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Noteworthy Discontinued Webzines

While I realize the subject line for this post is haiku-like, I write to point to Anna Wiener, and her new article in the online version of The Atlantic titled, “The Best Magazine on the Early Web.”  The piece is a chronicle of Suck, published in the latter half of the 1990’s, which Wiener asserts “Among digital-media pundits and amateur web historians, Suck is regularly credited as the progenitor of a certain style of Internet writing: fast-paced, snarky, and merrily irreverent; simultaneously condescending and self-deprecating.” I can remember reading Suck, and Ms. Wiener’s essay identifies the key writers behind the magazine, and a number of it’s more memorable pieces (as well as asking the question, could such a publication exist today?) While the Internet is, of course, ethereal, and, in that, we think of web-based publications as frogs riding leaves down a fast flowing river to deserved oblivion, this article gave me pause to remember to other noteworthy Internet publications that have ceased being published…or for accuracy’s sake, updated.  These two endeavors both have “legacy” sites that one can still peruse:

  • Read Rock Eater News Service Like Suck, this was a publication that was active in the latter 1990’s and featured articles on how the Internet (circa 1990’s) was changing politics, on higher education, on design, on social justice, and frequently the RRE‘s creator, Phillip Agre, would publish lengthy bibliographies of print and web based publications on topics that interested him.  Mr. Agre left university life and the RRE early in this century, but many of the pieces still ring true today.  He had a sharp eye, he was a lucid writer.  RRE articles came as e-mail messages and their arrival was always cause to pause, and read.
  • The Dish The blog written up until about two years ago by Andrew Sullivan is still up, just as he left it, after discontinuing the venture for health reasons.  I was a card carrying (and subscription paying) Dish-head, so I cannot give an unbiased appraisal of what Sullivan accomplished (I hope someone somewhere is trying), but I loved one commentator’s quote which went along the lines of “The Dish is exhilarating and infuriating and often both before lunch.”   A title for a newspaper piece on The Dish was “Andrew Sullivan Tries to Read the Internet,” and his reading of the Internet is often brilliant and is still worth a look–spend some time simply scrolling through this old blog, it’s worth it.

As we curl up for Spring Break here at SLU, leisure time reading with Internet back issues?



~ by pdoty on .

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