Best Of My Web 2022

Since I’m stuck at home for at least the next five days due to my positive COVID test yesterday, I’ll likely be scribbling here a bit more than has been the case for most of 2022, just to keep my brain from turning to complete mush, and to keep the clock’s second hand ticking forward productively. Today, I’ll offer my year-end report on the websites that have most amused, entertained, and educated me this year.

Regular readers know that I’ve been online for a long, long, long time, in the relative terms that Internet experience can be measured. This site’s archives extend back to 1995 (before the word “blog” even existed), and I was romping and stomping about in virtual spaces even earlier than that, a digital dinosaur hauling my hunky heft through a primordial dial-up ASCII swamp. With that quarter-century-plus experience in sorting the garbage that spills out of the Interweb’s pipes, I think I’m pretty discerning in plucking the shiniest gems from the stinkiest spew of the ever-more-awful online world, especially in its social media sectors.

With that as introduction, here are the baker’s dozen websites that got the job done for me most enjoyably in 2022. I hope you will give them all a look-see and (where appropriate) a follow, as they’re all worthy of your support and engagement.

  • Aphoristic Album Reviews: I love a good music-nerd list, which is an “a-DUH!” statement for anybody who has read this site for more than two minutes. Aphoristic sits sweet in my current reading pantheon as the work of another list-making fiend, whose tastes overlap with mine regularly, so I feel smart being able to meaningfully respond to his great work.
  • Art & Crit by Eric Wayne: In my experience, there are folks I admire as tremendous artists, and there are folks I admire as tremendous art critics, and the Venn Diagram of those two communities has but a tiny over-lapping sliver. As small as that sliver is, Eric Wayne sits within it, a super creator, and a super analyzer of others’ creations. Great reads, always.
  • Chuck The Writer: Chuck Miller is an online friend from my Albany days, and he is a long-time daily blogger, so you most always have something(s) new to read from him. Chuck has a variety of recurring features on his site, and I have always appreciated his “behind the scenes” stories of the great, prize-winning photography he regularly shares with his readers.
  • Daily Abstract Thoughts: Short, thoughtful reflections from “Orcas Laird,” a native of the British Isles writing from his home on a gorgeous island in Washington State. He has a keen eye for blurring the boundaries between life’s sublime and mundane bits, which has been especially poignant as he has candidly addressed some formidable health challenges this year.
  • Electoral Vote Dot Com: My first choice for insightful analysis of the flailing public freak show we call U.S. Politics. I’ve been reading the site since its inception, when its focus was on aggregating polling before various people named Nate annoyingly cornered that market. It’s since morphed to become quite the interactive community, always enlightening.
  • The Fall Online Forum: While the amazing musical group that originally inspired the creation of this site are no more, (see here), the community built to celebrate them (and countless other topics of interest) churns on, and I’m happy to have it as my current “Serial Monogam-E” site of choice for real-time Internet interaction, other social media be damned to hell.
  • The Guardian U.S. Politics Blog: Electoral Vote Dot Com (mentioned above) publishes once a day, usually when I am having my early morning coffee. The Guardian‘s U.S. Politics Live Blog is the one place I then check throughout the day (Monday to Friday only) for breaking news summaries and analysis of more real-time freak show happenings. That’s all I need.
  • The Haunted Generation: The Haunted Generation deftly explores topics anchored in creepy television-dependent ’70s youth culture in Britain, and their diggings into folk horror and other tropes are outstanding, if you are drawn to the weird. They also offer exceptional coverage of contemporary electronic music, and I’ve found lots of faves in the round-ups there.
  • Messy Nessy Chic: One of the most-interesting sites online, and also one of the prettiest. Nessy’s every-Monday “13 Things I Found on the Internet” series is a weekly highlight for me, and the team’s articles throughout the week are almost always interesting, educational, and visually sumptuous. A fine creative and commercial aesthetic here, worthy of emulation.
  • Ramblin’ With Roger: Another friend from Albany days, Roger Owen Green is another super-long-time daily blogger of refined tastes and interests. Roger brings his formidable librarian skills to organizing and implementing his site, and I always appreciate his insightful takes on art, culture, history, relationships and more, be they big topics or small.
  • Strange Maps: Among my more nerdy pursuits (which is really saying something) is a life-long passion for maps and map-making. Strange Maps routinely presents fascinating examples of a cartographic persuasion, defining “maps” in the broad sense of that word, covering everything from ancient manuscripts up through modern data analytics. Smart and fun.
  • Vinyl Connection: Another deep music geek site, this one from the Antipodes. I’ve particularly enjoyed the year-long explorations into the greatness of a half-century past, with this year’s “72 Best Albums of 1972” serial being particularly grand. He’s down to the Top Five at this point, so get over there and get caught up so you can enjoy the big year-end reveal.
  • Vinyl Distractions: Carl Johnson is another long-time web connection from Albany days, and I have enjoyed his My Non/Now-Urban Life and Hoxsie! websites over the years. His current primary offering is basically an online tribute to his record collection, and, of course, that tickles me to no end, both in terms of what he owns, and how he writes about it.

I wrap this post with a remembrance/reminder of what I consider to be the very best writing-oriented site in the long, dank history of the web: Thoughts on the Dead. Its creator, Rick Harris, died of cancer in April 2021, way too young, leaving his website behind as an epic example of how fine writing can build worlds, and communities. He was a true once-in-a-lifetime genius. More thoughts (or “Thoughts”) on Rick and his TotD (including the best novel you’ve never heard of),  here, if you missed them when I first posted them. If you’re ever looking to kill some time in a fun and interesting fashion and your regular-choice websites aren’t doing for you, there’s always the TotD archives out there to put a smile on your face and a song in your heart and some potato salad in your pants. I miss him!

And, of course, there’s always this nonsense, if you really get desperate . . .

8 thoughts on “Best Of My Web 2022

  1. Pingback: Dec. rambling: Guiding Principles – Ramblin’ with Roger

  2. Pingback: What’s Up in the Neighborhood, December 10 2022 – Chuck The Writer

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