2008 Gift Giving Guide: Digital giving

This installment of the Unclutterer Gift Giving Guide explores the virtual world of digital products. In addition to the ideas listed here, be sure to check out our 2007 Online giving post for even more inspiration.

These are our 2008 digital suggestions:

  • If someone in your life has had a GPS unit for more than two years, you could offer to pay to update the maps. This is a gift that you’ll need to give in person (seeing as you’ll need the actual GPS unit to make the update), but still valuable for people who regularly use their GPS. Check the unit’s manufacturer’s website for details.
  • A great gift for a busy family might be a subscription to TheScramble. The service sends you grocery lists and then daily recipes so that you don’t have to think twice about what to make for dinner.
  • A wordsmith in your life might love the extravagant gift of an Oxford English Dictionary subscription for $295 a year, or $30 a month. (There also is a CD version of the OED for $216, but the reviews of it aren’t very strong.)
  • If you have someone in your life who loves spending time online, you might consider purchasing them an Evernote Premium account — this is an especially great idea for someone who already uses and loves the basic Evernote product.
  • Photographers in your life might love a subscription to RentGlass.com. It’s a mail order lens rental system — and would work great with a FlickrPro account that we suggested last year.
  • A high school student in your life could definitely benefit from a year’s subscription to Questia. I’d recommend it for college students, but most get access to these types of services through their universities.
  • A person you know who lives in a city and doesn’t own a car might enjoy a Zipcar membership. I know that having access a few times a year to a car would have made living without one even easier.
  • A professional association membership might also be a great idea for someone. Personally, I know that an AvantGuild membership would be a great idea for a journalist.
  • Finally, you might consider a subscription to GreenDimes for the person on your list who hates junk mail. Be sure that this person has a computer, though, because a GreenDimes account requires participation to make sure that all junk mail stops coming to a home.

12 Comments for “2008 Gift Giving Guide: Digital giving”

  1. posted by Tabitha (From Single to Married) on

    Ahh… the Zipcar membership – I would have loved that gift a couple of years ago when I lived in DC and didn’t have a car! Definitely a good gift idea for city dwellers.

  2. posted by Anu on

    My favorite digital gift this year has been various Amazon gift certificates that people have given me. I apply them to my account and then use the money to pay for Kindle books as when I want them. They would make great gifts for anyone you know who has a Kindle, since you can really stretch the money out and make it last and you wind up thinking of the person who gave it to you for months 🙂

  3. posted by Stephen on

    The Scramble is something I have seen before but I am for sure interested in to say the least. My wife and I are both terrible coming up with ideas for dinner and constantly bickering about having the same things over and over. I have no problems cooking and making dinner, but do I ever hate coming up with what to have. This is something I very well may try out.

    The Flickr Pro thing is something I should have thought of giving to someone for Xmas this year as I know someone that would use the heck out of it. I use SmugMug and like it a lot better but still a darn good idea. Have to save it for their birthday in February.

  4. posted by someone on

    I’m confused by the RentGlass.com one.

    First, the link in the OP goes to an error page on this site.

    Second, when I just type “RentGlass.com” into the URL and visit their site, it doesn’t say anything anywhere about a “subscription”. Sure, I could go ahead and rent a lens for someone, but I’d have to know what kind of lens they wanted when, and you can’t really wrap up something rented/borrowed to give someone. They don’t seem to have any gift certificate or gift-card option, sadly.

    So while it’s a cool looking resource for a photographer, I’m struggling to figure out how to incorporate it into a gift.

  5. posted by Erin Doland on

    The link for RentGlass.com is fixed now in the article. There was an upgrade on our site’s content management system and I’m still getting my bearings with it.

  6. posted by Jeff C. on

    This site has made virtual giving a snap: http://www.giftzip.com. It is basically a hyperlinked directory to every store that offers an instant (printable or emailable) gift card. It saves a ton of time. Sue me if it is impersonal I’m all about simplicity and my kids only want gift cards now.

  7. posted by someone on

    @Erin– thanks, but I’m still not clear on how you can give a rental as a gift? They don’t seem to offer any sort of gift card.

  8. posted by Erin Doland on

    @someone — You pay for the rental. You contact the service and take care of the payment for someone else. No need for a gift card.

  9. posted by Tim on

    Found a promo code for TheScramble which brings the cost down to $44.50 for the year:

    HOLIDAY 08

  10. posted by Silke (Organized Diva) on

    I love this list and I’d like quite a few of them. This is also great for last minute gift ideas.

  11. posted by Mel on

    Alternative to Green Dimes: If most of your junk mail is catalogs, Catalog Choice is a free, reputable online service that has worked beautifully for us for over a year.

  12. posted by Crystalyn Kokorowski on

    yes! I second the Zipcar membership! It has changed my life and sometimes all it takes is a little ‘nudge’ for people to try something new!

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