The Best Of The Web
Awards time is here. No, it's not the "Oscar" , "Grammy" or the
"Emmy" awards. It's the awards for the World Wide Web where they choose the
'best of the best' of the Internet. It's the "Webby Awards". And here are the
nominees and winners which are catogarized into 15 categories.
||Feeling lost since Jerry died and the Dead stopped touring? Now you can
fritter away your so-called life stalking some other rock band. The Jetsons-looking Wilma
site lets you search the schedules of thousands of bands and venues in cities large and
small across the U.S. or on "Earth." Translation: You'll find comprehensive
listings from places as exotic as Cairo and as depressing as Gettysburg. Get all the
important info on the venue before you buy your ticket. For instance, does it sell beer?
||A bottomless barrel of features, interviews (from REM to William Gibson),
reviews, and chats, ATN is the biggest music mag on the Web. Radio ATN (RealAudio and
Shockwave required) and copious sound clips let you listen before you buy, while
membership in the Sonic Lodge ensures an endless bombardment of info. The (reprinted)
columns-by the likes of Greil Marcus, Dave Marsh, and David Was-are always worth reading,
and music news gets updated daily. One problem: ATN is so jam-packed and icon-heavy that
it's a bit overwhelming.
||The closest thing the Web has to a definitive music resource, Music
Central dives right into the pit of daily music news. Weekly features including interviews
with artists like Tricky and Curtis Mayfield. Check out the Top 100 charts, new releases
(alphabetically organized-with release dates), and from major alternative
magazine/weeklies across the country. Most impressive is the convenient database of every
review the site has ever run.
||Imagine an infinite listening booth connected to every other music lover
in the world. Billing itself as the "largest click-and-play" music store on the
Internet, Tunes.com boasts a database of 163,000 performers and a dizzying 1 million song
titles(!), 200,000 of which can be previewed with RealAudio software. The site also
supplies personalized recommendations (provided you tell it what you like by rating other
albums), picks by celebrities (Carlos Santana, Bill Clinton, Steve Young, etc.), band
information from the All Music Guide, and something a real-life record store can't offer:
the ability to send music to friends via e-mail. Its only flaw is a frames-dependent that
makes wandering its virtual aisles a bit tough.
|It warms a populist's cockles that any Joe Modem can become Jimmy Olsen on
the Web, but most people can't write their way out of a paper bag. Then again, neither can
most rock critics. SonicNet is not only the best-written music mag on the Web, it's also
the best designed. Besides the usual reviews and features, there's the Global Chat, which
has run the gamut, starwise, from Perry Farrell to Genius/GZA, cybercast concerts, and the
downloadable Action Ready Singles. The brand-new alt.access section attempts to organize
the Web's overwhelming number of music resources--and almost succeeds.