50 Best Websites 2010

1.News & Info
1.1 Guardian  http://www.guardian.co.uk/
It seems no other dead-tree newspaper has embraced the digital era as fully as the Guardian. Not only does the British newspaper offer smart, comprehensive coverage via one of the best-designed newspaper websites in the world but it has also developed an amazing set of mobile applications that help propel the content out across various platforms. But what’s perhaps most unusual is that even as other British newspapers have taken their content behind paywalls, the Guardian has opened up its content as much as possible, offering free access to more than 1 million archived articles and providing developers with the tools to build applications that remix the paper’s extensive content base.
1.2 The Onion  http://www.theonion.com/
While most of us were still picking up our weekly print edition, the OnionOnion is also very much in the present, featuring semi-daily videos that spoof everything from C-Span to the Today Show to ESPN. It also serves up daily audio podcasts (known as the Onion Radio News) and some of the funniest slide shows on the Web. Meanwhile, as any serious lover of the arts will tell you, the publication’s online A.V. Club
was launching an audacious — and always satirical — multimedia empire. Celebrating its long history, it offers an archive that stretches back more than 20 years; the features exceptionally good arts reporting (as well as a trove of erudite user comments).
1.3 The Daily Beast  http://www.thedailybeast.com
It’s not just the caliber of writers flocking to Tina Brown’s the Daily Beast that is making the site a must-read for any serious news consumer. It’s also the willingness of the Beast’s editors to slash and sift the day’s top headlines so you can quickly digest the most essential elements. As a news site, it’s something of a triple threat: a trendsetter, an insightful and analytical clearinghouse of events and ideas, and thanks to the thorough and easy-to-scan Cheat Sheet, quite the time saver.
1.4 National Geographic
Make sure you’ve got some time to kill before diving into National Geographic’s Web world, as you can easily pass hours digging into the depths of the global ecosystem and other eco-weighty subjects that other sites merely skim. From stunning collections of nature photography to in-depth sections on topical environmental issues such as dwindling freshwater supplies and the prospects for renewable energy, National Geographic runs the gamut of nature’s wonders — and biggest threats. What’s more, it backs it all up with an impressive array of interactive maps and games. Feeling chained to your desk? Let the site’s field reports transport you from a New York City office tower or a back office in Bentonville, Ark., to a wave-riding research vessel scouring the Mediterranean Sea. Just don’t blame us if you miss the 3 p.m. meeting with your marketing team.
1.5 WikiLeaks
Launched in 2006, WikiLeaks, an anonymous forum of leaked secrets, amassed more than a million documents in its first year alone, establishing itself as an invaluable venue for public disclosure and accountability. But the site achieved a new degree of prominence on July 25 of this year when it began releasing to the public tens of thousands of documents pertaining to the war in Afghanistan, stirring controversy within the press and among political pundits as to the handling and prospects of the war. More than a few observers, pointing to such battlefield mistakes as friendly fire and civilian casualties, and painting a picture of a conflict that was going far less well than the public had believed, compared the July 25 leak to that of the Pentagon papers during the Vietnam War. Almost overnight, WikiLeaks went from being a fringe site to being a central catalyst in the national news cycle.
2. Education
MIT OpenCourseWare
Read Print
3 Music & Video
4. Family & Kids
Design Mom
Serious Eats
Sesame Street
5. Financial & Productivity
6. Shopping & Travel
Gilt Groupe
Rent the Runway
7. Health & Fitness
Mayo Clinic
Walk Jog Run
Exercise TV
Fit by Fun
8. Social Media
9. Games
Cactus Squid
10. Sports
Total Pro Sports
Citizen Sports
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