I'm bored... So I turn to the Internet!

 

The Internet may be the information resource of all-time, but a large part of users turn to the Internet for entertainment. Entertainment sites are just as numberous as sites intented for informing the users. One of the best parts of online entertainment is the user's ability to interact with, or even create the content.

Many sites made just for fun are full of interesting content generated by its users and fans. Here's a look at some of the best, graded on an A-F scale.

 

YouTube B-

YouTube, a video site, is a good example of content driven by users, since users are the ones who post almost all the video. The entertainment can be somewhat hit and miss, since copyright laws have forced the website to pull content from TV shows and movies. Amature videographers can make wonderful videos (my favorites are Potter's Puppet Pals and Chad Vader), but then there are some that are just completely stupid. YouTube has the time issue of buffering, as any video site would have. But where YouTube fails most is quality of video. The view screen is tiny, and highly pixilated.

 

I Can Has Cheezburger? A

This hilarious picture site is based on two concepts: spell everything wrong and use picture of animals, especially cats! This hugely popular site features pictures of animals with funny, misspelled captions. Each photo and caption is uploaded by users, who can create multiple captions for one picture. A cute example of the caption style can be seen by clicking here, but the original picture that inspired the site is here. The site has links to other similar sites, like I has a hotdog, which features dogs instead of cats. Uploading pictures and captions is made easy by a system for those who are Photoshop challenged. The only negative feature of I Can Has Cheezburger is the long load time required for the photos.

 

F my Life C+

F my Life is a soundboard for complaints. Users post a bad instance in their life followed by the comment, F* my life. It's a great way to make yourself feel better if you're having a bad day, since some people post outrageous instances of suckiness. The site also allows users to view the posts by category. Recently added is the Illustrated F* my life, which allows a user to create an illustration for a post. However, these are usually very massive in size and take ages to load. Load time is short for the regular posts because they are all text only. However, the pages are a bit dull looking and the posts get depressing sometimes.

 

Post Secret B

Post Secret loosely falls into the user generated category, because physical mail is sent to the administrator and from there he chooses what is posted. The concept is interesting: people create their own postcard (by collage, illustration, a found object, etc.) and write a secret on it. Some are funny, like the teacher who watched Twilight on her laptop while her students took a test. Others are heart-wrenching, like the woman who fears her father will die before he can walk her down the aisle. For a graphic-based site, the load time is quick. This site would have gotten a higher grade, but the lack of electronic submission is a hinderance. Also, there are no archives. Several secrets are loaded every Sunday and change the next Sunday. I think this is a scam for the publisher to sell the older posts in a book format.

 

Deviantart A-

Deviantart is an online community for artist of any form. You can upload art and categorize by their many choices. However, the site is not user-friendly to those that post work. A new version of the site is posted every few months, which takes a lot of getting used to. Forums provide discussion on a large variety of topics. You can spend hours checking out art, playing flash games, or chatting on the forums.

 

Newgrounds D

Newgrounds is a site that users can upload funny pictures and flash videos. However, it's full of glitches and I've gotten several viruses from the site. The video size and quality is similar to YouTube. Take caution when going on the site, because a lot of things are for mature audiences. Newgrounds is not entertaining for any extended period of time, but it can give you a few chuckles with videos like Magical Trevor.

 

Fanfiction.net C

First of all, this website is UGLY. There is no visual appeal to the site at all. Fanfiction.net allows users to post their own stories about existing fiction, such as movies, books, and videogames. If you find a good writer, the site can be great. However, fanfiction is mostly written by practicing or poor writers, so the content is hit and miss. One great feature is the search. Once you click on a category, say Star Wars, you can narrow down the kind of story you want to read by character, genre, length, and age rating. However, the site has no way to showcase the better fanfiction, so finding a good writer is a challenge.

 

Cafepress B-

Cafepress gets a few points knocked off the grade for entertainment value, since it's a shopping site. The concept is great: uses create designs that can be printed on T-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, buttons, and bags. These items are then sold on the site. A quick search of one category, let's say Twilight, will reveal hundreds of user/fan created designs. It's pretty fun to see the creativity people take on these things, and searching under the name of somethign you know will help you find inside jokes. For example, a Twilight search will find a shirt that says "It's all fun and games until someone gets a papercut." Ha! Remember that scene in New Moon that vampire Jasper attacks human Bella when she cuts herself opening her birthday presents? If you're into unique online shopping, this is your site!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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