I don’t know that I agree with all of this. But it’s close—consider this a placeholder for a wealth of links on this topic.
A large site that you can initially discover in a few minutes, but which can be enormous or impossible to truly ingest.
Defunct blog (2009-2014) full of the loveliest sorts of animal illustrations.
Yes, there are a great many cat pages on the Internet. But this is the one for me. There are also ‘Vintage Dressed Dog Graphics’ and cat legends and folklore. There is simply nothing else that other cat sites can give you.
A fictocryptic institution in Portland, OR. In so many cities were I’ve lived, there have been junk art houses, clear plastic multi-story teepees or underground Catholic or Mormon museums. Let this link represent them for now. (In fact, the curator has a guide for starting your own museum. And, oh yeah, list of ‘sympathetic’ institutions.)
My 2018 interview with Jim Stewart of The Museum is here.
This is a placeholder for all things glistening, golden and resplendent. By ‘things’, I mean ‘pecs’, of course, and by ‘golden’, I mean ‘dude’. My friend Nate recommends The Real Wolverine—or is ‘Bronze Age Pervert’ the zenith of modern testosterone? The sentiments of Conan the Barbarian are preserved:
Mongol General: Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies. See them driven before you. And to hear the lamentations of their women.
This definition of ‘satisfaction’ is brought to you by the actual John Maus.
Randy Ludacer’s box blog. Since 2007. Elucidates the finer points of any kind of packaging or branding, citing mathematical and geometric precedents. Feels very personal and whimsical. This blog is so focused that it can be read out of order and feel very cohesive. (Related: Songs About Packaging, also by Ludacer.)
Objects, but also trains and highways. Paper. Started in 2009.
This blog covers the dark web, various online scams as well as… vaporwave? I love the look. The guilty pleasure is all mine.
Give a bot $100 in Bitcoin each week and let it go. I think this is a great way to add a little bit of crime to your life!
This goes here until I have a Favors/Simple category. Even when a request hasn’t been filled, the form is fun to read and stirs up such compassion. (Via Things.)
Perhaps not impossible—but definitely too good to be true. Turns out: the glistening, fleshy art of fantasy artist Rowena Morrill graced the corridors of Saddam’s love nest when it was seized.
The impossible leaping skill of this urban legend (ripped from the penny dreadfuls of the Victorian age) had such a technological flare. Ah, the idea that an inventor-cobbler with a gas-powered dental retainer could inspire demonic fear. His attacks lasted a century! (Also at Wikipedia.)
You can probably skip this - but I find it interesting. Turn of the (19th) century mysteries competed toward more and more improbable murders. Some of the endings are still baffling.
Urban legends and lies and damned statistics from the Disney canon.
Arrested on completely nonexistent charges—for merely being a friend of Julian Assange—these letters catalog his months in an Ecuadorian prison. Thoughts of an innocent person, suffering under vaporous lies.
Lenny’s phone number is 1-347-514-7296. And the subreddit above collects phone conversations with Lenny - some lasting up to an hour - until the other caller realizes that Lenny isn’t real. (See also: Lenny’s history.)
The concerted effort to attack music with its own notes. Like this.
The Decktet is a cross-suited deck of 36 cards - and 9 additionally. Cards may have one to three suits. Each of the six suits has its own distribution - other suits it most commonly appears with. New games seem to show up infrequently.
While generally these folks focus on reviews of board and card games, it is the discussion about board game history and mechanics that I really enjoy. Some favorite posts: 2012: The Year of Perfect Information, Designer Intent.
Not much commentary—just the very indiest of games. Homemade stuff everyday.
Plumbing the depths of itch.io. Like try the write-up on Golf: Become Human—a golf/adventure game where you play a human turned golfball on a vaporwave course.
Lavish pics of board game pieces. Full, detailed feelings on new games. I tend to agree with her. Her being Steph Hodge.
This blog sprung from the Pocket Tactics blog—covers mostly mobile board games. (I’m a huge fan of Race for the Galaxy—and the mobile version came from Keldon’s homebrew AI. This blog is on the lookout for games in that vein.)
A multitool for playing Dungeon World, including quick references and randomizers.
Generates random encounters and random persons, complete with backstories and pedigree. Written in Twine, surprisingly.
I’m a devoted fan of Mr. Egan’s work. His book The Educated Mind is tremendous, a classic. I would like to see his viewpoints gain more traction.
Blog of assorted shapes, real and imagined, by a math prof.
Geometric and mathy things, in the tradition of Martin Gardner. The site is several years stale—see the right-hand side: the archives and games. (For further puzzles, see The Griddle.)
I mostly visit here for the cryptic crosswords directory, but the other clubs and journals linked here are also rabbitholes. I think I like this page because it is as basic as they come, but it is tremendously rich as portal. (See also: interview with the author.)
A directory that links to old New York Magazine crosswords by way of Google Books. (Also going to put this video about David Astle here—I don’t want too many crossword sections.)
There are a wealth of real-time scenic videos from a first-person perspective out there. You can search “scenic train ride” or “walking tour” on YouTube to find hours-long footage. This is a placeholder for a directory in this vein. (I guess webcam channels along the lines of Virtual Railfan are in this vein.)
Writings within an approachable, modern kind of philosophy.
For a portfolio type site, this does it. A touch of dank, but absolutely competent. Every project is bursting with something puzzling or rad. We know no website is this kaleidoscopic.
esr, rms, Gates, Zuckerberg? Cap’n Crunch? jwz is the original counterculture hacker icon—a mischievous Loki underpinning the Internet. I hit the page so many times as a teenager. Good luck finding videos and interviews.
This might be closer to the Visual/Zines category: a vibrant, Easter egg-filled desktop with little programs and its own chat bot. I think this is the most welcoming of these types of OS experiences—the little apps are just so cleverly designed. (For the opposite of this: i1os.)
Found this after Erik’s (above)—definitely a kind of companion. This is smooth and bubbly. Reminds me of BeOS, if it was installed on a computer in the Rugrats cartoon. Some of the illustrations make me think of The Cyberiad. I think this is tremendous (and I think other such superlatives.)
A materialistic view of the 20th Century. Often revisits lost corners of history or lost villages. Always eye-opening.
For the years of 2009-2011, this blog posted a short story each week, some classic, some modern. I’m interested in this type of directory-blog hybrid. And I like to find new short stories. (Also, there is an out-of-print collection The Stories of Denton Welch that is probably my very favorite collection.)
From my very good friend Nathan—you’d love him: “Very experimental stuff from Calamari Press (Gary Lutz, David Ohle [remember that little book, Motorman?]). Lots of brutalist ASCII found-poem objects, ephemera, and visual bleeps.” This could go in Visuals/Zines or Stories/Poems, too.
I refuse to simply call this “Dinosaur Comics.” It is just a conversation that won’t ever seem to end between two dinosaurs that have very limited mobility.
The whole world’s only source for Fafblog.
Michael Silverblatt’s talk show with novelists and poets. I respect the quality of his questions and I envy the quantity of novels he’s read.
Reviews of Marie NDiaye novels, Robert Walser, César Aira. I haven’t read Alice Munro, but I really admire the detailed reviews here of her short story collections. Maybe I’m wrong, but I also sense that this blog doesn’t destroy books with criticism—it always feels constructive. I’m generally against reviews unless the critic is very careful.
If you’re into Marie NDaiye, I like this interview with translator Jordan Stump and I like this group discussion about her work—the format and the length are generous. Wish I had interviews with NDiaye to link to. (See also: Dr Tony Shaw, thoughts on NDiaye and many other French writers.)
Everything Nina Simone wrote just cuts right to the human that’s under our fucking layers of shellac. (If you like this, I think you’ll also like the first song off Tank & The Bangas’ set on Tiny Desk Concerts. It’s those root lyrics like: I’ve got a mouth and You are like a loop.)
The poetry written by a 24-year-old Chinese tech laborer during the few years before his suicide. I find these compelling and it is interesting to think of this poetry disseminated by the devices assembled by these workers. (See also: this doc of poems translated to English and Spanish.)
A bright yellow nexus of hot, HTML hate concentrate—hates Girl Scouts, hates the cops, hates Reptilians, against Crown Masonic ‘pedos’/‘paedos’—seems to be on the hunt for Pizzagates the world over. Anyway, this is a portal to that world and I just have a totally morbid curiosity, I’m sorry.
Hyperlinking, redirecting and charsets stretched to their limits. Also: the plain www.jodi.org will kick you around every time you go there.
“Aries: You’ve got some frog skeletons AND a matchbook. You are fuckin set aries. You’re good, nothing can stop you.”
(Also, by Dane Asmund: DOGS the gaem.)
This surrealist group from Atlanta records the results of their experimental games and nocturnal visions. This is the scientific vanguard for the perceptible fictional world. I would defend this blog with guns and I am afraid of guns. (Related: Peculiar Mormyrid, a surrealist zine. Mariusze Figle. Icecrawler/Heelwalker.)
Mostly pictures of rock formations that turn out to be REAL ALIENS AND ANGELS. Most people are going to think this site is repellant ranting. But I kind of get inspired when I read a perspective that is so different that it feels surreal or fictional. What it would be to see all of these dramas and prophesies in the world.
Mysteries and apparitions of a certain English county.
Reissues of one-of-a-kind recordings from Africa. Some are hifi and masterful; others are experimental and fresh. If you aren’t convinced that a web directory can still be fascinating to explore, wander through this.
Hey, alright! Focused on Ethiopian music specifically—and instruments, too: heard of the krar or the washint? (Count me as another who has found themselves lost in the musical tunnels of Mulatu Astatke.) Some good mixes on here, if you want to feel your way around.
I love Broadcast. The first time I saw them/her, it was exactly like being in a vintage Star Trek episode, but with fantastic drums. I also love Stereolab—so this entire directory of offshoots and distant cousins is rich.
Nearly continual beat tape releases in the chill, lofi vein.
This might be better off in Visuals/Images—or maybe in Real/Society—however, there is a lot of pop culture juxtaposition on this blog by @madamjujujive, @quonsar and other “mefites”. Respect here as well: this particular hypertext has been spawning weekly for two decades.
I know, I know. This isn’t supposed to just be a collection of weird links. But go look! This is just an honestly fantastic list of films. Like [Barthelme’s Syllabus], life can be guided by this. (See also: The Weirdest Band in the World.)
MeFi thread. Turns out to be a good intro to animated shorts and music vids. (Via Things.)
Interviews and fantasies re: sci-fi and horror films of yore. What can I say? It’s like candy floss. (Via Things.)
Experimental, beautiful, amateur—yet seemingly random—dithered pics from the CD-ROM era. Scanlines, dot matrix.
Highbrow? Perhaps for the Internet. A window into the art scene.
I don’t get photography, like, at all—there is just so much of it now and I have a hard time telling what’s special. I think Simon has a lot of great pictures—but, again, it’s hard for me to tell if it’s the black-and-white or if some postprocessing is done. Whatever—not my territory. But I am blown away by the volume of tags here. It’s odd: I feel like this extreme number of tags actually makes them each more interesting. I wonder how one keeps track of this level of categorization.
Ten years of dank and hairy 1970’s lost photographs.
Post by way of the snail: Mail Art Postcard, 8922 US Highway 6, Conneaut Lake, PA 19316 USA. (See also the classic blog PostSecret.)
An extraordinary collection of book & zine illustrations. It’s the variety - black ink, woodcut, elaborate stipple from all over the world. Leisurely scan the imagery and soon enough you are transported. (Spawned from: A Journey Round My Skull.)
Ok, THIS is what you need to make your own zine. This frantic, zany tool will draw you into making a paper zine. If you don’t have an idea—you will. Just crack it open and play. (By perennial favorite Nathalie Lawhead—she’s a huge influence on EVERYTHING I do.)
A webzine of nonsense, arcane notebooks, txt-style vernacular (trading ‘lols’ for ‘bedder-’), beat-up cassettes by (mostly?) Derek White. It feels Irish to me, all the best things in life do. I’m new to this, but it’s been around since 2003! The new project for 2018 is to walk all of Rome.
An international comics anthology—count on a wide variety of surprising styles. Even more in the zine vein is their buddy Popper.
Masterfully amateurish zine-slash-operating-system. Visit Start > Issues to look at the zine. Has its own g00d social network and chatrooms. Related: WINDOWS93, ViperCard(https://www.vipercard.net/, Britney OS '99.).
My interview with Danielx is here.
An abundance of careful zine reviews. An obvious inspiration for this directory. Read the latest issues; people still mail each other.
Dozens (third of a hundred, maybe) of issues of unpredictable photos from the Bay area. Heh, wouldn’t be much of a zine directory without this. (See also: Vermillion and One.)
Build interactive stories visually. Truly one of the best ways to teach an elementary-age child to write computer programs.
Combination blog and timeline of the World Wide Web’s history. Not only a good dose of nostalgia, but a formidable use of hypertext itself.
Flash, GIF, MIDI and porn collections from the early Web. (Similar: WWWTXT—quotes from Usenet, CompuServe and such. Cool design.)
This blog trundles the Geocities archive, often grouping screenshots into thematic boulders. (One of the authors of this blog is the artist behind My Boyfriend Came Back From the War in the Stories/Hypertext display case. More about the two authors at Contemporary Home Computing. See also: Geocities Forever.)
Gotta give props to a blog that goes back to the '90s. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seemed like this blog was a major force in steering Web technology. Exactly the kind of force needed in the Indieweb.
Feelings of reverence must be conjoured for this simple—and exhaustive—personal blog that has made its way here from 1998. Still fresh. (Nod to Boing Boing as well for surviving with dignity - tho I miss its earlier, denser design.) Kottke is a specific kind of personal blog: the individual gazing upon the world with awe.
Long-running linkblog. Unfortunately many of the links now just redirect to Twitter. But I couldn’t ignore its vast archive.
Relic of the Old Web—still active to the present day. The very picture of editorial minimalism. Links are usually posted as simply Lovely or Nice.
Introduced me to such wonders as King Gizzard’s In Your Mind Fuzz, Veronica Falls, The Fresh & Onlys. But, actually, I think this blog was a large inspiration for this directory. The writing, the selections and the variety of feature segments on RSTB all aspire to a high quality. And, even though music blogs get easily caught up in recency, RSTB covers a lot of reissues and revisiting of old gems, bygone stories. The Internet can be so damned frantic that it forgets to settle down and be timeless.
Previously called Anarchaia. This was the first tumblelog.
The center of my Internet. Andy Baio goes all the way back to Star Wars Kid. I owe at least half of my favorite links (the best half and much of this directory) to Waxy Links. The longform blog brings some of the more fascinating links into close focus.