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10 websites and services to watch in 2010

These web firms could be household names by 2011

As every new year begins, analysts and pundits make predictions about what will be hot in the forthcoming months. We're no exception, so check out our list of 10 hot websites and services to watch in 2010.

8. Yammer

Yammer is a Twitter for workgroups. It looks and acts just like Twitter, but instead of asking you 'What's happening?' it asks 'What are you working on?

By now the Twitter paradigm has settled into everyone's consciousness and we're comfortable with it.

Yammer takes the public, fun-loving, gossipy microblogging concept and puts it to work in a private setting, which seems to give the Twitter model a sense of purpose. The basic service is free.

The editors at PC Advisor's sister title PCWorld use Yammer as their main channel of communication during the day.

They use it to tell one another what they're working on, to discuss tech issues, to comment on what the coffee tastes like and lots of other things.

I suspect a lot of other businesses are doing the same thing, or will be during 2010.

9. Wikitravel.org

When I journey to new places, I want to have as much accurate information about my destination as possible before I set foot on the plane - no surprises, please.

Inspired by Wikipedia, Wikitravel offers mountains of information about places around the globe, and includes recommendations on sites to see and things to do when you get there.

Wikitravel is a cool take on crowd-sourcing: all the content is written (and edited) by people who have really been there, and who know what they're talking about.

People have become very familiar with the wiki-style 'wisdom of the crowd' concept, and, I believe, comfortable with wikis' means of expunging faulty or unclear information.

Why does this self-regulating system work? The truth is, people on the web love to correct things they see that aren't accurate.

They may do this for their own egos - who knows? - but the end result is clean, reliable information.

10. Postabon

Team shopping. Social shopping. Cool concept. Postabon is the home base of a community of shoppers who post deals of many kinds that they've seen around town.

On Postabon, these posts are called 'Bons'. Ace deal hunters who post a lot of Bons are awarded 'karma', and recognised for their greatness on the site. Deal hunters like this kind of thing.

Whether you are running the site on your home PC or on a mobile device (or as an iPhone app), Bons show up on a map of your immediate area (Postabon automatically detects your approximate location).

Of course, you'll see a few different types of Bons (food and drink deals, shopping deals, and so on), and you can choose which types show up on your map.

Finding deals feels good, and it's fun. Postabon provides a sensible way to make it a team sport. The service is available only in New York right now, but it's doing very well there, and I expect it to roll out to other cities quickly during 2010.

Broadband speed test

NEXT PAGE: Honourable mentions

  1. These web companies could be household names by the end of this year
  2. Bing and the Android Market
  3. Grooveshark and Google Voice
  4. Justin.tv and Clicker
  5. Yammer, Wikitravel.org and Postabon
  6. Honourable mentions

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