I love year-end lists. They are a good reminder of how much information passes past my eyes and ears during 52 weeks of web browsing, reading, listening and watching. Of course not all of it sticks, in fact most of it slips quietly by with hardly a synaptic nod. When year-end lists start to land I’m always amazed at how long lost details emerge from the depths of my murky memory.
One of my favourite year-end-in-review lists is the Guardian’s 100 Essential Websites. It’s the UK news organization’s take on what’s interesting and au courant, and its perspective offers a refreshing take on internet culture.
The 100 Essential Websites breaks down into categories such as blogging, browsers, celebrity gossip (who can’t live without it?), gaming, geek culture, music, photography, etc., and includes the editors’ picks for the most relevant sites for each section. A quick read will give you a good sense of what’s hot online around the English speaking planet.
Vancouver-based Dabble DB - has made the list for the second consecutive year. If you’re not familiar with Dabble DB you should be. The online app helps you create databases to manage, share and explore data. It offers an intuitive interface and enables users to easily manipulate spreadsheet/database data.
I had a chance to speak with Dabble DB Co-CEO Avi Bryant earlier today and he was genuinely excited about making the list again this year.
“We've always designed Dabble DB for a wide audience, rather than just for the tech-blog-reading early adopter crowd. Getting coverage in a mainstream news outlet like the Guardian is great because it lets us reach those who we're most excited to have as customers.”
Dabble offers a free and paid version of its service and has customers the world over. While coverage like the Guardian’s is great for profile and presumably business, the attention also motivates the company to make constant improvements to its user experience. “Users expect richer, more responsive interfaces now than they did even a couple of years ago, and we're always excited to push the boundaries of what we can offer.”
Bryant suspects his company is listed because Guardian staff have used his product and loved it. “The Guardian has a strong technical team, and I know some of them have used Dabble DB for internal projects.” For example they used Dabble “to visualize electoral maps,” as this Guardian story confirms. Guardian staff were able to reduce hours of tedious number crunching into a 30-second exercise using DabbleDB.
Looking forward, Dabble DB’s parent company Smallthought Systems has just released a new product called Trendly - an online application that helps Google Analytics users keep track and visualize their data. Trendly offers “some quite sophisticated processing of web analytics data to alert you to changes you should be paying attention to.” The attached graphic shows the impact the Guardian story had on referral traffic to Dabble’s website when they made last year’s list.
It’s great to see innovative Canadian/Vancouver companies on the list. Congratulations to Dabble DB. Keep it coming.