it isn't exaggerating to say that 70 per cent of the stuff out on the Web is garbage. Even trawling through the remaining 30 per cent, though, can be a pain.
There is good stuff on the Internet, but finding it on your own, without someone forwarding it to you, is a struggle.
Fortunately, there are people paid to do this for us.
Weblogs are like the Yellow Pages of the Internet, condensing news on millions of different sites into a few salient paragraphs. Half the fun of being online is still surfing from link to link, taking random diversions and occasionally getting lost, but a weblog can make the difference between hours of reading and hours of blind searching.
Like everything else online, there are thousands of different weblogs, some serious and some anything but. The ones below aren't the best, but they are my favourites, at least this week.
A catalogue of the intelligent and the absurd. There are links to virtually every newspaper on the planet, arranged by story, as well as paths to less, uh, conventional places. If you've ever wondered what would come up if you entered the phrase "fell into a vat of" into a search engine, Robotwisdom is the place for you.
The great London paper distills four interesting stories daily from around the world into simple links.
If you don't have the time to read the New Zealand Herald or the Moscow Times every day, you need to be here.
www.cybereditions.com/aldaily/ Like an online newsstand where everything's free. Arts & Letters Daily links to the smartest pieces of criticism and debate on the Web and offers a short preview of each so you can decide in advance whether it's worth wasting your precious time on.
Like the banner says, seriously addictive.
Slate's excellent Omnivore page is a "daily compendium of arts and information." The stories linked to here are usually of a more serious nature -- essays, long profiles, criticism -- but there's always something bizarre thrown into the mix. Omnivore also lists hundreds of sites of magazines, papers, columnists and critics from around the globe.
Romenesko's Obscure Store And Reading Room is considerably less serious than Omnivore. There are also links to newspapers, wire services and zines, but this site is dedicated to the stories that never really made the news. The only place you'll read about a man getting arrested for being nude in his garage.
"News for nerds and stuff that matters" is the tag line here. Constantly updated tech news, posted by individuals and then commented on by surfers. Democracy in action.
Slashdot for artsy types. The new site started by Feed brings arts criticism to the masses by allowing people to post interesting stories and then opening the floor for debate. The discussions aren't always intelligent but they are often interesting. *
At a time when people are talking about whether it should be illegal to At a time when people are talking about whether it should be illegal to
talk on your cellphone while driving, RevolveDesign has come up with the RoadWriter, a dashboard-mounted keyboard stand for your Palm Pilot. talk on your cellphone while driving, RevolveDesign has come up with the RoadWriter, a dashboard-mounted keyboard stand for your Palm Pilot.
Plug it in and you can surf the Web or write a novel Plug it in and you can surf the Web or write a novel
while you're stuck in traffic. while you're stuck in traffic.
So dangerous it's funny. Get one before the lawsuits start flying. So dangerous it's funny. Get one before the lawsuits start flying.
pixyland. org/ pixyland. org/
This site, forwarded from in-box to in-box at a furious pace, is already being called the next Mahir, although whether its creator will get a record contract like the Turkish lover boy is less clear.
The 47-year-old Florida divorcee under discussion here dresses up like Peter Pan, not just in his own home, but at work and at clubs, complete with bowl cut, green tights and booties. He also has a Little Lord Fauntleroy costume.
Hilarious and pointless.
At a time when people are talking about whether it should be illegal to
talk on your cellphone while driving, RevolveDesign has come up with the RoadWriter, a dashboard-mounted keyboard stand for your Palm Pilot.
Plug it in and you can surf the Web or write a novel
while you're stuck in traffic.
So dangerous it's funny. Get one before the lawsuits start flying.