ModFabulous 2006: Best Blogs of the Year
2006 will be remembered as the year that blogs became legit. And as the year when blogs went to shit. Is that inflammatory? I hope so, because if the best we've got to offer the world is Perez Hilton, Michele Malkin, and Gawker, we're in trouble. The single greatest danger to this form of communication is codification...it's a medium built upon the premise that every person has value, and that an individual perspective can be more illuminative than a corporate entity.
But in a world of million-hit superblogs and media alpha dogs, it is becoming harder and harder for the individual voice to penetrate through the white noise. This best-of list was harder to write than any other this year, because I simply had trouble locating truly useful, engaging, well-written, information, essential blogs. Lots of detritus, few iconoclasts.
Maybe it's because we've been around too long: now in our third year of blogdom here at ModFab, we've made a lot of friends along the way. Our blogbuddies have the most exciting blogs currently throwing it down on the web, but we realize that to include them in this best-of list would be like George Bush nominating his buddy for Attorney General. So please visit the following brilliant bloggers, who deserve more awards than I can bestow:
Award-worthy Blogs (who, sadly for them, are Friends of ModFab and therefore Disqualified)
Arjan Writes About Music, Brilliant at Breakfast, Daily Dose of Queer, EdandTony, The Film Experience, Flick Filosopher, I Am Screaming and Punching Myself, Low Resolution, My Cabinet of Distractions, My New Plaid Pants, New Now Next, NewYorkology, Nick's Flick Picks, OhMyTrill, OMG Blog, PopBytes, Pressing The Flesh, Queering the Apparatus, Radio Allegro, Rod2.0, Stinkylulu, 3Guys2K9s, Toons N Tunes, and Ultranow.
BEST BLOGS of 2006
Best Personal Blog: Gladwell.com
The author of the bestselling books Blink and The Tipping Point is no less insightful on his remarkable blog, where his daily thoughts meld into salient critiques of society. His recent essays on racism -- inspired, in part, by the Michael Richards scandal -- have been some of the most thoughtful writing on the subject the blogosphere has ever experienced. (Runner-up: on a much sillier but no less talented note, Lee at Glitter For Brains is the P.G. Wodehouse of the queer blogger set.)
Best Skin Blog: Beautiful
Rob and Yann, the Parisian couple behind the what can only be described as the best erotic blog on the web, differentiate themselves from the pack by focusing on the nobility of beauty. This isn't to say the site isn't horny or hot, it is...there's ample flesh to peruse if that's your thing (it's definitely ours). But there's a sophistication in the writing, an elegance in the design, and an intellect behind their study of the male form that just isn't often available on the smut-obsessed internet. Their focus on renowned photographers is commendable as well, and unlike most porn sites, when they take a picture from somewhere else, they make sure to credit it. (This year's runner-up is a newbie to the scene: BO, yet another excellent French site, who excels by going back to basics: finding pictures of incredibly hot guys not seen anywhere else. We're rapidly becoming their biggest fans.)
Best Music Blog: The Zapping!
Music blogs are as personal as fingerprints, with idiosyncratic tastes and a treasure hunter's desire for new sounds. We love The Zapping! not only because it shares our musical predilections, but because it lavishes on its subjects thoughtfulness and an infectious enthusiasm. They do more than music, of course -- the site's a sloppy cultural smorgasbord, not unlike the site you're reading now -- but it's music they do best. (We've also found love this year for the similarly-minded XO's Middle Eight and Idolator, Nick Denton's music blog which has fought through criticism to become an idiosyncratic pleasure.)
Best Get-Rich Blog: Pro Bargain Hunter
Blogs have the ability to quickly aggregate and scatter information, but far too often this strength is done in truly pointless pursuits. (Yes, I'm talking to you, Perez Hilton.) But at PBH, the information is so freakishly useful it can seem as if they're the realization of what blogging should really be, a tool for living more successfully. The name of the game is bargain hunting, and their ability to manage web resources to find them for you is truly awe-inspiring. A daily read for anyone who likes money...and likes to keep it. (Similarly, we're addicted to Bank Deals, which is exactly what its name implies. If you can make IRAs and 12-month CD specials sexy, you've achieved something truly extraordinary.)
Best Movie Blog: Daily Greencine
Last year's champ in this category continues to reign supreme. Why? There's simply no better source of news, wisdom, opinion, and insight for art-film lovers. The links are exhaustive, and the sheer volume of information is immense. But even more, they're not bitchy, silly, or self-absorbed...something that seems to plague film-related websites like an outbreak of cholera. (We also admire the exhaustive news feeds of Dark Horizons, and the simply stunning level of output by the authors of Cinematical.)
Funniest Blog: The Gilded Moose
I have never been too wild about The Onion. I chuckle through Overheard in New York. But The Gilded Moose routinely has gasping for air between laughs. Working primarily in the rich fields of celebrity satire, the key is consistency: TGM brings its own personal style to imaginative comedy ideas: Christmas letters from Courtney Love and Michael Kors, style advice from Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley, and a special guide to the Golden Globes. (Coming in a close second would be our friends at FourFour, who take weekly episodes of America's Next Top Model and transform them into savagely hilarious critiques. Hollywood, hire these people now and give them their own show!)
Best Blog of the Year: Lifehacker
There are many blogs. A lot of them are good. A few are great. And a very rare number are exceptional. But if we look at the 500 blogs we read (thank you, Bloglines!), only one could truly be called indispensible. Each day Gina Trapani and her team offer a jaw-dropping assortment of tools, links, and wisdom to make better living possible. Perpetually bookmark-worthy, anything done with a computer can be improved to be faster, easier, more organized, more productive, or more enjoyable. It may sound trite, but here's the truth: I cannot imagine my life without Lifehacker. I bow before your greatness!
Best LGBT Blog: Keith Boykin (runner-up: Queerty)
Best Theatre Blog: Histriomatrix (runner-up: What's Good/What Blows)
Best TV Blog: Project Runway: Tim's Take (runner-up: Reality Blurred)
Best Graphic Blog: A Softer World (runner-up: Post Secret)
Best Political Blog: Unpartisan (runner-up:AmericaBlog)
Best Celebrity Blog: Dave Navarro (runners-up: Seal, Thomas Dolby)
Best Blog To Stop Reading: Perez Hilton (runner-up: Pink is the New Blog)
Five Blogs Now Out of Commission (and Sorely Missed)
Six Things, Cupcake Planet, The Man Who Couldn't Blog, He Loved Him Some Movies, and last year's #1 Blog, I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing
Previously: Best Blogs of 2005
Tomorrow: Best Photoblogs