Top 100 Tech Blogs: the Datamation List

Wednesday Aug 29th 2007 by James Maguire
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Tech blogs that are worth your time, chosen from across the full spectrum of tech coverage.

UPDATE: Top 200 Tech Blogs: The Datamation 2009 List

And: 2008: Top 200 Tech Blogs: the Datamation List

Yes, I know, selecting the Top 100 Tech blogs is like choosing the Top 100 Grains of Sand on a Beach. There are so many zillions of tech-related blogs, and they evolve and change direction so quickly – in truth, it’s an impossible task.

Still, some tech blogs have truly distinguished themselves, even in an incredibly crowded field. They’re full of in-your-face opinion, but that opinion (on most days, at least) is backed up by deep expertise. They’re well written and regularly updated, usually penned by major industry players and seasoned observers. They’re recognized as thought leaders on their subject.

So, caveats aside, here are Datamation’s 100 Top Tech Blogs, by category:

Consumer Tech

Smart Dudes and Dudettes

Tech Insiders, and others with their “finger on the pulse”

Informative

Blogs sponsored by major publications/organizations

Wonderfully Geeky Blogs

Operating Systems: Linux-Open Source / Windows / Mac

Highly Recommended


CONSUMER TECH:

Gadgets and shiny toys used by a mass audience.

Cool Tools
Not just another gadget blog, this posting of interesting tech stuff – software, videos, maps, Web sites, etc. – is hosted by Kevin Kelly, who helped launch Wired magazine in 1993. He accepts submissions from readers and posts the best of them.

Engadget
Gee whiz! A DVD laser retrofitted into Mini Mag flashlight! And tons of other strange and unique tech toys, plus scads and scads of miscellaneous online novelties.

Gizmodo
Gadgets, gadgets, and more gadgets. Looking for a self-cooling seat cushion, or a juicer that hugs your countertop? How about a personal cellphone signal blocker?

Lifehacker
Better living through technology, including plenty of pragmatic tips on using major software programs. Also offers personal advice (“Survive – and Thrive – Your Freshman Year”) and time management techniques.

DownloadSquad
A diverse compendium of consumer tech factoids: Skype on the iPhone, saving data on a PC, and caffeine level calculators. (Caffeine level calculators? Have we really sunk to that level?)

Boing Boing
In truth, “consumer tech” is only part of what the wildly wide-ranging Boing Boing offers – the self-described "Dictionary of Wonderful Things" has few limits. Panoramic cameras, five-foot animated Frankenstein monster, riffs on DRM, graphic novels...you just have to see it to understand it. While you’re at it, take a look at co-editor Corey Doctorow’s personal blog, Craphound.

The Raw Feed
Tech pundit Mike Elgan monitors the strange and wonderful world of gizmos, gadgets, and happenings. Did you know there’s a site where a sexy woman moans your IP address? You’d never miss such developments if you were a Raw Feed reader.

UPDATE: 2008: Top 200 Tech Blogs: the Datamation List

Peruse the list by category:

Consumer Tech Smart Dudes and Dudettes Tech Insiders Informative Blogs Sponsored by Major Publications/Organizations Wonderfully Geeky Blogs Operating Systems: Linux-Open Source - Windows - Mac Highly Recommended

SMART DUDES AND DUDETTES:

Intrepid observers of the tech scene who really know their stuff.

Joel on Software
Wonder of wonders: a techie who can actually write. Joel Spolsky is New York-based software developer who covers not only software but larger issues in technology. His post about the disadvantages of allowing comments is quite interesting.

Steve Rubel's Micro Persuasion
A major PR cognoscenti, Rubel analyzes the intersection of technology and media. He's changed his format to write less frequently so that he can write better and deeper. He notes: "When I do post on this site it is more substantive and meaningful and it incorporates my learnings from the conversations I have had elsewhere." That's a strategy that more bloggers should probably adopt.

Scott Rosenberg’s Wordyard
A co-founder of Salon.com, where he was technology editor (and later managing editor) Rosenberg is a thoughtful observer of the tech-culture scene.

O'Reilly Radar
Tim O'Reilly and his team put out intelligent tech analysis, with the emphasis on predicting what's coming in before it fully arrives.

Stephen O'Grady's Tecosystems
Here’s the mission statement for RedMonk: “RedMonk is the first analyst firm built on open source. We’re dedicated to providing high quality research at no cost, and believe that the dialog that follows is beneficial to us, our community and our clients.” Trippy, huh? Steve O’Grady blogs with that same spirit, mixing personal insight (and invitations to local parties) with software-tech analysis.

Kottke.org
Not so much a place to keep up with technology as a spot to enjoy the interesting and idiosyncratic voice of someone who's deeply involved in high tech. He's been at it for years, and it shows.

John Udell
Intense and thoughtful, uber-geek John Udell talks with a lot of interesting people and does a lot of in-depth analysis. Some pictures, too.

VitalSecurity.org
A blog that actively combats the bad guys who put out viruses and other things that are bad for our PC. (“If you're a bad guy, you'd best fear me.”) Thank goodness someone’s fighting the good fight.

Kim Cameron’s Identity Weblog
Cameron, the architect of Identity and Access at Microsoft, offers some important and smart thoughts about protecting yourself against identity theft in an age when this is a real problem. (“So when signing up for Facebook I didn’t consider for one moment the idea of publishing my natural birth date.”)

TechBlog
Dwight Silverman, of the Houston Chronicle, covers personal and enterprise tech with an informal flair. He also post lists of links to tech stories you might have missed.

UPDATE: 2008: Top 200 Tech Blogs: the Datamation List

Peruse the list by category:

Consumer Tech Smart Dudes and Dudettes Tech Insiders Informative Blogs Sponsored by Major Publications/Organizations Wonderfully Geeky Blogs Operating Systems: Linux-Open Source - Windows - Mac Highly Recommended

INFORMATIVE BLOGS:

Good places to learn about and/or keep up with developments in a broad array of tech areas.

CIO’s Advice and Insight
Some full-length article posts with deep analysis, along with some short takes, about life as a tech manager.

ProBlogger Blog Tips
Darren Rowse has created a major hub site for blogging education, crammed full of resources to help you build traffic.

CinemaTech
A good source of information about the intersection of movies, entertainment and technology, written by longtime tech chronicler Scott Kirsner.

Read/WriteWeb
A not-so-small crowd of contributors, edited by New Zealander Richard MacManus, keeps up with the breathlessly evolving tech world. Every Saturday the site offers a weekly update of its best posts.

CyberJournalist
This is what happens when journalists are allowed to get Internet connections: they obsessively cover all aspects of Internet life. A top site for media and technology news.

SmashingMagazine
Full of tips and “how to’s,” this Web design blog is itself beautifully designed. I guess it has to be, huh? Highly popular.

Google Blogscoped
Google and more Google – if you want to stay informed about the search giant’s every more, this unofficial site is a thoroughly obsessive source.

Center for Democracy and Technology
The CDT folks have real expertise in that strange place known as the intersection of law, technology, and policy. A good way to stay current with legislation regarding technology.

RIFD Weblog
A well done blog about the niche topic of radio frequency identification technology (RFID). In addition to the daily posts, it also offers plenty of background and archival info about RFID.

Paul Stamatiou
A student at Georgia Tech, Paul Stamatiou is concerned with all things techie. Learn, for example, why you shouldn’t ignore Amazon’s FPS, and how to display the number of your del.ico.us saves, as well as many other geeky things.

Molly
Highly intense and in-depth look at Web design issues, written by Molly Holzschlag, an author, designer and standards advocate. It has a personal, quirky quality mixed in the heady HTML talk.

Webware
Covers the rapidly growing sector of Web-based apps. The blog is overseen by tech veteran Rafe Needleman, who has certainly earned his street cred in the online world.

Photo Matt
Given that Matt Mullenweg is the founding developer of Word Press, it’s no surprise he promotes that platform. But he gets around a lot more than that, reporting/analyzing on the Net and general multimedia goings-on. Odd bonus section: an archive of jazz quotes, from Thelonious Monk to John Coltrane.

Techdirt
A team of analysts provides in-depth coverage of tech business developments. Many posts per day. They also post reader submissions.

UPDATE: 2008: Top 200 Tech Blogs: the Datamation List

Peruse the list by category:

Consumer Tech Smart Dudes and Dudettes Tech Insiders Informative Blogs Sponsored by Major Publications/Organizations Wonderfully Geeky Blogs Operating Systems: Linux-Open Source - Windows - Mac Highly Recommended

BLOGS SPONSORED BY MAJOR PUBLICATIONS/ORGANIZATIONS:

Blogs churned out by major publications tend to have greater reporting resources.

The Guardian’s Tech Blog
Tech commentary with an English accent. Smart, interesting, well-written.

Ars Journal
Tech toys, industry news, and personal opinion. Updated Relentlessly.

Financial Times’ Tech Blog
Top journalists analyze who’s making money in the tech business, with posts backed up by the hefty journalistic resources of the Financial Times.

InfoWorld
The online tech pub’s blogroll focuses on enterprise IT: storage, databases, security, job headhunting. Plenty of good stuff.

Computerworld: Opinion/Blogs
Benefiting from the considerable journalistic savvy of the Computerworld staff, these blogs focus mostly on corporate tech.

RedHerring Blogs
Plenty of attitude is mixed in with these posts, which cover both personal and enterprise tech. Hosted by RedHerring online.

Internet.com Blogs
The constantly updated output of a legion of top writers and reporters, covering every aspect of tech, from the enterprise to wireless to software and hardware. (Published by Jupitermedia, which publishes the site you’re reading.) While you’re at it, take a look at the Datamation Blog – yup, that’s the relevant and timely tech blog of this very site. (What, you didn't think we were gonna blow our own horn?)

The Utility Belt: Tech News and Analysis
Wide-ranging, newsy chronicles of the intersection of technology and business by the staff at Business 2.0.

TechRepublic Blogs
Clearly on the geeky side – like tips on how to perform date/time arithmetic with Java – TechRepublic’s offering is for the real tech pro.

ZDNet Blogs
Updated to reflect every fresh tidbit of tech news, the ZDNet blog page is easily one of the best collections of tech analysts on the Web, including the inestimable Mary Jo Foley, David Berlind, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, George Ou, Josh Greenbaum, and many more.

Wired's Epicenter
With the tech reporting resources of Wired News, you know this blog is going to be a "must read" for the technoscenti. Capable of wonderful irreverence, like this post, Live From Gnomedex, Guy Kawasaki's Golden Shower.

The Official Google Blog
Okay, some pretty dry stuff (“we are excited to start innovating in this area for our advertising customers and for our users…” ), but since this is the official blog of the company headed toward complete world domination, it’s not to be missed.

Todd Bishop’s Microsoft Blog
Hosted by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, this is a good source of Microsoft tidbits you won’t read elsewhere.

eWeek Blogs
If it has to do with technology – from jobs to security to platforms – there’s commentary about it at the eWeek blogs.

CNET Blogs
A veritable horde of knowledgeable geeks hold forth on everything from SEO to SOA to DRM, as well as some subjects that don't have three-letter acronyms. Fueled by the news gathering resources of the great CNET. Particularly noteworthy is the tech-politics blog of Declan McCullagh.

Brian Krebs’s Security Fix
Backed by the reporting chops of the Washington Post, Security Fix is a deep and widely inclusive resource. Very well done.

BusinessWeek’s Blogspotting
Heather Green and Stephen Baker do a good job of covering the healthy heartbeat of the technology-media scene. For example, Baker’s comparison of Google’s Blogsearch with Technorati’s search (Google’s won handily) was spot-on.

Technology Review’s Blogs
Pretty erudite, but that’s no surprise given that it’s published by the august MIT. Plenty of science mixed in with the tech.

Macworld Weblogs
Meaty, well-written, link-filled posts about the Apple-centric universe. Keep an eye out for the writings of Jason Snell and Rob Griffiths.

UPDATE: 2008: Top 200 Tech Blogs: the Datamation List

Peruse the list by category:

Consumer Tech Smart Dudes and Dudettes Tech Insiders Informative Blogs Sponsored by Major Publications/Organizations Wonderfully Geeky Blogs Operating Systems: Linux-Open Source - Windows - Mac Highly Recommended

WONDERFULLY GEEKY BLOGS:

Blogs unafraid to get into the nitty gritty, bits and the bytes of technology.

Vacuous Virtuoso
Javascript, Mac issues, Web design, raps about the iPhone SDK: author Ankur Kothari can claim genuine geek status.

Neowin.net
There’s a lot going on here, with software/DRM/personal tech posts commented on by a sizeable readership.

Seth Finkelstein’s Infothought
A serious, detailed look at search engine policy, focusing on Google and the DMCA.

Geek and Poke
Talented comic creator Oliver Widder, an IT guy living in Hamburg, Germany, draws and writes comics that actually make technology funny. Updated often.

Josh Spear
Everything about this blog is cool, from its light gray font to its emphasis on environmentally-friendly emerging technology. Carbon furniture, anyone?

Tech_Space
Angela Gunn and crew turn out one of the wittiest blogs in the tech universe. Plenty of science coverage along with the personal tech bits.

Mark Kersey’s HDTV News Blogs
Kersey searches high and low for all the headlines – and also summarizes the stories – to keep you up on every last detail of high-def. He’s into it.

Wi-Fi Networking News
While other blogs dash off a 3-4 sentence throwaways, Glenn Fleishmann writes thoughtful, article-length pieces. A good way to keep up with the constantly whirling world of Wi-Fi.

UPDATE: 2008: Top 200 Tech Blogs: the Datamation List

Peruse the list by category:

Consumer Tech Smart Dudes and Dudettes Tech Insiders Informative Blogs Sponsored by Major Publications/Organizations Wonderfully Geeky Blogs Operating Systems: Linux-Open Source - Windows - Mac Highly Recommended

OPERATING SYSTEMS: LINUX-OPEN SOURCE / MAC / WINDOWS:

Wow, a page that lists Windows, Mac and Open Source blogs all mixed together. We hope this doesn’t cause the Internet to blow up.

Linux.com
A central gathering place for the passionate debate inspired by Linux and open source, with comments galore and opinions flying every which way. Warning: Windows users might get their feelings hurt.

Groklaw
Written by the mysterious Pamela Jones (someday we’ll know the full story), this open source advocacy blog is deeply resourced. If you think Mankind can’t take another step until SCO is gone, this is your page.

Jeremy Zawodny
Zawodny, best known as Yahoo’s MySQL guru, is clearly a step above in terms of his tech commentary; he’s got a personal, distinct voice that is well suited for blogging. Oddly, he mixes in aviation-related posts with his technology commentary. But why not?

Daring Fireball
Clearly, John Gruber knows a lot about Macintosh. And you have to be deep into Apple to grok him. Wanna hear about the default new F-key assignment? This is some very inside stuff.

TUAW: The Unofficial Apple Weblog
Hardly a rumor, murmur, secret – or actual piece of news – goes by without being gnawed deep and long by TUAW.

Mac Rumors
More or less everything having to do with the Mac platform, from gaming to programming. Bonus: a user community in which people post their Mac setup. (You know you’re a Mac geek when you post your Mac setup for the world to see. Get a life, people!)

Apple Insider
Pssst! Did you hear about the new 24-inch iMac? If that gets your pulse racing, Apple Insider is your daily source.

Microsoft Security Response Center
All the bulletins and updates you’ll need (or at least most of ‘em) for Microsoft security vulnerabilities. You can also sign up for a notification so you don’t need to check in regularly.

Channel 9
Hosted by Microsoft, this is Redmond’s conduit to the vast network of Microsoft developers. A very busy place, with a sprawling array of conversations and idea trading.

Windows Vista Team Blog
Microsoft’s outlet for news and development about its new OS, written for a tech-savvy audience. On the same site is the Windows Experience Blog, which covers virtually any aspect of the popular platform’s use.

UPDATE: 2008: Top 200 Tech Blogs: the Datamation List

Peruse the list by category:

Consumer Tech Smart Dudes and Dudettes Tech Insiders Informative Blogs Sponsored by Major Publications/Organizations Wonderfully Geeky Blogs Operating Systems: Linux-Open Source - Windows - Mac Highly Recommended

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:

Exemplary tech blogs across a wide array of subject matter.

Pogue's Posts
Brilliant stuff about personal technology, from the iPhone to email to camcorders. There are very few tech pundits who are as insightful yet plain-spoken as David Pogue, the New York Times gadget guy.

Slashdot
The geekier-than-thou, constantly churning meta-blog is an irreverent center of the online tech world. To be noticed by the likes of Zonk, Cowboy Neal, ScuttleMonkey, ComdrTaco – these individuals are demi-gods. It's their world; we only live in it.

Joho the Blog
David Weinberger is a heavyweight tech thinker, co-author of “The Cluetrain Manifesto” and author of “Small Pieces, Loosely Joined.” He’s also a philosophy professor, a comedy writer and, well, a bunch of other things. Joho the Blog is his meditation on the Internet and anything else that trips the light fantastic.

Secret Diary of Steve Jobs (a.k.a. "The Fake Steve Jobs")
We now know that this wonderfully amusing blog is actually penned by Forbes senior editor Dan Lyons. Although fictional, his skewering of Jobs is virtuosic. Sample post: "DUDE, I INVENTED THE FRIGGIN’ IPHONE. HAVE YOU HEARD OF IT?"

Occam's Razor by Avinash Kaushik
The world is a better place because Avinash Kaushik is in it. A SEO guru, author of the popular book Web Analytics: An Hour a Day he not only knows his stuff, he puts out with charm and generosity. (He’s donating his book proceeds to charity.) No e-commerce entrepreneur should miss this blog.

Paul McNamara
McNamara can be quite entertaining, and his take on corporate and personal tech never wastes a word. His post Rove quitting to spend more time with his iPhone is a must read.

Nicholas Carr
A serious smart guy/deep thinker – and tremendous writer – who riled tech vendors with his ‘Does IT Matter” thesis. Far ranging and very interesting.

Joi Ito’s Web
Ito, a vice president at Technorati and an open source advocate, really gets around. In addition to tech issues his chronicles include anything from John Perry Barlow to the Dali Lama.

Robert X. Cringely
The original Cringely (there are more than one -- it's a long story) can be found on the PBS site. Having earned his street cred with decades in the tech biz, Cringely (the pen name of Mark Stephens) writes with a sharp anti-conformist bent.

Simon Phipp's "SunMink in the Sun"
Sun’s chief open source officer is an interesting fellow. UK-based and highly literate, he’s aware of the politics as well as the technology of software.

Schneier on Security
Is there a more famous security guru than Bruce Schneier? What’s impressive about his blog is the expansive reach of his subject matter: software and hardware, sure, but also security issues in a larger societal context.

UPDATE: 2008: Top 200 Tech Blogs: the Datamation List

Peruse the list by category:

Consumer Tech Smart Dudes and Dudettes Tech Insiders Informative Blogs Sponsored by Major Publications/Organizations Wonderfully Geeky Blogs Operating Systems: Linux-Open Source - Windows - Mac Highly Recommended

TECH INSIDERS, AND OTHERS WITH THEIR "FINGER ON THE PULSE"

Individuals who have a deep connection to the tech subjects they blog about.

Chris Pirillo
The host of the uber-geek conference Gnomedex, and the founder of the tech portal Lockergnome, the peripatetic Pirillo blogs about everything from DRM to how to dispose of old electronics. Scattered, but kind of interesting.

Beyond VC
An actual venture capitalist who writes about venture capital. Ed Sims is the managing director of Dawntreader Ventures, which has about 18 gazillion dollars under management. He mentions figures like $35 million dollars the way most of us mention $20 bucks.

Doc Searls Weblog
Senior editor for Linux Journal, and a major dude in the IT world besides, Searls ruminates on any number of tech topics, as well as many topics from beyond tech.

Paid Content
Rafat Ali and his crew are very on top of it when it comes to the business of digital content. Particularly in terms of who’s getting funded by whom, and for how much.

Alan Meckler's Internet Media Commentary
Meckler, the CEO of Jupitermedia (the company that publishes this site) has done about as many Internet deals as anyone. So in addition to being one of the few CEOs who blog meaningfully and regularly, his posts offer pithy behind-the-scenes insight into the Net business.

Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google and SEO
You better believe that legions of SEO experts keep a constant eye on this blog: Matt Cutts is a software engineer for Google, so despite his disclaimer (“This is my personal blog”) there seems to be clues about the search giant’s mysterious algorithm in his posts. (“Let’s dissect the parts of a URL (uniform resource locator. I’ll tell you how we typically refer to different parts of a URL at Google…”)

Mark Cuban Blog Maverick
Cuban scored a mountain of cash in the dotcom days, and is now an unabashedly opinionated commentator. He’s all over the place topic-wise, and often interesting. For example, he recently declared that the Internet is ”dead and boring.”

Burnham’s Beat
Not updated constantly, but when venture capitalist Bill Burnham posts, it tends to be worthwhile. Here’s what you really want to know: 10 Pragmatic Steps To Raising Venture Capital

John Battelle’s Searchblog
Ultimate insider dude John Battelle was a Wired magazine co-founder, and now comments – constantly – on the intersection of search, media and tech.

Good Morning Silicon Valley
GMSV keeps things lively: in addition to the usual stuff about Google and Apple, et al., writers John Murrell and Chris Myers include offbeat quotes, like a child's response to "One Laptop Per Child," and a report about nonconformists and social networking sites. (“Nonconformists are significantly heavier users of social networking sites than other students...)

SearchEngineLand
Two words: Danny Sullivan. The Maestro of Search is the editor-in-chief of this massively-trafficked blog about all things search, from SEO to search engine marketing. You might also take a gander at Sullivan's personal blog, Daggle which covers life as an expat in Britain, with some tech musings thrown in.

Jason Calcanis
There’s kind of a rule that, whenever you’re making a list of hot things on the Internet, you have to include Jason Calcanis. One of the original and ultimate Net entrepreneurs, even after making a mountain of money he still updates his blog constantly. (Although he uses a lot of pixels promoting his new search engine Mahalo, which gets tiresome.)

GigaOM
Reporting and analysing every little flutter in their corner of the tech world, Om Malik and his staff focus on broadband, telecommunications and gaming.

Rahul Sood
The founder of VooDooPC (now part of HP) offers an insider's glimpse into Big Tech. He's got photos of him with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to prove he's a major dude.

TechCrunch
Helmed by lawyer/smart guy/tech entrepreneur Michael Arrington, TechCrunch dishes the behind-the-scenes scoop on established and emerging Web businesses.

Scobleizer
One-time Microsoft blogger Robert Scobleizer calls it as he sees it, from IBM to Google to Facebook to Apple, with a dose of philosophical meanderings.

Valleywag
Gossipy, uncensored stuff – both business and personal – about the tech world, focusing on Silicon Valley but also traveling far afield. Special bonus: It's actually well written, unlike the great mass of semi-literate blogs.

Jonathan Schwartz’s Weblog
Schwartz, the CEO of Sun Microsystems, writes long, in-depth posts about the tech business, focusing on Sun’s business. Mixed in with the self-promotion are some interesting observations. Among the more noteworthy posts is this open letter to Linus Torvalds about the OpenSolaris/Linux mashup.

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