I use the word “news” advisedly here, since I wanted to draw your attention to two blogs of note … they are “news” because I read them in my news reader, how’s that? Google Reader has a “trends” page that offers stats about your reading habits. One thing stood out: most of the subscriptions on my “Top Ten” list (sorted by how many posts I actually read, as opposed to ones I skipped) go unread by me. For instance, I subscribe to Lifehacker, and they crank out a lot of posts each day, but I only read 18% of those posts.
One blog I have mentioned before is “A plain blog about politics” by Jonathan Bernstein. I bring it up again here because while Jonathan doesn’t post as often as Lifehacker (there’s only one of him, and lots of people on Lifehacker), I have read 100% of what he has written. This is, as you can imagine, a record. I mentioned to Jonathan earlier today that when I was listening to some pundits on the radio, I knew more about what they were discussing because I had his blog for background material. His writing on the process of creating a health-care reform measure has been fascinating. I admit that at times I want to pull my hair out as I read him … he understands the process in some detail, and he is always looking several steps down the road, while I want things done now, exactly my way. The result is that I am reading more about mainstream Democratic thought than I have in years, and while I differ at times from Jonathan on philosophies, I have a much better understanding of how someone could come to a reasoned position as a centrist.
I’d also like to mention a site where I have read 97% of what they post. To be honest, I don’t know where that other 3% went, because I love “If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There’d Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats” and read it religiously. It’s not the kind of site that would end up in these “news” posts of mine … the posts are made up almost entire of pictures (photos, usually) with no comments other than identifiers (although there is a comments section where people can chime in). The folks at this site (five people are listed, but I tend to associate it with “Tom Sutpen”) offer what they call “An Ongoing Series of Cultural and Personal Observations.” The posts fall into a wide variety of categories that are thematic in nature … “Norman Rockwell Saved from Drowning,” “Artists in Action,” or “Tricky: Scenes from a Life.” Sometimes you’ll see something you recognize, other times you’ll find something new-to-you and perfect.
Google Reader doesn’t lie … these two sites are always worth checking out.