Please note: Our format changed as of 10/18/07 – see the front page and full archives for more recent listings. Thanks.
Head-Space 5/28/00 Description:
a cooperative non-commercial creative weird-space
"A refuge from commercial restrictions, no rules, just a creative baseline, we wanted the ... project to be provocative and challenging. Then we decided to open it out, make it no longer an us thing but an everyone thing, maybe alter the way we looked at web creativity by making it all of ours." That says it all! I see this site as a great alternative portal - it's got a cool DHTML interface and spotlights over 1200 pages of non-commercial creative content. The participants list is long and spending only about 30 minutes there for now, I could probably stand a few more hours soon. To those who think the web is losing its spirit - maybe you should go see this site to regain your perspective... and please don't forget where you found it!.
antitext 5/24/00 Description:
antitext megapowerful corporation, a subsidiary of the Global Garbage Networks
When an artist makes a statement and chooses not to embellish it with "meaningless jibberish" or filler content, all that's left is the artist's statement. It may be brief and quite simple, but the point is, it says what it says and nothing more. That's the impression I get from today's Best of the Cool winning site - at least, I think that's the point being made by it. The content is a simple presentation of a small series of very original graphics - a collage of sorts - and if that's just to brief to satisfy, the producer also gives you an escape route which is a gateway to some very cool places elsewhere. The site defies normal navigation and site structure paradigms and really has nothing more to say than what you get out of it - I like it!
Netbaby 5/23/00 Description:
An online game community..."The user will feel happy during and after taking part in a Netbaby activity. Consistently no Netbaby product will contain sex or violence.
On one hand, today's winner is a shopping site - so if you like to buy dolls and t-shirts on the web, knock yourself out (though they only ship orders in Europe) - but that's not the stuff that wins awards around here. On the other hand, today's Best of the Cool features some of the coolest Shockwave-based games in a community setting and the little pixel art is just great! I like how fast the games load and play - this is a virtual funland and the color, design a slick interface all add to the tasty experience. Besides the games, there's also all types of free downloadables in the "New Media Center" - wallpapers, icons and sounds. All in all, this is a cool escape...
maganda.org 5/14/00 Description:
"it's my obsession, my inspiration, my haven, my playground and, sometimes, the biggest pain in my ass."
I realize this could be a letdown for someone who just returned empty-handed from the big event. But, then again, those with great inner strength and vision seldom let themselves feel let down. "i'll still be the same girl i am now. people might look at me differently, as a winner or loser or a former nominee-- as a web designer or a web producer or a future employee-- but i will still be the same girl. " The point is, today's winner is a truly great personal site and when all that hype's died down and its producer settles down again in her own space, it will still be a truly great personal site. It'll still be the same honest and fresh writing style and the same sensitive, creative person behind it all that shines through and makes the user feel lucky to have encountered it. As far as awards go...they don't really mean that much in the end. Having experienced your personality and having been engaged briefly in what it means to be you are the things that'll bring us all back for more...thanks, christine...and I loved the "behold" thing.
greasefire 5/12/00 Description:
a humble publication living on borrowed time
Today's Best of the Cool winning site is a little corner of creativity that could take off and spread just like its name implies. I like the simple style and narrow window approach - there's a lot of good reading contributed by a number of interesting people, and I personally found it easy to read in this format. The articles cover all kinds of topics - people with cellphones...pitfalls of personal ads...descending into complacency...the art of loafing. There's also a gallery with several excellent presentations of black and white photography plus some illustration and digital art. Add a few free fonts for downloading, and you've got a pretty cool online mag...all I wanna know now is if there's more Velicks than Baldwins...
estetik 5/10/00 Description:
30 days, 30 images. After these thirty days, the new version of estetik will be uploaded, distilled from the work produced. An exercise in productivity and skill.
"Hard deadlines are a new for me" says Peter, who decided that if he could do just one new image per day for 30 days, he would end up with a new version of his site - fresh content and plenty of it. That's not to say that the old version isn't good, because it is. While this new version is being built daily, one image at a time under Peter's new productivity mission, you can still access the old version - my favorite section is the digital art, but he also showcases some sites and graphics in his portfolio, which I guess will all be integrated into the new version when Peter meets his deadline. Though I prefer things to fit in an 800-wide window, it looks like he's on a creative tear and breaking some new ground for himself here - overall, I think we're all gonna like this evolving web space as it continues to develop.
NeedCom 5/9/00 Description:
"market research for panhandlers...uses satire to slip past intellectual defense mechanisms and stereotypes of poverty...to understand our own perceptions of the needy, the worthy, and ourselves"
A non-profit organization called Web Lab produced this site in association with PBS Online (yeah...I know...not your typical independent content producer and they hit you with that annoying "Shop" link that I have so much attitude about). Well, now and then, if the content and design is outstanding enough, I'll overlook some things in the interest of delivering the goods to you. The concept is rather unique - in fact, it seemed ridiculous at first - "Market research for panhandlers." They're actually looking at our perceptions of what poverty is and how we respond to the needy. It's more a study attitudes than anything else and I thought it was quite interesting. Take the survey and see if your attitudes are similar to other users - this site is engaging and thought-provoking - that's why I think it belongs with the Best of the Cool...
e-poets network 5/7/00 Description:
poets, artists, writers, and performers who embrace the electronic media as a venue and home for their art
This well-designed site is for lovers of the spoken word - on the local level, they offer a comprehensive directory of venues in Chicago where aspiring poets can share their works - and on the global level, they represent an ititiative to bring poets together from different areas through videoconferencing. A feature called the "Book of Voices" presents a variety of audiopoetry and it's good stuff! They also provide resources for educators and are affiliated with a number of other poetry sites - this just might be the most comprehensive site of its kind - great work Kurt!
Invisible City Productions 5/5/00 Description:
a collective of artists, writers, game designers, and zine editors, who provide this as a space for the creators of secret media to come together and touch antennae
Today's winner is the type of site that engages the viewer more with original content, concept and attitude than it does with design and sometimes, to the weary websurfer, that's just what the doctor ordered. Supporting what they call "secret media" - low-budget, self published print zines and alternative games for people - not electronic, but real interactive games, they appear to be on a well-focused mission with a sense of community. "It is our belief that people--all people--are inherently creative, and that, too frequently, the process of being "entertained" requires people to relinquish their natural talents, replacing them with passivity and a sense that having fun requires spending money. We are dedicated towards reversing this process. " Thanks, Jeremy!
foreword.com 5/2/00 Description:
personal webspace of a 21 year old who calls himself "the danelope"
"The local news is making an overly-large deal out of the fact that someone is selling Alien Gonzalez's raft via eBay, and bids have now reached over ten million dollars. Only in America..." - I think that entry in danelope's blog is what got my attention and my first question was whether "Alien" was intentional. My second question is how did this guy come up with "the danelope?" Anyway, today's winner is a simple, but well designed personal webspace driven by Perl - I like the color schemes and simple graphics and the honest, personal writing style. "Debriefed" is a journal-type thing and "danelope" is more of a weblog. This is version 3 of Dan's personal webspace (redesigned in February) and he's still putting some finishing touches on it...looking good!
bugbios 5/1/00 Description:
"aims to help you really see insects for the miniature marvels they represent and to understand how intertwined our cultures have become with these alien creatures"
Today's winner is bound to make some of you squeamish (it may even bug you), but it is an excellent example of how information can be presented with style and enhanced with colorful images. As far as information is concerned, the subject matter is thoroughly covered and neatly organized. The cool interface loads fast and gets you around easily. As far as images go, the site provides excellent photographs of the little alien-like subjects in several sizes. Excellent content (if you're interested in these critters) and superb site design - definitely Best of the Cool!