Bored with what his RSS reader has been feeding him, Kent Newsome is rebuilding his reading list from scratch using the recommendations of others. He's asked me to suggest five blogs, which is a good excuse to pimp some sites I follow that deserve a bigger audience.
Retrospectacle, a blog by neuroscience postgraduate student Shelley Batts, consistently finds great stories in science before the mainstream media. She won a blogging scholarship last year and answers questions I didn't realize I wanted to know, like why do fireflies bioluminesce?
Sharkbitten is Todd Smith's blog on Americana music, a genre of earthy, blues-inspired rock that claims Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Todd Snider and Tom Waits, along with Smith's own Doc Wheat. As someone who doesn't turn on the radio any more for fear I might hear music, I appreciate Smith's search for life beyond the monotonous same-song dreck on FM. He's also a fellow Jacksonville local whose wife is the Tiger Woods of kindergarten teachers.
James Robertson's Smalltalk Tidbits, Industry Rants has become one of my favorite tech blogs. Though he writes a lot about Smalltalk as part of his job as product manager for Cincom Smalltalk, and I no speaka the language, Robertson's an incisive observer of the tech industry who finds interesting nuggets on other sites without obsessing over every tiny tempest that gets the Underoos of other techbloggers all bunched up.
Self Made Minds by Al Carlton and Scott Jones covers how to make money publishing web sites. The subject matter is baldly mercantile, but it's not shady get-rich-quick stuff. There's a brisk business these days in buying fixer-upper web sites, improving them and selling them. If you'd like to figure out what your own sites might be worth and whether you're missing revenue opportunities, this is a good place to start.
Jeff Rients writes the best blog on the planet about roleplaying games and comics. Some people might shudder at that recommendation, but I spent every weekend during my teen years as a dungeon master -- and not the cool kind. Rients digs up obscure, bizarre and unspeakably horrible old games and comics, obsessing over things like the origin of the bulette and one panel of ROM SpaceKnight issue 24.
I could go on, because I've been engaging in my own effort to look outside the usual suspects for infotainment. But these five bloggers are a good start. To steal a favorite saying from Rients, everything they touch turns to awesome.