Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
December 31, 200810:24 PM

09 Blogs To Watch In 09

Everyone knows the big, major a-list Bloggers who get all of the attention. Blogs are shifting away from being personal journals to being full-fledged media properties. It is increasingly difficult to stand out in the crowd. With hundreds of millions of Blogs out there (over 130 million at Technorati's last count), how do you know who to follow (and who to trust) anymore?

Before we stick a final fork in 2008 and look forward to 2009, let's take this brief moment to thank the following nine Blogs for getting us to think differently. My hopes are that in the New Year, these new media properties continue to pump out the killer content and, in the process, pick up a couple of new community members. As you sip on your last few days of vacation before the madness of the office kicks in, do yourself a favour and check out one (or all) of the following Blogs.

Here are 09 Blogs for you to watch in 09 (in alphabetical order):

From Where I Sit by Michael S. Hyatt.
Hyatt is the the President and Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Nelson Publishers, "the largest Christian publishing company in the world and the seventh largest trade book publishing company in the U.S." He has been with the company for over a decade and is embracing anything and everything to do with new media. His Blog is very personal and offers amazing marketing and business strategy insights from someone in the middle of an industry in flux.

HughMcguire.net by Hugh McGuire (also check out The Book Oven Blog).
One of the smartest people I know (and a personal friend), McGuire is the brains behind LibriVox. His personal Blog dances between posts about the media, the open source movement, the economy and politics. He's been Blogging for a long while, but deserves much more attention and traffic. His new start-up, The Book Oven (still in stealth mode), also has an amazing Blog that focuses on the publishing industry. Full disclosure: I sit on the board of advisors for The Book Oven.

MediaShift by PBS (multi-authored).
There's almost too much great content on MediaShift. This PBS Blog curated by multiple authors focuses on all things Digital Media. If you are thinking that you only have time to visit one Blog in your busy and hectic schedule, this might be the one.

One Mann's Opinion by Kneale Mann.
Mann is a former radio guy with a long history in the music and entertainment industry. Understanding the radical changes that those industries are facing, he started playing around with Social Media and the Digital Marketing channels. One of the results is this, his personal Blog. His insights are poignant, fresh, but more importantly, well-structured and well-written. He is a pleasure to read and mixes humour and rawness with the experience of someone who has seen it and done it all. It's great to see industry veterans digging in deep and playing with the space.

The Praized Blog by Sebastien Provencher.
More people need to reading Sebastien Provencher. This former Yellow Pages Group executive cut loose into his own start-up a few years back, Praized, and brings deep publishing insights to the Blogosphere. The Praized Blog doesn't just look and comment on what's happening, it breaks down the core pieces and discusses what it really means to the average business person... and why they need to care.

PressThink by Jay Rosen.
Jay Rosen might be considered an a-lister in the journalism world, but I'm not sure if enough people are really connecting to everything he is doing. This NYU Journalism Professor is dropping insane amounts of media knowledge, challenging the status quo of the newspaper industry and sharing everything along the way. PressThink is a great place to get a feel for his high-brow thinking, but it's just the beginning. His stuff on Twitter is amazing and his latest project, NewAssignement.net, looks equally compelling.

Publishing 2.0 by Scott Karp.
This Blog about "how technology is transforming media" is constantly filled with challenges and opportunities for how the traditional news makers can get better and smarter by using the Web. Karp is known for coining the term, 'Link Journalism', and the Blog is constantly filled with a steady stream of creative and practical solutions that have real muscle behind them. You will be especially fond of his, "I Am The Future of Journalism Contest" that he is currently running (hey, if they aren't going to teach this stuff in Journalism school, why not have a place like Publishing 2.0 to do it.)

Technocite by Roberto Rocha
Rocha is a Business Reporter for the Montreal Gazette who focuses on technology. He's not just a journalist with a beat, he is a passionate technology guy. Some of the words he writes, or the stories that he is privy to don't always make it into the print edition, so he's been Blogging up a storm over at Technocite. With a heavy focus on technology, business and a slant towards the start-ups, Rocha's journalistic acumen and precision makes the Blog a pleasure to read if you need to better understand how technology is changing the very fabric of business. Full disclosure: I also write a business column for the Montreal Gazette.

Twitterrati by Mark Evans.
Mark Evans was the technology reporter for many national news organizations before heading off into the start-up world. He is the co-founder of the very popular Web 2.0 conference, Mesh, and is also a passionate Blogger. Just recently, he launched Twitterrati a brand new Blog focused on Twitter, "the growing number of tools to use it, and the microblogging market, including players such as Tumblr, Jaiku, Identi.ca, Yammer, et al." Let's face it, Twitter is hot and everyone is interested in all things Twitter, so having someone with a professional background in Journalism scoping out the platforms is something extremely interesting to read and follow.

Side note: almost all of the people listed above are also well worth checking out on Twitter too. Most of them have content that is just as interesting bursting out of their 140 character limit.

Who are your unsung Blog heroes and who else should we be watching (and reading) in 2009?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Marilynn Smith
    Mitch Joel

    Keep an eye on http://www.bloghouston.net This team keeps an eye on political and journalistic and other happenings in the Houston area.

    Reply
  • Posted by Robyn McMaster
    Mitch Joel

    I'm nominating Converstations by Valeria Maltoni and Brain Leaders and Learners by Dr. Ellen Weber.

    Noticed you have no women in your list. Thought you are missing some excellent work!

    Reply
  • I had not noticed that there were no women on this list... weird. I just went through my hundreds of feeds in Google Reader and chose the ones that I felt needed much more attention/traffic.

    Valeria rocks and the only reason she was not on this list is because of how popular and well-known she already is :)

    I'm heading over now to check out both Blog Houston and Brain Leaders.

    Reply
  • Posted by Nicky Jameson
    Nicky Jameson

    Mitch - they're all guys! Nice list to check out (and I will) but what about unsung heroines?

    Reply
  • Posted by Milan Ford
    Mitch Joel

    Great List. I'd keep an eye on ThePewView.com next year.

    This guy Milan Ford is probably going to be heavily responsible for an increasing number of African-American Christian leaders joining the blogosphere soon!

    (Shameless plug of course)
    Happy New Year!

    Reply
  • @Nicky - feel free to list them all here... do share!

    I was not paying attention to gender, race or sexual preference, just great content.

    Reply
  • Posted by aaron
    Mitch Joel

    don't forget to add www.openapologies.org to your must see in 2009. thanks!
    @captianhavens

    Reply
  • Posted by Aidan Nulman
    Mitch Joel

    While there are plenty of people I'd like to nominate, the one who DEFINITELY deserves a mention is Rich Millington with Feverbee... www.feverbee.com/

    He updates incredibly regularly, and it's one of my few must-reads in Google Reader!

    Reply
  • Posted by Joy-Mari
    Mitch Joel

    I also noticed the lack of female blogs.

    Law and Letters is well-written, intelligent and written by a lady.

    Yes, Valeria is amazing. I think I tweet quotes from her site at least once every two days ;)

    Reply
  • Posted by GL HOFFMAN
    Mitch Joel

    Since I am fashion-challenged, or worse, according to my wife, I am nominating http://www.magnificentbastard.com/

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    I'm watching Steven Sanders in 2009, his blog grew hugely in 2008 and he has great plans for 2009.
    http://www.steven-sanders.com/

    Reply
  • Posted by Tony Blauer
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch, this is a great collection...thanks

    I feel like my days are getting linger, free time shorter, if there's a blog somewhere on how to:

    blog more, tweet more, continue to grow your business, grow as a father, husband and answer email...well send that link along too :-)

    Happy New Year.

    T

    :-)

    Reply
  • Posted by Jane Chambers
    Mitch Joel

    I'd also recommend www.chrisbrogan.com

    Reply
  • If Brogan is a "one to watch" the rest of us are really screwed ;)

    The point of this Blog posting was to find the Blogs and Bloggers that don't get that much attention, but deserve it.

    That being said, everybody loves Brogan (including me :)

    So, please feel free to plug the Bloggers who don't have that much attention/traffic but could use it.

    Reply
  • Posted by Ryan Stephens
    Mitch Joel

    I could plug 25+ blogs I think are deserving of larger audiences, but I'll keep it to just a few in the interest of time and space.

    I'll second Aidan's nomination of Richard Millington's (http://feverbee.com); he writes with great brevity, solid frequency and there's always a great take away.

    I've also really loved Charlie Hoehn's work of late (http://charliehoehn.com/).

    To add some additional females to the list, here are two of my favorite up and coming bloggers:

    Rebecca Thorman (http://modite.com) might be one of my favorite reads period right now, but she doesn't post with much frequency. If she starts posting more often in '09 people will notice.

    Finally, the one person I can think of that rivals Penelope Trunk's open, transparent authenticity is Holly Hoffman (http://www.worklovelife.com/). As the title indicates she covers a broad spectrum of great, relevant issues.

    Thanks for taking the time to acknowledge some rockstars that aren't yet getting their due Mitch! I'll definitely keep an eye on these blogs in the new year!

    Reply
  • Posted by Valeria Maltoni
    Mitch Joel

    Thank you, Robyn, for thinking of Conversation Agent. Mike Sansone would be thrilled his blog ConverStations is front and center. I agree about Brain Leaders.

    LOL, Mitch! I prefer to give a lot of attention to deserving bloggers year-around by linking to and building on their ideas. That's why I do not feel bad in thanking high profile colleagues for the inspiration they give me year-around. This is also an open invitation to have a more open dialogue between our two media properties in 2009.

    Lois Kelly at Fog Hound is doing some very good work. I agree with Ryan's assessment of Rebecca's abilities and keen eye for what's important.

    Reply
  • Thanks for stopping by Valeria. I think we both give plenty of attention to the Bloggers, Podcasters and up n' comers throughout the year. It's also nice to just highlight a few every once in a while as well.

    I'd be happy to see how we can engage both of our communities to connect, share and grow ever-more in 2009.

    Reply
  • Posted by Ellen Weber
    Mitch Joel

    Thanks Mitch and all for the great discussion and for 9 blogs to watch. Thanks Robyn and Valeria for your kind words about Brain Leaders and Learners.

    As more and more blogs launch, there will be wonderful cause for looking closer at criteria to encourage diversity. In so doing we'll also learn from different contents,

    As to gender balance - it tends to work especially well when diversity also exists in decision makers and in leadership roles.

    Still there are some who maintain that men use logic and women use emotion. See the hilarious video at http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/gender/men-use-logic-women-use-emotion/

    Seems worth a debate to see how we can learn more from differences even more now that we support social media initiatives. I think we can - and this fine site shows how! Best, of 2009.

    Reply
  • To be honest, I hope as a society we can move beyond all of this and just focus on what's great and not who created it. The intended purpose of this post was to highlight some great content that needed some more attention. It was not to create a better sense of gender balance, racial, sexual preference or cultural diversity in Blogs.

    Why?

    Because I don't really care if the Blogger is from the United States or Singapore. I don't care who they sleep with or what God they pray to. I care about if their content moves me. To me, this is the amazing thing about this space. Everyone is equal. We all start off with a blank page and a publish button. I don't see any sense of differences, in fact, this space is pure equality across every aspect of it. We all have access to the exact same audience.

    That's the beauty of the social channel. And the spirit of this post was to say, "here are 9 Blogs that are worthy of everyone's attention, but please feel free to add your own." If you feel that something is missing, please add the links to those special Blogs along with the commentary, so that we are all, equally, sharing in the best content.

    That's what makes this a healthy community instead of a troll farm.

    Reply
  • Posted by Linnet Woods
    Mitch Joel

    All of these blogs are new to me and I am very excited at unearthing a treasure trove of interesting blogs, including this one, I should add, which I have bookmarked at Delicious to make sure I don't lose sight of it.

    It is good that you picked the best of the less-well-known blogs you knew of rather than taking gender or any other personal factor into account. I don't care who is saying something if what they are saying is interesting!

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on these 9 blogs and I'm very much looking forward to reading your tweets as I have just started following you on Twitter, thanks to Kate Brodock (@just_kate) who also led me to your blog.
    Cheers!

    Reply
  • Posted by Ellen Weber
    Mitch Joel

    Mich you build a great case for making the one-size for all great content, and it works well to a point. Dynamic brain research shows us a few problems though - and these make it cool to step back and rethink stuff that should have been just OK as is:-). It gets messy since it precludes being able to say. Some content is great and some less great.

    We read content from mental frames that do count. Create highly diversified (all brilliant) leaders and watch their views differ on what content is great - and watch the pool of ideas widen. That's the best way I can think of saying that we get a wider view when we ensure diversity. There are exciting reasons and they are brain related.

    Yet, at the simplest level - it still works by simply asking very diverse minds across genders and experiences -- what content is great -- to see this wider view.

    It may be messy and it goes against what they taught in schools we attended.

    It's just that it works and it moves us across genders and helps us to learn more from one another. Even from approaches we may not have considered vital until we open to a more deliberate diversity.

    In an all male (or all female list) we may lack the gems that would inspire us all. Nuff said, and thanks for the great content you generate and facilitate daily!

    Reply
  • I'm with you Linnet - thanks for adding.

    I appreciate your perspective too Ellen. I've been reading and learning about the brain, creativity, etc.. for years.

    In terms of newer/unknown Blogs that are changing the game, please do feel free to list them here, so we can all share in each other's versions of diversity.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    Hi Mich, Thanks for the twitter invite reminding me to stop by and add to the list!
    I'd like to add blogger Liz Strauss to the mix. She's at:
    http://www.http://www.successful-blog.com/
    though many of you probably know that. But I love her work. Not because of her gender, just because her posts help me expand my mind. And the fact that it adds a bit of gender diversity to the list is icing on the cake.
    Next I'd add blogger Pam Slim, who writes at: http://www.escapefromcubiclenation.com/
    Pam is also a popular name around the blogosphere, but is definitely one to watch in 2009.
    Finally, I'll add blogger and author Dan Millman whose site and blog are at: http://www.DanMillman.com I think we can learn a lot from him for our blogs and our lives.
    Enjoy!

    Reply
  • Thanks for stopping by Erica, and I appreciate the links, but the point was not to highlight Bloggers we all know and love (like Liz and Pam). The point was to highlight people we may have never heard of, but who are doing some amazing Blogging.

    Dan is a best-selling author who is known by millions of people (also, the last time I checked, Dan was a guy and your issue with this post on Twitter was that there were no women on it).

    Which new women Bloggers do you follow that deserve some of the attention that people like Dan, Pam and Liz already have?

    I'll add to this list (hopefully others will add on):

    - Leigh Himel (full disclosure: we work together): http://is.gd/evly.

    - Stephanie Troeth (although some might not consider this a Blog, it's an amazing use of the digital space) - http://unadorned.org/

    - Barbara Gibson - http://barbgibson.x.iabc.com/

    - Nancy Duarte - Slide-ology: http://blog.duarte.com/

    - Jenny Lam over at Jackson Fish Market - http://www.jacksonfish.com/

    - Kelly Mooney - http://www.mooneythinks.com/

    - Rahaf Harfoush - http://www.rahafharfoush.com/blog/

    - Christine Prefontaine - http://www.facilitatingchange.org/

    - Whitney Hoffman (who does the LD Podcast, but never gets the recognition she deserves): http://www.ldpodcast.com/

    Your turn...

    Reply
  • Posted by Whitney Hoffman
    Mitch Joel

    Thanks Mitch for the mention!

    I think this next year is going to be a lot about the overlap of traditional verticals. Education needs to learn from marketing; marketing needs to learn about community building and how people move through cyberspace; web developers need to learn how to get their messages across to clients and how to educate the marketplace about what's important and how to maximize your investment.

    We're all going to have to have a breadth of knowledge or know from whom we can readily get answers- you can't be isolated in one vertical and pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist anymore. And that means keeping an open ear and listening in places we don't usually frequent to come up with the next great insight. I know I really appreciate your site because I always get pointed towards other great writers, and I always learn something new- thanks for being one of the best resources around.

    Reply
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