To kick off 2013, I decided to compile and share with you a list of the blogs I follow regularly. As I mentioned in a previous post, I use Mr. Reader for iPad as my RSS reader. The blogs I follow are organized into nine different categories. Because of that, being a space professional, I decided to have a little fun and associate one of the “traditional” planets with each of the categories. (In my solar system, there are still nine planets, not because I insist that Pluto is a planet, but because I had nine categories!)
Onward to the list….
Mercury – Business Entrepreneurs
For a number of years, I've been fascinated by business entrepreneurs, consuming their writings as I grappled with my own entrepreneurial desires. My first introduction to business writing and entrepreneurial thinking was through the classic Collins/Porras HBR article, “Building Your Company's Vision.” Since that time, I have found HBR to be a steady source of fresh ideas. Through social media I became acquainted with the writings of Ben Horowitz and Scott Weiss, who provide insights from the “C-suite” as practicing entrepreneurs.
Ben's Blog – http://bhorowitz.com
HBR – http://blogs.hbr.org
Scott Weiss – http://scott.a16z.com
Venus – College Sports
The planet of love is associated fittingly with a topic I love. I'm a college football junkie and big Texas Longhorns fan. To keep abreast of all the happenings in the Longhorn world, I follow “Barking Carnival” and “Burnt Orange Nation”. I also read a couple of smartly-written sites that explore college football through analytics. These are excellent sites if you're looking for a level of technical analysis that goes beyond what is available on the standard sports sites.
Barking Carnival – http://www.barkingcarnival.com
Burnt Orange Nation – http://www.burntorangenation.com
Football Study Hall – http://www.footballstudyhall.com
Smart Football – http://smartfootball.com
Earth – Current Events
I think it fitting that the Current Events category gets the designation, “Earth.” First, I get nearly all my news through social media. (Don't you?) To augment the immediacy of the social media stream, I also follow a couple of blogs for some smart, insightful commentary on current events. Because of the extreme polarization of most online sources, finding balanced commentary can be a challenge. Jerry Pournelle does drift a bit towards Libertarianism, but at least he's not too extreme. Sadly, this list is shorter than it ought to be.
Evening Edition – http://evening-edition.com
Mars – Economics
OK, it's totally by accident that this category lands on Mars. (I'm waiting for the “Economists go to Mars” joke – go ahead.) Six months ago, economics was not a category in my reading list. Yet because of the “Economics for Defense Managers” class I took last quarter in my Executive MBA program, I gained insights into economic thinking that I never got through that introductory macroeconomics class I took as an undergraduate a long time ago. I think my favorable recent experience in economics is in part due to the benefit of “life experiences” showing the value of economic thinking, and in part due to a fantastic professor (thanks, David Henderson). I'm even toying with writing a blog piece on microeconomic issues in human spaceflight. My reading list here is small, but growing.
EconLog – http://econlog.econlib.org
The Economist: Economic Issues – http://www.economist.com/topics/economics
Economists Do It With Models – http://www.economistsdoitwithmodels.com
Jupiter – Leadership
I connected with each of the leaders below through social media years ago, and continue to follow their writings to improve my own leadership capabilities. Most of these have been on my list for several years, with a few recent additions and subtractions.
Kate Nasser – http://katenasser.com
Managing For Performance – http://managingforperformance.com
Mario Vittone – http://mariovittone.com
More Than a Minute – http://morethanaminute.com
Next Level Blog – http://eblingroup.com/blog
Random Acts of Leadership – http://randomactsofleadership.wordpress.com
You're Not the Boss of Me – http://gwynteatro.wordpress.com
Saturn – Math & Science
The mathematician/scientist inside of me gets care and feeding through the next collection of blogs. This is a small but active list that requires some deep thinking. I found a new blog last week, “Roots of Unity”, and look forward to seeing how it evolves.
Gödel’s Lost Letter and P=NP – http://rjlipton.wordpress.com
Roots of Unity – http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/roots-of-unity/
ScienceDaily: Top Science News – http://www.sciencedaily.com/news/top_news/top_science/
The Economist: Science and Technology – http://www.economist.com/science-technology
Uranus – Photography
My main creative pursuit is photography. I like these blogs for insights and tips geared toward the budding amateur photographer. I also enjoy seeing beautiful works in the examples they provide, which inspire me to improve my own photography.
Light Stalking – http://www.lightstalking.com
Photography by Kent Weakley – http://kentweakley.com/blog/
PhotoNaturalist – http://photonaturalist.net
The Discerning Photographer – http://thediscerningphotographer.com
Younes Bounhar – http://younesbounhar.com/blog/
Neptune – Space
I would be remiss as a space professional if I didn't have a collection of space-related blogs. Two of Jeff Foust's offerings made my list (“Space Politics” and “The Space Review”), because Jeff provides a factual, impartial view into happenings in space exploration. (The same cannot be said for many of the commenters on his blogs, sadly.) I noticed that after I compiled the list, there are no official NASA blogs on it. Is this an opportunity missed, or a blind spot?
Mary Lynne Dittmar – http://www.marylynnedittmar.com
NASA Watch – http://nasawatch.com
Selenian Boondocks – http://selenianboondocks.com
Space Politics – http://www.spacepolitics.com
SpacePolicyOnline – http://www.spacepolicyonline.com
The Once and Future Moon – http://blogs.airspacemag.com/moon/
The Space Review – http://www.thespacereview.com
Universe Today – http://www.universetoday.com
Vintage Space – http://amyshirateitel.com/vintagespace/
Pluto – Technology
Orbiting in the Kuiper Belt is the collection of technology blogs I follow. Most of these are current event-oriented, and several provide thoughtful commentary on topics relating to Apple products (because I own a bunch) as well as technology in general.
AppCraver – http://www.appcraver.com
Cool Tools – http://kk.org/cooltools/
Daring Fireball – http://daringfireball.net
I, Cringely – http://www.cringely.com
IDV User Experience – http://uxblog.idvsolutions.com
Infinite Loop – http://arstechnica.com/apple/
io9 – http://io9.com
iPhoneLife: Apps – http://www.iphonelife.com/category/all
Lifehacker – http://lifehacker.com
Macenstein – http://macenstein.com/
MacFixIt – http://reviews.cnet.com/8300-13727_7-.html
MacOSXHints – http://hints.macworld.com
TidBITS – http://tidbits.com
Now that I have a snapshot at the beginning of 2013 of the blogs I read, I'll be interested to see how this list continues to evolve during the year. If you have some favorites you like to read, let me hear from you.
Text © 2013 Joe Williams. All rights reserved.
All images courtesy of NASA.