Aug 1 2011
Today I’d like to talk about a topic that’s very near and dear to my heart: the tyranny of choice. No, it’s not some 80s metal band out of Oakland – it’s a very real and very practical scientific concept. And it’s simple: the more choices offered, the more stressed out you get. Or in other words, “abundant choice often makes for misery.”
Don’t believe me? Well, think back to that last brutal winter cold you had. You trudged into CVS, looking for relief, and were met with 4,232 cold medicines. You stood there bewildered. You compared by price, by brand, by box color. Your eyes glazed over. So you gave up, bought a copy of US Weekly (Angelina and Brad are finally getting married!) and decided just to tough it out.
The tyranny of choice is particularly acute in the online world, which is why All My Faves is fantastic. The Web is one big CVS, with trillions of sites – a lot of them just plain ol’ junk. It’s enough to make your head spin. But with All My Faves, you can create your own home page, select topics near and dear to you, and have the fine folks on the back-end push you sites you’ll undoubtedly love. Better yet, it’s totally customizable – you can add or remove sites as you wish.
So I registered and was then taken to a page where I could select my favorite sites from a predetermined list. I chose Gmail, CNN, Target, Walmart, and Mapquest. On the next page, I could chose up to seven of my favorite topics. So I chose Photos, Law, and Weather. And just like that, my home page was created. It consisted of a grid that included my pre-selected Websites in thumbnail form. Above it, four tabs echoed my four favorite topics. It was awesome!
Ultimately, this page came to be my new home page. Every morning, cup of coffee in hand, I go to it, and simply click on the thumbnails of my favorite sites, rather than pulling them down from my bookmark menu. As I was contemplating this I realized that bookmarks consist of sites that I select. And then I began feeling a bit cornered, a bit controlled, a bit pre-selected, if you will. In my moment of disillusionment I recalled that All My Faves is fully customizable. Its preselected topics are guides, beacons, and best of brand sites throughout the web. You’re by no means limited to them though. You can create new tabs, add or remove any site you choose, and even upload your own preferred logos for them if you like. Slowly the meaning of All-My–Faves dawned on me.
Now that my fears about not being able to add new sites had been allayed, I began to further explore the pre-selected sites. All My Faves has done their homework and has mapped specific sites to your pre-selected topics of interest. So remember when I entered “Photos” before (two paragraphs up)? And remember the four tabs I alluded to? Well, let’s say I click on the “Photos” tab. When I do, up pops a similar grid of photo-related sites – sites presented to me, courtesy of All My Faves. A quick scan of this Photo-specific grid shows a virtual buffet of photo-y sites that make the mouth water: Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa, etc. All in all, I counted about close to 40. Here’s an example of a personalized grid for the “Tech topic.”
And as I previously alluded to, when you pre-select topics, All My Faves pushes highly applicable sites your way. This is their special sauce, and it’s cool because All My Faves takes the time to research applicable sites so you don’t have to, initially. Even if you consider yourself a Web-photo connoisseur, for example, odds are you never heard of, say, The 50 States Project. Lord knows I hadn’t. It is a site All My Faves fed me in the Photos grid. And it’s a super-cool project that brings together 50 photographs from across the US, focused on – you guessed it – each state. That’s just good stuff.
So, having said that, let’s check back in on your severe winter cold. Bottom line: it ain’t lookin’ good.
Your US Weekly approach didn’t exactly pay off – you’re still sick and super-bummed that George Clooney is suddenly off the market again. What’s up with that? So you wander back into the store, and there, as before, are 4,244 cold medicines (yes, there are even more than last time.) Yet suddenly, emerging out of the first aid aisle, drifts a gentle old man, not unlike, say, Gandalf. He has long white hair, wears a glowing white cloak, and he has a pleasant smile on his face.
“Here,” he says, and hands you a package. “It is Tylenol PM Allergy-Sinus Relief Expectorant Berry-Flavored Antihistamine. Each pill is shaped like a circus animal. This will cure what ails you.”
And in that moment, you are grateful. Not only did this weird dude save you time in searching for an elixir, he gave you one you didn’t even know existed.
That, in a nutshell, is what All My Faves does – a customizable home page and bookmarking platform that saves you time and as an added bonus, points you to the Web site attuned to your interests. It’s the cure-all for your Internet-searching doldrums. And it changes along with your tastes: as you go along, you can add and remove sites keeping what you like, and discarding those that are of no interest.
Thus we can only conclude- All My Faves is like the Internet’s CVS-dwelling fully customizable Gandalf. Without the glowing white cloak.