Feeling ranty? Reveling in the salacious and sophomoric, daily marketing blog AdRants never fails to amuse. Recent entries touch on women's anatomy in Toyota spots, the Pepto-Bismol elves' digestion problems and Crispin, Porter & Bogusky conspiracy theories. But alongside the prurient and puerile is more serious-minded news about campaigns, account wins, people moves, trends and other business odds and ends.
2. Drudge Report
Love it or hate it, the Drudge Report demands a permanent home. Usually the first to link to the biggest stories of the day, Drudge and his minions are still able to scoop mainstream media. Politics, pop culture, media, all things Michael Jackson and a fascination with hurricanes, volcanoes and earthquakes that would shame the Book of Revelations. And our hearts still skip a beat when we see the flashing Drudge siren atop the site.
3. Gawker Media
gawker.com, wonkette.com, defamer.com, gizmondo.com, fleshbot.com, jalopnik.com, kotaku.com, screenhead.com, kinja.com
Blog central. Publisher Nick Denton is not only a blog pioneer, he's become sort of a blog mentor. This year he posted three new blogs that are cleverly written fronts for ads and called for ethical standards for bloggers. Plus, his Gawker Media gets tons of free ink from traditional rags.
4. Google News
With its characteristic elegance and unwavering faith in the power of technology, the Google News service compiles stories solely by computer algorithms without human intervention. This makes for odd groupings and weird lead-story choices. But it's always comprehensive and up to the minute. Information is culled from 4,500 news sources worldwide and is arranged with most recent events first.
Don't quite know where to start with your blog reading? University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds' site might be a good place. Does have a bit of a rightward tilt (via a libertarian perspective), but his readers weren't among those shell-shocked by the recent election. They say in the blogosphere that there are thinkers and linkers. Reynolds, by being a bit of both, has become almost a one-person blogosphere portal.
6. Internet Movie Database
Has wondering if you saw Jann Wenner on a late '80s cop show been keeping you up at night? Check out the Internet Movie Database, aka IMDb, the best place to suss out all things movie and TV. With entries on over 200,000 movie and TV titles, 400,000 actors and 40,000 directors, this addictive site not only answers nagging questions, but also keeps you current on all things Hollywood.
Find out what you think about everything. Metacritic compiles all the reviews available online for films, videos and DVDs, music and games. Every offering is rated by the "Critic's" unique scoring method, which is too complex to describe here. Comprehensive and cool. Wins extra points for having 1980s cult classic, "Repo Man." Ah, those glowing weenie-shaped aliens. Need we say more?
8. The Smoking Gun
The Smoking Gun is the Freedom of Information Act with no alter ego. Under the Act, site editors request-and receive-any government and law-enforcement document they damn well want. Then they post it just for ha-ha's. Recent offerings include a roster of mug shots of rich and famous folks, and the police file of the Florida middle-school teacher accused of having sex with her 14-year-old male student.
Big, leather-bound encyclopedias are so 20th century. With Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia, viewers can peruse over 415,000 entries in 50 languages on a comprehensive range of subjects. But what makes Wikipedia unique is that it's an organic and interactive project that encourages users to edit and contribute, not only keeping entries current, but allowing one to help write history.
Politics. News. Media. How about just buying stuff at insanely low prices? Woot offers consumer electronics at very deep discounts-from $1,000 laptops to $45 printers to the always mysterious $5 Bag O Crap. The catch? They sell one item a day. Orders start at 11:59 p.m. Central Time and once they sell out, that's all she wrote, folks. Cheeky and cheap, it's a different kind of shopping.