Better than Buzzfeed?

By Lauren Burns on February 6, 2014
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During downtime between classes I’ve been known to do a little something called browse the Internet. Here are some of my favorite sites to check out while eating a buffalo chicken wrap at the South Campus Dining Hall before heading to class.

 Rookie Mag

The Rookie Mag logo designed by illustrator Hattie Stewart.

Founded by Tavi Gevinson, 17, Rookie is an online magazine targeted to teenage girls (guys: it’s still worth a look). Three articles are posted every weekday—one at 2 p.m., another at 7 p.m. and the last around 11 p.m. Each month has a certain theme and all the articles for the month are tied to it. Rookie’s contributors range from college student Hazel Cills to the creator of the Feminist Ryan Gosling blog Danielle Henderson. A highlight of Rookie is the “Ask a Grown Man” feature in which a male celebrity answers readers’ questions (one of the best included Mad Men’s Jon Hamm giving tips about farting etiquette). Readers are encouraged to send in their own work for a chance to be published on the site.

Code Academy

Code Academy teaches users how to code. It’s that simple and better yet, it’s free. Users can pick a programming language such as HTML or JavaScript to learn then follow a guided tutorial at their own pace. The founders of Code Academy want to “build the education the world deserves.” They just might do it, especially since Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, is one of the site’s investors.

Booooooom

When I want to discover something cool, but don’t want to commit to a StumbleUpon session, I head here. Founder Jeff Hamada posts content on art, film, photography, design and music. It’s full of amazing photos sets like this one of real clouds inside an art gallery. Booooooom teamed up with Sony and MTV for the “Made in Imagination” project. Readers were asked to submit their handmade instruments for a chance to win an Xperia Ion cell phone and bragging rights.

Longreads

Founder Mark Armstrong created Longreads for people who love to read long articles (no surprise there). Members and the staff of the site curate article for readers that are shown under “Our Picks” and “Community Picks” tabs. Users can also search for stories through tags diverse as Brooklyn, murder, gay marriage and science. The site is free, but users can become members by paying $3 per month to access new features ahead of the crowd.

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Lauren is a sophomore at the University of Maryland. She is a copy editor at the Diamondback and the arts & entertainment editor for Unwind. Dreams do come true.

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