TANGLED WEB: A round-up of what's online and on our minds

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  • Time magazine unfurled it's 2007 top websites listwith a handful of surprises and no-brainers. The pub didn't hide its affinity for online video by giving top 50 nods to Joost and Veoh, and even throwing video search engine blinkx into the top three. On the flipside, though, along with Second Life and eHarmony, 2006 Time darling MySpace somehow landed in the dubious category of "Sites to Avoid," the main reasons being poor page design and an infestation of false profiles and nefarious marketers. While that might offer enough validity to switch sides on the social networking king, raking poor Evite over the coals and adding it to the worst list seems a little harsh, no?
  • Heavy.com returns with more original programming via a partnership with Castrol SYNTEC. This time, the online video content provider is reaching out to the "fast and the furious" circuit with the Heavy Tuning Channel, which features radio personality Funkmaster Flex along with a prime focus on the art of "drifting"--more an auto sport versus a race that entails a controlled high-speed test of lightweight vehicles sliding around a turn to make the most stylized, complex drift possible. Enthusiasts can join Flex in the drifting community, where they'll receive their own MyHeavy drifting profile page that will feature a drifting video locker, which will be automatically updated with content from Castrol. For the hundreds of fans who saw Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, it's familiar territory here. For the rest of us, a welcome introduction.
  • Perrier wants you to show them the content thanks to a new flavorful hub that lets you contribute your own personalized, Perrier-themed portal to the festivities. Click on the site logo, which dons the word "Sexier" instead of "Perrier," and you can view and rate currently uploaded URLs, see top picks, send to friends, and yes, add your own to be looked over by the web audience. Keeping the experience insular, the portal itself locks you in with all the branded, sometimes NSFW content, so if you want to go to what it calls a "non-conforming" site, you must close the window first then venture forth. It's not too much of an inconvenience, though, since many of the sites themselves offer quick fixes of entertainment, whether they be photos or video. Viral in scope, Perrier's latest marketing ploy, along with its fizzy beverages of course, is one we can surely tumble for.
  • To prove that interactive advertising can coexist offline and online, Travelzoo has launched what it purports to be the world's first interactive ad campaign in an airport, specifically McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. Though August, travelers wandering the Concourse C walkway in McCarran can star in their own ad thanks to some immersion technology that will project their image onto a Travelzoo spot beamed on two plasma screens. Concourse D travelers, meanwhile, can entertain themselves with three giant slot machines that'll spin the latest deals when the virtual lever is given a tug. It might not replace your ill will towards an airline when waiting eons for your flight, but you might be better entertained with these ads than at the overprices airport bars and restaurants
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