"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 6 November 1995. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Stupe Du Jour

[NCSA What's New]

October 16, 1994: The NCSA Mosaic

What's New page was beginning to

get a bit unwieldy, with some

fifty messages a day, when Cool

Site of the Day was announced to

the world: "Cool Site of the Day

offers you something different

from The Web every day. A great

way to start your day. You'll

never know where you're going

until you get there." Hence was

born Glenn Davis's career, built

on three blindingly obvious

propositions: it was daily, it

was cool, and there was nothing

there except the goddamn link.

Glenn Davis kept his literary

aspirations to Moanday, Duesday,

and Blendsday, and it was good.


[Cool Site of the Day]

Just as people credit the Atari

generation's hours spent in the

rumpus room, joystick in hand,

as preparation for well-paid

futures in front of corporate

monitors, the emerging truth of

the 90's is that all those hours

spent channel-surfing in the

80's was not time wasted, but

keen cultivation of the most

valuable skill for the next

millennium: filtering. Is it so

surprising, then, that the new breed

of cyberpundits evoke nothing if

not Beavis and Butthead, with

their stroke mags traded for

Wired and proffering an even

more terse stab at commentary?

Analysis and commentary are

decidedly extraneous, "Old

Media" impediments, which only

serve to obscure the fundamental

catechism: "Is it cool? Does it



[Mirsky's Worst of the Web]

The antitheses ("Does it suck?")

is, of course, similarly

crucial, so that today even

Mirsky's Worst of the Web has

competition in the form of

Anthony's Most Annoying Of The



We'd like to claim that it's

simply too late to get in on the

ground floor of this exciting

Internet opportunity, but

undoubtedly you've already

deluded yourself into thinking

that you, too, can fashion in

your own image a Cool Site of

the Day which will bring in the

hits and score the ad banners.

For those of you who can't be

dissuaded, you might as well get

it right: to that end, we've

provided 10 simple steps to

creating your own Cool Site of

the Day. Following along is easy -

just do what you do best:

click, click, click, and



[High Five]

1. What cool site will you link

to for your inaugural edition?

Your own, of course. It may be

a while before you get the

recognition you so deserve - why

not stroke your own ego if no

one else will? It may just start

a trend! And remember, being

self-referential may have gone

out with the 80's, but shameless

self-promotion is always in.


[Mart's MetaPick]

2. Pilfer from other Cool Sites

of the Day. With more Cool Sites

of the Day out there than we'd

ever care to visit, it

makes little sense to consult

comp.infosystems.www.announce or

one of the What's New lists to

compile your own Cool Site of the

Day. And by reusing links from

other Cool Sites of the Day, you're

helping postpone the inevitable

day when there are more Cool

Sites of the Day than cool

sites (which would be very

uncool). Don't have the five

minutes a day to run a Cool Site

of the Day? Automate! Write a

script to grab a URL from one of

the other cool sites (randomly,

of course, lest your audience

get wise). Better yet, just make

other Cool Sites of the Day

your cool sites - that should

keep you going for at least a

couple months.


[Tabatha's Groovy Site of the Day]

3. Never include commentary on

your cool sites. This involves

time and reflection. Not only

are those qualities anathema to

the Web, you're only

guaranteeing your own site's

eventual demise when you run out

of synonyms for, erm, "cool".

Besides, content is overrated.

Don't even include the title of

the page you're linking to.

Make 'em click for it.


[Gorski's Cool Site of the Day]

4. Graphics. If you've followed

rule 3, the only thing that

separates your Cool Site of the

Day from other Cool Sites of the

Day is the large graphic you'll

associate with it. The cooler

your Cool Site of the Day, the

larger and more obnoxious your

graphic. We recommend a large

gif which is at least 20K, which

will take a good 15 seconds to

download over a 14.4K modem,

just to get to the stinkin' URL.

Gorski's Cool Site of the Day is

an uber-Cool Site of the Day in

this respect: not only does it

have a generic Kai's Power Tools

fractal for its "logo", which

comes in at a respectable 13K,

but it uses a second graphic to

assert this is Gorski's Cool

Site of the Day (versus, say,

Tabatha's Groovy Site of the

Day). And, knowing the true power

of a killer graphic, Christopher

Gorski hasn't bothered to update

his Cool Site of the Day for three

months. Fuck yeah!


[Eye Candy's Sweet Link of the Day]

5. Never link to a site without a

background. As a purveyor of a

Cool Site of the Day, you may

feel some outdated sense of

"stewardship" to find those

personal, ineffable Web sites

that have stories to tell, but

lack the punch of a good

background and some Photoshopped

graphics. If you're going to

keep the time spent on your Cool

Site of the Day down to the

requisite five minutes per day,

though, go for the effable. Go

for the backgrounds.


[Glenn Davis and Michelle of the Spot]

6. Get your ass on the PR Gravy

Train, ASAP. Sure, it'll mean

investing in a fax machine, but

any site that has a press budget

is likely to have the bankroll

to hire a pro design house. And

professional production = full

use of Netscape tags = at least

a superficially cool site you

can link to. Besides, it never

hurts to wipe the ass of the

hype machine - if it's kind

enough to return the favor, your

Cool Site of the Year may just

score you a chance to meet the

babes of the Spot.


[WebSite of the Week]

7. Don't try to do a Cool Site of

the Week. Everyone already knows

you're too lazy to put up any

real content; why add insult to

injury and tell the world that

you're not only too lazy to

create original content, you're

too damn lazy to even throw up a

new URL once a day.


[The Spider's Pick of the Day]

8. Not enough hits? Once you have

one Cool Site of the Day set up,

it's not that much work to put

together a second, or even a third.


[The Daily Bikini]

9. When in doubt, include gifs of

scantily clad women. If a sale

of your site to AOL (we hear

they par around $300K) is your

ambition, however, it may be wise

to produce an alternate version,

with gifs of palm trees and



[Sponsor of the Day/Sponsored Site of the Day]

10. Sponsor of the Day/Sponsored

Site of the Day. Need we say



[MagicURL Mystery Trip]

The truly brilliant among you, of

course, will ignore our

steadfast advice and create a

hybrid site based on two or more

existing formulas - marrying

your "Cool Site" concept with

your standard "Random URL", for

example, or combining the insider

gossip and annoying formatting of

HotWired's Flux with the daily

format and reliance on links of

a "Cool Site of the Day". Wow.

Bet someone could make a lot of

money with that idea.

courtesy of Webster