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Weblog Entry

New Finds

December 03, 2003

My top five new reads that I think everyone else should be reading too:

  • random($foo) — frequently updated with links and commentary, always interesting. Tech and culture.
  • paranoidfish — great commentary (if, sometimes, beyond my level) and great links. Tech.
  • die puny humans — Uh, yet more frequent links and commentary. Culture. (Twisted, Good.)
  • 1976 Design — Fellow WaSP Dunstan Orchard’s quirky design weblog. Dunstan is a character, good times are guaranteed to all.
  • DW: What’s New — not technically a new find, but a great news source that probably doesn’t get enough credit. Run by Nick Finck and other DW authors (myself included, occasionally, when I remember)

I’m relying on these days. News aggregators just aren’t my bag, baby. All I need is a list of who has updated recently, I have no need to take content outside of the original site’s context. One day I’ll look into publishing my complete list — it’s well over a hundred by now.

I’ve noticed some people I read out of obligation; I try to keep updated on peripheral things like Atom and social software and the general tech business. Others I’m thrilled to see fresh content from, and relish reading every single time.

Who are your favourites? Who do you keep coming back to?

Reader Comments

Dave S. says:
December 03, 01h

And, uh, mentioning this site is just pandering, alright?

Matt says:
December 03, 01h

The killer app for is using Phil Ringnalda’s bookmarklet. Whenever I follow a long link trail and end up at a new blog I like, I just hit it and add it to my favorites (if they ping – many don’t unfortunately).

Dave S. says:
December 03, 01h

Good one, that should help. In adding it I realized I’ve got this panel as well I keep forgetting about.

Consider this a public service announcement - everyone should ping whether they use it or not. I have too many sites I’ve forgotten to read in ages because they haven’t pinged in months.

Rich says:
December 03, 02h

I’m with you on aggregators… I used to be a Amphetadesk fan, but after a while, I got tired of having another application up and running just to see which blogs have updated.

I’ve been using’ sidebar in Firebird… it’s my primary way of finding out who’s updated their site. But I also use the “RSS Reader Panel” ( ) extension for other RSS feeds… it’s the best alternative to a bloated aggregator.

Matt says:
December 03, 02h

For the panel do you mean sidebars on a browser? That’s another killer feature for mozilla and firebird (I wish safari did persistent sidepanels that could load HTML). Here’s an old screenshot of when I used a filter, but it’s the only way to fly through dozens of weblogs every day. I have a button on my link bar that loads my personal list in firebird, which I hit every couple hours during the day:

Dave S. says:
December 03, 02h

Huh, wasn’t aware of that RSS Reader panel. Good link, thanks Rich.

Yeah, sidebar panels just like blogtracker in your screenshot, Matt. I’ve been using a shortcut in Firebird/Safari’s persistent links, too.

CIAwallst says:
December 03, 02h

I like Simon so much I made him my home page. Top notch blog.

ste says:
December 03, 02h

Hrm, new favorites - well, I’ve just recently discovered Andy Budd ( ), Hicks Design ( ), the Man in Blue ( ), and of course, 1976 Design which you’ve already mentioned. :)

As for reading, I’ll sheepishly admit that I do rely on an aggregator (NetNewsWire Lite) but mainly just because I’ve noticed not everyone pings or, and even when they do, the updates don’t always show up on my list of links. I may, however, check out that sidebar setup for my computer at work. Seems like it would be more efficient than just randomly clicking links and hoping they’re updated. ;)

December 03, 02h

My top weblog reads shift from time to time. High on my list at the moment seem to be:
Jon Hicks:
Andy Budd:
Paul Srivens:
Jeremy Hedley:

Of course there are long time favs like this site and:
D. Keith Robinson, does anybody else keep reading his name as Doctor Keith.. ? :
Dan Cederholm, the man with that damn quiz:
Anne van Kesteren, fellow dutchie and xHTML wizz:
Todd Dominey, Flash and xHTML from the top shelf :

My homepage is set on :
Always nice to pop by and see who said what about your man doing this that and the other.

And when did weblogs become Was I out sick that day?

Mike says:
December 03, 04h

The crew and guest poster at Signal Vs Noise.

Simple Bits - Love that Site!

caiuschen says:
December 03, 04h

Wow, I did not notice until Egor Kloos mentioned it that it was *not* Dr. Keith.

(in no particular order)
Simon Willison’s Weblog
Ned Batchelder: Blog ( )
Jesse Ruderman ( )

Mike D. says:
December 03, 04h

Haven’t tried yet, but is it any better than Bloglines holds my personal record for “shortest amount of time before a site becomes my home page”. It was about 5 minutes.

I wasn’t really hip on aggregators either, mainly because most of them don’t sync between multiple machines and they are also just another app I need to be running, but is all web-based and it’s fast as hell. Also, you don’t have to worry about blogs pinging them or not because they go out and fetch new feeds every hour or so.

The interface is near perfect as well. It gives me everything I need and nothing I don’t. And finally, the ability to share your bloglist out is nice as well. For example: . You can also grab other people’s bloglists (or your own existing OPML file) and upload it right into your profile. Pretty slick.

December 03, 04h

Mark Pilgrim (who made me want to start a blog in the first place) & sideblog - 1 year:

Asa Dotzler (Mozilla news from a real, live human being) - 6 months:

Ethan Marcotte (who makes me want to redesign my blog) & sideblog - 3 months:

Russ Posegate (brother in law, with good political commentary) - 1 month:

Dunstan Orchard (oh-so-slick weblog design) - 1 week (via Ethan):

Speaking of RSS aggregation and all that good stuff, I want to redesign my links page (which sucks tremendously). I’d like to have my links page automatically update when someone writes a new blog entry–kind of a custom news aggregator (like Gemal’s Mozilla updates):

Anyone doing something like this?

December 03, 05h

Hey, thanks for reading to the people above who linked to me.

The list of blogs I read is available on my site as a blogroll - which itself is powered by I’m with Dave - I don’t really get the whole aggregator thing as tells me when people update and from there I’m a middle-click away from reading their latest musings in a tab. Right now I have over a dozen blogs open in tabs and normally it’s even more. Firebird + = blog reading nirvana :)

Dave, if you’re in to I seriously recommend trying out their automated export feature. In fact, I think I’ll write up an entry on how it all works now since I get email about it quite a bit.

December 03, 05h

My entry is turning in to an essay and could be some time in the making, but in the mean time you can always use Phil Ringnalda’s blogroll code to export from automagically:

December 03, 05h

Re: the to blogroll on your site feature that Simon mentions above… I do this on my site also using the MT-RSS plugin. Your personal list is available in RSS format, so what I do is fetch that RSS using MT-RSS (created a cron job to fetch it every 15 mins), then with server-side includes, I can get it on my pages without rebuilding.

Since Simon isn’t using MT, I’m interested to see how he does it. I’m sure it’s more elegant.

The nice thing about’ RSS list is it’s sorted by last update dt/time.

Scrivs says:
December 03, 06h

Well glad to see at least two people read my site :)

Right now I would have to say my personal fav and a man who seems to be on a roll with his content is D.K. Robinson (not Dr.).

I use Simon as my homepage because his blogroll is huge!!!

sergio says:
December 03, 07h

I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Paul Ford’s excellent site, . Very nice stuff.

I also enjoy Belle de Jour - - Diary of a London Callgirl.

Scrivs says:
December 03, 07h

Ahhh, ftrain, excellent pick. Some of the best content around.

Zelnox says:
December 03, 08h

The first thing I do every morning is load up Firebird and CTRL-T, CTRL-L, and type blog URL until I have a dozen tabs. Hehe.

I am lazy to bookmark sites, and it is a good thing I remember the URL. Bah, I do not really have to. A nice thing is that the blogs I read tend to link to other blogs that I also read. Being at school most of the time means no bookmarks anyway.

I would like to add since nobody else has mentioned it yet.

anders says:
December 03, 09h

i think these are under-appreciated:

Open Codex: (tech, culture, media, standards, community)
miromi: (art and fantastic writing)
the blog of death: (fun if you have morbid tastes)

also, why should i have to ping when i’m already pinging do i have to add a ping for every new aggregator service that comes out? why can’t they implement some kind of sharing. eg, if i ping, it should automatically ping and any others that it knows about for me. then they can maintain the list of sites that want to be pinged instead of me.

Matt says:
December 04, 01h

For those looking to host their own blogrolls like several have mentioned so far, WordPress can parse the XML updated data at set intervals and update your link list accordingly. It’s what I use for my portal. It can actually parse any XML similar to and I heard a neat suggestion to have a cron job generate an XML file of site files and when they were last updated, and then adjust a site navigation menu to reflect recently updated files. (Make them emphasised I believe.) It’s crazy the stuff people come up with. I haven’t tried the sidebar route yet, I’ll have to give that a go. Not a fan of any aggregator I’ve seen so far.

Jon Hicks says:
December 04, 01h

Toughie, I read so many, but I guess I most look forward to seeing new entries from these folk:

Andy Budd, Dunstan Orchard, Stopdesign, Daring Fireball, Whitespace (You all know the URLs…)

I do use an aggregator. NetNewsWire shows the number of updated blogs in its dock icon, and clicking that shows the blogs and just their headlines. I go straight from that to the blog, and never use the main window. I like the convenience of it automatically refreshing, but prefer to read the entry within the context of the sites design.

Dave says:
December 04, 02h

I have quite a bookmarklist full of blogs, most of them are allready mentioned above. But what about CSSZengarden!? I just keep coming back, hoping to find some new inspiration. Ok, so it’s not a blog, it’s inspiring! Where are those new entries!? Is The Garden Dead?

Do not let us down here Dave… ;-)

Anyway, a few other great blogs: , Design Meme ( , , , , and have you ever read the words of that guy is hilarious!

Now link to some new Garden Entries please…

ps: you guys made me a XHTML/CSS fanatic, my boss will hate you!

Faruk Ates says:
December 04, 02h

“ps: you guys made me a XHTML/CSS fanatic, my boss will hate you!”

Or he’ll soon learn to love you from seeing how you improve the efficiency of websites by up to 250% ! ;)

Dunstan says:
December 04, 02h

Since you already did the techy links, here’s three funny sites I love to read:
(see #85094 for example)

And thanks to those people who accidently pasted my blog url into their comments here; no doubt after they hit ‘Post’ they said “Well damn it, that was meant to be - my Ctrl-C thing isn’t working properly!”

Still, lucky me :o)

Houser says:
December 04, 06h

You need to be reading Foo daily ( and (

Mine’s not bad for a laugh every now and again (

Ethan says:
December 04, 07h

To everyone who linked to sidesh0w, thanks so much — I really appreciate it.

I’ve a lot of overlap with the links posted above, but here are a few more:

Maciej and Gina are two of my favorite writers, online or no; I’d recommend them to anyone interested in some great, great reading.

David L says:
December 04, 07h

Check out Jacques Distler’s blog - Musings: Thoughts on Science, Computing, and Life on Earth:

Not only is it a superb example of XHTML (served properly), but also MathML, and a clean, nice layout. Many postings cover mathematics, but he also knows his technolgies, including some vulnerabilities in MoveableType (i.e. the default comments form):

I enjoyed reading his (and others) comments in Anne van Kesteren’s weblog entry “Just add that 14 bytes of accessibility”:

December 04, 07h

It sems like most web design-related items either link to or from these sites, great stuff.

Michael says:
December 04, 07h

Many I read have already been mentioned. As a Mac user I usually try to catch these:

Dave S. says:
December 04, 08h

Wow. Not many of these aren’t already on my links list, immediately to the right.

And the ones that aren’t I generally have on my list already anyway ;)

Though I probably need to start reading Idle Words and xlab.

December 04, 08h

I have 1 really big problem, the more blogs (or any site for that matter) I go to, the less work I get done. So my list had to be recently truncated. Bummer!

patricia says:
December 04, 09h

I signed up for bloglines and it’s good when I have to play catch-up, but I can’t get into using it on a regular basis. I like seeing people’s layouts as well as reading their content.

I really can’t put a finger on what keeps me coming back. The sites I link to are the ones where I actually get a sense of the person. I’m a tech-wanna-be so I visit a lot of sites where sometimes the content is beyond me, but the writing is such that the topics covered are appealing. And, every once in a while, info gets through and I learn something. Gotta love that. :D

travis says:
December 04, 09h

It’s funny you should ask about what our favorites are when you mention just discovering diepunyhumans. That’s been my favorite for a long time. I’m a fan of Warren Ellis’ writing, so I’ve been following his “research dump” since the days following his forums on Delphi.

December 04, 11h

also, why should i have to ping when iím already pinging do i have to add a ping for every new aggregator service that comes out? why canít they implement some kind of sharing. eg, if i ping, it should automatically ping and any others that it knows about for me. then they can maintain the list of sites that want to be pinged instead of me.
“”“ already does that :) It syndicates from once an hour. It’s a good idea to ping as well though for a couple of reasons: firstly, it means knows about your update straight away rather than waiting until it hears about it from and secondly, can be pretty flaky sometimes to pinging directly is often more reliable.

Faruk Ates says:
December 05, 02h

Colin D. Devroe said:
“I have 1 really big problem, the more blogs (or any site for that matter) I go to, the less work I get done. So my list had to be recently truncated. Bummer!”

I have the same thing. I can’t let myself read a lot of blogs because I’d just not get any work done that way, not enough anyway. And since I do all my XHTML/CSS learning somewhat in my spare time and somewhat while at work (which is not a big problem as long as it’s kept to a reasonable amount of time spent on it all, I work as a webdeveloper so it’s good for me to keep up with this all ^_^) I limit myself to the in my opinion most useful ones:
- Tantek
- Meyerweb
- Mezzoblue
- Stopdesign
- SimpleBits
- Zeldman
- ALA (which I see as a collective big blog of nothing but pure content)

And if for some reason everyone here does not yet know all of the ones I just mentioned: they’re all (name).com, except for ALA: :)

Sian says:
December 05, 06h

I use my blogrolls, no news aggregators for me.

My techy reads are on and my non-tech reads are at There are a few websites that made both lists.

What makes me keep coming back to them? mainly content, writing style, and approachability.

December 07, 09h

“Consider this a public service announcement - everyone should ping whether they use it or not. I have too many sites Iíve forgotten to read in ages because they havenít pinged in months.”

Seems as though you don’t ping it yourself, Dave… …only the Dailies show up on a search. Unless I’m doing something wrong. ;)

Dave S. says:
December 07, 09h

It’s one or the other, whichever is most recently updated. won’t list them separately, so my listing shows up as either ‘mezzoblue’ or ‘mezzoblue dailies’