Reading blogs can be a slippery slope. Once upon a time, I found myself addicted to blog reading to the point where I couldn't get anything else done online because I just kept on reading them.
This is not to say you should avoid reading blogs. Especially not this one. I'm really trying to build an audience here, and your patronage is greatly appreciated. Keep coming back. I swear I'll make it worth your while.
No, it means we all should read blogs in moderation, as to not suffer from information overload. So I cut a bunch of blogs out of my life... and came up with these 11 that I just can't stop visiting.
No frills. Just top-shelf deconstruction of idiocy.
Fire Joe Morgan - FJM is, by far, my favorite sports website. They find the worst examples of sports journalism and then completely deconstruct the articles, line by line, to highlight the idiocy behind the writing.
Their posts serve as huge reminders of what we already knew -- a pretty large portion of the sports writers in this country are just straight up awful.
The best post in their history is this one, which breaks down an piece by a columnist in the Pittsburgh "Tribune-Review"... where the guy talks about how baseball fans are inferior to the fans of his favorite sport, superbike racing. (?)
Boing Boing - Sometimes it gets a little to techy for its own good but, on a post-by-post basis, Boing Boing is the one website that manages to find almost all of the best of the quirky, fascinating and funny stuff going up online every day.
TV Tattle - This is one of only two sources I check every day to find out about TV news... and by the end of reading TV Tattle, I know everything that's going on. They're always the first ones with breaking news about television; and the presentation is so clean and user-friendly that nothing ever falls through the cracks. (Unlike the website The Futon Critic, which is so jammed up it's impossible to filter through to the good TV news.)
I can tell I'm in love with TV Tattle because when they post one of their "we won't be updating again until [whenever]" messages, I get visibly angry.
Reality Blurred - This is the other TV blog I check daily. It it the single best source for reality TV news online... and I know, because I am a giant sucker for reality TV news.
Full disclosure: Reality Blurred is owned and single-handedly operated by my friend Andy. But that doesn't mean I'm showing it favoritism at all. It's really good. So much so that he is one of the reality TV experts that gets interviewed on MSNBC and the like all the time.
Brian Windhorst - Brian Windhorst is the professional basketball writer for the "Akron Beacon Journal", and one of (if not the) best basketball writers I've ever read. (Think of the Sports Guy or Jemele Hill. Now think of the opposite. That's Windhorst.)
He knows the game, he knows the players, he's realistic, he's brutally honest, he's smart... and he doesn't do the bullshit that other sports columnists do making lunatic predictions to try to get attention and/or a spot on "Around the Horn".
I'm partial to Windhorst because I'm a Cavs fan, and his blog is Cavs-centric. But when something's going on with the team, his take on it is the only one I really trust. And he can put those takes in his blog, which he updates religiously throughout the season. (Not so much during the offseason, except when something big is going down, or to quell outrageous rumors.)
This is part of the monthly photos page on his website.
John Stone Fitness - John Stone is a fascinating man. A few years ago, he was completely out of shape and on pace for a massive heart attack, so he decided to fix his life and his health. And... he chronicled everything on his website.
And I mean EVERYTHING -- every piece of food he ate, every exercise he did, his daily weight and body fat. He took daily photos from the front and side. And he put it all out there.
Now, almost 2,000 days later, he's in spectacular shape... but he's kept up the blog the entire time. Now, he charts his progress to get in even better shape... and, through his forums, run one of the best, most helpful fitness community websites online.
The website is absolutely mesmerizing. I give it a huge recommendation.
The Dirty - If there's any website on this list that falls under the it's-a-car-wreck-but-I-can't-look-away category, it's this one. In its own way, The Dirty is the perfect website for the MySpace/Facebook/YouTube/American Idol world. You wanna put pictures or videos of yourself acting stupid out there? Well, let's unify them all and mock the hell out of you.
The Dirty could be considered a very, very compelling commentary on the modern, me-obsessed culture and the blurred line between old-school fame-for-a-reason and new-school fame-for-fame's-sake. Or it could just be a website making money off being really, really mean toward completely innocent strangers.
And that's why I go. Although most people probably like it for the pictures of meatheads and girls who think they're hotter than they are acting like fools.
I Am Bored - I Am Bored was really big for us at Panda Smash -- their decision to link to a bunch of our videos really helped get the site off the ground and land us in the fantastic position we're in today. I still go to I-A-B a lot, to see what videos, web games and news stories they've decided to promote for the day.
Maybe it's just my bias talking, but I feel like they do a great job finding the hidden gems online and giving them the exposure they deserve.
Pat Stack - Many of my friends have had blogs at some point. Now, I'm down to just my friend Pat. Other than the pro-Pittsburgh bias in his blog (which makes me die a little on the inside), I think his website is a phenomenal source for people who want to see major, complex news stories broken down into a logical, understandable and enjoyable format.
If I were a high school teacher, I'd recommend his website to my students to help them stay informed without having to try too hard. But I also think kids are lazy. Maybe they aren't. How's Jim Lehrer doing with the 13-18 demo?
Holy Taco - Holy Taco is owned by the same company I work for so, again, there's potential for bias here. But I like this site independent of whether The Man says I should. They write funny lists (which, naturally, I'm quite partial to), do an excellent job with news and celebrity commentary and always dig up really quality links.
Although they haven't linked to me yet. Corporate synergy disapprovingly shakes its head.
Deadspin - This is my favorite of the Gawker blogs, and the place I go for sports news. Because they don't fall victim to the hype on the incredibly boring stories that the mainstream sports media love (Brett Favre, steroids, etc.) -- instead, those live side-by-side with the great (and, often, hilarious) sports stories that exist one step below ESPN.com's polished veneer.
This post was originally published on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 05:05:11 PM under the category Web & Tech.