The Hotlist: November 2013
A Guide to the Web’s Most Cutting Edge New Media Content

Compiled by Elliot Feldman 

If you’d like your site to be featured on the Hotlist, send an e-mail to

The Hotspot 
The Hotspot highlights Web content created by writers working under a WGA contract. 

The Best Friend

The Best Friend is a Web sitcom, a modern version of a comedy series created by, written by, and starring real-life buddies from Texas, Marilyn Anne Michaels and Allie Smith. Both are Chicago Second City improv alumni and it shows in the humor of the YouTube-hosted episodes. In 2011, “The Best Friend” won the Outstanding Comedies Award at the L.A. WebFest.

NewsBiscuit is a political satire Web site offering "the news before it happens." It was launched in 2006 by veteran UK sitcom writer John O'Farrell (Spitting Image). The New York Times has called it "the British version of The Onion." Besides the wit of O'Farrell and his professional writer cohorts, NewsBiscuit has a “Writers Room” where site visitors can post their own fake news stories and one-liners.

WEB ANIMATION is an online animated version of artist-writer Leesa Dean's comic book taking place in the world of hip-hop culture. It's about three young hip-hop pals from Chilltown, New Jersey. The characters are played by actors Wil Sylvince, Dante Nero, and Victor Cruz.

Late Night Work Club
Late Night Work Club describes themselves as "a loose, rotating collective of indie animators" who wanted to create non-commercial work. Original artists included Scott Benson, Charles Huettner, Eimhin McNamara, and Eamonn O'Neil. "Ghost Stories" is a 38-minute animated anthology with multiple animator submissions.


Launched by Twitter, Vine is a cross-platform mobile app for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android devices. Like Twitter, Vine is a strangely addictive quick entertainment fix where users share looping videos that are six seconds or less. The videos can also be shared on social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook.
From veteran CNET and writer Eliot Van Buskirk, is an online publication that focuses on news and views on digital music apps, particularly their impact on the music and the overall entertainment industry.


A Daily Dose of Architecture
A Daily Dose of Architecture is a popular blog started by architect and architecture critic John Hill in 2004. The blog is part criticism, online architecture tour, and behind-the-scene views of ongoing or upcoming major architecture projects.


Digiday calls itself "The Authority on Digital Media, Marketing and Advertising." Their target audience is professionals in those three fields. Besides daily posts of digital media business news and views, they also sponsor three email newsletters: Digital Daily, Digiday Mobile, and Digiday Data. They also sponsor major digital media professional conferences.


Polygon is a video gaming news Web site operated by Vox Media, online publishers of The Verge. Launched in 2012, Polygon was started by former AOL execs Christopher Grant and Jim Bankoff. Their highly informed staff also includes writer/editors from Kotaku and The Escapist.


Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is a non-profit journalism organization supporting independent international reporting. Its focus is on under-reported and mis-reported news topics, as well as overlooked examples of high-quality international reporting. The Pulitzer Center's Web site offers reportage as well as corresponding videos hosted by YouTube. They also sponsor online international journalism-related projects.
Founded in 2000 by AOL Senior VP in charge of news and information David Dube, is a Web site focusing on the convergence of technology and journalism, and its effects on modern reporting. CNET has named among their top 100 digital media sites. is an online journalism professional Web site that describes its goal as giving "you the power to 'Become the News.'" Each of their international news stories is accompanied by an "action box" where readers can donate to charities affiliated with a news item's cause, or they can sign a story-related petition, or they can share it with friends on social media. was founded Bryn Mooser and David Darg. Sponsors include actors Ian Somerhalder (Lost) and Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill).

Launched by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone, is a new content online publishing and distribution platform. What Twitter is to short "brilliant" thoughts purports to do the same for longer thoughts as well as accompanying images. Posted content topics are grouped into "collections." According to co-founder Williams, the highest rated content posts by platform users "show up on top, helping people get the most out their time in this world of infinite information." As of October 13, 2013, is a partial launch, serving as a teaser for prospective users for the upcoming full launch.

Byliner is a multimedia publishing platform that includes "rarely seen and exclusive stories" from "hundreds of award-winning authors," including James Ellroy, Nick Hornby, Ann Patchett, Carl Hiaasen, and Jane Smiley. It is a paid subscription service with monthly memberships.

The WGAW encourages New Media projects to respect content creators through Guild contracts. If you’re working in New Media and would like information on getting your project covered, contact Tamara Krinsky or call (323) 782-4511.

Elliot Feldman's novel, Sitting Shiva, was published in 2003 -- ISBN: 0964374064. And check out his comics at Scene4 Magazine - WARNING: Not for the easily offended.