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Webby Awards Part II

In case you missed last week’s Cybernaut, there’s this organization that gives out awards to the best Web sites in 27 different categories. They are rated for visual appeal, content, functionality, dynamic content and general usefulness.

In case you missed last week’s Cybernaut, there’s this organization that gives out awards to the best Web sites in 27 different categories. They are rated for visual appeal, content, functionality, dynamic content and general usefulness.

I also picked my own favourite in each category, and got as far as Education. Anyone interested in a Webby pool?

Fashion

While this topic is certainly not my forte, and nowhere close to being up my alley, like most guys out there I have watched enough Fashion Television to get a gist of the industry – sadly there’s more to it than supermodels and lingerie.

All of the sites were stylish, high-tech, and easy on the eyes. The content was geared mainly towards women, with the exception of a few $1,500 wrist watches and high-priced colognes – things women buy for men.

While www.sowear.com was not the best looking site, it had the least attitude and gets my thumbs up for best fashion site. Most of the clothes and designers featured are relatively new to the game, and relatively down to earth.

Film

Like fashion, film (the movies to me, "cinema" to everyone who kept a straight face while declaring "Film Studies" as their major) is unknown territory for me. While I have been to and enjoyed a variety of small budget art films in my day, these seldom make it to Whistler. Some of our better movie rental stores do pick them up, and I do seriously consider renting them before I walk out with copies of Gladiator and Deuce Bigelow, Male Gigolo.

All of the sites in this category required a fast modem with the exception of www.indiewire.com , a compilation of news and reviews focusing on independent films. The articles are generally collected from news magazines of the same vein as The Georgia Strait and as a result the writing is excellent.

The runner-up would have to be www.saulbass.net/psychostudio – the 45 second shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s original Psycho is one of the most analyzed collections of footage in film studies. On this site you can take the original footage and cut and edit the content yourself online and compare your scene with the original.

Warning: Unless you have a fast connection, pack a lunch.

Finance

Yet again I must confess my ignorance – and to a certain degree my disdain – for a Webby Award category. All this crap about interest rates, housing starts, the Asian market and pork bellies cuts humanity and our true nature off at the knees. We’ve allowed corporations to set our priorities and our values, most of which are centred around the basic concept that the road to true happiness is the same road that leads to the mall – materialistic pursuits rule because in the end we’re judged by our material possessions.

I’m not a communist, I like my sandwich maker, and I’d love a good stock tip that could get me out of debt, but I can’t shake the feeling that the entire financial world was created by capitalist plutocrats to serve the wealthy, and not by the laws of supply and demand.

Of all the sites, however, I liked www.fool.com the best. Unlike the other sites, the "Motley Fool" site talks to the layman, to the working class slob with $500 in the mattress and $50 in the stock market.

I also liked www.paypal because I thought it could come in handy when buying goods and services off the net – I do a little shopping here and there, and while I’m never disappointed, I don’t like the hoops you generally have to go through to complete a transaction. PayPal makes it easy – if you have an email address, you can send (and receive) money over the Internet.

Games

Finally, a category that I can relate to! Although my home computer is a little behind the times, one of the uses I had in mind when I was putting it together was playing games – I grew up with video games, and probably had a mild addiction until I hit high school. To this day if I find an arcade with old school video games, like Frogger, Joust, and 1942, the day is a complete write-off.

Games have gotten about a thousand times more sophisticated than those days, and about a thousand times more addictive.

There are thousands of game sites out there that cater to this addiction, but only five got Webby nods. My favourite is probably www.sissyfight.com , a schoolyard popularity battle where you’re on a mission to humiliate and destroy your rivals and competitors on your way to becoming the most popular girl in school.

For news and reviews, www.myvideogames.com is a good site to visit. One of my favourite features was a look at some of the crazy Japanese to English translations that have found their way into video games.

Government and Law

With the recent federal election, the upcoming provincial election, I actually spend quite a bit of time on government and legal Web sites – and generally regret every second. The Webby sites were all based in the U.S., with the exception of the City of Sydney site, and none of them were of any practical use to me whatsoever.

One sight, however, is interesting in a People’s Court, Fox’s Craziest Police Chases VI kind of way – www.icourthouse.com . At I Courthouse, people submit true life stories of injury and effrontery, and as a member you can review the particulars of each, ask questions of the people involved, and register your verdict. The pettiness of the problems on this site will make your biggest problems seem petty by comparison.

The runner up would have to be YourCongress.com. This site lets Americans track and criticize their elected members of congress, and follow what’s going on both in the house and in selected committees. The cornerstone of any good democracy is accountability, and this site holds each member of congress accountable for each and every action, reaction or inaction. I wish we had a similar site in Canada.

 

To Be Continued …




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