I tend not to visit many riding-related web sites. For the most part there just doesn't seem to be much going on some links borrowed from another site, a message board of 15-year-olds calling Mirra a fag, and some dead sailor photos. Not to mention it hasn't been updated since the original "Under Construction" animated GIF was put up there. (Well, not all sites are like that, but there are quite a few...) And I won't bother bringing up the design of sites, because that isn't really fair not everybody is a web designer; and besides, content is more important than appearance (a lot of professional "extreme sports" sites look great but are terribly boring).
Backlash BMX is one of those sites I just happened to visit once in a while. From what I can tell over the past couple weeks, the thing is updated fairly regularly a major plus. The home page is divided into two sections: "Features" are site updates (which happen every few days), and "Gravy" is sort of a weblog of what's new on other riding sites (they say "we do the surfing so you don't have to"), so it's easy to see what's new. Content on the site includes news, interviews, photos, video and product reviews, links (of course), and more.
My only real complaints are these:
- The ad frame that's constantly at the bottom of the page, taking up room it'd be better if it was actually on the page (rather than in a frame) so you can scroll past it.
- The ads that occasionally automatically pop-up in a new window terribly annoying.
- The navigation is weird and kinda hidden on the home page in the left column there are eight small, cryptic, unlabeled icons that are actually the site's navigation. It's a good thing that these were duplicated on the bottom of the pages as text links, 'cause at first I didn't realize they were clickable. And you don't know where each one goes to until you mouse over it (a pet peeve of mine).
Backlash BMX has decent content and is updated fairly regularly. I would've liked to have seen more photos outside of the Photos section sprinkled throughout the Features, perhaps one on the home page so the overall feeling of the site wasn't so text-heavy. But it's so rare that a riding site has original stuff to read that I can't complain too much.
(Note: Since this review was originally written, Backlash BMX has removed the ads.)
About.com: Urban Legends and Folklore
This site should be required reading for all Internet newbies and AOL users. You know those people and you might be guilty of this yourself who send everyone they know a virus alert ("THIS WILL ERASE YOUR ENTIRE HARD DRIVE!!!!!"). Or want to try to help find some missing child. Or forward you a message in the hopes that Bill Gates will pay them ("I'm sending this just in case it's true"). Well, it's not true they're all fake. About.com's Urban Legends site tackles these online myths from viruses to scams to all-out lies as well as those old wives' tales and things that supposedly happened to your friend's second cousin (many of which can be seen at Plinko, which was reviewed last issue).
While many of the sections are interesting to read, what I find most helpful are the sections on net hoaxes and viruses. There's also an article on How to Spot an Email Hoax send that one to your clueless friend that sends you a message that starts off with "Forward this to everyone you know", and hopefully (but not likely) we'll put an end those annoying emails.
Don't be fooled: although Super Greg's site looks like a cheesy home page like Mahir's, it's actually part of Levi's Buddy Lee marketing campaign (he lost a DJ competition to Buddy). The site has pictures of the "super" DJ decked out in fresh sweats in action, with his posse, his equipment, and showing where he grew up. But the best part is the one QuickTime video ("Da Number One") showing Super Greg DJing live. It's only about 30 seconds long, but damn, that some funny shit...
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Note: All links were working when this article was written. The reviewed sites may have been changed since then, and as a results some links may be broken.