FREE PRESS, FAVORITE MICHIGAN WEB SITES
July 15, 2002
Michigan, you've got Web.
To compile this list of the 40 best Michigan Web sites, we spent weeks poring over thousands of sites created in and about the state. We listened to audio clips, watched videos, clicked on thousands and thousands of links, scrolled through photos, scrutinized site maps and read through thousands of pages of written material.
Some sites were funny; others were packed with information; still otheers wowed us with beautiful pictures, deep thoughts and great design.
To make it to the top of any category, a site had to have a combination of great information, entertaining content and thoughtful design. When in doubt, information won; we figure folks are willing to put up with a bit of clumsy Web design if a site offers information or other things they can't get anywhere else.
We gave high marks to sites that made it easy to find your way, contained complete and in-depth information and were updated often enough to make yhou want to visit again and again. The sites at the top of each category were all strong contenders for the overall best Web site. It was a tough choice to make.
We excluded national and international companies that can afford to hire Web designers dozens of states away. We rejected national sites that happen to have local pages referring to Michigan, concentrating instead on sites dedicated to the Great Lakes State or created by and for those who live here.
We also didn't consider any media sites, even though there are dozens of wonderful pages for newspapers, magazines and television stations in the state, because that would have been a conflict of interest. If we recommended the Free Press' www.freep.com, Heather's www.heathernewman.com or Mike's www.pcmike.com, that wouldn't make us seem very credible, would it?
This list of Michigan Web sites represents just a tiny fraction of the great pages posted in and about our two peninsulas. We're confident you'd enjoy visiting any of them. Bon voyage!
AWARD; DETROIT FREE PRESS 2002 SELECTION
Not the most professionally designed site, but its continuously updated collection of all types of Great Lakes seafaring and sea-loving photos make this tour of the state worth bookmarking. Not only that, but the pictures are darned good, taken by Frank Frisk, a real Great Lakes sailor.
Frank Frisk is one of those Michiganders who's been enthralled by the Web. A cook and sailor aboard Great Lakes sailing vessels for years, Frisk began taking pictures of his many voyages as a way to share his adventures with friends and family.
Because Great Lakes shipping lanes are usually within range of a cellular phone tower, Frisk is able to dial into his internet provider on a wireless phone and upload pictures to his personal Web site.
"I love it," said Frisk, who lives in Marysville during the winter. "It's a great life out there, and with the Net, I can stay connected. Every week, I get 30 or 40 e-mails from people who tell me visiting my site is like taking a trip with me. And that's just what I want it to be."