BEST LOCAL WEBSITE (2008)

MnSpeak

There are many reasons not to visit MnSpeak. Like Minnesota itself, the website has a tendency to be hostile to outsiders, such as when a newbie asked where to find a good sports bar and was promptly accused of being everything from a frat boy to a repressed homosexual. But in a year that saw the launch of many ambitious new websites—from MinnPost to the Daily Mole—MnSpeak continued to best better-funded and more highly touted sites in one important area: hosting a daily online conversation. And there's genuine insight to be gleaned between the snark and bile; regular commenters include Jason DeRusha, a WCCO-TV reporter who provides a candid view of the media, and site moderator Max Sparber, a City Pages contributor and published playwright. When a thread finds its groove, MnSpeak can be an almost compulsive addiction, like eavesdropping on the best kind of cocktail party. And yes, it was better when Rex was here.