13 best discovery engines: how to find great stuff without searching for it

9. Metafilter


Seeing constructive comments and meaningful discussion on the web is a pleasant surpise

Metafilter has been making the internet a smarter place since 1999 through the simple mechanism of clever people posting links to, and having conversations about, interesting things. It's that rare thing: a website whose comments are often even more interesting and entertaining than the linked articles, with firm but fair moderation meaning it's a troll-free environment. If you exhaust the possibilities of its home page you can plunder its Ask Metafilter section for advice on pretty much anything. Metafilter is a goldmine

10. Fark



For when you don't want to take the news seriously

Fark is Metafilter played for laughs: submitters try to bring the LOLs by describing their linked stories in the most amusing way possible. The descriptions may be funny but the linked stories are often serious. A typical day's topics run the gamut from Floridian craziness to true crime, cars, politics and tech news.

11. Opera Coast


Opera Coast

Opera Coast, while useful, isn't perfect

Opera Coast feels like the beginning of something much more interesting. It's a fast, simple and very good-looking browser, and when you start typing a search query or URL little icons pop up with suggested sites and search suggestions appear above the keyboard - so for example if you type the letter B you'll see Buzzfeed, BBC News and so on. However, while the tagline says that discovery is what Opera is all about, its discovery features are actually pretty limited. The 'sites we like' grid feels like a missed opportunity: a wider, context-aware section that pointed you to useful or interesting things would make Coast more compelling.

12. Lumi



Lumi is a no-no for those who like to keep their browsing history to themselves

Lumi comes from the founders of Last.fm, and it's rather like Last.fm but for web pages instead of music: it analyses your browsing history (Chrome, Firefox or Safari; there's also a bookmarklet for manually flagging sites on mobile devices) and identifies things it thinks you'll like. It's fast, pretty and easy to find interesting nuggets via the context-aware topics that appear at the top of the screen, although of course it's personalisation is useless if you're the kind of person who prefers to browse anonymously.

13. Saved You A Click

Web, Twitter

Saved you a click

Our favourite gimmicky Twitter account

Saved You A Click does one thing, and you'll never guess what it is. If lines like that bug you, you'll love what this grumpy Twitter account does: it takes linkbait headlines and lists, and spoils the surprise. It's a discovery engine that gives you the answers as well as the questions.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.