Wade on Birmingham

Top five scorching sites


hottest sites

Baby, it’s hot outside. A sizzling summer is the perfect excuse to stay inside and away from the fickle fusion-powered reactor I call the sun.

While you’re cozy in your air-conditioned sanctuary, check out these five Birmingham Web sites that will change how you look at the city, its culture and its future.

(in alphabetical order)

BarCamp Birmingham


barcamp birmingham

Get in on the ground floor of a global gathering. On Aug. 25 and 26, area techies will get together for BarCamp Birmingham, a do-it-yourself meeting in an open environment.

Want a seminar? Suggest one, or give it yourself. Need to network? Pick a time, a place and a theme. The Wiki site allows any and all to pitch in with ideas, links, info and more.

What’s hot: A related Google Group and planning page shows the event details coming together in real time.

What’s needed: A clearer roadmap on how to get started with the group (like any Wiki page).

Check out: A beginner’s guide to the BarCamp experience in What to Expect.




The popular yet contentious Wikipedia provides a chance for you and your buddies to have the final say on Parkinson’s disease or Benedict Arnold. Now, BhamWiki provides a homegrown encyclopedia of all things Birmingham, from architectural highlights to zoological oddities.

The latest offerings include current events, a depressingly long list of city homicides this year and a handful of featured photos. Like all Wiki sites, what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in seemingly endless topical browsing.

What’s hot: Recent Changes lets you know what’s been added or fixed; you can also see every single page listed, or just the most popular ones.

What’s needed: A clearer roadmap on how to get started with the group (like any Wiki page).

Check out: A list-in-progress of Birmingham songs and a short history of our favorite newspaper.

The Birmingham Buzz


birmingham buzz

The local music scene may be getting renewed national attention, but one e-zine has been on the beat for five years. The Birmingham Buzz offers interviews, advice and CD reviews for fans of homegrown rock.

It ain’t the prettiest of sites, but then, that’s rock ’n’ roll for ya.

What’s hot: Up-to-date club listings on the left, plus featured CD purchases on the home page. Also, forums with actual live users.

What’s needed: The only things missing are reviews of shows and concerts and an RSS feed.

Check out: The Listening Room offers streaming audio from dozens of Birmingham indie bands.

Birmingham Rewound


birmingham rewound

This city’s past is more than fire hoses, dogs and steel mills. Birmingham Rewound is a colorful time capsule of where we shopped, what we ate, which drive-ins were cool and what TV stations had the dorkiest kids’ shows.

For old-timers, it’s a true nostalgia trip. For youngsters, it’s a past worth experiencing and understanding.

What’s hot: You can contribute your own Magic City Memories to the compilation of personal histories.

What’s needed: Your old photos and best stories.

Check out: Meet the Webmaster, Russell Wells.

The Magic City Flickr Group


magic city flickr group

If a photo’s worth a thousand words, Birmingham has over 5 million words and counting. The Magic City Flickr Group represents more than 200 amateur and professional photographers around town who have pooled more than 5,000 photos.

Cityscapes, portraits, buildings and animals … no subject is too big or small for this gallery of city life.

What’s hot: An ongoing discussion of various topics adds personality to the pictures and picturetakers.

What’s needed: A group show in the real world. Anyone want to help out?

Check out: Group members regularly select the best photos from the pool.


Post Card Birmingham
A rich visual history of Birmingham, captured in vintage postcards.

Southside, 1960-1985
A tribute to a bygone era, when Southside was the artistic and political counterpoint to a conservative Birmingham.

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Which Birmingham sites did we miss? Send us a note or leave a comment below.

• • •

More special reports.

5 Yips for “Top five scorching sites”

  1. Dystopos
    Wednesday, August 2, 2006, 10:45 am

    You left out bhamrails.info, a trove of documents about railroads, industry, and urban development throughout Birmingham’s history.

    Thanks for putting the BhamWiki on your list, by the way.

  2. Wade
    Wednesday, August 2, 2006, 3:01 pm

    You’re welcome. Thanks for the tip on Birmingham Rails — not everyone remembers that the city came into being because it was the crossroads, so to speak, of two major railways.

  3. Doc's Political Parlor and Home of Lawn Mower Repair
    Thursday, August 3, 2006, 2:32 pm

    “Five Scorching Sites”

    Folks interested in what is for now Alabama’s largest city may be interested in “five scorching sites” that “that will change how you look at the city, its culture and its future” from Wade on Birmingham.

  4. ‘Five Scorching Sites’ » Doc’s Political Parlor
    Monday, May 26, 2008, 9:29 am

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