The NZ Web's greatest hits (and misses)

95 Responses

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  • Don Christie,

    "how real journalists should right (sadly lacking here in NZ)."

    oh the irony. s/right/write

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1612 posts Report Reply

  • Martha Craig,

    I'm with Andrew, Onebefore, SunnyO and Halfpie got me interested in blogs.

    Woolies online for delivering grog.

    PA for making me sound clever at parties.

    Petone • Since Nov 2006 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Hah! That SunnyO guy is a twisted barstard if you ask me.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Martha Craig,

    Bet he wears a hat.

    Petone • Since Nov 2006 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    Grant: What about Frogblog, back in its hey-day during the election? I thought that was a worthy daily read.

    OTOH, sometimes I wonder why everyone think they need a website. It's analogous to every company thinking they need a shopfront. Sure, it's handy to be able to access party policy on-demand, but I'm not sure if people go to a political party website looking to be engaged or converted.

    Anyway - my first internet memory is from "Back in the Day", when Xtra was first launched. I was one of the innocent children they herded like sacrificial lamb for their big launch demo. Xtra's "Big Thing" was an ultra-user-friendly graphical interface that would allow users to access everything they ever wanted to find on the interweb (read: a jpg with mouse-over links to 4 different websites).

    I still have the t-shirt.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    As an expat with fantasies of returning one day, can I put in a plug for open2view.com ? Best real estate perving this side of nyhabitat.com. And a useful way of keeping tabs on curious and disturbing trends in haute bourgeois home decoration...

    Ditto on Newsroom.co.nz before all the good stuff disappeared behind the paywall. It was enormously useful in organizing activism from overseas, and then suddenly it wasn't.

    Could do better: if only there were a decent place to buy NZ books and music online for shipment overseas. Ben's totally right that Whitcoulls punted on this one.

    Y'know, this whole System is reminding me of the good old days of soc.culture.nz, with Brian Harmer and his WYSIWIG news...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Y'know, this whole System is reminding me of the good old days of soc.culture.nz, with Brian Harmer and his WYSIWIG news.

    Aarrrggh! Just had a must-not-turn-into-Usenet moment ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17967 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    No danger of death-by-crossposting though, eh?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Anyway - my first internet memory is from "Back in the Day", when Xtra was first launched. I was one of the innocent children they herded like sacrificial lamb for their big launch demo.

    Heh. I remember going to their corporate launch, where I consumed a tankload of Telecom booze and later in the evening behaved in a manner merry yet so unwise that it must never be spoken of. Calculating whether I could land one on Alan Gibbs and leg it for the door was the least of it ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17967 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    But did you?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    yeah... if a person had worked in a government department and seen how they get it together to put stuff on the web, you'd not think them so avant garde.

    a popular quote by a person who had been in one of the conversations to get very simple things online may well have been, "the blimmin banks are doing it, why can't we?!"

    which goes to show, the greatest advance in internet technology may well have been ATMs (with their marvellous simplicity), and online banking.

    if you can remember brown paper pay-packets, you'll find it hard to disagree with me.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    But did you?

    Although he looked like the most smug man in the world, no. But I could have ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17967 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Anyway, wrenching things back to the topic, I dimly recall a local site in the 90s that made the most utterly egregious use of horizontal scrolling. Can anyone remember what it was?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17967 posts Report Reply

  • Conor Roberts,

    If you slash the tyres of an Aquada, does it sink?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • sagenz,

    hey hey we finally get to comment. Newsroom early on definitely had it over scoop. I seem to remember a sort of RSS aggregator that got my junkie juices flowing.
    ihug was a pretty major one for me with the ability to get remote mail - it seems so simple now :)

    uk • Since Nov 2006 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    it's better than that. ihug was the first to give unlimited download time/volumes for dial-up.

    freakin genius. everyone i knew subscribed within weeks.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    I have to go with David Slack and give mad props to Robyn for Secret Passage and Dean Gray for A Waste of Bandwidth. Whatever happened to him anyway?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Harvey,

    I wanted to praise Arts and Letters Daily -- despite the sometimes mad ravings of its progenitor, it does (or did, I haven't been there for a while) manage to show how to get a whale of a lot of info onto a page, without flashy tricks, and yet in a way which clearly appealed strongly to the target audience.

    Westmere • Since Nov 2006 • 37 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Hey, off topic - this is great - although I fear I may have to go do some work soon, and I'm getting withdrawal symptoms, I may have to head for Kiwiblog, sign on as "Darth Bilious" & call someone a moron.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Conor Roberts,

    Here is a one hit wonder on the NZ web:

    http://www.familyfirst.org.nz/index.cfm/action_alert_

    Naughty Hell's Pizza

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I was working at Xtra when the black wall was replaced with the sunny yellow and blue portal. It was probably one of the greatest moments in the history of NZ interweb culture. Serious.

    I have Ihug stories - oh, I have Ihug stories - but I'm saving those for later.

    And thanks, David and Joanna, for the props. Yo, etc.

    As for Dean Gray, I like to think he's secretly blogging under a pseudonym, spewing out hilarious, inflammatory right-wing rants. If he isn't, he should be.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1823 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Does anyone remember BOHICA?

    It was made up of incensed smaller ISPs who felt that Telecom was giving unfair discounts to Xtra which, oh, it just happened to own.

    So BOHICA was formed. It stood for Bold Opposition to Hostile Internet Corporate Activities. Its logo was a snarling dog, which was, like, a reaction to Telecom’s SPOT.

    Of course, BOHICA more commonly stands for “bend over, here it comes again”, which may have been a little too accurate.

    I found this Computerworld article from ’96 outlining BOHICA’s outrage (Oh, look who it’s written by!).

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1823 posts Report Reply

  • ed pointsman,

    Daily stops are PA & NZBC. And Scoop should get an honourable mention for its excellent array of RSS feeds.

    Stuff is at the other end of the spectrum: particularly when you look at it's stablemates in Oz: SMH & the Age, it is just plain embarrassing by comparison. Oh, and anything with a Flash splash screen is enough to make me close the browser window.

    Other pet peeve: govt sites that think that using .co.nz or .com somehow makes them 'cooler'...

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    early good sites:

    webworkshop! (yeah, rob and lance, guilty as charged)

    CHC Press was the first nz paper i regularly visited. back in the mid-90s my hatred of the herald was visceral and their web presence was nada.

    early tvnz site (before they f-ed it up c.1999)

    aardvark

    scoop and hard news around 9/11. on a friday if i turned my mac on at work and there was no new hard news for the week i would be swearing about that lazy rb for a couple of hours ;-)

    more recently:
    frogblog leading up to the 2005 election. sooo good, which is why i have now had it with the current incarnation of frogblog. lame. lazy. waste of time. treats its users with contempt. some nice people used to comment, most of them have left the room.

    norightturn is great. but i/s, will you ever move to a better platform? blogger sucks. and it's a pity there is only a handful of interesting regular commenters.
    ------------------------

    brickbats:
    - stuff.co.nz? gees, has it improved? I've always found it appalling to navigate.
    - radio nz until a couple of years ago. what a disaster.

    tokyo • Since Nov 2006 • 628 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Halliday,

    As an ex-New Zealand resident who wants to keep abreast of news and things in New Zealand, the places I visit daily are

    Aardvark
    Stuff
    Public Address
    RBNZ - that one because it's my industry
    NBNZ - my bank

    and I used to visit the Herald regularly until it wanted my money. With an ad-blocker, Stuff is great, but if I switch it off or hve to use another machine, I practically go blind.

    What bombed? I bought something from Flying Pig, but not enough, just like everyone else. Is the AA Galleria still around? That was pretty awful too. And there was a sort of news site called SODA, if I remember correctly, that was supposed to be updated daily, but it wasn't.
    And I just know that as soon as I post this, I'll think of another site.

    New Zealand 1993-2005 • Since Nov 2006 • 1 posts Report Reply

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