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Tag Archive for 'aggregate'

Yahoo’s new Personal Finance portal

Last Friday Yahoo! launched a new web portal dedicated to personal finance. I was skeptical at first (their shopping portal hasn’t impressed me a bit) and it took me a few days of convincing myself before I set aside some time to browse through the pages. Man, was I wrong! The web site is very well built and is loaded with an array of useful resources.

The Calculators section is overwhelming. I have never seen before so many online financial calculators in one place. The Rates page pulls in data from BankRate into a neat table for comparing rates on Mortgage, Home Equity, CD’s, and Auto loans, and is in fact less messy than BankRate itself. The Glossary was also fun to read. I learned that “amortization” actually has come from “amortize” which means “to bring to death” (referring to a loan).

The portal aggregates news from such sources as CNN Money, The Walls Street Journal, and USA Today in addition to the Yahoo’s own crew of experts. An interesting side note, each article is conveniently featuring “Digg This”, and “Bookmark to Del.icio.us” links at the bottom. At last Yahoo! is learning something from bloggers. ;-)

Yahoo Finance Rates

The most interesting section for me was the collection of How To guides categorized by different aspects of personal life — from Getting out of debt (something I hopefully will never have to deal with) to Buying a car (which I hope to do a lot ;-)).

Overall I was impressed by this effort from the Yahoo! team to regain the status of the ultimate destination for everything on the Net. It is certainly worth your time to check it out.

Where did all the newspapers go? (Poll)

I am sure many of you have switched to online sources for your daily news. I for one have done it a while ago. The paper versions of newspapers have not disappeared. They are in a museum now — or should I rather say Newseum. That is right, Newseum is the name of the place you can visit should you ever feel nostalgic about that good old newspaper.

Newseum keeps track of 424 newspapers from 42 countries. You can click on each and read it online as if you would a paper version. Just the front page though — not the whole thing. But that is usually enough to satisfy my nostalgic feelings. ;-)

Newseum

Let’s narrow down our reading to the subject of bargain hunting. Every established brick and mortar store has a weekly sales circular full of specials and ads that they get to your mailbox weekly. Folks at Dealcatcher have built a page full of links to the online versions of those and called it SundaySaver.

This is a great place to visit before you take off for your weekend shopping. Click on the stores of your interest, check out the weekend specials and plan your shopping trip. The stores are grouped by category. You can also filter them by the state.

SundaySaver

With so many online sources for the news I don’t think I will ever buy a newspaper again. Have a great weekend reading everyone and take this poll!

One Deal a Day Web Sites Roundup

The “fame and glory” radiated by Woot isn’t going unnoticed. Others have picked up the tab and there are probably more Daily Deal web sites today than there are traditional ones. Here is a brief list of those that I am aware of. Post a comment if you know a web site that I missed.

Dedicated One Deal a Day web sites:

  • Woot is probably the best known one. Their blog is fun to read even if you don’t participate in the auctions. They recently launched a wine section
  • Yugster is another very popular and well designed web site. They offer Second Chance Offer when the original item is sold out.
  • Stootsi lures customers by offering a full refund to the first person to buy a new product that they launch every day at noon (dead as of 06/02/10)
  • WaitYourPrice which I reviewed earlier offers a full Dutch auction with the price going to zero until the items are sold out (dead as of 03/22/07)
  • AtomicShopping is another reverse price auction offering a wide range of items for sale
  • Tanga offers daily deals and games
  • LunarLoot offers a daily offer on electronics
  • SteepAndCheap specializes in outdoor equipment
  • BFIZ offers fine jewelry daily
  • MidnightBox is more a game than a typical deal site. You have to guess what is offered for sale before you know what you are buying. The first person to guess gets a prize.
  • GamesDuJour just launched in December 2006. They sell one downloadable PC game a day at a deep discount
  • BitsDuJour features software for PC, PDA and smartphones. They don’t sell but rather arrange a discount and link you to the vendor
  • MacZot offers software for Apple Mac
  • GoingToday offers gear for musicians
  • Shnoop offers daily deals in general merchandise
  • Dealko offers daily deals on a wide range of products. You get perks like a prize if you guess the “sold out” time. Today every 20th sale was free.
  • ChickChock is another deal of the day site. Their slogan is: One Day. One Chance. One Choice (dead as of 02/15/09)
  • RadCru is a daily deal site for wine lovers
  • DealDotCom with the help of their minions are selling one internet marketing product a day. Useful for people with online presence, blog owners and webmasters

Around the Globe:

  • iBOOD offers an online offer daily and covers most of the Europe
  • Zazz is the oldest Australian One Deal a Day web site
  • CatchOfTheDay has recently joined them with a very similar front page design

Also worth mentioning:

If you feel overwhelmed, here is a helping hand:

  • DODTracker lists a ton of Daily Deal sites and shows details on the current deal for each. With over 50 deals listed it looks like a real time saver

Last updated: 03/11/2008

Aggregating RSS feeds — Part 1

RSS is not that new technology yet aggregating it seems to be picking up just recently. Such sites as feedburner.com have millions of subscribers and looking at the site traffic most of the subscriber base came just over the past year or so.

Aggregating bargains seems to be a different story. There just isn’t that many offerings out there and even those rare sites that do RSS aggregation seem to be struggling to attract attention.

In this post I will try to cover the web sites that I know. Being in the market myself I find this area very promising and certainly worth looking at if you are in deal hunting for good.

Roosster One of the oldest sites in RSS aggregation niche - online since June 4, 2004. They recently had a web 2.0 facelift which improved the site look and usability. Roosster collects deals from a huge number of sources including sites that don’t provide RSS feed. If a deal is found in more than one source it gets to the Hot Deals list. Alternatively you can browse all deals in the database. Sorting/filtering is available for advanced bargain hunters.
The functionality I like the most is that I can view the item image as I hover the mouse over a link to the deal. There is also a shortcut to shopzilla price-match which never worked for me. I kept getting “Sorry. No Matches.” for every deal I tried.
To wrap up the deal - Rooster provides a link to Firefox and Google Toolbar search plugin that will bring tons of deals straight to your PC… well, but first you will have to search for it on their front page. ;-)

WiredDeals I am somewhat biased towards this one since I am a co-creator. Thus I will limit myself to just saying that WiredDeals goes far beyond plain RSS aggregation. Sorting deals by the rating and popularity, filtering by age, setting up deal alerts by context and (check this out!) by how hot they are - these are just a few of the features you will find at WiredDeals. Take a look yourself and let me know how else this site can be improved.

Clipfire This site resembles a smart search engine rather than a typical RSS aggregator. Why smart? It allows you to take part in the search process. Here is how it works: You search for a deal, you find one, and you clip it if you like it. Once you clip a deal it will show up at the top of the next search result hence improving the search relevance. The idea sounds great however you really need community to drive it and it is simply not there despite the publicity it received from TechCrunch. I tested it on a few popular keywords and none came back with clipped deals.

Dealyzer This is a fairly simple site that aggregates RSS feed from multiple sources and allows you to search across the feeds. If you have an account you can also save the deals that you have found. Simplicity is what I like about this site.

Looking at these offers one can see that this niche is extremely underdeveloped. I expect to see more sites like this new addition coming up on-line.

Update: To read more on the subject, go to Aggregating RSS feeds — Part 2




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