Some of the selections in Sarah Boxer‘s Ultimate Blogs made perfect sense to me; others left me with a distinct feeling of meh. (With all the great contemporary writers out there, do we really need to give up real estate in a “best of the web” overview to Samuel Pepys?) So, yeah, I’ve got favorites that didn’t catch Boxer’s eye—and I’m sure you do, too. So I’ll show you mine, then you can show me yours. Let’s keep it down to five max, though, OK?
⇒Whatever: I’ve mentioned John Scalzi on GalleyCat a lot, and it’s not just because we get along well enough to have done author events together. It’s also because Whatver is, to my mind, a perfect example of how a writer’s blog can be a promotional tool without being uselessly annoying about it. Scalzi will promote himself when he’s got something to promote, sure, but the rest of the time, he’s not just actively promoting other writers: He’s pulling back the curtain on his personal life, sharing political opinions, and otherwise actively engaging his wide readership. Like the time they contributed more than $5,000 to a First Amendment organization because he said he’d write an article about the Creation Museum if they donated $250. Or the time he taped bacon to his cat, because the fans didn’t believe he’d do it.
⇒The Absorbascon: Scipio Garling, a Washington, D.C., comics shop owner, digs into the structural elements of Silver Age comics (especially the wackiest ones) and how they inform the books DC is publishing today. Don’t miss his weekly roundup of “things that made me happy” in the latest stories… and if you like that, you’ll probably get a kick out of “The Week in Ink” at Chris Sims‘s Invincible Super-Blog, too. Now I just need to find somebody who writes about manga with their snap and verve…
⇒Ape Lad: Technically, I’d be willing to settle for Adam Koford‘s Flickr stream, which is where all the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats cartoons are hosted, but I’m not sure whether a Flickr stream is canonically acceptable as a blog. But as long as we’re going to count webcomics, then Randall Munroe‘s xkcd and David Malki‘s Wondermark deserve a shoutout, too.
⇒Bitten: Mark Bittman‘s recipe blog at the NY Times website only launched recently, but it’s already become one of my favorites, and I’m probably bookmarking about two or three posts a week for future reference.
⇒Zen Habits: I first got interested in blogs about improving your productivity through Merlin Mann‘s 43 Folders, but ZH has become the blog I follow most consistently on this theme, thanks to Leo Babauta‘s engaging voice and his ability to break issues down into simple but engaging talking points. At a more granular level, Skelliewag is filled with thought-provoking advice on blogging as a profession, and Presentation Zen is great for tips on creating effective presentations.