Five Blogs

by Rick Rockwell

First, we looked at children’s films (“Films: They Don’t Make ‘em Like These Anymore”). Then, we listed favorite songs (“Five Songs”). Last week, as a guide to gift giving, we focused on cookbooks (“Cooking up a Great Holiday Read”). And now the inevitable post that lists favorite blog spots.

If you could only read five blogs a day, what would they be? Some might caution that such a number is too limiting. Others might respond that any more than five and you are headed down the slippery slope to blog addiction. Obviously, the authors and editors of this blog have many favorites: just check out the sidebar to the right.

Today, in The Washington Post, media critic Howard Kurtz was moaning about how there seems to be too many blogs. (Yes, it is fashionable right now for newspapers to write warily about blogs.) Kurtz claims there are 13 million blogs in the U.S. Meanwhile Technorati, the blog-ranking service, implies there are 55 million globally. With that many stops on the internet, picking five seems impossible. Of course, for any five we name there are hundreds if not thousands more that are worthy.

Nevertheless, here are five on our must-read list now:

reinspire: This is -- for lack of a better term -- a hybrid blog: part information technology and new technology blog merged with great columns on NFL football. Written by Jonathan Eckmier, reinspire (yes, no capital, please) is a Canadian blog that tops our list week-in and week-out for its insights. Based in Kitchener, Ontario, Eckmier really knows football!

Gun Toting Liberal: This is the title of a political group blog written by liberal commentators who obviously don’t like the wimpy image of Democrats, and many proclaim themselves to be independents. Like any group that advocates free speech, conversation and dialogue are actually encouraged on this blog (which was a 2006 Weblog Awards Finalist in the Moderate Political Blogs category). The blog’s main editor is located in Alabama, but the writers are from a variety of other states. Of course, there’s a first-rate weekly football feature.

Pharyngula: No football here, but a great read all the same. This blog was just named the Best Science Blog in the 2006 Weblog Awards. Don’t be fooled though. This is more than a science blog and more than a blog for academics. This blog is filled with humor, philosophy, and pithy insights about a variety of topics. The author is P.Z. Myers, a tenured professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, who is on a crusade against intelligent design, among other topics.

Xark!: Here’s another group blog that discusses politics, literature, culture and of course, football. Daniel Conover, a journalist in the Carolinas, appears to be the principle editor of the blog and some of the writers are based in Charleston, SC. However, the blog’s authors are an eclectic bunch from many states. You’ll find insightful commentary here and whoever is writing the blog’s football picks is on track for a year over .700, which is incredible and raises the issue of why they are not blogging from Vegas.

Squib Kick: Alright, forget everything else. This is football, pure and simple. No other topics and no other sports. At one time, this was a group blog, but now it seems to be the sole enterprise of James Edwards, a long-suffering fan of the Detroit Lions. This has the right tone for a sports column and you have to wonder why Edwards isn’t writing for one of the big newspapers. Oh, but that would be so 20th Century, right? Smartly, Edwards stopped picking football games because he says it was so difficult. Like the rest of us, maybe he should be reading Xark!?

If you haven’t heard of these blogs, check them out. You won’t be disappointed.

(Photo from Infographe_Elle of morgueFile.)

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Gun-Toting Liberal said...

WOW, thank you so much for such kind words about the GTL blog! I really appreciate the kudos, and I also think the world of what you are doing over here at iVory Towerz, too :-)

Blog ON, and thanks again!

Rick Rockwell said...

GTL... this is the least we can do. In our opinion, you were more than a finalist in those web awards. Just keep putting the good words out there.

Jonathan E said...

I've gotta say that I'm flattered to have my site in your top 5 list, and grateful that it's been a good resource for you. Thanks again for your kind words Rick.

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