Thursday, May 03, 2018

18 Blogs I Follow in 2018 (And They're Not All About Music)

The ubiquity of Facebook and Twitter have monopolized the attention of many of us, and that comes at a cost of discovery of the rich array of writing that can still be found on the internet. Many of the blogs on today's list have been around for a long time, and what they all share is that these are the writers whose work inspired me to return to the world of blogging after a lengthy hiatus. 

You won't find any clickbait titles on this list, nor will you find all that much in the way of Facebook-worthy material. What you will find is personal experience, honesty, and the pull of authentic writing that keeps you coming back for more, day after day. This is the really good stuff on the internet. Enjoy!
  1. CJ Chilvers - CJ is a writer and photographer from Chicago who crafts useful, well-grounded articles on intelligent and sane ways to utilize technology. And he likes Van Halen.
  2. Cultural Offering - Kurt Harden's whimsical look at life, humour, music, politics, and family. 
  3. Daring Fireball - Nerds among us will know John Gruber as the inventor of Markdown syntax. He also blogs elegantly about tech, culture, and politics. 
  4. Execupundit - Michael Wade's wit and wisdom show that you don't have to write long articles in order to become one of the top bloggers in the world. Great ideas for business and life can be found here. 
  5. Kottke - Jason Kottke has been blogging longer than almost anyone else, starting his site in 1998. The sheer variety of the stuff from around the internet is worth multiple visits. 
  6. Marginal Revolution - If you subscribe to only one blog from this list, it should be Marginal Revolution. The scope of Alex Tabarrok and Tyler Cowen's interest is immense, and MR is one of the few political blogs that is genuinely open-minded. 
  7. Melanie Spanswick - Melanie brings a deep musical understanding to all her work, with loads of useful practice tips, book/product profiles, and guest authors. 
  8. Nicholas Bate - Who ever said that great blogging needed to be verbose? Nicholas's articles go straight to the point and offer some of the best advice on leadership and life that you can find. 
  9. Patrick Rhone - The latest incarnation of Patrick's long blogging career is a short-form blog, but you have a difficult time finding a more honest and down-to-earth blogger. 
  10. Penelope Trunk Careers - Hilarious and often wildly inappropriate, Penelope shows that being professional and being authentic are often two different things. Whenever I talk to people about the tone they should adopt when writing for the web, I always point people towards Penelope's blog. If readers see your true self with all its imperfections, they will love you, they will come back for more, and they will buy what you're selling. 
  11. Pete Denison - Pete writes about fountain pens and coffee. How can you go wrong with that? His reviews are thorough, and many of the top pens in my collection are ones that Pete has reviewed favorably. 
  12. Sandow - Classical music is facing a future that is not at all certain. If it is to survive, we should all be following the ideas and direction put forward by Greg in this magnificent and long-running blog. 
  13. Schmopera - A few days ago I asked my class at The Glenn Gould School about their favourite classical music blogs. Every one of them mentioned Schmopera. Jenna Simeonov's writing and interviewing skill comes from a place of immense experience and love of the lyric stage, and a deep dive into her archives is well worth your time.
  14. Study Hacks - We spend too much time on our electronic devices, and it comes at a cost to our  cognitive ability. Cal Newport's ongoing project is a way for us to reclaim that innate focus so that we can have the time and focus to create awesome things. 
  15. Susan Eichhorn Young - Building a musician isn't just about accomplishment and excellence, it's about building the whole person. Susan's philosophy emphasizes craft and authenticity, and is a welcome antidote for many of us facing overwhelm in the profession. 
  16. The Cramped - Patrick Rhone's second offering on the list, and with good reason. A celebration of all things pens and stationery, and the hidden advantages of writing by hand. 
  17. The Pen Addict - Brad Dowdy's blog is in large part the reason that fountain pens have made such a major comeback in the last few years. Unlike our ubiquitous digital devices, pens are personal, have no expiry date, and help us to organize our complex lives in ways that are much more in tune with our brains. Definitely worth a jump down the rabbit hole, even if it blows your budget. 
  18. The Rest Is Noise - This list would not be complete without Alex Ross' long-running blog. The Rest Is Noise and its enormous influence is one of the reasons that I got into blogging in the first place way back in 2005. 

It was quite tough putting this list together, and it might become an annual event in the coming years. If you have any blogs you would like to share, leave them in the comments.


  1. I don’t always write regularly, but there is a body thoughts in my Fingers Dancing. I recently moved everything to Wordpress.