Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Five: Piet Levy on Pop Culture

Worth a look at the winners ...

Got a lot of time to kill? Kill it well, by checking out the sites nominated for Webbys this year.

The Webbys, now in their 12th year, award the best of the web, in terms of design, usability, and purpose. The sites run the gamut, from blogs and celeb sites, to government institutions and activism home pages.

Alas, I haven't had the (assumed) privilege to take a spin on every nominated site this year. You'd need a pretty strong Internet tolerance level to do that. Oh, and countless hours of spare time.

But a few sites I've come across in the past made the cut, and indeed, they exemplify the finest sites on the web.

In addition to big players like nytimes.com, facebook.com, apple.com and slate.com, here's three of my favorite, lesser known, Webby nominated sites:

1. theonion.com - Like "The Daily Show"? Oh Lordy, you will love "The Onion." The satirical fake newspaper had its origins in Wisconsin before spreading out to New York, Chicago, L.A. and other markets. But they've really taken off online. All the hysterical paper content is there (a recent fave: "Southwest Airlines Now Taking Passengers To Destinations by Shuttle Bus"), in addition to some straight up arts reporting, a podcast, and fake news vids unique to the site. Nominated for Best Podcast and Best Humor Site.

2. theraider.net - The ultimate "Indiana Jones" fan site, with everything, and I mean everything, you want to know, or didn't even know you wanted to know, about the film series. They've got the goods on the new flick's running time, fan video links, illustrations and games, plus countless, meticulous articles. It's more daunting than a gigantic rolling bolder, but not as scary. And make sure you check out details about "Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation," a nearly shot-for-shot remake shot over seven years by three kids from Mississippi. It's unbelievable. Nominated for Best Celebrity/Fan Site.

3. invisiblechildren.com - This, friends, is the web used for the greatest of goods. In 2003, three young aspiring filmmakers, all in their early 20s, went out to Africa to make a documentary. There they learned about the use of child soldiers in war-ravaged Uganda. And when they returned, they put together a short documentary that has lead to a massive youth-driven awareness movement, strictly because of their amazing web site. Screenings and solidarity events have been held all over the country, and the movement only appears to be growing. Nominated for Best Activism Site."    (Continued via Post-Tribune)    [Usability Resources]

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