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HOME: MARCH 8, 2002: SCREENS
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SXSW 2002 Web Awards

And the winners are ...

BY MICHAEL CONNOR



From Teddy (www.ep.tc) with love


Animation/Cartoon

www.deepfriedlive.com

On Deep Fried Live, an accident-prone animated octopus offers excellent cookie-baking tips while trying to sell you kitchen appliances.


Art/Culture

thinkcollective.org

Each day, Thinkcollective publishes a different project in its online journal, ranging from audio to animation to photography to design, and incorporating found elements into a conceptual framework. The images and sounds are lost fragments, daily accreting on the Web, each part containing the pattern of the whole. Thinkcollective should be experienced the way it is constructed: over time, with each day's entry building on the memory of the entry from the day before.


Content/E-zine

www.burningword.com

According to its creators, this site was created by "stretching a long string and cup between each of our writers and contributors." And by getting them to submit short stories, essays, and poems. Burning Word ain't no Saturday Evening Post, though -- users freely support, criticize, and debate the site's content. It's not just a magazine, it's an online community of interesting, opinionated people.


Developer's Resource

www.ultrashock.com/ultraintro4

As you might guess from the name, Ultrashock is all 'bout some Web presence. The site connects Web developers with technical information and resources, and showcases work by different featured designers. In the midst of a Flash backlash, with more scaled-down and faster-loading Web sites continuing to become more common, Ultrashock still features splashy, high-action graphics that'll definitely put that 56k modem to the test.


Film/Industry & Best of Show

www.tongsville.com/city/index.html

The poor folks of Tongsville, all 666 of them, have a real tourist problem. They're overrun by a steady stream of virtual visitors -- mostly unsavory characters, slouchy, sadistic, drug-addled twentysomethings, drawn by the vibrant art scene and a good movie theatre. Fortunately, that's exactly the type of people the town's founders had in mind.


Green/Nonprofit

www.northpole2002.com

Ben Saunders, a 24-year-old from the UK, plans to travel by foot from Russia to the North Pole to raise money for cancer research. Check the site to track his progress and scope out some Arctic beauty from the comfort of your cubicle.


Grrl Site

www.whatsherface.com

Whatsherface.com is a place for teenage girls (and the occasional conflicted middle-aged man posing as a teenage girl) to share their most embarrassing moments, secret crushes, and fashion tips on a commercial site that's free from the usual plague of celebrities and models.


Humor/Satire

www.unpluggedtv.com

Unplugged TV is nothing if not ambitious. Modeled after Heavy.com and, well, television, Unplugged TV features shows like "I Wanna Know," which answers the important questions, like "Where's all the porn?" and "What's up with Mr. T?"


Music Industry

www.lostrock.com

The idea behind Lostrock.com is simple: Market your own damn music. Created by Austin resident Tim Ziegler, the site tells you how to promote your band, get gigs, become a rock star, and achieve nirvana in this lifetime. Hey, it worked for Shaquille O'Neal.


Musical Artist/Band

www.utahcarol.com

The aesthetic of Utah Carol draws heavily from the American West, but they're not afraid to be cute, too. The site incorporates road trip photos, indie/cowboy music, and videos by Eun-ha Paek, whose work is sad and sweet, and seems ready to fade out of existence at any moment like an unremembered dream.


Online Educational Resource

www.moma.org/whatisaprint

First the pop-up book, then the Speak & Spell, and now this. Interactive learning is fun! Thank you, MOMA.


Online Games

www.aliveis.com

Aliveis.com is the Web site for Alive, the "still chuggable fruit drink"! Aliveis.com is an online arcade, a pop-splosion in neon! Aliveis.com is a registered trademark of Coca-Cola Britain© corporation!


Video Content

i-witnessonline.com

I-witness, a locally created program, uses reality TV-gone-haywire as a premise for a murder, which in turn serves as a premise for a whodunit. The site is set up to grant you the near-omniscience of a Hercule Poirot -- if not his powers of deduction, or moustache.


Personal/Online Diary

www.cheshiredave.com/mastication

Cheshire Dave is a 32-year-old guy from Emeryville, Calif. His weekly Web journal, Mastication Is Normal, is intelligent, sincere, and self-effacing. Dave writes reflective essays about society, culture, and his volunteer work with illiterate inmates, but flippantly describes the site as a "haven for the semicolons of the world." And, apparently, for the good writing of the world.


Redesign/Relaunch

www.bornmagazine.org

Born magazine pairs artists with writers to create collaborative works that are both visual and literary. The projects attempt to forge past old modes of illustration, defining the new relationship between viewer, story, and image that is possible on the Web.


Services

www.creatas.com

Now that the golden age of Napster is over and copyright issues online are getting more tangled than the Gordian knot, resources like Creatas are more important than ever. The site is a searchable database of royalty-free photography, illustration, and footage. If you just gotta have a photo of two rhinos kissing for your next album cover, this is the best place on the Net to find one.


Streaming Audio/Radio

www.looplabs.com

Internet radio is dead. Long live LoopLabs. The site makes you the DJ -- it gives you looped electronic samples, and you can mix, record, and then listen to your own audio tracks.


Student

www.ry-guy.com

Ryan Terry's personal home page is designed to look like a city street corner. By clicking on different parts of the scene you can watch movies, look at artwork, or make aliens fall from the sky -- not the real sky, just the one on the Web page.


Weblog

www.dollarshort.org

Take the A/V Club's Pathetic Geek Stories and ramp up the pathos, and you'll have Dollarshort. This blog is a therapeutic platform for creator Mena G. Trott to recount stories from her childhood, tales of Lite Brite® misuse and loserdom. "The whole premise of this site is that I never win anything," said site creator Mena G. Trott while accepting her Earl Award Sunday night. "I guess now I'll have to rethink some things."


Weird/Extreme

www.ep.tc

Teddy, why do you torture yourself over her? She's not the one who's tearing you apart -- you're tearing yourself apart! You're just using her as a scapegoat. If only you were a person and not a 1930s-style comic strip character living in a world of torment and Web-safe color, I'd try and talk some sense into you.


Popular Choice

www.deviantart.com

Deviantart is one of those semi-scary underground art/programming groups that releases art packs with customized viewing software on a regular basis. Unlike most of these scene-specific sites, Deviantart is subscription-based, and it accepts submissions from the general (goth) public.www.ep.tc

 
FURTHER READING
Keywords
for this story
Unplugged TV
Deep Fried Live
Thinkcollective
Burningwood.com
Ultrashock.com
www.tongsville.com
Ben Saunders
Whatsherface.com
Ryan Terry
Dollarshort.org
Mena G.Trott
Deviantart

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