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Designer's Corner: Who Watches the Watchers?

Everyone on the Web has an opinion, and in most cases is not at a loss to express themselves. Cool Site of the Day His daily choice provided a service that enabled users to zero in, with a minimum of fuss and bother, on those sites that were worthy of a visit. This simple concept developed into a phenomenon from which has sprung a thriving industry of sites that direct users to points of interest. Yahoo lists 226 "Sites of the..." (www.yahoo.com/Computers_and_Internet/ Internet/World_Wide_Web/Best_of_the_ Web/Sites_of_the___/) in various categories from daily to annual picks. It was only a matter of time before a few Web developers pounced on this idea and turned it on its head to point us to those which were the antithesis of cool...sites that suck! The Point's Top 5% site has at least ten imitators, with variations including the "bottom 5%", "the bottom 95%" and "the bottom of the net." In some instances, it's difficult to tell whether imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or outright copyright violation. The number of sites and individuals that rate other Web sites far outstrips the number of sites that cull the dark corners of the Web for poor design. It's interesting to note that the number of these "Worst of..." sites is shrinking. Both Mirsky's Worst of the Web and Mediocre Site of the Day, two of the original and most fêted bottom dwellers, are on permanent hiatus.


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