I made a list of brands that I love vs. brands that I use but don't love in September 2006.
When I revisited my 8-month old brand list tonight, I was surprised to realize that a few things have changed.
Brands I love
Here's my updated list of favorites:
- Google. Still #1 on my list. I honestly cannot think of a single day when I'm online and do not use a Google service. What's interesting is that aside from searching, checking my Gmail, and blogging, my use over the past 8 months has expanded to now include reading my feeds, participating in groups, displaying online ads, collaborating on documents, chatting with friends, and monitoring my use of the web. If I were in the least bit paranoid, I'd really be worried about how much information Google has collected about me.
- Twitter. Following at a very close second is Twitter. I started using the service 8 months ago, and have steadily grown to love it. A day hardly goes by now when I don't post something. Twitter is so firmly entrenched in my life that I feel withdrawal symptoms when it has its occasional hiccups. My loyalty to the brand also makes me more patient when Twitter has problems. By association, TwitBin and TreoTwit are also fairly high up on my list of favorites.
- Firefox. Now #3 (previously #2) on my list. I'm also thrilled that my online banking sites have redesigned and now support Firefox (which they didn't just 8 short months ago). I now only use Internet Explorer when I am on someone else's computer and they don't have Firefox installed.
- iPod. A new addition to this list is my iPod Nano especially when used with iTunes. I cannot express enough the enjoyment I derive from listening to a daily stream of podcasts and music, reassured by the thought that I'm no longer wearing out my laptop's hard disk.
- Highrise. This contact management web application has been particularly helpful over the past couple of months, as the number of new people I meet has grown significantly.
- 30boxes. Twitter was what got me into 30boxes, but it's their mobile version that keeps me coming back. The mobile version is also the reason why I stopped using Google Calendar.
- Dictionary.com. Still a favorite. I spend so much time writing every day, so this site is indispensable.
- Fortune Magazine. Every issue strengthens my attachment to this magazine. I expect to continue being a Fortune subscriber for the foreseeable future.
There are a lot of other services that I use regularly, but my feelings toward these brands are colored or tempered by other factors.
- Flickr. I was puzzled to realize tonight that my attachment to Flickr has waned somewhat. This is a real surprise because I used to encourage friends to sign up. I'm an "old skool" user and I've renewed my Flickr pro account a couple of times. Yet my loyalty has waned enough over the past eight months that just earlier this week, I seriously started checking out SmugMug. I attribute this change of heart to two things: (1) Yahoo bought Flickr, which irrationally "taints" the brand somewhat in my eyes; and (2) I have been following SmugMug's Don MacAskill on Twitter and really enjoy his blog posts.
- LinkedIn. It's an interesting site, but I don't feel particularly compelled to check or update it regularly.
- Yahoogroups. It's useful, and I am glad it's there, but it's a constant battle to keep groups on track and limit the presence of trolls. Perhaps that has unfairly colored my brand perception.
- Friendster. Dropping ever lower and lower on my list of sites to visit.
- Bloglines. Used to be my favorite RSS reader, but now Google Reader has taken its place.