The Rest of the Mac Web (ROTMW) survey covers 41 independent Mac Web
sites not included in the November 2001 Best of
the Mac Web (BOTMW) survey. Many of these were nominated fans of
This is a very diverse list of sites - and it's far from exhaustive.
There are probably another 100 or more independent Mac-related sites
One reason for this survey is to determine which sites should be
added to the Spring 2002 Best of the Mac Web survey.
We attempted to contact the publisher or webmaster of the sites
listed and give them the opportunity to add a link to the survey and
have the opinions of their visitors counted.
We encouraged publishers to link to the survey so we can poll a
broad cross-section of Mac Web visitors. With enough sites sending
their visitors, that keeps results from getting spiked by a strong push
from a single site, although that may be less true of this survey,
since it deals mostly with less known sites.
Voting took place from November 29 through December 9. Over 1,019
votes were cast; the Best of the Mac Web survey had well over 2,000
To some extent, this can't help but be a popularity contest, even
more so than in the more broadly based Best of the Mac Web survey. Out
two goals in this survey are learning what you, the reader, think of
these sites and seeing how well known they are. This is an opinion
poll, not a scientific survey.
With one exception, the sites that linked to the survey asked their
visitors to let the world know what they think, including things like
"how much you like our site." That's exactly what we wanted, but we
must make special note of MacMonkey, where members of their forum not
only encouraged everyone to rate the site "excellent" but also posted
details on how to circumvent the one user/one vote setting on the poll.
Further, the publisher promoted a campaign to cast negative votes for
Mac Monkies, whom they consider "posers."
Best of the Rest
Results of the Rest of the Mac Web survey cannot be directly
compared with the Best of the Mac Web survey since they were promoted
on different sites. The numbers after the site's name are its score (on
a scale of 1-5) and its popularity rank.
Railhead Design has an attractive design and that makes decent use
of frames (this from someone who generally doesn't like frame). Then
again, the site's focus is the interface, so it stands to reason they'd
have a nice design.
The best known site in the survey with 466 votes, MacDesktops is
where I go on the rare occasion that I want to change my desktop
picture. If you're tired of your desktop art, you're sure to find
something you'll like here.
For those who think the Mac doesn't have enough games,
emulation.net provides links to dozens of game system emulators. Mac
users can play games for Gameboy, Atari 2600, NES, and a host of other
game machines with software linked here.
Considering that laptops are expected to account for 25% of all
personal computer sales in the coming year, there probably aren't
enough good PowerBook sites out there. PowerBook Central is one of the
good ones and the highest rated PB site in this poll. Especially nice:
daily and weekly tracking of PowerBook and iBook deals.
This is definitely a low-end site, and one members on Low End Mac's email lists who still use
System 6 rave about. System 6 is especially suited for the old
8 MHz compact Macs, since they are limited to 4 MB RAM and
don't really have the horsepower to run System 7 well.
We should have included the Macworld magazine site in the Best of
the Mac Web survey. It's very well know (#3 in this poll), as is the
magazine. That said, magazine-related sites don't always understand the
Web. The content usually translates nicely, but Web users are looking
for ongoing updates, not just monthly content. As well known as it is,
Macworld is rated #17 in this survey.
The only Mac site on the Web endorsed by Low End Mac, the pickle's
Low-End Mac FAQ has all sorts of useful and sometimes obscure
information about pre-PowerPC Macs. Lots of information. Recommended to
anyone working with 68000- to 68040-based Macs.
Ever visit a site you just don't get? MacDirectory is one of them,
and the home page really doesn't give you a clue what the site's all
about. While you may pop over to MacDirectory through a link on
MacSurfer, you'd never even
know the site had new content from the home page.
This is a Mac advocacy site pure and simple. John Droz created
"Should Our Schools" in response to mid-2000 attempts to have a 90% Mac
school district standardize on Windows PCs. An excellent resource for
others engaged in that conflict at home, work, school, or
Jag's House is the third site in this survey that specifically
supports older Macs. It's a wealth of information covering everything
from System software to getting a Mac Plus on the Net to how to create
a Mac floppy on a PC. The site doesn't have a lot of visual polish, but
the content is top notch.
Despite a blatant "vote early, vote often, vote excellent (I'm
gonna come visit you after borrowing Quadzy's broom!)" campaign,
MacMonkey showed up in the middle of the pack in popularity and below
the middle by user rating in the sites on this survey. (A score of 3.13
would have made it 45th out of 56 on our Best of the Mac Web survey.)
We were less than impressed with the efforts of MacMonkey forum members
to trash the reputation of Mac Monkies and teach users how to vote more
Creative Mac has a very busy home page that looks more like printed
content than we're used to seeing on the Web. The site has some
interesting content and makes decent use of frames, but you'll really
want to use a big browser window (800 pixels wide or so) to do the
The folks at Mac Home wondered why their site wasn't on the Best of
the Mac Survey. With a rating of 26 among the 41 sites in this poll, I
think we've answered their question. The MacHome site is another case
of a print publication not adapting well to the world of the Web. On
the positive side, it is the 11th best known site in this survey.
Unfortunately greatly outdated, CCC used to be an invaluable
resource for troubleshooting the Mac. All those control panels and
extensions - CCC could help you determine what they did and what you
could do without.
I like the attitude at Mac Monkies. I don't know how much of its
29th place rating was due to being negatively targeted by MacMonkey,
but I think this one is an up-and-comer. I'd like to see them move to
their own domain someday; being hosted on mac.com just doesn't have the
pinnace of your own domain.
Another reader submission, I'd never heard of MacNetv2 Daily until
the Best of the Mac Web survey feedback started coming in. Considering
how poorly known it is (34th out of 41 sites in this survey), I guess
I'm not alone. I see little about the site to commend it.
32. The iMac.com (2.85/22)
How the mighty have fallen - three years ago iMac sites were flying
high (our iMac Channel got more traffic than the LEM home page!). Most
have thrown in the towel, but The iMac.com is hanging in there. Barely.
The latest update was November 13. The limited hardware focus probably
dooms the site in the long run, since the iMac is seen today as just
another part of the Apple lineup.
No, SpyMac isn't the lowest rated Mac rumor site in this survey -
there's still one more at #41. The site is relatively obscure and
claims to have information on something called iWalk, which could be an
Family-Mac is not a well known Mac ezine and the home page isn't
particularly inviting, but it's published some good, thought-provoking
content. Still fairly new, Family-Mac usually produces a new issue
around the 15th of the month. Watch for links on MacSurfer.
Most "average" rank: Jag's House, 22 or 23 in each ranking
To answer the question raised by the readers who suggested some of
these sites, I think we've discovered why most of these were not
included in the Best of the Mac Web survey - a lot of them are not well
known and/or well respected.
We plan on including the following sites in the next Best of the Mac
Web survey, probably in March or April 2002. Apple History,
Emulation.net, EveryMac, MacDesktops, MacGamez.com, MacOSX Hints,
MacUpdate, Railhead Design, Stepwise, and PowerBook Central.
We are hoping to cover 50-60 sites in that survey, starting with the
40 top sites from the "Best," adding the above sites from the "Rest,"
and seeing what else seems appropriate at the time.
Thanks to everyone who suggested sites and everyone who voted in
this survey. It's very helpful to know which sites you're familiar with
and what you think of them.