Web 2.D’oh! Round-Up, Vol. VIII
If it’s Friday, it’s time again for our weekly whiskbrooming of the dust, detritus and details that fluttered onto the floor of the 2.0ffice recently.
Dude, Where’s My . . .Self-Respect?
In a play to enter a tragically underserved market on the web–teenaged and young adult males–the folks at Viacom announced that they will next year consolidate a number of guysites into something called spike.com.
If the current SpikeTV site is any indication, the Viacommers have Rupert Murdoch’s AskMen.com site beat in the how-low-can-you-go competition. By a long shot. To suggest some Spike content is soft-core porn would be generous indeed. [Click on Homepage Top 100 if you don’t believe me.] By comparison, AskMen comes off as downright gentlemany. Stay on the high road, Rupe!
Video That’s Not Hideo
Here’s something I don’t see very often: Video that serves a purpose on the Web. One of my nerdy-favorite sites, lifehacker.com, this week posted a round-up of well-done do-it-yourself videos. A favorite is “How to Buy a Car Without Getting Screwed.” [Though at 5:53 it breaks my 2-minute rule.]
One of the scariest is–I am not making this up–“How to turn a flashlight into a handheld burning laser.” After posting, the video sprouted this useful bit of essential derriere attire: UPDATE: Several readers rightly point out that your burning handheld laser could pose a safety risk to humans, especially when pointed at eyeballs. Watch your kids, proceed at your own risk, treat as you would a weapon, etc. Thank you.
Genuinely Interesting Item of the Week
Don’t miss the list of finalists in the Online News Association’s annual Online Journalism Awards. [As with most such competitions, the finalists’ list is always richer than the final list of winners.]
Leaders in the obscure-but-great division include:
NewsOK.com , the site of an group of Oklahoma media companies that’s far more sophisticated than most of its coastal brethren
HoopGurlz [resist nanny-nanny-boo-boo at Don Imus here]
Assignment: Guatemala, a very ambitious multimedia investigation into an unsolved group of three murders, produced by the tiny (though Gannett-owned) Journal News of the Lower Hudson Valley. [Oddly, this feature is listed in the “service journalism” rather than “investigative journalism” category. Explanation, anyone?]
CNet.com’s “Vista for the Masses,” a full-out, scramble-the-jets, spare-no-cost, hose-the-competition report on Microsoft’s new operating system.
Everybody knows the big media brands and what they can do online. The pleasure of clicking through this list is to see how many truly remarkable obscurities are out there–and too often overlooked.
And finally, our Noted Without Comment feature