Best of the worst
By Randy A. Salas
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Each weekday, we seek to find the best of the Web - fun, cool and interesting sites that are worth visiting or adding to your bookmarks. Not today.
Long ago, the Internet was composed of a relatively small number of Web sites and the people to design them. That quickly changed as the Web's popularity spread like an unchecked computer virus. "Suddenly, everyone with half a knowledge of HTML and the ability to draw straight lines began to think they could make a decent (and cool) homepage. Nuh-uh," say the purveyors of Worst of the Web. Every few days for the past 10 years, the site's three Web designers have picked a woeful site and mocked its design, content and other cyber-gaffes. Their clear message: Don't let this happen to you.
Yuck: The official Web site for Forrest County, Miss. (www.co.forrest.ms.us), is filled with dead links and blank pages. "This page is so lacking in content, they should just replace the flowers with tumbleweeds," Worst of the Web says.
For everyday Web-design tips, Web Pages That Suck's Daily Sucker section (click on the link on the left side of the page) offers plenty of pitiful sites from which to learn by their bad example. But when a Web site's design faux pas reach mammoth proportions, it receives the dubious honor of being listed as the Worst Web Page in the World - until another one comes along.
Yuck: The Web site for Roger Art (www.rogerart.com), an online gallery, features a black background with multicolored letters, rambling prose and rotating peace signs in place of the letter O. Scrolling to the bottom of the home page covers more than 100 screen lengths. "My mother could design a better-looking site," says Web Pages That Suck, "and she's dead."
PC World, where the link above goes, recently compiled its list of the 25 worst Web sites - its "look at the world's dumbest dot-coms and silliest sites." What makes its list so great is that it targets popular Web sites that might actually be familiar to some people, such as CD Universe and Pets.com. PC World also featured a surprisingly brave pick at No. 1. ...
Yuck: The highly popular MySpace (www.myspace) was the top choice on PC World's list of the worst. "The Web's most visited destination is also its most poorly designed and counterproductive," PC World said. "Graphically, many MySpace pages look like a teenager's bedroom after a tornado - a swirl of clashing backgrounds, boxes stacked inside other boxes, massive photos and sonic disturbance."
At the humor site 2 Atoms, you are probably only a click or three away from something that you might find completely offensive. But the site's "out there" picks for worst Web sites - mostly based on content, not design - are so funny that they have to be seen to be believed. Unfortunately.
Yuck: Lydia of Purple's URL is no joke: www.modestapparelchristianclothinglydiaofpurpledressescustomsewing.com. "Whoa hold it right there!" 2 Atoms says. "No, that's no mistake - the domain name really is 62 characters long!" At the Lydia site, it says, "Be sure to bookmark our site or place it in your favorites for future easy reference." Right - because you'll never remember that URL. Modesty obviously doesn't extend to domain names.
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Randy A. Salas is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Do you have a favorite Web site or a question about how to find something on the Internet? Send a note by clicking here.
© 2006, Star Tribune Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.