Top Websites That Aren't (Yet) Mainstream

Lets dive right into them, shall we? I present to you, the websites that aren’t quite mainstream … yet.

1. GMail

  • Who: Google
  • What: Free e-mail with lots of space, IMAP, mobile accessibility, powered by ads
  • Why it’s cool: GMail was on the cutting edge of webmail with a huge giveaway of space and a smart interface coupled with the awesome power of Google search.
  • Why it’s not mainstream: People are afraid of Google still. They see the ads and think that your information is no longer private nor secure and that your precious e-mail and information will be sold to spammers and advertisers. Ironically enough, Google is one of the best at combating spam.
  • Send me an e-mail

2. Hulu

  • Who: NBC, News Corp (and now the content of dozens of others)
  • What: Free access to legitimate television shows and movies in high quality, powered by ads
  • Why it’s cool: I can watch Comedy Central shows, Food Network, Fox, etc. in high definition with less advertising and all for free. I can even subscribe to the show and get alerts when a new episode is up.
  • Why it’s not mainstream: Nobody has heard of it. And NBC continues to botch up their video content by releasing stuff like So, we all assume media companies don’t get “real” video yet and wander over to YouTube.
  • View my public profile on Hulu

3. Newsvine

  • Who: Veterans of Disney, ESPN, and other media organizations; MSNBC
  • What: News from multiple sources PLUS the ability for anyone to write, “seed” (post an existing) or comment on an article.
  • Why it’s cool: We can contribute the news and read about whats important to us. Plus we can engage with others and talk about stories, debate points, create long lasting friendships, call someone a retard, the list goes on…
  • Why it’s not mainstream: I think it’s too much work for someone to ‘seed’ the news and it gives little value for me to share it with someone else. To many, there is not enough incentive to write articles either. The only saving grace is the fun in arguing and being social on the internet. More people are interested in participating but I don’t think they know about their options.
  • Add me as a friend on Newsvine

4. Twitter

  • Who: Obvious (Ev Williams)
  • What: 140 character message broadcast to anyone who wants to “follow” you (and you get to follow people back)
  • Why it’s cool: It’s like chatting with only the people you want to listen to via SMS, the web, and many other applications
  • Why it’s not mainstream: People still don’t “get” it because nobody has explained it the right way to people. You can’t just say “you have to do it” because everyone can see through internet fads. Not everyone is into making random connections with strangers on the internet. Plus, the site really isn’t what I’d call user friendly.
  • Follow me on Twitter

I thought about adding a “how to fix it” to each of these but nothing about them is broken. They’re just different, unknown, and misunderstood websites that may just always maintain that “web2.0″ charm.

But then again, only the “early adopters” were using these sites:

  • Facebook – why do you need a profile online? I have real friends.
  • Google – what else is there to search for? I found the porn.
  • Craigslist – we already have classifieds, they’re called the classifieds.
  • eBay – I can buy cheap things at Wal-Mart.
  • Amazon – books belong in stores (so that I can read them for free!).