I hate the term blogger. Actually, let me rephrase that: I hate what the term blogger has become.
Now the term implies a tone of little to no seriousness behind the work. Bloggers churn out “writing” like Jeff Goldblum did with food after he turned into The Fly. Sure it’s out there to be seen, but it sure isn’t appealing to look at. That’s not how it always was — because most people had no idea what it was. But when it got figured out — well, that’s when the insect vomit began to show up everywhere.
Before that, writing online was so new and different. The term “blogger” meant a lot more back in the early days than it does now. It was like being the kid in high school who was the manager of a fast food restaurant and had the keys to the place. It had a sense of importance in the teenage years because so few had such a a high-ranking position. But when adult years hit — well, not so much. That’s what happened to bloggers as the Internet “grew up” — and took along the world with it. Bloggers (as I define the description in today’s world) are the fast food employees of the Internet.
Some people say that blogging is dead; I say the term “blogger” is dead. Or needs to die.1
Today’s online writing has evolved into some of the most insightful and informative prose you’ll find anywhere. There are several people who have honed their craft over the years (whether it be in the print world or wherever) and I have no qualms about reading whatever it is they put out there on the web.2 These people have ushered in the a new age of online writing — and I highly suggest you follow their work.
I’ve known Brett for a few years now, via Eventualism and WorkAwesome stuff. Brett is an authority on Evernote and writes some of the most insightful work on productivity, passion and creativity that I’ve seen. As with the other online writers below, I’m going to let Brett show you his wares instead of me just trumpeting his awesomeness. He can be found at Bridging the Nerd Gap.
The Brooks Review combines some tremensouds information and opinion on technology and productivity on the web today. His site is also clean so that the content stands out; he is all about the reader experience.3 It has to be a quality one. He’s been called “the next John Gruber” by some pretty impressive folks4 and Merlin Mann lists TBR as one of his favourite new sites. I’m thinking that “next” could be now.
The content Patrick delivers on Minimal Mac resonates with me on so many levels. I’m a Mac user. I’m a productivity nerd. And I’m intrigued by the notion of simplicity and minimalism. He gets high marks on all three areas. He caters to a variety of niches, but that’s not why I follow his work. It’s because he knows all three niches very well. Get to know his work well…it’ll be worth it.
I jus started to follow James’ work, but I can tell that I’m going to consistently enjoy it. How I came to follow his work is a direct result of my following of some other great online writers. The best part about online writers on the Internet is that the craftsman who deliver the goods are never afraid to spread the wealth around a little. Anyone who reads James’ stuff will be richer for it.
Ian Hines knows his stuff. He’s a student of the craft; he’s always learning and creating better and better stuff. He’s an engager as well, which is another trait that a lot of online writers have that the old age of traditional writers didn’t. Writing is said to be a solitary craft, but Ian is a communicator on several levels. Follow him: he’s on the rise.
Lastly, this gentleman deserves praise not only for his tremendous writing but for his willingness to take risks. Yesterday he announced that he is going to take on writing as his full-time gig, leaving his day job in April and “living the dream” (as they say). He’s a smart guy, too. He’s got a plan. While you’re reading his smart writing, you can read about his plan. It’s kind of like the ones Hugh MacLeod talks about.5
I’m an online writer; a non-blogger. These guys not only offer great material for me to read on an ongoing basis, but they help me elevate my game to a higher level. I owe them thanks for that.
You owe yourself the time to read what they write.
1 Or if you are one, you need to kill it.
2 My buddy Anthony Marco is going to talk about this kind of thing at Podcamp Toronto this weekend. If you’re near there, you should go.
3 It was Patrick Rhone that said it. He said it on this podcast. He also has his own podcast. This one.
4 Confession: I am using this “footnotey”style as inspired by TBR. I’m probably going overboard with it on this post, though.
5 MacLeoad’s stuff is great. His new book, Evil plans is also, by definition, great. Pick it up here – and I’m an affiliate, so…