Looking back at 2012, it’s amazing to think about how much time I spent using technology. The average American spends an hour a day on the computer and almost two hours a day watching television, according to Comscore.com. In fact, according to one study by Education.com, 65 percent of Americans spent more time with their computer than their spouses in 2012. I know I’m well above that average, spending more like five to six hours per day on the computer. I can’t help but think, what was I looking at all this time? Alexa.com releases a list of the top 500 used websites for the year. At the top, there are few surprises. Google, Facebook and YouTube all come in the top three spots, respectively. These sites have become synonymous with the Web during the past several years. Google has even transformed from solely a company name into a verb. “Google it” is a common phrase when searching for information on the Web. Facebook and YouTube are also mainstays in our popular culture. An estimated 45 percent of all Web visitors in the past year made a stop on Facebook, according to Alexa.com. And Youtube actually received more search hits than Google last year, although it may not be as widely used, since Google has much more to offer than just a Web search. Many of the next sites on the list come from Asian and Indian markets, including massive Chinese language search engine sites Baidu.com and QQ.com. Yahoo and Wikipedia also rank among the most-visited sites. Yahoo has been a Web mainstay for years, providing tons of content in a centralized location. Wikipedia.com is a free, user-generated encyclopedia site providing unique content. Its content is sometimes mistaken for pure fact, but instead should always be tempered with the knowledge that the content is posted by users and can sometimes be inaccurate. Other notable sites in the top 20 include Amazon, Twitter, Blogspot, LinkedIn, MSN, ebay, and WordPress. No matter how you spend your time on the Web today, there are limitless possibilities to find the information you need. As new trends emerge, 2013 will provide a new list of top sites and new technologies. As you embrace or ignore what comes next, please remember one basic piece of advice from me: Talk to your spouse more than your computer. You can thank me later. Stu Crair is the owner and lead trainer at The Digital Workshop Center, providing digital arts and computer training instruction in Fort Collins. Reach him at (970) 980-8091 or stu@fcdigital workshop.com. [Originally published in The Coloradoan on...read more
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