Bonus Blog: Review — Time’s 50 Best Websites of 2012

I’m a huge fan of countdown lists. I watched almost every episode of “I Love the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s” (all renditions of them), “Top One-Hit Wonders of All Time” and other such VH1 greats.

While browsing the Internet today, I came across one

of Time Magazine’s tech lists, “Top 50 Web sites of 2012.”

I conducted rigorous research, which included the following:

  1. Read 42 sarcastic comments – Gasp! They weren’t as useful as I thought!
  2. Ignored many of the sites I hadn’t heard of –  Seriously, Time?
  3. Ignored sites too boring or too smart for me – sounds like a snooze, and I love the written word!
  4. Found a few that I found useful, fun or just plain interesting.

I picked one standout site and one other to check out. Now you don’t have to scour them all yourself! You’re welcome. 😉

This virtual assistant is a programmer now!

All-Time Favorite:

  • Codecademy: I had just been talking with someone about programming and improving my HTML and CSS skills, and I found a site that just might help. There are step-by-step, interactive modules for those who want to learn more about what it takes to be a Web geek. I’m currently doing the programming lesson, so I can create a game or app that makes millions! 😉

The Good: Really, really simple and even fun to use! I never thought learning about programming language would be interesting and addictive. There’s lots of tips, hints and trivia to learn (now I know the origins of the word “debugging”!) , as well as badges and points you can earn for completing lessons.

The curriculum is created using a great teaching technique that builds learned concepts on one another. In the first lesson, I told the computer to count characters in random words and phrases, and I constantly re-used that skill in each subsequent module.

The Bad: For some reason, my version of Internet Explorer (9.08) does not like this website, so I’m constantly getting scripting errors and currently unable to move forward or backward in lessons within modules without refreshing the page. It seems ironic that a site teaching you about the complex languages of the computer isn’t compatible for every browser.

Also, I just started my lessons. They really want to teach fundamentals, so I don’t get the sense that I can walk away feeling comfortable using my knowledge immediately. I have yet to determine how much of this I will actually retain, but I’m having a good time trying. And having fun while learning is hard to do!

Honorable Mention:

  • Atari Arcade: Depending on how good (or bad) you are, the length of these games leave a lot to be desired, but they are still free, fun and a trip back in time for those who enjoyed those games. The site offers “re-imaginings” of games in the Atari catalog.

The Time’s list has a ton of different sites that may appeal to you. I found my two favorites, so take a look to find some that suit your fancy.

In fact, I’d like to know which of these sites you found the most useful, which sites should have been added and which should have never made the list.

Please comment below!