I had lunch Rick Weiss a few weeks ago, and one of the things we talked about was completely clearing your RSS Reader (removing all feeds), unfollowing everyone on Twitter, deleting your friends from Facebook and basically getting a fresh start. I took part of that advice, and gave the blogs I do still subscribe to a hard look. Which ones am I actually reading? Which ones do I just skim over every day?
Here are a few keepers:
When it comes to learning about the latest and greatest technology news, you can't go wrong with Slashdot. Their short, microblogesque posts leave out the hyperbole and hype of those 'other' tech blogs and leave you with the facts, short and sweet.
I might not read every post on io9, but that's just because I don't have time. This science-fiction blog isn't just about space aliens and Star Wars, and often talks about the real-life impacts seemingly sci-fi technology can have on our lives. I'd recommend reading it for anyone interested in where we might be in the next few years.
Nike Sportswear's Facebook page isn't necessarily a blog, but they still pump out some cool stuff on a pretty regular basis. Its also a great look at a slice of a big company with lots of different divisions doing something interesting in social media.
Gaga Stigmata is a blog of "Critical writings and art about Lady Gaga...new technological breed of journal that intends to take seriously the brazenly unserious shock pop phenomenon and fame monster known as Lady Gaga." What's not to like?
Yimmy is a taste-maker of the photoblog generation, and I feel like images that show up on his site always end up spread across the web a few days later.
So there you have it. Mostly guilty pleasures, and an escape from the fishbowl.
Any other reading suggestions?
Oh, and I also read Ed Lee's blog. He's not just my boss - he's also a pretty smart dude.
I recently wrote a post on this blog introducing you to Jan Chipchase's Future Perfect blog in an attempt to introduce people to some blogs that might be outside their usual reading scope. Continuing with this series is a post about SEOMoz and why you should be reading it. A concept that has been around for a long time in the web industry but only recently seems to be gaining steam amongst communications professionals is that of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). According to Wikipedia, this is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site via natural or "organic" search results. Basically, the more optimized your website is, the better traffic you'll get to it.
For some reason, many of the people that I have spoken to in the past few months seem to think that there is some sort of alchemical magic or technological wizardry that optimizes a site for search engines.
Put aside those thoughts and start reading the SEOMoz blog, written by some of the world's leading SEO experts. Some of their posts are directed at newcomers to the world of SEO and can offer a great introduction. Others are a little more complicated and technical, and the balance of the two types of posts lets you pick up anywhere and start learning or applying what you already know.
If you're more of a visual learner, they also have a series of posts called Whiteboard Fridays where one of their team members will create a short, casual video explaining some SEO concepts.
One of my favorite posts on SEOMoz is about the Three Cornerstones of SEO. Even though it was published back in mid-September, I'm constantly referring to the great diagram they have that makes it easy to explain the basic concepts of Search Engine Optimization.
So head on over to SEOMoz and find out why can proudly say they've got more than 30,000 subscribers to their RSS feed.
PS: Related is a great post from Ed Lee about why your site sucks in search engine rankings. As I commented there:
"I also think that too many people complicate SEO, particularly in our industry. They think that it is some kind of alchemical magic, when it really comes down to the three simple “pillars” that you mention. I’ve always heard that if you design a site that is easy to navigate by humans, the search engine bots/spiders will also be able to crawl it easily and find your content. If you’re creating relevant content and writing naturally using words that people are likely to search for rather than jargon, people will be able to find your site and are more likely to get something out of it, and subsequently link to it."