What about creating a small but distinctive and attractive certification stamp that would be roughly synonymous with a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval…a stamp could that could be shared by da coolest Hollywood sites as a badge of honor?

I’ve previously floated the idea of Hollywood Elsewhere being a kind of Charley Varrick site. Myself and Sasha Stone vs. the big combines and the measured, cautious, status-quo mush (trade announcements, hires, pitch deals, tediously “thoughtful” analysis of sequel earnings, trends, inventory assessment, bean-counting, reviews, steady as she goes) that they tend to churn out.

Yesterday’s MTMP discussion with Tracking Board‘s Jeff Sneider, or a portion of it rather, inspired a notion about how this romantic allusion (“last of the indie crop-dusters”) could include not just Hollywood Elsewhere and Awards Daily, but also Richard Rushfield‘s The Ankler plus another site I’m not allowed to mention.

Each site is obviously about their particular content and brand, but at least they’re all pointed and independent-minded — a quartet of distinctive, singular-voice platforms that any industry, especially one so closely entwined with dreamscapes and metaphors and cultural reflection as the entertainment industry, needs to stay healthy.

Back in late ’01 or early ’02, in the doldrums of the dot.com bust, David Poland and I tried to get a discussion going about creating a super-site of indie Hollywood voices — myself, Poland, Anne Thompson and Nikki Finke, believe it or not. I can’t recall if Sasha Stone was involved or not. It obviously never came to anything, but his idea was to merge four or five niche voices into one Big Niche Voice location. One-stop shopping for people looking for a little extra punch & personality instead of standard status-quo journalism.

My lone wolf instincts are too well-ingrained to talk about merging with anyone or anything, but a few select sites sharing a badge of honor…that could work. I’m thinking of a distinctive logo of some kind (like an MPAA PG-13 or R rating logo) that says “this is a cool site…a place you should visit…one of the few special places where precise and particular individual voices can be found…you can trust this site not to bullshit or bore you or cause your eyelids to droop a bit.”

Whaddaya think?