With all of the blogs out there—more than 150 million as of 2010—you may have to slog through quite a few clunkers to reach the best of the blogosphere.
Of course, the concept of “best” is subjective; after all, there must be at least a few people that consider “Battlefield Earth” among the best films ever created.
Like choosing the “best” movie, deciding what constitutes a top blog depends largely on who you ask. However, these six blogs received acclaim from a variety of sources in 2011. These exceptional sites address a range of topics, from politics to parenting, travel to technology—but they all share a few common characteristics:
- Popular: As simple as that— they get hundreds or thousands of monthly visitors
- Well-Designed: Uncomplicated, attractive and functional design that’s detailed yet easily navigable
- Entertaining: Engaging written content that hits on some sort of emotion for the readers
- Current: Frequent updates that focus on relevant events
- Practical: Content—including text, photos and videos—that readers can use and apply to their real lives beyond the Internet world
But going back to that definitions of a “best” blog—the quality of the blog first depends on what subject it’s on, and the range of blog subjects out there is limitless. Here are some of the most popular blog subjects many webbies view, and some of the “best” blogs in those categories:
A great food blog makes you feel like you just ate a delicious meal—without actually ingesting a single fatty, salty, delectable calorie. Satisfy your cravings at the Smitten Kitchen, winner of Saveur’s 2011 Best Cooking Blog Award. Not only does this simply yet attractively designed blog include drool-inducing photos and detailed recipes accompanied by engaging personal commentary, readers can search recipes by seasonal availability.
If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, don’t miss The Everywhereist. One of Time’s 2011 best blogs, this witty site chronicles the international adventures of its creator. Far from a recitation of scenic views and mundane tourist attractions, the Everywherist’s razor-sharp—and hilarious—commentary leaves no ridiculousness uncommented-upon, from incomprehensible bathroom appliances to hygienically challenged airplane passengers.
Whether you’re left, right or somewhere in between, political blogs offer an amusing take on modern governance; after all, it’s better to laugh than cry, isn’t it? Among the best for 2011—according to the Village Voice—is Joe My God, a blog that offers national, state and local political commentary tinged with more than a touch of snark.
Mommy blogs provide a forum in which to navigate parenthood’s twists and turns. Forbes says that Dooce is among the best. Since its launch in 2001, Dooce has provided a very personal glimpse into its creator’s experiences through marriage, motherhood, post-partum depression and beyond.
Social media—otherwise known as the next big thing in online marketing—offers a range of benefits to those who know how to use it wisely. Social Media Examiner recommends Brian Solis’ blog, describing it as “required reading for business.” The site covers topics from SEO to CRMs, Twitter to Foursquare, and offers helpful tips that article writers and every blog content writer can use.
The Webby Awards honored Tech Crunch as the best business blog of 2011. This site explores the trends in business with an emphasis on the role of new technology. From product reviews to interviews with industry movers and shakers, Tech Crunch keeps readers updated.
These acclaimed blogs represent but a tiny sample of the many remarkable sites out there in the blogosphere.
What were your favorite blogs in 2011?
Linsay R is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments. WriterAccess is powered by ideaLaunch.