlackBerry apps, called the BlackBerry Application Storefront. Current BlackBerry users (and prospective ones) will no doubt be eager to see what those new apps look like; and it's a safe bet that the site where they are displayed and sold will be a popular place on the web in 2009.

However, the Storefront isn't open yet. Keep an eye on the BlackBerry signup page on the Storefront for updates.

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NEXT PAGE: Loopt and Blip.fm

  1. The sites that will dominate your online activity this year
  2. Boxee and the Blackberry Application Storefront
  3. Loopt and Blip.fm
  4. Power.com and Tweetag
  5. Hi5 and Tripit

See also: 50 great websites and services for 2009


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