I am working on:
reviewing blogs. Got any suggestions for me?
Jul 07, 2011, 19:09 CDT
- Member Type(s):
- Title:Manager, Blogger Relations
- Organization:PR Newswire
- Area of Expertise:Media relations within social media
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Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 5:29 PM
Launched in 2008, The Next Web was born out of the conference which bears its name. Since that time the site has made more than a name for itself attracting over 4.5 million visits a month. The Next Web has also earned itself a place in Technorati's prestigious Top 50 blogs.
The idea behind The Next Web was simple: a technology site with an international perspective. And with writers from across Europe, Australasia, Middle East, Africa, Asia and North & South America that concept has become a reality. In fact take a look at the about page. The Next Web's network of staff and writers is so vast, it makes my extensive step-family tree look less complicated by comparison.
The Next Web is now a network of 20 blogs consisting of:
- Editions: A number of “glocal” blogs with technology news in their own language from blogs across the globe.
- Regions: with news in English bringing you technology news from across the world’s continents.
- Channels: Focused on select topics including Apps, Apple and Viral Sensations.
The Next Web prides itself on this community of writers. As they say, "you can rest assured that if it’s worth hearing about – you’ll hear it from us…first."
Friday, May 27, 2011, 1:12 PM
Pitchfork is one of the premier music blogs. As such, a good review (or ranking) on Pitchfork can catapult an unknown act into stardom. Conversely, a poor review (or low ranking) can doom even a well-respected artist's reputation, and even sales. A 10.0 ranking is the highest score an album can get. A 0.0 means that band will be waiting tables a little while longer.
Now based out of Chicago, Pitchfork was started in Minneapolis in 1995 by Ryan Schreiber. Schreiber had just graduated high school and was looking to write about independent music. What used to be a site updated around once a month is now nothing short of a music media empire, complete with concerts and the video series, pitchfork tv.
And that's all well and good. But more than anything else, Pitchfork is the definitive kingmaker of independent music. Here's an example. In 2005, an unknown Canadian band named Arcade Fire saw their debut album, Funeral, get rave reviews from Pitchfork. And from there the band's rise was almost meteoric. An employee of the band's label puts it best: "After the Pitchfork review, Funeral went out of print for about a week because we got so many orders for the record."
Today, Arcade Fire is one of the most popular bands around. A few years after that first review, the band dominated this year's Grammys, even taking home Album of the Year. And while surely that's a credit to the band's talent, we may have never known about those talents if it weren't for Pitchfork.
Thursday, May 26, 2011, 6:26 PM
Gawker is probably my favorite blog. Favorite might not even be the right word. Indispensable feels more appropriate. I check Gawker every day. Ok, truthfully, I check Gawker several times a day. I follow them on twitter, too.
Founded in 2003 by Nick Denton, Gawker covers everything from the media moves of New York City to the breaking tech developments of Silicon Valley, not to mention pretty much all Hollywood happenings as well as the particularly salacious and even sometimes pertinent politics from inside the Beltway. If that doesn't just about sum up all you need to know, I'm not sure what does. And when you talk about Gawker, you're not just talking about the one site, but a whole network of sites covering technology, women's issues and cars, to name a few. (But we'll talk more about those sites at another time.)
Gawker also boasts a rich and engaged, albeit snarky, commenting community. And while this can be a really great resource for funny animated gifs, it also keeps the site and their writers honest. It may not be the traditional vetting process our parent's media mechanisms knew, but boy will these guys call B.S. (or even spelling errors) when they see it, and fast.
At Gawker, it seems every worthy news item will be considered and fleshed out and eventually vetted. No source is unreliable. No story too implausible. Because as the tagline suggest, "today's gossip is tomorrow's news."
Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 4:49 PM
kottke.org (pronounced 'cot' + 'key') is the personal blog of Jason Kottke. Updated 'almost daily' since 1999, kottke.org runs the gamut of Jason's musings on technology, culture, design and anything else that intrigues him. As Steven Johnson puts it, kottke.org is an attempt to track and make sense of "material that connects the insights of science and culture, rather than using one to dismantle the other."
One way to understand the blog is to look at the headlines. Today on kottke.org, we see posts on NYC subway stops that exit inside of buildings, a list of modern movies that would be better in black and white as well as a complete guide of the sneakers worn by the title character on the TV series Seinfeld. On the one hand it's all over the place. But isn't that sort of the whole point of web browsing? A blend of thousands of different sources and ideas threaded together along the axis of one man's - or curator's - roving curiosity.
But maybe the best way to understand kottke.org is to understand Jason Kottke himself. On his about page, Jason briefly discusses what his site is all about, but then launches into what he dubs a reverse chronology of his life through 2009. He touches on his obsessions with sour cream and SEGA NHL 94 (awesome video game!) as well as a softball game he played when he was nine. This all sounds quirky. But it's also an authentic voice and provides the reader with a real view into Jason's thinking and experience. And while it may sound odd to provide a reverse chronology, it does sort of looks like a list of blog posts, and therefore - like most of kottke.org - is awesome.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 11:08 AM
Apartment Therapy is a blog dedicated to helping people make "their homes more beautiful, organized and healthy by connecting them to a wealth of resources, ideas and community online." The site promotes resources, connections and examples to help readers transform their living spaces into more peaceful spaces, and all without breaking the bank.
Written by a staff of writers from all over the country, Apartment Therapy covers trends in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and DC. The site offers reviews and links for great products, tips on how to make your living space more livable, and even instructions on how to build your own furniture. But it's not all DIY. Apartment Therapy also provides house tours of tons of apartments from all over, providing inspiration and ideas for all their readers. One of my favorite recent posts was a tour of modern bathrooms from around the world. I'll probably never have a bathroom like any of those in the slideshow, but it's still fun to look.
Apartment Therapy believes that 'simplicity and luxury are not mutually exclusive.' Co-founder and CEO, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan practices what he preaches, er, I mean blogs. The man lives in a 265 foot apartment with his wife and kids. (Can you imagine how well-organized this guy's closet must be?) You can see a slideshow of the apartment, including some of the closet, here.
Personally, my apartment probably needs a little more than therapy, but surely this site is a good start.