Five Of My Favourite Sites
I started this blog with the sole intention of discussing books, largely my own, but it clearly wasn’t meant to be. I wasn’t keen on the idea of too much navel-gazing and I don’t get enough work published or broadcast to fill a daily blog. Besides, there are too many other things in which I’m interested. As the scope expanded, I kept running across blogs working in parallel to mine, run by like-minded people.
One of the problems of keeping up with sites and blogs is their sheer proliferation. Yet it seems a hardcore of old favourites, like The Greenwich Phantom, Dark Roasted Blend and The Great Wen continue to produce high quality writing week in, week out. Unlike many of our national newspapers. I’m a novelist inefficiently running a site around the edges of my day, but there are now well-financed sites of experts genuinely challenging newspapers, which are cutting costs by adding larger photographs, more speculative ‘soft’ features and less investigative reporting. And of course, the internet means you never have to stumble across hate-mongering Daily Mail hacks, or anyone as unpleasant as Jan Moir or AA Gill.
Here are five sites I check our regularly.
Still a firm favourite is Matt Brown’s wonderful ‘The Londonist‘, which has now expanded to include podcasts and a great many contributors. It’s hard not to step on Matt’s toes and run the same thing some days.
From New York I really enjoy RadioLab, which is probably the closest NYC has to Radio Four, although its scope is tighter, being centred around science and the human mind/body. It has the funding to go out and find all sorts of curious stories, then get experts to annotate and explain them.
If you ever want to feel depressed about where you live or how your home looks, don’t visit The Cool Hunter here as you’ll want to give up. Most style sites are unbearably boring, but this often features genuinely innovative ideas about your own surroundings that you can nick.
Forget movie magazines, they’re so last century – all the best writing is on film blogs, and MovieMoron is frequently on the money about the films it tackles. Sites like these are are two-a-penny, yet nearly every single one of them is better than Empire magazine, or ‘Studio Bitch’, as it’s known in the industry, which charges four quid an issue for fawning reviews, advertorials and ads aimed at undemanding multiplexers. But it has one decent page – Kim Newman’s weird video roundup.
Anyone with a WordPress account can run a blog, but how many get as angry or enthusiastic as Mike Cane? He’s completely East Ham* of course, but informed, passionate and fighty on a whole range of topics here.
*One stop short of Barking.