Posted by randfish

Historically, I’ve been fairly narrow in what I read in the blogosphere and tech arena (almost all SEO-centric stuff). You can see my Firefox sidebar list here, which  hasn’t changed much since 2008 with the exception of the blogs and news sections. But, over the past 6 months, I’ve been broadening out considerably and found that it adds a great deal to the conversations I’m able to participate in and contribute to, especially as SEOmoz itself has expanded from the SEO world to the larger technology and startup world. For the New Year, I thought I’d share some of the sources that have contributed most on this front and some of my favorite posts/contributions from those sources.

#1 – Hacker News

(http://news.ycombinator.com)

Hacker News

I find more good stuff here than anywhere else, and the diversity is impressive, too. Tragically, Hacker News is also a place for lots of misinformation, fear, and loathing around SEO, but it’s good to get a sense for how the rest of the technology world still views our niche. The signal to noise ratio is higher than on places like delicious/popular, the tech subreddit or Digg (which has become largely useless to tech professionals as its moved away from its roots).

A few items I’ve found via Hacker News include:

#2 – A VC

(http://www.avc.com)

AVC

Fred writes compelling pieces consistently, almost never gets preachy, is self-promotional in a highly credible and useful way and brings up topics I wouldn’t have thought about without him. Most of us can’t have Fred on our boards or as an investor, but we can get into his head via his blog and participating more in the comments there has been a priority of mine for a while (he’s built a remarkable community in the comments).

Some favorite posts:

#3 – Chris Dixon

(http://cdixon.org)

Cdixon.org

Chris, like Fred, delivers crystal clear value propostions with his posts. And IMO, he’s even higher signal to noise than Fred. I don’t always agree with him on everything, but I like the way he thinks about problems, I like the ones he brings up and I think he has his finger intensely on the pulse of what startups and technologists (and technical marketers like SEOs) are thinking about and dealing with. It’s a pleasure to see a new post from Chris – here’s to hoping he makes many more in 2010.

Some favorites include:

#4 – Techmeme

(http://techmeme.com)

Techmeme

Techmeme is an obvious choice, but it’s also critical to the list. If it weren’t for Techmeme, I’d have to wade through ReadWriteWeb, Mashable and Techcrunch post-by-post, every day. Don’t ever leave us, Gabe.

No specific posts here – there’s far too many to name, and the site updates much too quickly for me to even recall all the great stuff I’ve found here. However, I will say that I highly recommend m.techmeme.com for mobile browsing. It’s been a joy to scroll through every time my wife takes extra-long in the dressing room at Anthropologie.

#5 – Answers On Startups

(http://answers.onstartups.com)

Answers On Startups

Launched just this past October, Answers On Startups has become a haven for learning more about the challenges, issues and questions entrepreneurs face in the technology world. I’ve recommended it before, and early on participated heavily (and I’d like to do more of that in the future), but if you’re seeking answers from highly authoritative folks in a scalable fashion, this is the spot. I’m really impressed by the quality of many contributions there - the signal to noise is pretty exceptional.

Some of the best include:

#6 – Daring Fireball

(http://daringfireball.net)

Daring Fireball

In my ideal world, 5 years from now, when I’ve been put out to pasture by someone smarter and more capable, or bought out :-) I’d have a blog like this. Some entries are just links, some are lengthy and thoughtful and all are interesting and worth reading. Author John Gruber also brings a remarkably diverse range of topics to the site and yet somehow, signal to noise remains high.

A few recent picks:

#7 – Steve Blank

(http://steveblank.com)

Steve Blank

A few of Steve’s posts are not only relevant, but serve to actually change direction in the executive ranks here at SEOmoz. That’s high praise, but if you read the blog, you’ll see what I mean. Steve’s been there, and his experiences run in shocking parallel to the issues we face or worry about on a regular basis. Even when I disagree with points, the logic and thought he puts into the post makes for a great read and a hard think.

Some of his best:

#8 – NYTimes Most Emailed

(http://www.nytimes.com/gst/mostemailed.html)

NYTimes Most Popular

Despite the financial and institutional problems they face, the NYTimes still puts out absolutely phenomenal content on nearly every area of life. From cooking to politics, travel to health, there is amazing material to be found in the Grey Lady, and the Most Emailed list is the place to find the best of the best.

Some favorites:

#9 - Venture Hacks

(http://venturehacks.com)

Venture Hacks

 When I was out trying to raise a second round of VC this summer (big mistake – more on that in a future post), Venturehacks’ historic content was invaluable. However, visiting the site made me realize how much good stuff there is that doesn’t apply only to those currently raising money. They’ve got some seriously great writers/contributors, invaluable interviews and tackle tough subjects.

My personal favorites recently included:

#10 – Twittersphere

(http://twittersphere.com)

Twittersphere

Since they don’t publish archives (the most frustrating feature), I’m unable to show off just how cool this site is and has been over the last few months, but just try visiting a couple times a day for the next few weeks and you’ll see. It’s remarkable how much good stuff gets re-tweeted (and how much junk – signal to noise is about 15%, which is still decent since it’s easy to skim and consume at will). You can also get a sense for how important Twitter’s link graph is to the engines through Twittersphere – a lot of pages that have 0 links will have thousands of tweets pretty fast.


Your turn! I’d love to see the sites outside the SEO world that give you the most professional value (and I’m certain the rest of our readers would too). Feel free to link drop even to yourself, so long as it’s relevant :-)

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