The Best Stuff I've Found in 2008

Even though Joel Klampert tried to diss me on my "Best Music" post of last week. (and still has yet to come up with his own list!) I've decided to move forward and bust out with another "year-end" list. This one will be of the best 8 things that I've discovered in 2008.

8. Twitter. I thought this was a joke, or the most unless piece of web junk I'd ever saw. But... turns out it is a very useful way of keeping in touch and up to date. Go figure.

7. Skillet. Once my ears stopped bleeding from the Skillet concert I volunteered at this spring, I picked up a copy of Comatose and realized these guys are really good. I never took them very seriously, but they rock, and they have something to say. After the NYC show, I had a few minutes to talk with bassist and lead singer John Cooper, and I can tell you one thing: he gets it. John was all about how the kids were relating to the music, were they getting kids to Christ, were kids getting ministered to? Just don't go to see them live if you are one of those folks with light-sensitive epilepsy, trust me.

6. The Internet Archive. Can't find that webpage you read in 2001? That podcast you heard last fall? Chances are it's on the Internet Archive somwhere. IA as a lofty goal - to archive everything that was ever on the internet. Sound simple, right? BTW, I use the IA (along with it's indexing partner Ourmedia) to host the GLCC Podcast. Free bandwidth? Me likey.

5. CCLItv. This is a great website for worship musicians and fans alike. All kinds of lessons and instructionals, new music, up-and-coming bands. I should write a book: Everything I Know About Playing Live Music I Learned from Two-Minute Paul Baloche Clips. Best seller, I know it.

4. Hulu. This website rocks. I love catching up on shows I've missed, and watching old shows I used to watch when I was a kid. Classic BSG, anyone? The best part is that I always seem to miss the broadcast of...

3. House. Four years went by, I never, ever saw this show. Not once. I mean, my mother has a picture of Hugh Laurie in the living room! What's next, buying a Very Best of Perry Como CD? Then USA or something had a marathon on some holiday or another, and I wound up watching, like, four back-to-back episodes. I was hooked! I love this guy. He says the things that we all want to say. I mean, how many times a day do we all want to call someone a moron? Plus, the guy plays classical piano and rocks out on a Flying Vee!

2. Facebook. Facebook is way better than Myspace. Social networking is going to be The Thing for the next few years, and Facebook does it better than anyone. No "themes" to clog up your broadband connection and make the page unreadable. No "Do You Wanna See My Pics?" friend requests every day. No annoying music blasting across the office when you open a page. (Not that I do that at work, mind you, it's just a hypothetical.) What it does have is a way for me to easily connect with people I know, and people I haven't seen in years. (Which is the best part.) Just remember, I will not throw an elf back at you.

1. The Blogsphere. Call me a "late-adopter" but I completely ignored blogging up until this year, both as a source of information and as a form for expression. For years I've been bouncing around various forums and BBS's. Whoa, that's pretty 1985, I know. But still, there I was. Maybe making a halfhearted attempt at a Myspace blog, but that's it. But then in the spring, I started reading some blogs, folks like Fred McKinnon and Russ Hutto, and said "Hey, I can do that!" Now there are people around the world who check each day to see what I have to say, and I have a dozen or so that I look in on daily. This makes it to #1, because real people are so much more interesting than TV or movies!

What do you think? What have you "discovered" this year?


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