While this list is in no particular order, LOLcats take the top slot, even though they were a late entry into the field. It's not that they're new—indeed, they've been plaguing my waking and sleeping hours for what seems like years now. But when Nobel laureate Paul Krugman put one up on his blog, the LOLcat reached a high-water mark. It is unlikely that trademark broken English will grace as high a peak as Krugman's blog. Well done.
Loser: The Drudge Report
Just to make one thing clear: Matt Drudge's blog is in no way obsolete. But this election cycle was propelled less by the infamous lo-fi wrecking crew website than it was by a broader base of bloggers. Drudge was simply not as spot-on inflammatory as it used to be. The man, I hear, is in semi-retirement—he doesn't need to throw elbows anymore. It is with both sadness and a sense of freedom that Drudge recedes in the greater bloviasphere.
Winner: The Anchorage Daily News
Newspapers don’t have a whole lot to be happy about these days. But at least one far-flung dead-tree rag got its five minutes of sunshine. Sen. John McCain’s pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin turned the nation’s eyes toward that cold stretch of land, and in the process the amount of quotes, citations and links to the Daily News was probably more than the paper had ever before received.
No, it’s not really about Palin (though she doesn’t help). It’s Ted Stevens. The fact that the state almost re-elected Senator Ted Stevens after being found guilty of felony charges is staggering—and more shameful than anything Palin did for the state.
More specifically, the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics. Looking back, some of the performances were mind-boggling. The human-hydraulic-box thing is epic. Simply epic.
Winner: Geeky baseball statisticians
Nate Silver, founder of the political site 538, is the man. He does no original polling of his own, and yet by crunching the numbers gathered by scores of other sites he was able to predict the vicissitudes of the 2008 election better than anyone else out there.
Loser: Wedge politics
For anyone on the left side of the political spectrum, witnessing the vitriolic and vituperative politics of Sarah Palin (and John McCain to some extent) was as surreal as it was terrifying. It was difficult watching the conscious exploitation of race, gender and class politics. They’re not gone for good, but this election season they failed.
Winner: The New Yorker
It was a breath of fresh air when The New Yorker published that now-infamous cover simply because it was a ham-fisted reminder of how incendiary print publications can be. The notion of the cover, the front page and the above-the-fold are only somewhat recreated online. Print still has the historic front page, if little else.