Remember my failed movie challenge from last year? Cristiano and I realized we hadn’t seen tons of the movies in the IMDb Top 250, so we tried to watch one movie from that list which we hadn’t seen yet. We failed miserably. It was partly to blame to too busy schedules, but also a bit because of the logistics of agreeing and figuring out which movies to see. The ‘priorities’ on both of our lists were movies that the other had seen already. Since then I’ve wanted a simple app that would allow us both to check off the movies we’ve seen and allow us to compare the two lists. Cue: iCheckMovies!


The idea of this website ( is simple: just check off the movies you’ve seen per ‘list’. They support a wide range of lists and are adding new ones constantly. I now know exactly how many films I’ve seen in the IMDb Top 250, but also the amount of Best Movie Oscars winning movies. I can also add movies I haven’t seen yet to a Watchlist (although this becomes one gigantic list if you just add everything you haven’t seen). Also in the future they will be bringing out support for your own created lists, which is really missing at the moment.


The great thing I find though is that you can add friends and get a comparison of which movies you’ve both seen. I can get 4 different lists: movies we’ve both seen, movies neither of us has seen, movies only my friend has seen and movies only I have seen. It’s great! I’ve already discovered a couple of movies that Cristiano has seen, which I can watch by myself while here in the Netherlands (likewise he now knows which movies he should watch while I’m away).

And you can see what both your progress is. In the below image you can my and Cristiano’s progress; I’m green, he’s brown. Basically he’s beating me in most that is shown below, except for Romance and All-Time Worldwide Box Office. Yeah, I’m a sucker for the big blockbustery movies and I don’t think it’s a surprise that I’ve done ‘well’ in that category.


So far I really love this site and I can see myself using it more in the future. There are a couple of things I’d like to see, like list-specific comparisons with friends (I still can’t see a list of the movies from the IMDb Top 250 that neither me or Cristiano has seen yet) and maybe multiple watchlists. I know the creators have said they’re working on a 2.0 version, so I’m really curious to see what the new stuff will be!

If you want to add me as a friend on iCheckMovies, here’s my profile.

Shopping nowadays is different than what it used to be. For me, an afternoon of leisurely shopping means looking around for clothes and shoes, and trying them on. Everything else though? Gadgets, books, games, holidays, everything else I do via the internet. This doesn’t necessarily mean I actually buy it online, but I’ll always know exactly what I want to get and where I have to get it.

The days of listening to a shop clerk and trusting his ‘expert’ advice are practically over. For almost everything I buy, I’ll always first do my own online research, reading reviews of other people, figuring out which product does exactly what I want, and where the cheapest place is to buy it. I’ve had a couple of times now that I’ve researched a product so much that I knew more than the shop clerk and had to correct him a couple of times.

But I realised not everyone is that web savvy, and most may not even have the faintest idea where to start finding these online reviews. So for that reason, I give you this blog post. Mind you, these aren’t all the resources that are out there, not by far; I’m only scratching the surface with websites that I like to visit myself when doing this type of “research”.



Even though it’s not primarily a review site, Amazon is a useful tool to get general views about products. The main focus may seem books, games and DVDs, but you’ll find a lot of other items have pretty thorough reviews too. The reviews consist of 1 to 5 star ratings and a written review or a video of a user. I mainly like to use Amazon reviews to get that first impression of a product.

For simple items, like books or DVDs, I’ll keep it only to just Amazon, but If it’s something more gadgety (and more expensive) it’s only the first step. A problem in the past with the Amazon reviews though has been that anyone can leave a review, which led to authors giving themselves great reviews or fans giving competitors bad reviews. While it’s by far not the norm, keep that in mind when using these reviews. [Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany]


For those based in the UK, Reevoo is another interesting review website. Unlike Amazon (and most other review sites) Reevoo only allows people to publish a review, if they’ve gotten their product via one of their retail partners. The reviews itself though are quite limited, with users reviewing a product with only a couple of sentences of pros and cons, and a 1 to 10 score.

I mainly use Reevoo when I want a certain gadget, but have no idea what type, brand or even price range. Reevoo has a useful filter functionality for each category, so that you can refine your product search. For instance, in the Headphones category you can filter the price (£3-£10, £10-£20, etc), brand (Sennheiser, Philips, etc) and other applicable groups. It also has a nice price comparison of the different places where you can buy the product. What I’m not sure about though is whether the retailers mentioned in this list are only Reevoo’s retail partners; it doesn’t matter too much, cause a lot of the big brand cheaper retailers are listed. [Reevoo]


I like to use TestFreaks to find more extensive reviews than Amazon or Reevoo. For starters, it splits the reviews into two groups: Expert Reviews and User Reviews. The Expert Reviews aggregates professional reviews from around the web, featuring reviews from blogs and online magazines. These reviews give much more technical analysis than your standard user reviews.

Besides the reviews, TestFreaks have some useful metrics, like the FreakScore: a weighted index of all aggregated expert and user reviews (expert reviews are given more value than user reviews, while older products and reviews are given less importance). It’s a great way to see what the hottest products are that people are actually talking about. Like Reevoo, TestFreaks also has a price comparison section, but is not limited to only the UK. [TestFreaks USATestFreaks UK]

Digital Photography Review

This website is specifically for photography, covering everything from the latest industry news to very detailed professional reviews on cameras and lenses. And with detailed, I mean: DETAILED. Some of them go so far as measuring the time it takes to switch on the camera and to take a photo. There are also sample photos, so that you can view the quality of the camera under different light circumstances. Finally, there’s an compare tool, where you can select various cameras and see the exact specifications of each of them side by side. [Digital Photography Review]


SkyScanner and Kayak

I don’t travel that much by plane, but when I do SkyScanner and Kayak are both useful sites to find the cheapest flights out there. SkyScanner offers a bit more flexibility in choosing the airports; for instance, I can get a list of all the different flights between UK and the Netherlands, without specifying which UK airport or which NL airport. Kayak on the other hand gives a more useful overview of which days are cheaper so that you can select the cheapest combo of depart/return flights. [SkyScanner, Kayak]


Bview doesn’t really offer reviews of products, but of businesses. It’s handy to find reviews of local businesses like plumbers or electricians. Besides that they also have vouchers for a huge bunch of different stores and restaurants. [Bview]

As I said before, this aren’t all the review sites out there; these are only the ones I use myself. Feel free to share any tips of sites that you use in the comments below.

Website Spotlight: Moo

February 18th, 2009

I’ve been using Moo business cards for ages now, I sometimes forget not everyone knows what a Moo card is. I twittered about it some weeks ago only to realize a lot of people didn’t know who or what Moo is. So to enlighten you non-enlightened people, I’ll tell you all about them:

Simply put, Moo is a printing company. They’ve got a great range of different products, including business cards, greeting cards and stickers. What Moo does so great (and different from most other printing companies) is that they’re integrated with all these online services you already know, like Flickr, Facebook and LiveJournal. So you can order their products with your own photos or other online content on them. What’s even better is that you’re not stuck to only one image; if you want, you can have a different image on every single item. Cool, right? 

I’ll try to explain a bit about each of their products. I haven’t tried all of them myself yet, but have come across most of them in real life. 


The most common Moo product (most people call them MooCards), they can be used as business cards (that aren’t too businessy) or as gift tags or anything else you can come up with. For the front you can use up to 100 different photos or text designs, imported from other online services (like Flickr) or you can upload them directly. For the back you’ve got six lines, which are more than enough for your basic details (name, what you do, email, website). One pack contains 100 cards and it comes in a nice sturdy recyclable plastic box. 

Mel's Moo Cards

I love these cards. Practically everyone I know has these for business cards. They’re not that expensive ($19.99/€13.79/£9.99) and the quality which you get in return is just amazing. The texture of MooCards is so smooth and nice, they’re really incomparable to other business cards. 

Business Cards

Since a couple of moths ago, Moo has also started offering normal sized business cards. As with the MiniCards, for the front you can import up to 50 designs from other services or upload the photos directly. The back is a bit more elaborate. For starters, you can upload an image or logo and determine the placement of that image. There are a couple of different templates to choose from, but all of them look pretty neat. Besides that you can also choose from more colors and fonts for the text on the back and you can reverse the text-background color (for instance, instead of orange text on white, you can have white text on an orange background). 

Moo Classic Cards

I “ordered” a pack of these with a free LinkedIn offer and they look pretty great. I like that the back is much more customizable than with the MiniCards and that you don’t have to crop the photos you put on them (one of the reasons why I use wallpapers on my minis instead of photos). As business cards though? I prefer the MiniCards, because they’re so… mini. While these Business Cards look great, they are larger and the box is still a pain to drag around. Plus at $21.99 (€15.09/£10.99) they’re more expensive and the pack only contains 50 cards (as opposed to 100 for the Min


These are just so cute! Moo produces sticker booklets with up to 90 different photos or designs (15 sheets of 6 stickers). Each sticker-sheet has a perforated edge so that you can easily tear it out and share it with someone else. If you’ve every held one of these in your hands before you’ll notice how well they are designed. You can get them from $9.99 (€6.89/£4.99).

MOO Stickers from Time Out Pub Quiz

Cards (Post Cards, Greeting Cards, Note Cards

Now these I’ve never tried out myself; I’m not the card sending type anymore. Just like the previous products, Moo allows you to print whatever you want on them. The difference between them are the shapes and type of card.

For starters, the Post Cards are, well, simple postcards. You can make a set of 20 (for $19.99/€13.79/£9.99) or a set of 60 (for $49.99/€34.24/£24.99) and you can personalise the front and back with different designs.

Then, the Greeting Cards are standard sized cards. A pack of 10 with 10 different (or the same) images on them is $24.99 (€17.49/£12.99). You can add a message to the inside of the cards and add a photo or logo on the back.

With the third option of Note Cards, you get square cards with a special flap on the side to make them stand upright. These come in packs of 16 cards (again if you want with 16 different images on them) and they cost $21.99 (€15.09/£10.99).

Besides the three that I mentioned above, Moo also offers Christmas and Holiday Cards during the Christmas season. These are the same size as the standard Greeting Cards, but come in larger packs (of 25 for $41.98/€28.34/£20.99) and with different Christmas designs available.


Here’s a quick overview of all the different type of products Moo offers and how much they each cost:

MiniCards (100 cards) from $19.99/€13.79/£9.99
Business Cards (50 cards) from $21.99/€15.09/£10.99
Stickers (90 stickers) from $9.99/€6.89/£4.99
Post Cards (20 cards) from $19.99/€13.79/£9.99
Greeting Cards (10 cards) from $24.99/€17.49/£12.99
Note Cards (16 cards) from $21.99/€15.09/£10.99

If you’re interested in ordering any of these products (and have never ordered anything with them before), I’ve got two discount vouchers to give away. Just email me at and the winners will be notified on February the 28th.