There was a time when I had 25 subscriptions in my Bloglines account. I bet there are a lot of people out there who read 30 or more blogs a day. I read these blogs because I want to learn more from these passionate bloggers. Aside from that, I’m also afraid I would miss something very important (whatever that is) if I don’t read these blogs.
I try to read all of them everyday and I always have this uncomfortable feeling every time I see there are unread posts in my Bloglines account. Sometimes, I would ready very fast and never reflect on what the blogger has just said — just to keep up with the other posts.
I can spend more time reading blogs but that wouldn’t be a good use of my time. I need to work, play with my kids, and take out the trash. Or, I can train my brain to absorb more information in less time but I don’t think it is possible for me. Unlike Einstein, I was born with a less absorbent brain.
Since a big portion of my brain is devoted to software development, I guess a software management gem can help me deal with my blog-reading woes. When you develop software, you always deal with scope and time (and budget) constraints. I always believe that if you want to deliver a project on time, it’s the scope that needs adjustment; not necessarily the time and budget. I know most managers want more scope, in less time, in zero budget but that’s for another post :).
My theory is that if I want to learn more from these bloggers, I must stop reading more and focus on a few blogs. First, I started with 15 but I still feel there’s too much to read. I did try to reduce it to 10 but it wasn’t easy because these blogs are so damn good. Right now, I follow 11 bloggers and so far I can read the posts and still have time to go back and reflect on what these bloggers have just said.
Without further ado, these are the blogs that made it to my mythical 10:
- Scott Berkun
- Joel Spolsky
- Eric Sink
- Ian Landsman
- Dharmesh Shah
- Pamela Stewart
- Kathy Sierra and her gang
- Garr Reynold
- Jared Spool and company
- Signal vs. Noise
- David Heinemeier Hansson
Scott talks about software project management and interaction design. Sometimes, I feel we have a connection (not in a Brokeback Mountain way) because of our similar interests – software development and UI design.
You’re a software developer, right? Stop updating your Friendster account and start reading Joel’s essay.
I admire Eric because he knows how to program, he knows how to run a business, and he knows the difference between the two.
Ian Landsman is a MicroISV who works on software that solves real problems; unlike many developers who can’t resist developing apps that are for “Web 2.0” (for whatever their definition of Web 2.0 is)
Dharmesh is a programmer, who like Joel, Eric, and Ian, has also started his own company. If you are looking for practical advice on starting a software company, listen to Dharmesh and not to your MBA buddy.
I like the name of Pamela’s blog — Escape from Cubicle Nation. In a few words, her blog captures what a lot of hardworking employees want to do in their life but may never had the opportunity to do so until right about their retirement age (at which point they can no longer enjoy the fruits of their labor because either they are sick or are living with a caregiver).
There are 3 other bloggers in the “Creating Passionate Users” but I always associate this blog with Kathy Sierra. These bloggers know how the brain works and they have written very useful and famous programming books that use the techniques they preach.
If I remember it right, Kathy Sierra in one of her post on software startups recommended Garr Reynold’s blog. Garr shares his principles and techniques in making absolutely great presentations. Can’t wait to apply his techniques for the upcoming World Usability Day.
The UIE Brain Sparks is a group blog of usability professionals. If you are into usability, these are the guys to listen to.
This is the 37Signals’ company blog on design, usability, and how to have a good time while creating great software.
David is the creator of Ruby on Rails. Just in case this is your first time to be here, let me tell you why I love Ruby on Rails. DHH is one of the partners in 37Signals. Did I just said they know how to have a good time while creating great software?
Given this list, can you guess what I am passionate about? Oh well, I’m sure it is not worth answering but just in case you’re deeply interested in software development, design, entrepreneurship, and how to cook them ala Iron Chef, you can learn a lot from these guys and gals.
p.s. I lied a bit here. I also follow 14 other Filipino bloggers in my Thunderbird. But since it is just a few posts in a day, I still manage to follow all of them.