As someone who was born in the generation that lives, breathes, writes, eats, sleeps, and drinks the Internet, I have become jaded with how many useless and uninteresting websites that I have found over the years.  It seems like every time that I sign online, I am bombarded with a flood of websites that I could easily do without.  There are certain sites, however, that are so useful and innovative in their clean design and functionality that I would be at a loss on the Internet without them.  As an Independence Day present to the readers, I decided to share these with you.

TV Shows on DVD dot com

Like a Wikipedia of television shows on DVD, this collective information website gives users the latest information on box art, bonus material, and release dates for all their favorite TV shows.  Other great features include in-depth reviews of new and old releases as well as a voting forum for which shows should be brought to DVD.  The voting forum has been sited many times by production companies as influencing their decisions and release schedules.  I visit this site at least once a week to see if anything good is coming to my local Best Buy, and I will keep voting for Daria until MTV gets off of their lazy butts.


The best in personalized clothing sites, this website offers users the ability to create custom outfits using their special online design tool.  Text, graphics, and type of material can all be tweaked to give an end result for which you are looking.  Numerous ‘earth-friendly' products, including hemp shirts, are available for green conscious consumers.  I've ordered at least three products from this site in the past, and I can attest that delivery is efficient, and the product was always exactly as I had specified.  In fact, I'm wearing a t-shirt from the company as I type this.


Yelp is a fast-growing review website that was made specifically for restaurants and social scenes.  Currently, it features only bigger cities in the nation, but new cities are added frequently.  Unlike other consumer review websites, the written diatribes contained on the site are detailed, clean, and sometimes pretty funny.  The rating system is also clear and intuitive.  Users can upload their own pictures of the place that they are reviewing to further give users a taste of what they might be missing.  I always check out Yelp when I need to hit up a new bar or take the family out to a local restaurant.


Not so much a website as an open source tool, Pidgin offers users the ability to combine all of their chat features into one cohesive list.  All of your AIM, MSN, Gtalk, and other SMS programs will be conveniently placed into one ultimate buddy list on the side of your screen.  No longer do you have to load three different windows to keep up with all of your online friends.