Ever feel like you’re behind on the newest cool-kid video on YouTube, or the fun meme everyone’s talking about? Well, no longer!
There are tons of things out there that look for the most popular things on the Internet. Some sites rely on users to submit them, some are based on views, comments or clicks, some on votes- all these sites want to show you the coolest stuff on the Internet, and the things grabbing other people’s attention.
Of this gigantic list, I’ve found seven. Seven different sites to show you the best of the best of the Web. Well, maybe “best” isn’t the right world, but they’re showing you the most popular. I’m ignoring site-specific ones (like the Most Viewed on YouTube page), because those aren’t as much fun. Here are the big seven:
Digg is the most popular and well known of this group, and is an obvious choice. For particularly tech-related things, Digg’s awesome. All articles are user-submitted and voted, and there’s a gigantic network of Diggers looking for the best stuff on the Web. Digg’s a great news source, and a great source for fun stuff that’s headed viral.
Similar to Digg, Reddit works through user-submitted articles and votes, to deliver you the most popular content on the Web. You can customize your results, based on what you’re interested in reading about. The “controversial” page, on the top of the site, is a lot of fun too.
Popurls combines and shows you the most popular stuff from Digg, Reddit, Delicious, Flickr, YouTube, Yahoo, and a huge number of other sources, and shows it to you all on one page. Lots of different media (pictures, videos, articles, etc.), and a ridiculous amount of content. It’s easy to customize the page, whether you log in or not, and is the first place I start in looking for cool new stuff to forward endlessly to my videos.
What’s Most Popular? (here)
If you want the one, single thing that’s “Most Popular” on the whole Web, check out this site. There’s a countdown list, up to the most popular viral thing- game, video, photo- that’s running around the Internet right now. Links are submitted by users, and popularity is determined by clicks on the site. It’s not the best system, but finds some great stuff. The site’s really barebones, but does a pretty decent job of finding what people are clicking all over the Web.
StumbleUpon Buzz (here)
StumbleUpon is becoming a seriously significant social network, and is arguably the best place in the world to waste an infinite amount of time. The Buzz page shows you what other people are reviewing on StumbleUpon, and the new rising stars of the StumbleUniverse. It’s easily the most hit-or-miss of these sites, but has some COOL stuff that none of the others pick up on.
Google Trends (here)
With Google Trends, you can search for any site, and see how it’s performing over time. But, there’s also a section on the front page for “Today’s Hot Trends.” Use this to see what people are searching, talking and reading about. It’s pretty election-heavy right now, but gives you a great idea of what other people are looking at and for on the Web.
Alexa’s Movers and Shakers (here)
Alexa is one of the best blog-traffic-tracking sites out there, and their “Movers and Shakers” page shows the sites that are growing and shrinking the fastest in popularity. They measure the visitors to a site over time, and make sort of a “Hot 100″ out of the sites, including the fastest rising and falling. For instance, “The Daily Beast” is moving the most, with 32,000% more viewers than last week, while RapidLibrary is down 65%.
All of these together give you a great sense of what’s popular on the Web, as well as what’s about to be popular. With these sites, you can stay on top of breaking news, breaking memes, and the latest sneezing-panda video, so you can be the one telling your friends about it.
How do you find cool new stuff on the Web? Let us know in the comments.