Your Seven Wonders of the Web December 28, 2001 5:26 PM   Subscribe

In light of the Guardian's Seven Wonders of the Web (though more importantly because it would be very interesting) would it be possible to ask Matt and some of Metafilter's most active members to share here in Metatalk what their selections would have been? (I assume its ok to ask and this is an appropriate post ?)
posted by Voyageman to General Weblog-Related at 5:26 PM (29 comments total)

Correction: Metatalk's most active members. Sorry.
posted by Voyageman at 5:32 PM on December 28, 2001


I agree with others that mentioned web.archive.org as a web staple. Just the other day, it helped me get an incredible QTVR movie that was completely 404 otherwise.


posted by machaus at 5:43 PM on December 28, 2001


I hate to say it but AOL.com & it's subsites is/are one of the seven biggest draws on the net.
posted by riffola at 6:05 PM on December 28, 2001


'Metafilter's most active members'

That's an odd restriction, I don't think that I qualify. Oh well, maybe next time.
posted by RobertLoch at 8:47 PM on December 28, 2001


AP Breaking News. I probably hit it a hundred times a day, news junkie that I am. Nothing earth-shattering in the site itself, but near-up-to-the-minute news at my fingertips makes me quiver with ecstasy.

IMDB. Who hasn't looked there?

The Oracle of Bacon at Virginia. Still looking for anything over a 7. And the sheer logistics of the query structure that must lie beneath it boggle my mind.

(Do I qualify as active? If not, disregard.)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:05 PM on December 28, 2001


I'll play anyway, as I think that this has the potential to be a very good thread, and thumbs up to Voyage for starting it. There are a few on this list that probably warrant a mention. For instance, although an I am very ignorant when it comes to art, I find The Artcyclopedia absolutely incredible.
posted by RobertLoch at 9:12 PM on December 28, 2001


I second the IMDB shout out. I check it nearly daily.
posted by ColdChef at 10:26 PM on December 28, 2001


How bout that bunny with the sundry food items precariously perched atop his noggin? That beats a bunch of film listings any day.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:28 PM on December 28, 2001


But yeh, IMDB is where it's at daddyo.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:29 PM on December 28, 2001


The Oracle says: Rondo Hatton has a Bacon number of 3.
Rondo Hatton was in Princess and the Pirate, The (1944) with Bob Hope
Bob Hope was in Muppet Movie, The (1979) with Steve Martin
Steve Martin was in Novocaine (2001) with Kevin Bacon


Maybe not the most useful site in the world and perhaps not high on many's lists in terms of popularity, But i was amazed that Rondo Hatton was even in the database. I'd call it a wonder.


posted by bragadocchio at 10:37 PM on December 28, 2001


I find myself drawn to eBay, not for purchases but as an info resource for obscure items. I've been surprised at the amount of knowledge available via eBay.

Yahoo might have been one of the firsts, but Google currently reigns #1 in my book, especially with the added DejaNews content.

I'm sure these will change with technology and as my interests change over time.

And if it weren't for Bablefish, I couldn't enjoy Miguels Weblog.
posted by DBAPaul at 10:54 PM on December 28, 2001


well, at least it's a utility to me so it may not qualify as a true "wonder" but istockphoto is all that and a bag of nachos. as far as fuel for designers who work on the cheap and can't affort decent stock photos it's a freaking lifesaver. i mean, free stock photos and code snippets for christ's sakes! i use it at least three times a week.

now blogdex... that's a wonder.
posted by boogah at 11:05 PM on December 28, 2001


Ed Roland has a Kevin Bacon number of infinity.
posted by riffola at 11:51 PM on December 28, 2001


At first I was excited, riffola, thinking you had broken the oracle, but Ed Roland hasn't been in any theatrical features, so of course he won't work, any more than I would. Blast!

I think we could mention the AMG in the same breath as the IMDB. I check both constantly.
posted by D at 9:30 AM on December 29, 2001


The Wayback Machine.
posted by Mack Twain at 10:43 AM on December 29, 2001


Honorable Mentions:

theonion.com - this went from a midwest college/bar rag to an international comedic staple. Take that Harvard Lampoon!

I'm gonna kick myself for picking this but fark.com is the place to get your juvenile web fix.

gmtplus9 Want eye candy? I do! Andrew's ability to find all this stuff on a daily basis is a minor miracle.

rottentomatoes.com - I love this place. A least a dozen reviews per movie, which really makes you realize how subjective reviews are but its a great place to make a slightly informed decision on what you're going to spend 8 bucks and 2.5 hours of your life on.

slashdot - This is definitely a wonder. A once small site consisting of semi-literate geeks is now the hub for tech news and the starting point for linux advocacy. The signal to noise ratio is pretty bad, but thats what moderation is for.

rotten.com - no 18 or over opening page, just a collection of disgusting photos. Where else can someone get to see what a dead soldier really looks like, a botched suicide, a real gunshot wound, etc? Its also a wonder that its stayed up this long with no banner advertising or pay-per-view gimmicks.

Might as well toss in metafilter :)

posted by skallas at 11:43 AM on December 29, 2001


RefDesk. I'm always amazed at the resources I find there.

Yeah, Google's great, but FAST Search ain't half-bad, itself. I use it for reference work at the library more than Google, just because it's a little faster, but now that I installed the Google toolbar on the computers there...
posted by arco at 12:33 PM on December 29, 2001


Nanook has a Kevin Bacon number of infinity and has been in a theatrical release.
posted by riffola at 4:37 PM on December 29, 2001


William K. L. Dickson, James C. Duncan, Fred C. Devonald, & Mrs. George Albert Smith also have a Kevin Bacon number of infinity and have been in theatrical releases.

I think it would more fun finding someone with a Bacon number 8 or higher but not infinity.
posted by riffola at 4:50 PM on December 29, 2001


As the original poster of The Guardian list I feel a bit sheepish about not sharing my thoughts so here is my personal seven:

The Guardian Unlimited site itself is pretty amazing, posting as they do most of the content from a day's paper on that day.

Totally bias, but I do love what Anna Kiss is doing with the weblog medium. This is a personal weblog based on senses and perception rather than a bald description what she did that day. She's presently writing about her pregnancy and how she feels about the baby. I never read another weblog which touches so many nerves.

I'm surprise no one has mentioned Babelfish yet. Yes the translations can be a bit clunky, but the essential essence of the words can always be found.

Outpost Gallifrey as a (now not so) closet Doctor Who fan I'm amazed this site exists. Its a repository for everything Doctor Who, the place the keepers of the franchise go to for comfort. Main points include an ongoing Q&A with authors which works like a message board; a news section which actually scoops the BBC's own site; and a chronology of the programme which all of the writers cross reference themselves.

And friendsreunited were my entire class register from school is slowly appearing. A sneeky way of finding out how successful you've been in comparisson to your peers without having to go to a reunion. One girl I used to fancy's entry now simply reads 'Working in Sweden' -- intriguing.

ArtsJournal is the ultimate single subject weblog linking on a daily basis to on average about twenty-five stories a day. So much to read so little time...

And finally TV Cream, an archive of British Television from the past. The web equivalent of the late night pub conversation which goes something like ... 'You remember Bagpuss' 'Yeah' 'What was that wooden bird called?'
posted by feelinglistless at 5:00 PM on December 29, 2001




Aah, pants. I can't beat the Oracle with any of my favorite obscure actors. The best I've gotten is a three – a lame attempt, granted.

Yet I'm somehow happy I got it to say, "Candy Samples has a Tom Mix number of 3."
posted by D at 6:59 PM on December 29, 2001


I dunno about the status of "Seven wonders", but I find it hard to function long without quick access to the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection. It's often topical, agenda-free, cost-free, and just plain useful.
posted by kokogiak at 1:37 AM on December 30, 2001


I'm all over Dictionary.com and the W3C. Xrefer is cool too.
posted by gleemax at 12:51 PM on December 30, 2001


allmusic.com rocks my world. I understand it's an online version of a printed book of some sort (?) but I can't imagine all the info at allmusic being nearly as disgestible without hypertext. So much information there. You can hang around in grotty little record shops and listen surreptitiously to the conversations of the hipper-than-thou, appropriating their distinctions and judgments to pass off as your own... or you can hit allmusic and become an expert on your band/genre/label of choice *without* being sneered at by green-haired kids with facial piercings. Love it.
posted by Sapphireblue at 9:28 AM on December 31, 2001


I have a love-hate relationship with allmusic. They do a great job of covering a vast amount of material. On the other hand, their coverage is so wildly variable in quality as to make me want to scream sometimes. Missing albums, totally wrong details, inexplicably missing details, arbirary ratings, doofus reviewers (I found at least one place where the artist was giving 5-star reviews to his own material under another name). They need some attention quality control so badly. I would never trust a piece of information I got from allmusic unless I know the reviewer (always trust Richie Unterberger) or could corroborate it somewhere else.

I recognize QA for a site that huge must be a bitch, I'm just sayin'.

(My loss of faith actually started with that first printed edition, which completely overlooked Anton Webern, one of the two or three most influential composers of the last century.)
posted by rodii at 9:59 AM on December 31, 2001


Of course you mean Andrew Lloyd Weber. But we know what you meant, Rodii.
posted by Skot at 10:10 AM on December 31, 2001


I find that allmusic's star ratings are often at odds with the reviews themselves. So you have 2-star albums with praise lavished upon them, etc. Nonetheless, if just for the hyperlinking of music data, they're a great resource.

Anyone ever use their allfilm guide thang? May have a look at that...
posted by D at 11:42 AM on December 31, 2001


Andrew Lloyd Weber...the greatest composer of this third of any century!

sorry, it's an old in-joke.

One of my nominations for "wonders of the web" would be the aggregate of all the tutorials, scripts, forums, etc. for web dev/design. Sort of like Blogger - the medium brings in its own creators.

personal faves: the PHP site, JavaScript.com, the O'Reilly sites, and even the slightly antiquated Webmonkey.

I absolutely would not be where I am today without these kinds of web creation resources - and I think a lot of other people could say the same.
posted by epersonae at 11:47 AM on December 31, 2001


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