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Best of the Web: Your Picks?

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 17, 2005

We’re starting work on an upcoming feature for the magazine, Best of the Web. As you might well imagine, it’s a heckuva task to zero in on the best among so many sites. That’s especially true lately, when we’ve seen such an explosion of new services, both from startups and from giants like Google and Yahoo.

That’s where you come in. We’ve got our own ideas, of course, but we’re quite sure our tentative list is missing a whole bunch of interesting sites and services. And as Dan Gillmor says, our readers always know more than we do. So if it’s not too much trouble, we’d love to hear about your faves. We’re open to any and all suggestions. Shoot ‘em to the Comments, below, and everyone else can benefit from your insights as well. Thanks!

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Reader Comments

Marc Hedlund

August 17, 2005 03:49 PM

Best of the best: Bloglines -- makes me marvel that I ever got along without it. Even the UI doesn't stop me from loving it.

Best belly laugh: Defective Yeti -- like keeping in touch with that guy from college who saw the funny in the smallest gap.

Best restaurant finder: Chowhound -- the UI makes Bloglines look positively usable, but the people and the information can't be matched anywhere else.

Best personal weblog: -- Andy Baio is in front of the story you care about more often than anyone else.

Best way to get a question answered: Ask Metafilter -- astonishingly useful answers in a beautifully-designed site.

Best way to shop: Mighty Goods -- taste, economy, and humor wrapped up in one.

Todd Klassy

August 17, 2005 05:02 PM

Best Sources of News:

I tend to be more conservative than these news sources (well at least 3 of the 4), but they do offer the best features and news stories of the bunch.

Best Way to Share Photos:

By far the friendliest and easiest use photo albums on the Inernet.

Best Reference Sources Online:

Best Blog Related Sites:

Best Sports Site:

Best Shopping:



August 17, 2005 10:46 PM

Best of Web:
FireANT (

Dave Park

August 18, 2005 02:24 AM

Best music news sites:
Prefixmag ( (Disclosure: I run this site, but it's not bad)
Billboard (
Tiny Mix Tapes (
Pitchforkmedia (

Best music blogs:
Stereogum (
Brooklyn Vegan (


August 18, 2005 11:17 AM

Best music reference site:


August 18, 2005 03:20 PM

Check out
Just released netomat mobile.
multi-media messaging between web and cellphones.


August 18, 2005 04:54 PM

BookAvis is an invaluable tool for me and my business associates!

Rafael Sidi

August 18, 2005 08:41 PM

for engineering literature research

Emily Turrettini

August 19, 2005 02:57 AM by Régine Debatty, is one of the most popular blogs on the web. It's a blog about media artists (mis)using technologies., my own blog, is about the social impact of cell phones around the world.


August 19, 2005 04:06 PM

When you best of best, be sure to include some of the soldier bloggers. I like Top Mustang, Michael Yon who doesn't blog every day but he is terrific, then there is the very tough Blackfive and I'm sure there are more. Some of them stop blogging because they get killed or wounded.

Other blogs that take no prisoners include the maniac Michelle Malkin (always on top of something), Oraculations, Iraq the Model; and for just plain fun once a week you can't forget (totally wild), and two movie reviewing sites that take no prisoners either: Pajiba and a conservative movie site that is terrific called Libertas.


August 19, 2005 04:49 PM

For sports freaks, Page 2 at (typing in will work, but the website complains about it) - international edition, of course.

This site ( is pretty darn good. ;)

For other business news, Motley Fool doesn't completely suck. does.

Google blog and Yahoo Searchblog are interesting every now and then. for tech stuff. for games (even cell phone games) and cars. to start blogging.

Wikipedia, Todd? ~ahem~ I tried using this for political info., and it was a big disappointment (yes I took a part in editing). It's completely useless for this purpose unless you work for the Democratic party or I'd recommend it only for technical stuff - it's skewed by technically-savvy California liberals. They can fix your computer, remember, but keeping the power on and picking a governor aren't their strong suits. lol

Steve Rubel

August 19, 2005 05:06 PM

Rob, check out Topix. net ( and BackPack (

Dave Taylor

August 19, 2005 05:14 PM

Best and most friendly and amusing tech support Q&A site:

[caveat: yeah, there's a reason it matches my own name, Rob. :-) ]

Pablo Townsend

August 19, 2005 05:41 PM

Best Music Discovery Service: Pandora (it is still in Preview mode, but you can get an invite at


August 19, 2005 05:46 PM for blogs for shopping for web search for answers

Shawn Lea

August 19, 2005 11:00 PM

Best for leisure reading: Blog of a bookslut

Best for business reading: 800.CEO.READ blog

Best for business inspiration: Fast Company Now

Best Newspaper Round-Up (Joe promises to read the NYT, WSJ, USA Today, Financial Times and his local paper each morning and tell us only the fun things we need to know): Book of Joe

Best News Gather of Business "Stuff that Matters": TP Wire Service

Best for Information Junkies (or Wannabe Librarians): Resource Shelf

Best Blog on Magazines: RexBlog

Best Public Relations Blog: Micropersuasion

Marc van der Chijs

August 20, 2005 03:52 AM

In case you also want to include popular foreign sites, there is a Chinese multimedia (DV video and podcasting) site that is growing extremely fast: (or for a partial English version People can upload their personal videos and podcasts, and others can download or subscribe to these. It also integrates a social network (friends and groups) and blog function. The first site worldwide that offers video search with tags. Currently the number one site in China for podcasting and for videos.

Full disclosure: I am one of the founders.

Devon Dudgeon

August 21, 2005 01:25 PM

Best for information on movies, actors, etc:

Best for information on shows in London:

Best marketing news in the UK:

Best for directions in the UK:

Best online weekly comedy/drama, my site:

Nate Heinrich

August 22, 2005 06:59 AM

Best citizen sports reporting multi-media blog:


August 22, 2005 02:48 PM

Best directories:

Best Free Webmail

Best Deals:

Desiree Pointer Mace

August 22, 2005 03:13 PM

Best way to learn about fabulous bands you never heard of before:

A friend of mine turned me on to this website, which is awesome for folks like me who used to go out to see new bands and live music, but who are having trouble keeping our music collection up to date once new parenthood sets in.... You put in the name of a song or artist or band that you like and Pandora analyses your selections by a bunch of mysterious criteria, and spits out a ton of fantastic music that you'd never have thought of. So cool!

jaimee minney

August 23, 2005 03:45 PM

What about including the best of the mobile Web? Our company, M:Metrics, has been tracking how people are using their phones besides talking. With about 23 million people reporting they browsed for news and information on their phones, it's definitely gaining steam. In the course of our counting, we have uncovered some very cool mobile Web sites, such as:

Best Entertainment/Culture site: Vindigo City Guides

This is a great all-inclusive city guide, complete with descriptions, maps, even public transit and ATM finders. The most useful aspect of the guide for this foodie is the Zagat guide. (Who wants to buy a new book every time you travel?)It's available for $3.50 monthly, or annually for $24.95.

Best Sports Site: eGolfScore

In addition to the sports news and clips you can get on your phone via ESPN, eGolfScore makes the most of the utility of the phone by using it as a golf scorecard where you can track an individual’s score or a foursome or a group of up to five foursomes. Scores can be sent from mobile device to your personal eGolfScore web site for handicapping and analysis. Or, you can broadcast your round to the web so others can follow along as you play.

It's available on Cingular, Nextel, Sprint and Verizon for $36 per year.

Best Mobile News Site: The Onion

The number one source for news satire comes to your phone for free, if you are a Verizon subscriber. Read news headlines and editorials or browse the music, movie and television reviews at The Onion AV Club.

Best Search Site: Yahoo! Mobile Search

Our data shows that Yahoo! is the most popular mobile Web brand, and the Search application is my favorite. It's easy, convenient and free! Type in your search and your location, and Yahoo! Search quickly provides results. I love the map, which makes it as easy to find the location as it is the information.

I also really like MobiTV, a streaming television application available on Sprint and Cingular for $9.99/month. Offers many popular channels such as ESPN 3, MSNBC, ABC News Now, NBC Mobile, CNBC, FOX Sports, The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, The Weather Channel. Also has channels such as Comedy Time that are programmed specifically for wireless handsets.

Although very few subscribers are viewing clips or streaming media, 10 percent of survey respondents said they were likely to do so this year, which could represent a sizable market. To put this into context, about 10 pecent of subscribers downloaded a ringtone - you get the idea.

Dean La Velle

August 24, 2005 05:12 PM

Best Local Free Classifieds: in Central Florida. Locally owned, local advertisers, local users.

Michal Wlodarski

August 28, 2005 02:40 PM

Best site for visitors to London
These people have the real passion... and the site has nice design :-)

Best site for webmasters

Kevin Boucher

August 30, 2005 03:12 PM

Rob, I just discovered this site recently:

I think it's brand new,not much press on it yet. It was extremely helpful for me when shopping for a digital camera. I think it's probably the most innovative site I've seen lately. I would vote this Best Shopping by a large margin (only a few categories so far, think they're expanding though).

Also, for Best Movie Site, I'd vote for

Louis Lesko

September 8, 2005 12:39 PM

Recently I realized that all the employees of my small software
Company,, are probably working in their underwear. Now, before
you get that clothing optional look on your face let me tell you about one
the most fantastic tools on the web; iRadeon's on-demand services for Sugar
Open Source Customer Relations Manager (CRM). It has allowed us to develop
and manage a virtual office. Because the CRM is web based, we were able to
cull programming talent from London, maintain our glamour base in Los
Angeles while being financially managed from San Francisco. iRadeon's
help in implementing this fully functional yet non-existent office was
so epic, it was bizarre. What could they really want besides a few bucks a
month? It turns out nothing, they just have a passion for helping small
businesses with web based solutions.

The existence of and their on-demand services for open source
business software is one of the most significant developments on the web.
Businesses can now be created without having to pay for talent to relocate.
It allows Marketing Managers to be pregnant at home (she's due any day) and
affords business owners the opportunity to run their businesses effectively
from any sofa in the world.

Ed dearmin

December 22, 2005 11:38 AM

I just wanted to tell everybody about a custom site builder site name= .He's a manager for AT&T that knows the ups and downs about building quick custom web sites.Having a passion for something is the diference in success
or failure.


December 23, 2005 08:38 PM

Take a look at this for effort and customer service!

Daniela Arjona

January 29, 2006 01:11 AM

By far the best web-based English-learning solution for company employees worldwide:

Uses cutting edge technology to bring about a unique - and truly interactive - approach to learning English online.

Suitable for small, medium and large businesses alike.


August 15, 2006 10:10 PM

Best new local classfieds: is a local Free Classifieds for the city of pembroke pines florida.

Liberal Blogger

August 23, 2006 09:59 PM

Best Liberal Blog site:

Best Directory

Best Stock Picks

tony scott

November 24, 2007 06:14 PM

Free classified site:


September 28, 2008 02:32 PM

Ocala4sale sucks. Don't pay for ads. Just use the free ads if anything.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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