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Rest of the Mac Web Results

December 2001

Dan Knight

Rest of the Mac Web Results

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 these sites.

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 out there.

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 votes.

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.

1. Railhead Design (4.42/4)

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.

2. Mac OS X Hints (4.36/3)

Mac OS X Hints is the top rated and best known OS X site in this survey.

3. MacDesktops (4.18/1)

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.

4. Emulation.net (3.97/6)

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.

5. Apple History (3.96/5)

Whodda thunk a site about Apple's history would be #5 in popularity and rating? It can't hurt that the site was mentioned in the January 2002 issue of Macworld magazine. An excellent resource.

6. Stepwise (3.75/9)

Got X? Stepwise is a well respected source of news and information about Mac OS X.

7. EveryMac (3.68/10)

It's a good thing I didn't know about EveryMac back in 1996 - I might never have created Low End Mac. EveryMac has more information than we do about several brands of Mac clones and upgrade cards.

8. MacGamez.com (3.61/13)

The top Mac gaming site in this survey, MacGamez.com is only 17 months old.

9. MacUpdate (3.59/15)

There seems to be a theory that you can never have too many software update sites. MacUpdate is the highest rated in this survey.

10. PowerBook Central (3.58/8)

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.

11. MacOSX.com (3.56/7)

From the home page, MacOSX.com looks like the focus is on discussion boards. It's the third highest rated OS X site in this survey.

12. Mac Orchard (3.54/15)

The Mac Orchard, another Mac software update site, was a regular visit when I did Mac support. Unlike most software sites, Mac Orchard has a specific focus on Internet-related software.

13. System 6 Heaven (3.53/24)

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.

14. Apple Museum (3.51/18)

Another Apple history site, the Apple Museum has been covering the whole of Apple history (not just Macs) since 1998.

15. Mac OS Zone (3.48/21)

Mac OS Zone is a trip down memory lane for me. It was one of the earliest Mac sites I visited on a regular basis when I first got connected to the Web. Although it uses frames, it does so very nicely.

16. 3 Macs and a Printer (3.42/12)

Got questions about networking Macs? 3 Macs and a Printer is an invaluable resource. Bookmark it - even if you don't need it today, you probably will someday.

17. Macworld (3.41/3)

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.

18. the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ (3.32/27)

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.

19. RandomMaccess (3.25/35)

It's not a well known site, but enough RandomMaccess fans wrote in that I had to include it on the survey. The site is new this year and building a following.

20. MacDirectory (3.24/16)

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.

21. Should Our Schools (or Anybody Else) Have Macs or PCs? (3.214/36)

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 elsewhere.

22. Jag's House (3.212/23)

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.

23. MacNow Magazine (3.19/31)

A monthly ezine, MacNow has some excellent content. It should be better known.

24. MacMonkey (3.13/18)

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 than once.

25. Creative Mac (3.10/19)

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 design justice.

26. MacHome (3.09/11)

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.

27. MacMilitia (2.96/20)

A Mac advocacy site since 1997, MacMilitia isn't updated nearly as frequently as it used to be (the last two updates were August 13 and October 31).

28. Mac OS Planet (2.89/28)

Begun in 1998, MOSP isn't well know, is amateurishly designed, and sometimes posts some worthwhile content. MOSP seems to live in its own world and rarely interacts with the broader Mac Web.

29. Complete Conflict Compendium (2.88/29)

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.

29. Mac Monkies (2.87/28)

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.

30. MacNetv2 Daily (2.86/34)

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.

33. Brave New Mac (2.84/30)

Here's another site I have high hopes for. Brave New Mac grew out of the rubble of MacSoldiers.com and has some good writers.

34. Why the Mac is so great.com (2.83/25)

I think whythemacissogreat.com is carrying the "domain as brand name" concept a bit too far. ;-) The site has a busy design, tends to load slowly, and sometimes has some interesting new content.

35. Mac News Info (2.80/38)

Another "I heard about it from the readers" site, the site's home page goes a little beyond simply providing headline links. I'll stick with MacMinute, thanks.

36. MacVillage (2.73/40)

Billed as a portal, MacVillage uses news feeds instead of discovering its own news links. The site does have some original content, but seems to lack focus.

37. MacUnlimited.com (2.70/41)

Billed as an online Mac magazine, MacUnlimited seems to have some good original content. We'll see how things develop.

38. SpyMac (2.61/32)

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 Apple PDA.

39. The iMac NewsPage (2.59/39)

Another relic from the Age of the iMac, The iMac NewsPage used to be a favorite, but it has seen updates grow increasingly infrequent. A shame.

40. Family-Mac (2.58/37)

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.

41. AppleGossip (2.48/33)

You can have too many Mac rumor sites - is AppleGossip one of them? Only time will tell. Worth checking out a Macworld Expo approaches.


Best rated are based on the average score, best known on the total number of votes cast for a site, and "weighted" multiplies the rating by the square root of the numbers of votes cast.

Best Rated

  1. Railhead Design
  2. MacOSX Hints
  3. MacDesktops
  4. Emulation.net
  5. Apple History
  6. Stepwise
  7. EveryMac
  8. MacGamez.com
  9. MacUpdate
  10. PowerBook Central
  11. MacOSX.com
  12. MacOrchard
  13. System 6 Heaven
  14. Apple Museum
  15. MacOSZone
  16. 3 Macs & a Printer
  17. Macworld
  18. pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ
  19. RandomMaccess
  20. MacDirectory
  21. Should Our Schools Have....
  22. Jag's House
  23. MacNow
  24. MacMonkey
  25. Creative Mac
  26. MacHome
  27. MacMilitia
  28. MacOSPlanet
  29. Complete Conflict Compendium
  30. MacMonkies
  31. MacNetv2 Daily
  32. iMac.com
  33. Brave New Mac
  34. WhytheMacissogreat.com
  35. MacNewsInfo
  36. MacVillage.net
  37. MacUnlimited.com
  38. SpyMac
  39. iMac NewsPage
  40. Family-Mac
  41. AppleGossip

Best Known

  1. MacDesktops
  2. Macworld
  3. MacOSX Hints
  4. Railhead Design
  5. Apple History
  6. Emulation.net
  7. MacOSX.com
  8. PowerBook Central
  9. Stepwise
  10. EveryMac
  11. MacHome
  12. 3 Macs & a Printer
  13. MacGamez.com
  14. MacUpdate
  15. MacOrchard
  16. MacDirectory
  17. Apple Museum
  18. MacMonkey
  19. Creative Mac
  20. MacMilitia
  21. MacOSZone
  22. iMac.com
  23. Jag's House
  24. System 6 Heaven
  25. WhytheMacissogreat.com
  26. MacOSPlanet
  27. pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ
  28. MacMonkies
  29. Complete Conflict Compendium
  30. Brave New Mac
  31. MacNow
  32. SpyMac
  33. AppleGossip
  34. MacNetv2 Daily
  35. RandomMaccess
  36. Should Our Schools Have....
  37. Family-Mac
  38. MacNewsInfo
  39. iMac NewsPage
  40. MacVillage.net
  41. MacUnlimited.com


  1. MacDesktops
  2. Railhead Design
  3. MacOSX Hints
  4. Macworld
  5. Apple History
  6. Emulation.net
  7. MacOSX.com
  8. Stepwise
  9. EveryMac
  10. PowerBook Central
  11. MacGamez.com
  12. MacUpdate
  13. MacOrchard
  14. 3 Macs & a Printer
  15. Apple Museum
  16. MacDirectory
  17. MacHome
  18. MacOSZone
  19. System 6 Heaven
  20. MacMonkey
  21. Creative Mac
  22. Jag's House
  23. pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ
  24. MacMilitia
  25. MacNow
  26. iMac.com
  27. RandomMaccess
  28. Should Our Schools Have....
  29. MacOSPlanet
  30. WhytheMacissogreat.com
  31. Complete Conflict Compendium
  32. MacMonkies
  33. Brave New Mac
  34. MacNetv2 Daily
  35. SpyMac
  36. MacNewsInfo
  37. AppleGossip
  38. MacVillage.net
  39. Family-Mac
  40. iMac NewsPage
  41. MacUnlimited.com

Odds & Ends


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.

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