The true beauty of the internet for me is how it has allowed a wealth of knowledge to be shared and made so accessible. But sometimes it can be difficult to cut through the abundance of dull to get to the intriguing and exciting. Over the last couple of years I have found myself returning over and over to certain sites safe in the knowledge that they have done the hard work for me and gathered the best of the best out there when it comes to creativity.
My Top 5 Sites For Inspiration
Founded by Bill Tikos in 2004, the site has gone from strength to strength over the years winning many awards along the way. The site continues to give its readers (over 1 million monthly) what they want. It hails itself as being the world's most read culture and design site which 'celebrates creativity in all of its modern manifestations'.
They don't believe themselves to be trend forecasters however it seems they inevitaby do set trends. Artists, wesites, muscisans and more who are featured on their site experience huge peeks in their traffic and sales and it has come to be known as 'The Cool Hunter Effect'.
NOTCOT is a network of design and inspirational sites founded by a young entrepeneur called Jean Aw in 2005. The NOTEMPIRE includes NOTCOT.com and contributed sites NOTCOT.org, NOTCOUTURE (for fashionistas), TASTEOLOGIE (for foodies), LIQURIOUS (for drinkers) and NOTVENTURES (for travelers).
What's great about the main site is that they pull together the best content from across their other sites, meaning there's no need to go to their specialist sites unless you're looking for something very specific.
As you can see they have covered all bases and it seems to work- they claim to get over 5 million pageviews a month and also have over 30,000 followers on Twitter.
This site is one of my most recent discoveries and I think it's great. It is so simple to use and the quality of the recommended content is really high and is updated hourly. Each piece of content is categorised into either Fashion, Music, Art, Food, Photography amongst others and either plays video content in an overlay or links out to the external site. This one page site continues to grow as you scroll dowm meaning you are never short of something new to explore.
It comes from the creators of Design You Trust which have already established themselves as a inspirational resource for all things creative with its 30,000 fans on Facebook and 12,000 Twitter followers.
An oldie but a goodie, TED is a non profit organisation that is devoted to 'Ideas Worth Spreading'. Set up in 1984, it brings together truly inspirational people and gives them a platform to showcase their ideas from the Technology, Entertainment and Designs worlds.
The coveted TED Prize is awarded annually to one exceptional individual. The prize rewards the winner with $100,000 and most importantly grants them 'One Wish to Change the World'. This year's winner is French street artist JR and he is asking people to get involved in his global art project called the 'Insite Out Project'.
A new feature has been added to TED where the best of online video ads are displayed in 'Ads Worth Spreading'. The ads are picked through a competition and so far only one has been held, but I am sure this will be a great resource in the future for anyone interested in advertising.
Finally, a site that anyone working in digital will know and who most aspire to be featured on. It was established 11 years ago and has had over 140 million site visits as of July 2011. Along side the site of the day, site of the month and site of the year features, it has now added mobile site of the day.
A site worth checking out regularly to help those strive for the best in digital.
What are your favourite sites for inspiration? We would love to hear your recommendations.