Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Other Blogs

I read some 60-odd blogs, but a lot of them are very low volume (and specialised). In Google Reader I have set up a folder structure to keep at least some order in the list. I'll briefly go through this, as some of the blogs might be interesting for others as well.

Computing is my biggest category. I try to follow current technological trends, and I'm always amazed by the things that one comes across as a side-effect.  Some of the tech bloggers are keen photographers, eg Tim Bray on his ongoing blog.  Elliotte Rusty Harrold (Cafe au Lait Java News and Resources) is an avid birdwatcher.  Tim lives in Vancouver, and often comments on life in Canada; apparently Vancouver is one of the three greatest places in the world, Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro being the other two.  Not sure where Birmingham would come in that ranking.

Being a serial procrastinator, GTD & productivity comes a close second.  Instead of Getting Things Done it's easier just to read about it.  The top blogs (both in quality and in volume) are lifehack and lifehacker; a useful low-volume one is Academic Productivity.

For light relief there's humour, with the usual suspect Dilbert, and some other funny web comics, eg PHD Comics, and Basic Instructions.  By subscribing to them as an RSS feed (via darkgate.net) I don't even have to go to the sites, and they just pop up in my reader every day.  Very convenient.  And efficient.

And then there's the news: nothing adventurous, only various feeds from the BBC news: Science, Technology, Education (you can select what kind of news you want to get delivered).  And the News from the THE.  What else do you need to know about the world?  Though there seems to be a rather larger overlap with Dilbert than one would have expected...

I would like to see more kinds of feeds, esp from newspapers.  A bit of a bore to still have to go out to different websites in the 21st C; that is really soooo out of date!  It's also a bit inconvenient that the BBC articles only show a one-sentence summary, so that you still have to click on it to read, whereas most other blogs supply the full text.


  1. Thanks for this, OL, really useful! However, my Reader is starting to strain at the midriff from over-subscribing of late. I especially like the academic productivity and lifehack, and also, as you say, who needs more than news from THE...

  2. I'm glad you reminded me about PhD Comics. I read the article about it in the Times Higher (print version!) last week, and had been intending to look it up.

    Have you found anything about teaching practice worth subscribing to?

  3. @Gill: no. Mostly I come across interesting ideas more or less by accident, though not really that accidental, as I read many blogs which deal with academia or dealing with people. Often there are useful nuggets in there, even if it relates to a work environment and how to treat co-workers that behave in a particular way.

    But then I haven't explicitly looked for teaching related blogs yet.