Top 10 Essential Websites recently released a list of the top 10 websites we can’t live without. And they are:

1) Wikipedia
2) Yahoo! Finance
3) Craigslist
5) Yelp
6) Facebook
7) Digg
8) Google
9) TMZ
10) Flickr

Of the ten, I regularly use only two (Google, Facebook), and sporadically use a handful of others (Wikipedia, Craigslist, ESPN, Flickr). I have no need to use Yahoo! Finance, never heard of Yelp or TMZ, and don’t understand Digg.

As for my list, I would keep Google and Facebook, and add others. My list would look more like this:

1. Gmail (obvious email reasons, plus not-so-obvious Google Chat reasons)
2. CBS Sportsline (more user-friendly than ESPN, though I have been turned off lately by their journalistic qualities, or lack thereof)
3. Yahoo! Fantasy Sports
4. Christian/Evangelical/Reformed blogs (Challies, Between Two Worlds, Ligonier, Pyromaniacs, etc…they are great for keeping abreast of current issues and trends in the Christian sphere)
5. Facebook (not as addicted as I used to be, but still a staple in my routine)
6. Amazon (great book/music/store resource…though I prefer to get my books from the Westminster Bookstore)
7. Pandora “Radio” (for when I forget my iPod at work)
8. Bible Gateway (for when I forget my Bible at work)
9. White Horse Inn/Ligonier Ministries (for excellent WHI and R.C. Sproul podcasts)
10. Google

You might notice that news sites are conspicuously missing from my list. This is mainly because I don’t particularly like news, especially news from American media (including the local Virginian-Pilot, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, etc.; local is typically worse than national). When I do look for news and have time to visit several sites, I usually go with a combination of BBC, The Guardian, Al-Jazeera English, The Drudge Report, and the New York Times or Washington Post. I’ll sometimes check headlines at MSNBC and CNN, too, just to see what the U.S.-centric media are talking about. I like to try to get a good mix of perspectives with news, and in order to get a decent update on international affairs especially, you have to go outside the American media. I smell a post coming on news media in general, especially because I’m more fired up than usual about it after my Global Media & Culture class.

I’d be interested to hear/read what sites are popular with you. A top 10 list isn’t necessary if you don’t want to, but it does score bonus points.

PS. As an aside, I just noticed that this is my 100th post! Woohoo!


7 thoughts on “Top 10 Essential Websites

  1. Congratulations, my prolific writer of a husband! I hope one day to match your journalistic skill and blazing intellect. How lucky I am to have such an internet-famous hubby – how many hits are you up to??BTW, the post itself was pretty good, too.

  2. I try to make “All Things Shomo” a one-stop website for all necessary and important information. It even has a link to this blog. So, why visit anywhere else?

  3. I’m not going to list my “Top 10 essential websites”, instead I will give you the 10 most visited websites as reported to me by my internet browser…1.) Gmail2.) Yahoo! Sports Fantasy3.) FOXSports4.) USMNT Blog5.) Guardian (Rumour Mill)6.) Rush Limbaugh (Stack of Stuff)7.) isoHunt8.) Apple Developer Connection9.) Big Soccer10.) Hokie HavenThose were the most visited web pages by me in the last 19 months. I do want to take issue with your claim that you are getting a good mix of perspectives by frequenting: BBC, The Guardian, Al-Jazeera English, The Drudge Report, and the New York Times or Washington Post. All of those (save Drudge since it’s a compiler of news links and only rarely does he put up original articles) have the same platform/spin on news. They utilize the “Drive By Media” technique…in which they just regurgitate stories written by the overly biased AP…except for Al-Jazeera…I may have lost respect for you on that one…yep…I have.

  4. Upon review, none of the “top” stories on the BBC homepage were from the AP. The AP is an American organization not used by most foreign media, British media included. Further, the British media model (and the non-American media model in general) is that of “public service,” which means a different way of reporting, agenda setting, etc. The American model is dominated by corporate conglomerates (i.e. Rupert Murdoch).I don’t necessarily “like” or agree with those news sites, but my point was that in order to get a more informed perspective, one usually has to go outside US media. As regards Al-Jazeera (english), I don’t agree with their perspective, but since a large amount of the non-Western world gets their news from Al-Jazeera, it’s probably a good idea to know what they are seeing, how they are saying it, and what their perspectives are on a lot of issues never mentioned in American media. Demonizing them promotes ignorance, which promotes poor policy decisions.”Media objectivity” is 100% an American construction, and almost no other country strives for it. It’s also almost a 100% fabrication/idealization, especially in America. Newspapers in Britain for example endorse specific party lines or candidates. It’s widely accepted that certain media has certain biases.

  5. –This is fun…(I forgot Google, since I use the Google toolbar it didn’t show up in my “page’s visited” list)First, I didn’t mean to imply that the other large media outlets reprint the AP stories. What I meant was that they all tend to use the same format, wording, and bias that shows up in the AP stories, as AP is typically the source of information for them. Second, I’m not sure that it matters if a paper admits to their bias as the British may do or tries to hide their bias as American media attempts to…the real problem is that typical Americans don’t understand the difference and regard their news sources as neutral and are therefore easily duped.Third, I don’t think that if you don’t read Al Jazeera your ignorant. While it may be interesting to I think that people that force themselves (which I imagine is what you have to do) to read things that so strongly conflict with their own beliefs and ideals are setting themselves up for personal conflicts. It is the same as a Christian person reading books on new age enlightenment…like “The Secret”, all your doing is upsetting yourself. The danger lies in the fact that you will start to have an affinity for their rhetoric. When I was in California I read the LA Times religiously even though I disagreed with the stories that were printed in it. After a year however I found myself defending things that were said in the daily release.And lastly, the article that I sent you earlier this week defines my views on why I don’t think we should use the views of those outside our country to dictate our policy…whether you believe that to be ignorant or not.

  6. Good insights. As far as bias goes, I agree – it doesn’t matter about admitting bias, which makes the problem not 100% with the media (though there is much room for improvement). A great deal of burden should be on the media consumers to be more educated about media, media bias, etc. It’s shameful how ignorant Americans are when it comes to news media. I’d support a trend in universities to have mandatory senior classes on media consumption, though the universities these days are so liberal as it is…As far as Al-Jazeera and things that are contrary to one’s beliefs, I appreciate your view, and definitely agree that one should be very careful and discerning not only with content, but frequency of access to content. I typically don’t defend Al-Jazeera’s views, and rarely read it even once a week. The personal conflict is huge, especially as Christians. Even with “smaller” things like watching movies, it’s important to be discerning. Interesting anecdote about the LA Times. As far as media goes in Hampton Roads, I read the Virginian-Pilot everyday, and find myself getting more and more annoyed, fed-up, and frustrated by their coverage. If I didn’t have to read it for work, I wouldn’t read it at all.Can you send me that link again to the article.Thanks for playing.Joel


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