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The Industry Standard's Top 25 B-to-Z List Blogs

o Richi Jennings and Ian Lamont
15.05.2008 kl 00:30 |

These are the blogs you won't see on the Techmeme Leaderboard, Technorati's Top 100 blogs, or the CruchBase BloggerBoard ... at least not yet. They include VCs, entrepreneurs, coders, experts, and observers, and they bring a delicious mix of insight, experience, and passion to their blogs. While they may not have the right amount of link love, they need to be on your radar screens.


These are the blogs you won't see on the Techmeme Leaderboard, Technorati's Top 100 blogs, or the CruchBase BloggerBoard ... at least not yet. They include VCs, entrepreneurs, coders, experts, and observers, and they bring a delicious mix of insight, experience, and passion to their blogs. While they may not have the right amount of link love, they need to be on your radar screens.

The list was compiled by Richi Jennings, the award-winning author of IT Blogwatch, with additional contributions from Managing Editor Ian Lamont.

Redeye VC

A sideways look at startups and the venture capital scene. The author is Josh Kopelman, a technology VC who lives on the "wrong" coast. With particular emphasis on early stage companies, Josh covers the lighter side of dealing with startup CEOs and the public image of venture capital and entrepreneurship.


-- The UNfunded: "... Speaks volumes about the state of the relationship between entrepreneurs and venture capitalists ... [and] the level of mistrust and ignorance within the VC/entrepreneur ecosystem."

-- Some thoughts on pricing: "What surprised me was the multitude of different places--and different prices--a single hotel sold the same product for."

Online Media Cultist

Ingenious, insightful, and gosh-darned clever writing about online media of all descriptions. Covering traditional Web sites, blogs, social networking, and more, Eric Berlin pulls no punches. Part of the-other-Eric's "sinister cabal" at


-- Why does ABC News hide The Note?: "ABC News is an enormous organization and that conflicting interests and legacy ideas are conspiring to hide high quality content away from readers."

-- ReadBurner impressively creates community around Google Reader shared items: "... A site which I believe does things in exactly the right way ... getting the conversation started as opposed to stealing it gets down the heart of the issue precisely."

deal architect

The economics of disruptive technologies are the focus here -- with special emphasis on telcos, globalization, and poking fun at IBM. Author Vinnie Mirchandani is ex-GartnerGroup, but we won't hold that against him. Could it be that he quit because he discovered he was too clever for the company?


-- The boxes told me: "I want to tell [IBM] it is lost. Why? Because its clients are telling me so."

-- Dumb as a stump: "Reading about the brouhaha about Psystar last week, I had the same reaction. But that is the nature of industry disruptors."

Jetplane Journal

Apple fanbois are a dime a dozen, but Adrian Thomas is more even-handed. While he clearly loves his shiny toys from Cupertino, he'll happily take Jobs and company to task whenever needed. Oh, and watch out if you're a spammer masquerading as a legitimate business.


-- iPhone SDK: Developers rejected? Not so fast. . .: "The problem is partly Apple's own fault ... What kind of SDK doesn't allow you to actually run the apps on the target platform?"

-- F------ "... For those of you that don't know Tribe, it's basically your run-of-the-mill social network, except none of your friends are there."

Emergent Chaos

Adam Shostack and his "jazz combo" of Chris Walsh, "Arthur", and "Mordaxus," describe their chosen topics as "security, privacy, liberty, and economics," to which they add a healthy dose of skepticism. Stir and simmer for 30 minutes; serve in your favorite feed reader.


-- Why Aren't there More Paul Grahams?: "He believes passionately in that vision, and is putting his money where his mouth is. Will it work? Who knows?"

-- Generativity, Emergent Chaos and Adam Thierer: "I'm all for choice in who gets what ... the more generative devices you have, the more chaos (both good and bad) emerges."

Zoli's Blog

It's, well, Zoli's blog, covering Web 2.0, productivity, and software as a service. Zoli Erdos says exactly what he wants, and what he says usually makes sense. As with all the best bloggers, he's not afraid to liberally link out to other blogs. Unlike some bloggers we could mention, he's careful to note when he's writing about his clients.


-- How to Make Outlook Cool. Actually, Kool.: "I long ago ditched Outlook along with a lot of desktop bloatware, and am in happier land now, using Web-based applications."

-- 3 Half-Truths about SaaS: "I am a big fan of Software as a Service, but it frustrates the hell out of me to see industry pundits over-hype it without really understanding it."

The Old New Thing

Raymond Chen, an old-hand Microsoftie, explains why Windows is how it is, complains that people often ask the wrong questions, and observes how Microsoft employees talk funny. If you've ever wondered about how come a program written in 1992 can still run on Windows Vista, Raymond can probably tell you.


-- One-line batch script to delete empty directories: "If you would rather gouge your eyes out than use the confusing command prompt batch language, then you are more than welcome to use the scripting language of your choice instead."

Daytime Running Lights

J. Chris Anderson -- not to be confused with those other Chris Andersons -- mainly talks about Web coding. If you're a former liberal arts major, don't let that put you off: J. Chris writes fluidly and coherently on topics such as Ruby on Rails, REST, and CSS. If that's not your cup of tea, at least check out his MP3 blog, for an extremely eclectic experience.


-- The App Engine Sweet Spot: "Its defining characteristic is fire-and-forget, with standardization as a close second."

-- Web Audio for the iPhone: "... On the iPhone you'll have much less control over your content. The experience is optimized for video, and the degree to which audio works seems like an afterthought."

Tightwad Technica

Cheapskates of the world, unite! That's Garry King's call-to-arms, anyway. This blog is all about how to feed your geek lust, yet save money. Hopefully Ars Technica's lawyers won't feel the need to batter down his doors and force him to change the blog's name.


-- Microsoft wants in on low cost PC's: "When devices are going to market for [US]$200 to $300 . . . there is simply no room for a $100 OS."

-- Sun begins to close MySql: "Sun has had great difficulty remaining relevant in a changing IT world for quite some time."


Zed Shaw's blog is quite, erm, "unique." Best not to take what he says about himself too seriously (e.g., "I write code that inspires Elephants to lay down arms against their Lion enemies"); or about his extracurricular passions ("I dance; sing; play 5 instruments; cook; craft novels, poetry, and short stories; paint anime"). Oh, and if you're easily offended, move on to the next blog.


-- Announcing My Coding Retirement: "I don't want to code for someone because they treat me like their bitch."

-- Well, well, well: "The classic problem with programmers today [is] they absolutely refuse to learn anything new unless they can see . . . an immediate 200% boost in salary."

mengwong's LiveJournal

Meng is one of those quiet, thoughtful geeks, who actually get things done. While standing on the shoulders of giants, he authored Sender Policy Framework (SPF): the first email sender-authentication spec. to gain significant traction. He doesn't just write about email and spam, though: Other topics include Web 2.0, economics, dating, photography, and "precision housekeeping."


-- Ikea 2.0: Stock Car Ikea: "There needs to be a web 2.0 website that says which Ikea furniture will, and more importantly, will not, fit in which cars."

-- Taxr: a voluntary microtaxation proposal from Hackers: "I propose a voluntary tithing scheme, where one gets to vote in direct proportion to one's contribution."

I Kill Spammers

How's this for a niche blog? The mystery author is known variously as IKillSpammerz or Spam Is Lame. His "deep hatred for email and blog spammers" is tangible. The focus here is on fighting the anti-spam battle more strongly than the norm, mainly by denting spammers' ability to make money.


-- Hello! I am bored this evening. "It appears that they just want to reel you in slowly, eventually getting you to purchase "gifts" for the girl you correspond with."

-- A Spammer Responds, re: VPXL / Elite Herbal / Sancash / Genbucks: "Wow. Just... wow This is one of the stupidest--and most fictitious--responses to any posting I have ever posted."

The Social Times

Insightful. Prolific. Interesting. These are just some of the adjectives that spring to mind when thinking about Nick O'Neill's blog. As the name suggests, he usually covers social networking topics, but often looks at them from the entrepreneurial angle.


-- The Techmeme Disaster: "The news is now frequently defined by mob mentality ... the loudest and most opinionated individuals survive."

-- Is Twitter Interactivity the Future of Presentations?: "I think a little Twitter intervention may be useful but then again, you are acknowledging the kids that are passing notes."

VoIP Watch

As the title suggests, Internet telephony is the name of the game here, but Andy Abramson also touches on the uses of voice over IP, such as telecommuting and how people access the Internet for voice calls, such as public Wi-Fi.


-- Skype's Silverman---Umm, Not Exactly: "How much of a genius does one need to be to realize that the reason many eBay sellers are on eBay is that they DON'T want to talk with their customers?"

-- Can You Hear Me Clearly?: "Audio conferencing is clearly changing from where it was a few years ago ... old-school conference companies should take notice and be getting scared."

SEO Black Hat

Discover the seedier side of the Web search engine optimization business with host "QuadsZilla." Our pseudonymous friend shows you how it works. For educational purposes only, though -- beware of emulating these techniques, for fear of Google's famed Fist Of Death.


-- Stolen From Some Schlep for Just $2.6 Million: "$2.6 Million is Ridiculous: ridiculously low."

-- Excerpts from Google Reviewer Guidlines: "What do these thousands of human reviewers look for in a spam site? What can you get away with?"

-- "Hot Sex" Spam Bots: "When you're one of the first to truly abuse a ranking mechanic the windfalls can be enormous."

Private Equity Hub

Private Equity Hub -- or peHUB to the cool kids -- is aimed at VCs, entrepreneurs, and assorted hangers-on. Dan Primack and his merry band of well-connected contributors do a bang-up job of chronicling the ups and downs of the private equity business. Scoops abound.


-- Panorama (Finally) Closes Fund: "Debacle or blessing in disguise? That's what I'm trying to figure out about Panorama Capital's decision to end its fundraising drive with just $240 million in committed capital. Leaning toward the latter, but remain open to persuasion."

information aesthetics

Form follows data, indeed -- where else can you find a collection of graphs, video clips, and Web apps that celebrate the universal fascination with data visualization? Author and university lecturer Andrew Vande Moere's collection contains a heavy dose of fringe artistic experiments, such as the recent 3D "data sculpture" of the Minneapolis/St. Paul public transit system.


-- visual search engines: "searchme uses an interactive interface resembling Mac's Coverflow in iTunes & Finder, RedZee adopts a similar, but more rudimentary visual metaphor of showing screenshot thumbnails that can be navigated in a seemingly fluid way, while brynsbrain prefers a pseudo-3D interface that known from the 3D tilt viewer."

Ian Bogost

This videogame theorist and assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology waxes between scholarly navel-gazing and witty media references. Ian really knows his stuff -- how many people in your social circle have written books on the Atari 2600 and elementary Greek, are able to design Transformer-themed pie vents, and can spot Hall and Oates lookalikes in the ranks of the Kotaku editorial staff?


-- Chumby and the Rhetoric of Openness: "In addition to an always-connected wireless network, Chumby also sports a touchscreen and an accelerometer. Thanks to the touch/shake sensitivity as well as its small size it could become an interesting platform for experimental software and games."

Data Mining: Text Mining, Visualization and Social Media

Microsoft researcher Matthew Hurst has a pulse on the future of the news business and social media, from "algorithmic editors" to GIS visualizations. In other words, this is the blog you go to if you want thoughtful analysis of memetrackers and 3D maps.


-- The TechMeme Bikini: " ... The assumptions above are a little rough and there is absolutely no accounting for how network effects really get things done in the blogosphere. The point is, there is a 2 orders of magnitude difference in these numbers between what an individual can expect and what the groups (A-listers/others) can expect."

3D On The Web. Cheap!!!

Len Bullard is an old-school authority on 3D standards. He has lots to say about 3D worlds such as Second Life, as well as corporate experiments and investments in 3D technologies. Unexpected diversions abound, ranging from a rant on OOXML to a demonstration of his songwriting abilities.


-- VRML Meant Self-Hosted Worlds. Qui bono?: "Talk community as much as you like. Use all the classical arguments of objectivism vs communal obligation. It will come down to the company offering the service, the terms, your willingness and ability to litigate and their willingness and ability to contest your litigation. "

-- Second Life Slows Down: "Yes, they now have competitors. See the history of Las Vegas for analogies."


Ed Sim has been in the private equity business since the first Web wave, and his breadth of knowledge and experience shows. Updates are infrequent, but his insights into entrepreneurship, the roles of VCs, social networking tools, and other Web trends are invaluable.


-- Social networking and ads-who's paying attention?: "I remember one of our portfolio companies in the early days of the web had automated bots for instant messaging where we could insert ads into the stream of conversation. ... People just did not care. They were on the system to IM not to view ads."


Expressing contrarian views of Internet technologies and the Internet economy can be a blood sport, but Umair Haque frames his debates so skillfully that even his detractors are forced to give him props. Be sure to read the Bubblegen comment threads -- pure gold.


-- A Wake Up Call For The Venturescape: "Today's crop of VCs are nice guys - but fast being corporatized: comfortable in their myopia, highly risk-averse, cronied into each other, and, unfortunately, totally out of tune with the problems they should be solving."

-- Google, The Macropocalypse, and Rethinking Strategy: "By doing good -- killing domain tasting -- Google takes a very real short run hit: but massively amplifies the long-run health and vibrance of the ecosystem."

Schneier on Security

Discussion of security-related topics tend to scare away all but the geekiest of readers, but Bruce Schneier's blog is different. He approaches tricky technologies and infuriariting policy issues with a calm, clear voice, and frequently prompts comments from people who would never dream of posting on a security blog.


-- Conversation with Kip Hawley, TSA Administrator (Part 2): "This feels so much like 'cover your ass' security: you're screening our shoes because everyone knows Richard Reid hid explosives in them, and you'll be raked over the coals if that particular plot ever happens again. "

-- MySpace and U.S. Attorneys General Agree to Fight Sexual Predators: "It's just security theater against a movie-plot threat."

Venture Hacks

The "hacks" on this blog consist of advice and introductions for entrepreneurs, with a range of philosophies and tips from the many VCs and investors who contribute.


-- Half-Assed Startup: How do I start my company and keep my day job?: "What will it take for everyone to dive in full-time? 5,000 active users? 10,000 uniques a week? Funding? The target should be a shared understanding. You don't want one founder who is ready to go full-time while the other has reservations."

-- How much money should we raise?: "Raise as much money as possible. With these caveats: (1) maintain control at any cost, (2) monitor your liquidation preference, and (3) act like you don't have a lot of money."

Paul Stamatiou

He blogs. He codes. He starts startups. He speaks Greek. He has a Timbuk2 Messenger Bag -- the Facebook Employee-only version. All this, and Paul hasn't even graduated from college yet. If you want to grok the mindset of the Y Combinator crowd, Paul's well-written blog is a great starting point.


-- On Being a Website Performance Junkie: "In my testing with the Firebug net tool Mint consumed approximately 200 to 300ms (with crazy peaks of > 500ms at times) of loading time, where as Google Analytics only used around 40 - 60ms. "

-- Why I Don't Play Games and What I Would Play If I Did: "I have haven't played any games of my own in years -- such is the curse of the Mac user."

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