6 Amazing Bloggers You’ve Never Heard Of

by derek on April 19, 2011 · 18 comments

The following are a handful of bloggers that you most likely have never heard of before now. Some of them are still active, others have left their blogs alive, but no longer blog. They blog about a variety of subjects, including: design, politics, Web 2.0, sports, culture, and technology.

This group includes bloggers who I’ve followed for quite some time, and whose opinions about blogging I respect quite a lot. Hopefully, you can learn a few tricks from their blogs!

1. Riverbend of the now defunct Baghdad Burning

Iraqi blogger Riverbend, the author of the blog Baghdad Burning, blogged from August of 2003 until November of 2007 regarding her life and experiences living in Baghdad after U.S. forces occupied the city and surrounding country. She was twenty four when she first began posting her updates from the city; eventually the violence in Baghdad became too much for her family, so they fled to Syria.

The final post on her blog tells about her journey out of Iraq. Much of the content of the blog covers politics, violence, and ‘ordinary life’ in the city. The blog became a huge draw for readers interested in the Iraq war, and many of Riverbend’s writings created controversy within the mainstream news media.

In 2005, Feminist Press published the blog in book form as two volumes: Baghdad Burning and Baghdad Burning II. The book won third place for the Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage.

2. Jason Kottke of kottke.org

Jason Kottke began blogging in 1998 and had won a Lifetime Achievement Award as a blogger within five years. His site, kottke.org, remains a constant source of information for Web 2.0 bloggers interested in what he refers to as the ‘liberal arts.’

He posts interesting links, blogging and design information, ‘how-to’ features, and other notable things. He is also an accomplished coder and web designer. You can learn quite a lot about how to present yourself as a blogger and what sorts of things attract interested audiences by following his blog.

3. Bethlehem Shoals of the now defunct FreeDarko

With FreeDarko, Bethlehem Shoals (also known as Nathaniel Friedman) did for sports blogging what Jason Kottke did for Web 2.0 blogging. Founded in 2005, FreeDarko quickly became one of the most-cited alternative NBA blogs, getting nods from the likes of ESPN Magazine and Sports Illustrated for its zany and hilarious coverage of all things related to professional basketball.

Although the site is now closing down so that Shoals and the other writers can pursue full-time sports journalism at other greater media outlets, its archives are still accessible. I recommend the hilarious Dinosaur Draft.

4. Jean Aw of NotCot.org

Design freaks love the work that the twenty-eight year old self-confessed design nerd Jean Aw does with the NotCot network. Her main site, NotCot.org, is not quite a blog so much as an aggregated source of amazing and beautiful design work from all sorts of designers, artists, musicians, and other creative types.

She launched NotCot.org in 2005, but it wasn’t until 2006 that it really grew into its own as a design-related resource site. Notable for how it emphasizes imagery in its layout, NotCot.org is a must-visit site if you’re at all interested in learning how Jean Aw has managed to make images the highlight of her blogging experience.

5. Carles of Hipster Runoff

The anonymous Carles has turned blogging into a cultural act in and of itself. He not only covers culture, both mainstream and alternative, on his blog, but he also manages to make fun of it with a constantly self-referential set of ironic meta-observations about what blogging really means ‘in real life.’

Although often hard to follow, Hipster Runoff is a good example of how a blogger can use the internet to essentially convert his online persona into a never-ending meme.

6. Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic

Senior Editor Alexis Madrigal not only edits The Atlantic and writes books, he also posts consistently about technology at The Atlantic blog.

I’m always amazed by the breadth of the subject matter he posts, from this post about a mechanical productivity desk from the 19th century to this post about Google’s new algorithm. His knowledge of technology and his ability to keep up with everything in the tech world is an inspiration to other bloggers.

Author By-line:
Alvina Lopez is a freelance writer and blog junkie, who blogs about accredited online colleges.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez [at] gmail.com.

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