For someone who doesn’t cook, I read several food blogs. Sometimes I file them away in my “recipe” folder in case I feel the urge to create. I have yet to look in that folder.
But anyway, food bloggers often share what is inside their refrigerator or what products they buy. If I show you the inside of my fridge, you might think I’m a 25-year-old bachelor, so I’m not going to do that. But when a friend
and adoring fan recently asked me if I would write about what was in my Google Reader, I considered this my “inside the refrigerator” moment. I actually think you can learn a lot about a person based on what they choose to read. And it’s a great way to identify the areas that energize you.
(A little background: If you are not familiar with Google Reader, it is a feed for following blogs. Instead of them being emailed to you, they just show up in your reader for viewing at your leisure. It is a great tool if you follow gobs — that is actually the synonym I chose when I looked up “many” — of blogs like I do.)
My Reader is divided into categories, so for those who dare to peak, let me break it down for you:
Category 1: Of course, my friends’ blogs. A wonderful way to stay caught up, coo at baby pictures, and be reminded that I have really smart, funny, and quirky friends who do smart, funny and quirky things.
Category 2: Blogs about blogging. It’s so meta. As a new blogger (or even if I ever become a seasoned one), reading the tips, advice and encouragement from these blogs have helped me develop as a writer. While sometimes they are more geared toward those monetizing their blogs, many of the posts are applicable to a blogger or writer at any level. My favorites are copyblogger, Daily Blog Tips, ProBlogger and Daily Writing Tips. Since I use WordPress as my blogging platform, I also follow its blog to stay updated on new themes, server issues, etc.
Category 3: Career and Gen Y blogs. I have to throw in some professional-related blogs so I can justify being on my Google Reader during work hours! But seriously, reading blogs about your industry is a great way to stay up-to-date on trends, research and the big players in your field. Commenting on those blogs is a good start for becoming one of those big players and building your network. I follow way too many to list here, but some big ones that I enjoy are: Dan Pink, Corn on the Job, The Work Buzz, Keppie Careers, and Gen Pink.
Category 4: Lifestyle and entertainment blogs. My favorites are the local ones, like D Magazine‘s arts blog and food blog. I stay current on the latest arts events and restaurant openings in the city even if I rarely actually attend them. But following these blogs gets me *this much* closer to being hip!
Some blogs are just fun because they are personal and written well. I guess they are the type of blog I aspire mine to be. Dooce has probably cornered this market. I found out about I Hate Green Beans because of the blogger’s Bachelor recaps, but beyond that, it’s an amusing mix of personal stories and pop culture. Similarly, The Healthy Everythingtarian combines the journal style of blogging with food recipes and tips.
Another one of my favorites in this category is What Makes Them Click. From the blog, it is about learning how to “apply psychology to understand how people think, work, and relate.” It draws on research, but is presented in a non-researchy way. Which is good for people like me who words like “non-researchy.”
Category 5: Balance blogs. You have to read about what you write about, people! I love reading stories of other people looking for balance. As you may have read, doing this lead to my opportunity to guest post with Balance in Me, so if you blog, I definitely recommend reading and commenting on blogs like yours. The blogosphere is all about community after all!
If you are still reading this, then I have to imagine you are a prime candidate for a robust Google Reader. To find blogs about topics of your fancy, Alltop is a great place to start. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your favorite blogs in the comments so I can spend even more time in front of my computer!