Here’s my annual internet stocking stuffed with what’s trendy, newsworthy and just plain fun in web content. Get ready for hours of viewing, listening and reading/linking pleasure! Bookmark this page for future reference. Happy Holidaze!
1. Top Web Video Spot
The web story of the year is YouTube, hands down. Its limitless potential and example of viral, user-contributed content garned $1.65 billion (gulp) when it was gobbled up by Google. For the uninitiated, here’s a brief sampler of its deep wells of self-broadcasts and bootlegs.
- The popular: Diet Coke and Mentos, 2356 days, and two chinese students.
- A couple favorites: the mysterious bedroom guitar virtuoso (whose identity was tracked down by the NYTimes) and Free Hugs.
- Mashups of old and new: Original Uprock and 8 1/2 mile.
- Great moments in television: George Harrison and Paul Simon on SNL and Lennon on Mike Douglas.
2. Top Example of How Big Media Works (or Doesn’t)
Here’s how the major networks covered the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner, and here’s the scathing (and one would think newsworthy) 20-minute Stephen Colbert roast that was not reported or mentioned anywhere by big media. Just another reason why you should support “Net Neutrality”, Free Press, Media Matters or your local NPR station.
3. Top Viral Marketing Campaign – US
Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty featured this Evolution film, which exposes the fashion industry secret that beauty really is skin deep. (More on the campaign here). If immitation is the highest form of flattery, then this campaign was well received… see parody here.
4. Top Viral Marketing Campaign – UK
This Sony Bravia commercial, which ran only in the UK, spread across the pond due to its visual vivacity and viral components, spawning spin-offs and parodies as well. (More viewing options here.)
5. Top How-Not-To-Brand Lesson
Speaking of parody, here’s a funny homemade video that answers the burning question: What if Microsoft designed the iPod?
7. Top Web Mashups
“Hey, you got peanut butter in my chocolate!” Reeces may have invented the mashup in the real world, but here’s what happens when you move that concept to the web and combine publicly available data with open-architecture web apps (Web 2.0):
- Housing Maps = Craig’s List + Google Maps
- Earthquakes in the Last Week = Earthquake data + Google Maps
- Floodmaps = Topographic and sea-level data + Google Maps
- The Hockneyizer = combines my Flickr photo + jd’s Flickr toys = this automatic collage.
- More Flickr Toys
- Many more mashups at Programmable Web.
8. Top Web Radio Streams
Streaming radio is all around. Here are two at the top of my iTunes list. For the holidays: listen in on Xmas in Frisko, a slightly alternative Christmas playlist. For the rest of the year: dial up David Byrne Radio, it’s like having a really hip friend spinning records on your command. Or if you’re just looking for a quick work break, bookmark NPR’s Song of the Day to stay tuned in.
9. Top Full-Album Streams
iTunes (and others) reshaped the music industry, and now you can shop, sample and stream all over the web. Some favorite newcomers in 2006: Lupe Fiasco (plus video) and Cat Power. And some old favorites with streaming projects: Neil Young’s annotated Living With War is a full-album stream with ongoing news and related links, Paul Simon’s Surprise offers full streams of about half the album.
10. Top Hollywood Blogger Toppling the Tabloids
The 4-million-hits-a-day, sleazy celebrity blog, PerezHilton.com, is beating the tabloids at their own game and creating a controversy and lawsuit in the process by posting tabloid photos and adding crude comments and rough pencil sketches in the name of satire, similar to other wildly popular blogs in the genre Pink is the New Blog and the tamer by comparison Go Fug Yourself. (Hey, I don’t write ’em I just report on ’em.)
Count Your Blessings Bonus: The Global Rich List.
Bunny Bonus: Not to worry, here is the latest Bunny parody, Christmas Vacation in 30 Seconds Re-enacted by Bunnies! For past bunny classics, explore the archives below.