Monday, 24 August 2009
Ten important blogs - the top bloggers to have shaped modern blogging
Belle De Jour
Arguably, the first British blogger to break out of the virtual world and into the real one. Before the book deal, the television show and the Guardian column, Ms. De Jour entertained and titillated with her experiences as a London call girl. Witty and superbly written (to the point where a UK paper tried to out her as a journalist) and occasionally laugh-out-loud, it's worth a look for those with an interest in both the cultural importance of online copywriting and, um, the subject in hand.
Belle De Jour
Founder of the Daily Howler blog, Bob Somerby was one of the first major political writers on the internet. While often criticised for being inaccurate and biased, the Daily Howler showed that it was possible to write about politics and maintain a healthy bounce rate at the same time. Political bloggers such as Guido Fawkes have a lot to thank him for.
As head of Google's Webspam team, Matt Cutts knows things. Secret things. Things that an SEO copywriter would kill for. Sadly, Mr. Cutts isn't known for blurting out algorithm secrets, or indeed, the 16 digit number on the front of the company credit card. Nor should we expect him too. Occasionally though, Cutts lets slip about the latest update or indeed, confirms popular theories surrounding SEO strategy. Every little helps.
Comment is Free (The Guardian)
While not a personal blog, The Guardian's Comment Is Free is one of the most influential collection of online musings. The Guardian has a reputation for pushing the boundaries of what a newspaper can achieve online and the launch of CiF showed that news and opinion could peacefully coexist in a virtual world. 700 writers regularly contribute to the CiF section – named after a quote from CP Scott – and, even today, it remains one of the leading sites for online opinion and conjecture.
Comment is Free
Richard Horton – detective constable for the Lancashire Constabulary - is better known as NightJack, the Orwell Prize-winning blogger famous for his emotional insight into the secret world of the police force. He became infamous for his criticisms of police bureaucracy and his honest appraisal of the job – describing one local community as the 'evil poor' being just one controversial opinion. Horton's identity was revealed by a court order earlier this year after a landmark legal battle with The Times newspaper. The blog was deleted and Horton was issued a formal warning by his employers. The implications of this ruling, rather than the blog itself, cements its position in the list.
Love or loath the nature of his work, Perez Hilton has made his name reporting on the loves and lives of Hollywood's elite. His first blog, PageSixSixSix.com, was famous for its brutal and cut-throat reporting of some of the biggest celebrity scoops. The blog inspired countless imitators and thousands of like-minded sites and Perez is now thought to be one of the most influential people in show business; the blog has been know to launch the careers of his friends and acquaintances. Like Mika.
Widely considered to be the pioneer of the personal blog, Jusin Hall started Links.net in 1994. As a student at Swarthmore, Hall began chronicling his daily life and undergraduate experiences. He revealed the most intimate details about his time at university – relationships, holidays and, at one point chronicled the time he obtained an STD from a partner. The origins of internet angst.
While he may have resigned his parliamentary seat under a hail of tabloid exclamation marks, Tom Watson will be forever remembered as one of the first politicians to connect to constituents through the power of blogging. In 2004, Watson won the New Statesman New Media Award for his attempts to share politics with the electorate. Politicians from both sides of the aisle have followed in his footsteps.
As the co-editor of cult site Boing Boing, Xeni is responsible for the proliferation of peculiar things. Back in the days before people realised the internet could be used to broadcast more unusual content – talking Nazi cats juggling melons and the like -this woman was spreading internet memes far and wide. An inspiration to all who'd rather surf B3ta than get any actual work done.
The father of social media, Williams made blogging accessible to all after creating Blogger.com in 1993. The simple layout and open-to-all approach brought blogging into the public domain. It now averages just over 140 million visitors per day. Williams can currently be found at his latest creation, Twitter.