At a time when it seems like most websites try to jam in as many links, fancy moving things and ads as possible, I thank The Wirecutter for showing that content can still be king—and that on the Web, simple can often be better.
The premise of The Wirecutter is incredibly simple: Brian Lam, formerly of Gawker tech-blog Gizmodo, gives recommendations on what to buy when you're looking for a TV, tablet, camera, smartphone, etc. The front page has a list of simple and clever categories, including "The Great TV I'd Get," "Boring but True: iPhone Is Best Phone," and "My Favorite HDMI Cables." Click on one of the links, and you get a simple review of the product, opinions from other sites, tech specs and what you should expect to pay. That's all—but that's really all you need to know when you're shopping for this stuff, right?
What's great about The Wirecutter is that it has one goal, and the site accomplishes it well. No one needs another tech blog, so when Lam quit Gizmodo, he wanted to do something different—and the people behind The Awl made it happen.
Taking expertise and making it available to the public in a user-friendly way ... what a concept.
The week on The Range
We brought you a dispatch from Jared Loughner's Tucson court hearing, where a federal judge said Loughner should get four more months of mental-health treatment to see if he can be made competent to stand trial; shared Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik's concern that the Rio Nuevo board isn't doing much for downtown, and instead is doing a lot of suing and investigating; noted that the Republican candidates are having a much harder time raising money than the Democrats in the Tucson mayor and council races; watched Democratic mayoral candidate Jonathan Rothschild's new campaign video; and shared the latest Arizona Illustrated Political Roundtable, with your host, Jim Nintzel.
We shared the big staff changes at City Hall; noted that Pima County had denied an air-quality permit for the proposed Rosemont Mine; celebrated the return of Major League Soccer to Tucson; looked over the new maps from the Independent Redistricting Commission; thought about occupying Phoenix; shared some crime news; looked over the "Help Wanted" ads; and were disturbed by Bank of America's new debit-card fees.
We got the chills while thinking about Mr. An's new FrozAn Yogurt; looked in at the new Apple Farm Bakery Diner on Stone Avenue, and Polish Cottage on Broadway Boulevard; shared an update from downtown's 47 Scott; found something very familiar about Check It Out Hamburgers; and suggested you try lunch at downtown's V Fine Thai Dining.
We recommended a whole bunch of new music; told you to see Portugal. The Man at downtown's Rialto Theatre, and White Panda at Club Congress; brought you the latest bicycling news; worried that Modern Family is on a downhill slide; talked about Batman comics; were not persuaded by the new Chili's ad; cheered on the Arizona Diamondbacks; wondered about the future of online poker; and taught you how to peel garlic in a super-fast fashion.
Comment of the week
"Hopefully, prison time awaits Shirley Scott and other clownsilettes."
—TucsonWeekly.com commenter "Len" invents a word to describe his post-Rio-Nuevo frustration ("City Hall Brawl: Democrats Have Huge Financial Advantage Over Republicans in Tucson Mayor and Council Races," The Range, Oct. 2).
Best of WWW
Last week, we hit 7,000 Facebook "likes" ... which is, really, a pretty meaningless accomplishment. There are obviously media outlets with more fans (and there are major newspapers in town with far fewer), but whether users clicked the "like" button because they wanted to call one of our writers an idiot, or to appreciate our in-depth Insane Clown Posse coverage, the articles we share via social media provoke interactive reactions. If you do actually "like" us, thanks for letting us be part of the endless stream of content you're bombarded with. Now, on to 10,000!