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Tom MacWright

tom@macwright.org

Blogs I read

I still write a blog! And I read blogs too: though many other medias have arrived and many already peaked and burned out, blogging is still a unique chance to read the writing of subject matter experts, written in an environment of near-total freedom, and on your own terms, using the RSS reader you like - I use Feedly, with any level of privacy. I’m planning on eventually switching to a desktop RSS reader to free myself from even needing an intermediary. Unlike Twitter and most new networks, the blogs you read are your own business. Whether you liked or didn’t like a blog post, or even whether you read one - there’s no social pressure to give any indication. There’s no gamification, and almost no ‘metrics’ in the modern marketing audience-analysis sense.

Visual

  • Typewolf’s Site of the Day always includes a nice screenshot of some website using some interesting font. It keeps me aware of where design is going in its many niches.

News

  • PressThink is the best media criticism on the Internet - it’s incredibly thought-through and painfully accurate.
  • Bellingcat is deep news and extraordinarily detailed descriptions of how that news came to be, with internet research, image analysis, and context clues.

Technical

People

  • tecznotes Mike Migurski’s very long-running blog is sporadically updated, but his projects, which currently have a lot to do with gerrymandering and maps, are always fascinating.
  • Zach Holman has a very candid writing style and an interesting viewpoint on the tech industry, having written frankly about, for instance, getting fired from GitHub.
  • Quinn Norton’s writing has always captivated me. I subscribe to her Medium blog via RSS.
  • Aaron Straup Cope’s blog, though infrequently updated, is always poetically written and pithy.

You can follow all these as a collection on Feedly or you can download them as an OPML file and load them into any blog reader software. Yep, that’s right - there’s a standard for sharing lists of blog subscriptions, just like there are standards for reading blogs. The early web was good at that kind of thing in a way that the new web isn’t.


  • Thanks to Rebecca Williams for suggesting this topic.
  • This illustration’s style is totally cribbed from 37signals. I’m trying to get comfortable with drawing cartoon people.

October 28, 2017  @tmcw