Last week, Time came out with a list called 25 Best Blogs 2009. I usually love lists like these because I figure I’m going to get a shot at checking out something special that I may not have heard of before. At the same time, I have to admit that there were some names I expected to see that weren’t there, and that was somewhat surprising.
On their list, I had heard of the Huffington Post, Lifehacker, Mashable, Official Google Blog, and Seth Godin’s Blog. I can’t disagree with these, per se, although I’ve only seen Mashable and Seth Godin’s Blog once ever. But there were a lot of blogs on that list that I just can’t see myself reading, as a regular guy. Even the Huffington Post blog really is less of a blog and more of an opinion site, if you ask me. Matter of fact, I don’t really think of Lifehacker and Seth Godin’s blogs as really blogs either. I mean, when we think of blogs in general, we usually think of one person writing something, or maybe a few people contributing to a similar theme on one blog. We also think of blogs as something that we can have some sense of sharing with, what we can feel somewhat close to, and feel that the people who are writing them are relating to, and with, us in some fashion. Out of all the blogs above, probably only Seth Godin’s blog has one writer, as all the others have multiple writers, and Seth Godin doesn’t take comments; hard to feel warm and fuzzy about that, from my perspective.
With that said, I decided to embark on my own trek of what I consider as the best blogs that I like to read. This wasn’t just an arbitrary thing I did either. I went through my feed reader and looked at every blog I follow that I don’t write, which came to 232 blogs; ouch! Well, the truth is that maybe 10 of those aren’t really blogs, but news feeds, but I looked at them anyway, just to make sure. And I was really shooting for a top 10 because it’s such a nice round number, but, lo and behold, in being honest, I could only come up with 9, which is one of my favorite numbers anyway, so it’s all good. And, contrary to what I wrote above, there are a couple here that have multiple writers; every once in awhile, you have to break your own rule.
So, in my opinion, what moves these blogs up my list? One, there has to be some pretty good regularity. If a blogger only writes once a week, well, that’s just not enough for me. Two, a blogger has to at least write some real content; that precludes less than four paragraphs on a regular basis. Three, the writing style has to at least be somewhat conversational; too technical or too juvenile drives me nuts. Four, they have to accept comments; that’s part of the joy of reading blogs in the first place, allowing me to share thoughts with the writer if I’m so moved. Five, I have to learn something, but this one is dicey because I have lots of interests, and sometimes my interest might only be what’s amusing.
There are no comedy blogs here, unfortunately. Eight of the blogs I’m going to list either I learn something from, or they help reinforce things I already knew. All are well written and informative. One is going to surprise some of you because it’s definitely out of the norm for probably all of you. And one is going to be very familiar to most of you who visit this blog, because it’s one for one of our good buddies; I didn’t exclude my friend’s blogs for this one. And, as much as y’all know I hate them, I didn’t disqualify Blogger blogs either. So, let’s get on with it; by the way, these are in no particular order:
* Thou Shall Blog; yes, our buddy Yan makes my list as one of the top nine blogs. This blog is about blogging, and offers great tips. It was supreme when Yan was the only writer, but now that he’s getting a little bit of help, I’m pleasantly surprised to see that it hasn’t gone down in quality. It’s amazing how fast his blog grew; his is the one I’m chasing right now.
* Build A Better Blog; these ladies, Patsi Krakoff and Denise Wakeman, have put together a supreme blog about business blogging, and if the rest of us want to find a model to follow as far as gaining blogging prominence, these are the two ladies to follow.
* Problogger; how anyone can seriously decide that Darren Rowse doesn’t belong in the top ten of any bloggers list, let alone the top 25, either means that person has no real idea what blogging is about, or is being xenophobic because they don’t know about this great Australian blogger (Time’s list was all American). Darren of course was the first million dollar blogger, and he’s still putting out quality stuff on a very regular basis, all about blogging.
* J. R.’s Place; this is probably a major surprise for most of you. It’s written by Jim Ross, a commentator on WWE Wrestling, and a hall of famer. This guy writes about more than wrestling, but his style is do down to earth that I really enjoy reading anything he has to say. Even if you don’t like wrestling, you will be taken in by his words.
* Search Engine Guide; this one almost didn’t count because of its multiple writer mode, but I like how they’ve gotten their style together so that it seems like the same person is writing. That, plus they make it easy to comment on each article, which is very well written, probably edited in a fashion that most of us don’t get the opportunity to do. I’ve learned a lot from this blog, and I’d have to say my favorite writer to follow is Jennifer Laycock (be good, Sire).
* The Black Factor; this is another niche blog that most of you probably won’t care for, but I find intriguing. S. Mary Wills writes to and about black workers in America and all the problems they do, and may, have in the working world. She quotes laws that are supposed to protect people against being discriminated agains, and gives great tips on how to work well with others, no matter the race.
* Copyblogger; this one also almost didn’t make the list because of the multiple writers, but man, this is just a great reading blog, with lots of information, and oddly enough, even with all the bloggers they don’t overwhelm you with so much information that you don’t have time to process it all.
* Diabetes Mine; y’all know I’m diabetic, and out of the blogs I follow that talk about diabetes, Amy Tenderich’s blog is the best, easiest to read, and has up to date information, as well as opinions, that just hit me in the right way.
* Garry Conn; this is one that I learned about when Yan did an interview with him on his blog. Garry makes money blogging, and he makes it with Adsense. He also makes a lot of money with Adsense in other areas, and he tells us how to do it on his blog with both his words and videos.
And there you go, my top nine list of blogs. Of course most of these folks will never know that they were on this list, since I didn’t link back to a specific post, but someone can go and tell Yan about it; that will make him smile I bet. I hope you take time to have a look at these blogs to see if you agree, disagree, or whatever; they deserve it.