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myBantu – Free Personal Assistant

myBantu Logo myBantu is a recent addition to the long line of websites following the Facebook/Twitter idea. The website allows people to get opinions, recommendations and feedback on different things like local restaurants and movies to watch.

You can get opinions from your friends or colleagues about a particular interest and then you can shout your own experience just like in other social networking websites. If you are unsure, you can let myBantu to make some recommendations based on your tastes and preferences. A personal organizer to let you schedule your daily tasks is available with every account.

What they say about themselves

We are Glomantra Inc., a silicon valley, California based startup revolutionizing the way you manage your daily life. Our product myBantu is a free online personal assistant. myBantu, the virtual assistant, takes care of users’ needs, gets them relevant recommendations, opinions, and plenty of other great options with the sole intent of making their life easier, simpler and adding a dash of fun in it!

Why it could be a success

Well, maybe, for someone looking for a quick recommendation, the website does offer some fresh content but to be honest, with the host of websites giving similar services, myBantu faces a serious challenge. They will have to include some more original applications to entice users to avail their services.

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ShortReviews – Mini Critical Reviews

Whether you like to review movies, books, music TV programmes or something else you can do it here. The site specialises in mini reviews, so a glance at each page lets visitors instantly see which ones are of interest. This is good for viewers, but also makes it more tempting to get your ideas down quickly, add a picture, and share them. You can also give a star rating to go with each review.

Like many sites this one it going the way of building a community and that seems to be an increasingly popular approach. Users are encouraged to invite friends and look at each other’s reviews. With so many people preferring to Tweet short comments rather than commit to longer blog entries, and with visitors liking to get their information in quickly digested chunks, ShortReviews should appeal.

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TwitCritics – Movie Reviews from the Twitterverse

twitcritics logoWhy listen to the views of just a few critics before choosing the movie you want to see when you could listen to the Twitterverse? TwitCritics has a full listing of movies and invites pithy reviews in the usual brief Twitter format combined with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down judgement. Reading through the comments on a few movies made me realise how soon you could decide which TwitCritics are on your wavelength and could guide you to a choice you would also enjoy.

The site is a joy of simplicity and clarity, which is what you want when quickly looking up movie reviews before heading for the cinema. Movies can be sorted alphabetically by name, in descending order according to the number of positive reviews, by the number of tweets, and by most recent activity. All of these are relevant ways to sort information, as number of tweets could show more about popularity than the number of positive remarks. A movie that stimulates discussion could be worth seeing even if the positives and negatives are equal.

The site is fun and colourful, with red, amber and green indicators to show which movies are worth viewing according to the TwitCritics consensus. Due to the compulsory brevity the reviews have a liveliness and joyful feel which makes this a site I’d come back to when choosing a movie.

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Shortology – Get Your Point Across Quickly

shortologyThis is a fun site which lets you use up to seven bullet points to get your thoughts across. The idea is that these days it’s hard to get anybody to concentrate hard enough to read a longer article, so it’s best to concentrate the main points into a piece of Shortology. Odd though it sounds it actually works, and the site makes compulsive reading. It makes you want to add a bit of Shortology of your own, working out which rant or bit of wisdom you want to impart and then deciding how to concentrate it into key points.

Although some of the Shortology is light-hearted, other Shortologists have given their views on weighty topics such as Obama’s healthcare policy, and well considered arguments sit next to rants and heartfelt opinions. The main page shows a selection from all the subjects covered and it’s enjoyable to read the lighter views next to the serious ones on such a selection of topics.

Additional pages divide the Shortology into Fun, Politics, Entertainment, Sport and Technology, with reviews as well as opinions. Concentrating a book review into bullet points isn’t easy but really cuts to the essentials, and the same is true for entertainment and a look into the pros and cons of the latest gadgets, software and websites. This site has the feeling of one of the booths broadcasters put up so passers-by can air their views on television by speaking for one minute. The site looks good and could be addictive, and my only criticism is that it’s let down by the need for some proofreading, including some of the main subtitles.

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