The Hotlist: April 2015
A Guide to the Web’s Most Cutting Edge New Media Content

Compiled by Elliot Feldman

If you’d like your site to be featured on the Hotlist, send an e-mail to elliotfeldman@yahoo.com.

The Hotspot 
The Hotspot highlights Web content created by writers working under a WGA contract. 


The Barista Times

The Barista Times is a Web series created by Oregon-based actor and comedian Nathan Woodworth, and filmmaker Sam Pyke. Episodes were shot in a real-life coffee house in central Oregon. The characters are based on the coffee house's baristas and their customers. The series stars Woodworth and a group of actors trained by Second City and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The scripts were written by Nathan Woodworth and his sister Emily.
ZINES

Paradigm Magazine
Paradigm Magazine is an online art and literary zine consisting of fine photography, and interviews with thinkers that include the likes of Freeman Dyson. ParadigmTV is also on the site. It includes videos that spotlight notable artists like photographer Glen E. Friedman.

DIGIDAY
Digiday describes themselves as "the authority on digital media, marketing, and advertising professionals." It is part of Digiday Publishing, "a leading modern media publication and events company" that consists of a team of journalists, researchers, marketers and designers "that help brands create content." The zine was launched by Brian Morrissey, a former digital editor at Adweek. And Digiday.com includes several email newsletters: Digiday Daily, Digiday Brands, and Digiday Publishing.


SOCIAL MEDIA

The Big Roundtable
The Big Roundtable describes itself as an "authors' cooperative"; the "home, both online and offline, for writers with true stories." The content is geared toward aspiring "writers of nonfiction stories too long for most magazines." It was founded by Columbia School of Journalism professor Michael Shapiro. The rest of the team comes from The Columbia Journalism Review, and Chicago Tribune. Aspiring writers submit their works via email, and the team decides what gets published. Some of the more notable pieces have been co-published by Buzzfeed, Tablet Magazine, and Medium.


APPS

StoryScape
StoryScape is an app for Android devices. StoryScape describes itself as a "literary platform." Developed by the MIT Media Lab's Affective Computing Group, it is a learning tool that allows app subscribers to create their own interactive storybooks. Users can pick from a selection of animated art or they can create their own artwork. And then they can add their own story to the animation via the app platform. In the end, users can view their finished story with StoryScape's mobile reader.

HAUNTING MELISSA
Independent film producer Neal Edelstein (The Ring) is the developer of Haunting Melissa, a cinema-based app currently for Apple devices. The episodic series is downloadable via iTunes. It's written by mystery novelist Andrew Klavan. As a new episode is available for viewing, push notifications are sent to subscribers.


INTERACTIVE GAMES

IGN Presents: Museum of Mario
IGN Presents: Museum of Mario was developed by Intel, using its HTML5 technology, in collaboration with content from longstanding gaming news magazine IGN. It is an interactive experience that explores the decades-long history of the game character Mario when users click around the fun interface to find interactive elements that expose the game story.

ReBuilding Haiti
ReBuilding Haiti is a project that's part multi-branched news-game and part long-form journalism, funded by The European Journalism Centre. The goal of the site is to educate and help viewers understand the problems that Haiti faced after the devastating 2010 earthquake. It is a collaborative project from French news Web site Rue89, journalist Jean Abbiateci, photographer Pierre Morel, and game designer Florent Maurin.


INTERACTIVE DOCUMENTARIES

Cronulla Riots
SBS stands for Australia's Special Broadcasting Service, a public television, radio and online network. Their interactive documentaries are especially notable. "Cronulla Riots - The Day That Shocked the Nation" is one of their best. It uses cutting edge multimedia technology to tell the story of a racially-motivated violent 2005 event that took place on a Sydney beach where men of "middle eastern appearance" were targeted. The piece is divided into nine chapters.

The Block: Stories from a Meeting Place
The Block: Stories from a Meeting Place is another SBS produced Australian interactive documentary. The documentary tells the turbulent history of The Block, an aboriginal district in Sydney that fell victim to a real estate development project. Viewers participate in a 3-D environment where they can virtually walk through the neighborhood. The multimedia elements consist of archive news footage and video interviews with former residents. It was created by SBS producer Matt Smith, Alicia Hamilton and Poppy Stockell.

The { } And
The { } And is an interactive documentary where viewers can navigate through videos of 30 couples gay and straight who discuss "big themes of love and relationships." Each couple is asked 412 candid questions. The overall video story takes shape according to how questions are answered by both couples and viewers. It was created by film director Topaz Adizes and Nathan Phillips, creative director of Noise, a marketing agency.

THANATORAMA
The Submarine Channel is a Dutch multimedia publishing platform. One of its features is Thanatorama, an interactive documentary that explores "the after-life industry." Viewers choose their own funeral and after-life. The French developers include producer Alexandre Brachet, writers Julien Guinford and Vincent Baillais, and project creator Ana Maria De Jesus. Note that the content includes English subtitles.

UNSPEAK
Unspeak is also an interactive documentary on The Submarine Channel. It is the online companion to Steven Poole's book of the same name. The Unspeak documentary explores the manipulative power of language, using short films and an interactive dictionary. Trending words and phrases in particular are examined. Examples might include "global warming" and "too big to fail." Poole wrote the narrative for the online documentary. Submarine Channel's Femke Wolting produced the project. Each documentary episode examines about ten trending phrases. Site users can also submit their own trending phrase suggestions into the interactive dictionary.

Seven Digital Deadly Sins
Seven Deadly Digital Sins is an interactive documentary produced by The National Film Board of Canada and the Guardian, Britain's national daily newspaper. The sins that include sloth, gluttony, greed, wrath, lust, envy, and pride are re-interpreted and applied to online social behaviors. Video "confessions" come from notables that include writer Jon Ronson, novelist Gary Shteyngart, and singer-songwriter Billy Bragg. Jam3 is the project developer.


INFORMATION RESOURCES

Variety 411
Venerable entertainment business trade newspaper Variety is the sponsor of Variety411.com, the online version of publisher 411's longstanding "qualified" directories geared towards film, television, and commercial production. Part of Penske Media, the 411 Publishing Company has been around for over 30 years. Variety411.com offers searchable contact information for producers and other industry professionals in every state. Content is offered in cooperation with film commissions in every state.

The WGAW encourages New Media projects to respect content creators through Guild contracts. If you’re working in New Media and would like information on getting your project covered, contact Shelagh Wagener or call (323) 782-4511.

Elliot Feldman's novel, Sitting Shiva, was published in 2003 -- ISBN: 0964374064. And check out his comics at Scene4 Magazine - WARNING: Not for the easily offended.