Beta Watch

Webon: DIY Web Sites, No Ads

While everyone was busily establishing accounts on Facebook or MySpace, the field of simple Web-site creation tools was pretty dormant. Lately, they've been making a comeback, as some people decide they want more of an Internet presence than a profile page can provide. Webon, a division of Lycos, makes the whole process brain-dead easy, and even with a free account you can build a site without ads. Premium accounts start at $9 and allow you to use your own domain and store unlimited numbers of photos. Webon officials say they'll have widgets to tie into popular social networks, too, but few were available when I tried the service.

Pageonce: Super-Aggregator

Pageonce gives you a quick overview of your online accounts, including financial services, social networks, e-mail, and more.
Combine the financial information that you can view through Mint.com, the social network updates that services like Friendfeed provide, and even access to your Web mail account, and you have Pageonce. Give the site your log-on information for financial sites, frequent flyer accounts, and subscription sites like Netflix, and you'll see highlights of each of those accounts in a tabbed set of pages. I think that the free service tries to cram a little too much into those pages (why anyone would want to use Gmail through the Pageonce interface is beyond me), but it's still a useful way to get an overview of your online state of affairs.

WhereIStand: Digital Debate Club

If you still regret that your high school had no debate team, WhereIStand.com is the place for you. As a member, you can state your position on such issues as, "It is acceptable for celebrities to sell photos of their children to magazines." Members of the free site can--and definitely will--agree or disagree, and say why. They can also add the opinions of public figures. The ensuing dialogue ain't the Lincoln-Douglas debates, but it's more sincere and high-minded than a lot of conversation on the Web.

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