Friday 30 Sep 2016

Website Review
Mileena Vedas

Finding anything new or different, on the web, is like finding an honest mortgage lender in your spam-stuffed e-mail folders. Choices seem endless, but are few. It's searching for a cyber ping, in a network of server haystacks.

If a cyber boot is what you need, Grub Street is where you want to go. It's a potpourri. Grub Street is where minds meet. It's where everyone wants to know what you think, and why.

Grub Street jams much information into a small space. Think of WinRAR, and you get the idea. Grub Street appeals to minds, not pocketbooks.  

There are few ads on Grub Street. "We wanted a clean, uncluttered site," says Streeter Click – his real name – managing editor, of Grub Street. "There's no ad clutter here, content rules.

Grub Street is a no-nonsense web site. There are clear links to featured content, on the front page. An extensive, an easy-to-navigate table of contents is also accessible from the front page.  

Does it work? The answer is yes. About 30%, of Grub Street, visitors return, over a week. "Yes, they use their plastic, too," says Click.

Grub Street went through a heady development. In a flippant posting, "Why Grub Street?," Click tells how the web site got its name. "It's a metaphor for writing," he says.

The Ideal Journalist, a posting on Ed Murrow, lays out the ideals that drive Grub Street. "We assume," says Click, "readers want honesty and integrity, even if it means posting items they don't like." There's something to offend everyone, on Grub Street.  

Grub Street aims for the highest common denominator. "After all," says Click, "anyone wanting to know about the antics of Paris or Lindsay can pick from an almost infinite number of sites. That type of news doesn't need repeating."

"Not many sites post new fiction or thoughtful humor? Few sites promote literary artistry, op-eds or think pieces. We believe there should be more.

"At first," says Click, "Grub Street seems elitist. It isn't. We agree, with American writer, Lionel Trilling, that everyone has a moral duty to be intelligent. A moment of thought, about anything, always improves your understanding. Why shouldn't you know your world better? 

"Is it arrogant for us to believe readers can contribute, too? Grub Street has writers as young as 14," says Click. "These kids are as sharp as our middle-age writers. All our writers, their ideas and words, get hundreds of thousands of page views. When it comes to ideas, many voices are better than a few." 

Postings on Grub Street range from media analysis to Yoga, fiction to philosophy, humor to social criticism. "We're a general store, of ideas," says Click. "Grub Street isn't a niche site, in a conventional sense. Grub Street is a multiple-niche site in an unconventional sense."

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