After four weeks of reviewing and rating the nominees for the 2001 Webby Awards Internet awards presented to the best sites in 27 different categories I can finally see the light at the end of the alphabet.
If the billions of MP3s still trading hands even after Napster was found guilty of aiding and abetting the copy and transfer of copyrighted materials are any indication, then music could easily be the Webs number one utility. Every band has a Web site these days and Web ring of fans. So does every music label, distributor, magazine, and critic.
If you want to hear a new song from a band, you go online you could wait days to hear it on the radio and maybe be disappointed, or you could download it in 15 minutes. And unlike radio and music television, online music always caters to your tastes online music is freedom and democracy.
It was hard to pick a winner in this category, but I went with Motown at www.motown.com . This site is divided into New and Classic categories, and is as much a learning experience as a listening pleasure. It feels more like a Motown museum than a record label.
The runner up would have to be Live365 at www.live365.com . I know I bashed radio a bit earlier, but when you have access to thousands of radio stations live feeds in dozens of musical genres, its a good place to go to hear new bands. Most people have a limited selection of radio stations that appeal to them on the dial, but with Live365 you can be in any city with a click of the mouse.
I spend more and more time shackled to a desk these days, mainly because theres nowhere else to go. I work down in Function Junction, and while there is food, antiques and hardware galore, I still feel a little isolated and out of touch. Since I cant get out into the world, I bring the world to me by reading the headlines from about four online newspapers every day.
The nominees in this category are a mix of alternative, mainstream, print and electronic media. Ive used every site in the past, and can honestly say that the usual criteria goes out the window when comparing news sites I care less about looks than about the news itself.
I chose www.cnn.com because of the variety of world news presented and the fact that their archives are massive, easy to access, and stories are linked to related stories. I never watch CNN on television, generally annoyed by its America-centric view of the globe, its talking head format, and its O.J. Simpson coverage. The Web site is a lot easier to digest.