The Hotlist: December 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 elliotfeldman@yahoo.com.

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


ASST

ASST is a Web sitcom about the lives of six types of Hollywood "assistants" such as star assistant, talent agency assistant, producer assistant, etc. Each of these characters communicates with each other via video conference. They talk about difficult bosses, deadlines, and other typical issues that the lower rungs of Hollywood employment have to deal with. Each episode is 3-6 minutes long. The series is written and directed by Josh Cohen.
WEB COMICS

INCIDENTAL COMICS
Grant Snider is a cartoonist and, yes, an orthodontist. Incidental Comics, his online comic series, is simply and elegantly drawn and possesses a dry wit that focuses on topics that include art, design, architecture, and self-introspection.

A GHOST STORY
A Ghost Story is a beautifully rendered collection of comic stories, anecdotes, and memories of the deceased by Bea, an art major at the University of Nevada Reno. The lead characters are a pair of ghost hunters.

Emily Carroll
Emily Carroll is a Vancouver-based illustrator. Her startling collection of online comics comes from an unusual perspective: fairy tales and video games.


DIGITAL STORYTELLING

40 Days of Dating
New York City designers Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman describe 40 Days of Dating as starting as an "experiment." The two best friends decided to start dating exclusively for a 40-day period, recording their daily experiences through a series of blog posts. While some may see it as "staged," their blossoming relationship has many followers who are intrigued. This series has a When Harry Met Sally feel and has attracted representation from major Hollywood agency CAA.

narratively
The brainchild of Noah Rosenberg and Brendan Spiegel, narratively is an online publication dedicated to telling stories about New York City from a group of well-known writers, photographers, and filmmakers from the likes of The New York Times, New Yorker, and New York Magazine. Four-day-a-week story content ranges from short documentaries, photo essays, and long-form features. On Fridays, readers and other contributors post comments as well as their own nonfiction content to the site. In 2013, Time named it one their "50 Best Websites."


ONLINE JOURNALISM

ONLINE NEWS ASSOCIATION
The Online News Association is a nonprofit organization that is the "world's largest association of digital journalists." The majority of its over-2000 members worldwide are professional online journalists. They sponsor the annual Online Journalism Awards in partnership with the University of Miami's School of Communication.

SND
The Society for News Design (SND) is another international nonprofit organization dedicated to online journalism professionals. However, most of their over 1000 members are "visual communicators who create print, web, mobile publications and products. SND is based in Orlando, Florida.


JOURNALISM BLOGS

Journalistopia
Danny Sanchez is the content and operations manager for Florida major circulation daily newspapers: The Sun-Sentinel and Orlando Sentinel. His online journalism blog, Journalistopia, is an in-depth resource for journalism professionals. This intelligent blog focuses on trends in online journalism, as well as tools for online news content.

Reportr.net
Alfred Hermida is a founding news editor for the BBC News website, and is currently a professor at the Graduate School of the University of British Columbia. His Reportr.net journalism blog is also known as Alfred Hermida on Media, Technology, and Society. Hermida offers in-depth views of topics that include news views, tools and trends.

PressThink
PressThink is also known as Jay Rosen's PressThink. Rosen describes himself as a "press critic", or a "ghost of democracy in the media machine." His blog's credo is "We need to keep the press from being absorbed into The Media." Jay Rosen is the former chair of NYU's Department of Journalism, so he knows both worlds of traditional and digital news reporting. PressThink is a critical eye with a focus on mostly good examples of individual journalists reporting in all forms of media.

Almighty Link
Almighty Link, Kevin Sablan's journalism blog, has a primary focus of exploring "how people, journalists, and companies connect through links and social tools." Sablan is the Web content team leader at The Orange County Register, a major circulation Southern California daily newspaper. In his informative blog, he pays special attention to Twitter and its impact on journalists and journalism.

OLD MEDIA NEW TRICKS
Old Media New Tricks is a journalism blog from Daniel Honigman, social media manager for Sears Home Electronics, and Robert Quigley, social media editor for the Austin American-Statesman. Their blog's credo: "hands-on advice … from many in media who are trying to figure this all out." The information given is of primary benefit to traditional media veterans (many laid off) trying to transition into the multi-channel world of digital journalism. Advice topics include journalists-as-entrepreneurs, and news as filtered through social media platforms as well as advice delivered via interviews with high profile online journalists.


ZINES

TheTalkhouse
Michael Azerrad is a veteran music journalist (Rolling Stone, Spin, and The New York Times). TheTalkhouse is a Web site where notable musicians write about other notable musicians. A prime example is the late Lou Reed reviewing a Kanye West record, or Roseanne Cash reviewing an audio/art collaboration between indie filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and composer Josef Van Wissem.

ArtsJournal
Founded in 1999, ArtsJournal is an in-depth digest of international arts and cultural journalism from more than 200 English language newspapers, magazines, and other publications. Topics include dance, media, music, people, publishing, theatre, and visual arts. Former arts columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Douglas McLennan is the zine's prime mover.

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 Shelagh Wagener 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.