The Hotlist: May 2014
A Guide to the Web’s Most Cutting Edge New Media Content

Compiled by Elliot Feldman

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

Haunting Melissa

Haunting Melissa is an online dramatic horror series created by film producer Neal Edelstein and written by veteran mystery writer Andrew Klavan. This ongoing tale has a Blair Witch Project feel. It is available exclusively via iTunes on the iPad and iPhone. And it has a social media presence on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.

My Hungover Kitchen
My Hungover Kitchen is a weekly YouTube comedy series created by and starring comedian and internet personality Hannah Hart (AKA Harto). Each episode simply shows Hannah cooking while intoxicated, as described in the title. Despite the simple concept, it is actually funny. The series started as a video between Hannah and a friend; and, to her surprise, it went viral. My Hungover Kitchen is available on Hannah's YouTube channel, MyHarto.


Vocativ - The Global Social News Network
Vocativ was created by technology entrepreneur and former Israeli intelligence officer Mati Kochavi. As an information professional, Kochavi's site's subtitle "The Global Social News Network" refers to its content: news stories gleaned exclusively from social media and various government and other information databases. Each news story is expanded by Vocativ's team of writers from respected news outlets including The New York Times, CNN, and Reuters.


At Work Inside Our Detention Centres: A Guard's Story
At Work Inside Our Detention Centres: A Guard's Story was originally sponsored by The Global Mail, an Australian non-profit news site (now defunct). It exists online as a news feature written by journalist Nick Olle and beautifully illustrated by artists Sam Wallman and Pat Grant. The graphic-novel-style story is described as "life inside an Australian immigration detention facility" in the words of a former guard.

Hobo Lobo of Hamelin
Hobo Lobo of Hamelin is a gorgeously rendered multimedia comic that scrolls horizontally and incorporates sound as well as some animation. It is a witty modern retelling of the Pied Piper tale by multimedia artist Stevan Zivadinovic.

BLOGS is one of the first successful blogs on the Internet. Since 1998 it has been mostly written by former professional Web designer Jason Kottke. remains a fascinating collection of links, photos, and opinions; thus, the subtitle "home of fine hypertext products."

The Inverse Square Blog
The Inverse Square Blog is a deeply intelligent and interesting blog focusing on science news, views, and opinions. It was started by Thomas Levenson, the director of the Graduate Program of science writing at MIT. The blog's purpose has been the application of scientific thinking to the news, culture, and history in current public discussion.

Streetsblog describes itself as "a daily news source connecting people to information about sustainable transportation and livable communities" throughout the USA. Avid readers include members of Congress, transportation experts, and urban planners. Information includes the latest federal transportation and land use policies. The blog is produced by OpenPlans, a non-profit technology-based advocacy organization. Sponsors include Google, the Rockefeller Foundation, the World Bank, and other high profile supporters.


stories for your screen
Kstories for your screen offers stories via WhatsApp, Facebook's mobile messaging platform. Its premier story is "Annie96 is typing …", a fictional chat history between two teenagers. It is best read on a smartphone or tablet.

He Said She Said (a round for two voices) is one of several cutting-edge multimedia projects on artist Alan Bigelow's "webyarns" Web site. The story is an argument between a husband and wife that's a soundscape using text, graphics, and animation. Bigelow is a professor of humanities at Medaille College in Buffalo, New York.

ChasingPandora is a multimedia poem that's a combination of text and hyperlinks to other Web sites as well as cloud-based content and photos and videos. The effect of the total experience is an artful Internet journey. This is a story about a stalker and his victim, a character named Pandora. It was put together by five creative partners including Allyson Ciker, Emily Devereaux, Greg Turnbull, Matthew Vickery, and Trent Redmond.

CityFish describes itself as "a lo-fi web collage cabinet of curiosities" that's sponsored by the Canadian Council for the Arts. It was created by J.R. Carpenter, a multimedia artist, performer, and maps maker. The story scrolls horizontally and the multimedia consists of poetic text, Quicktime videos, and Google Maps technology.

88 Constellations for Wittgenstein
David Clark is yet another Canadian multimedia artist. The full name of his project is "88 Constellations for Wittgenstein (to be played with the left hand)." Clark describes it as a "nonlinear contemplation of the life and work of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein consisting of 88 interactive flash animations."

Google Night Walk is part of Google Lab's "Google Stories" campaign. It uses Google Maps technology to follow a fictional character named Julie through an audio-visual walking tour of night-time Marseilles. The purpose of Julie's tour is to counteract the negative media image of Marseilles, showing it to be a vibrant beautiful city.

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.