The Future Buzz cites these 2009 statistics:
- 133,000,000: number of blogs indexed by Technorati since 2002
- 900,000: average number of blog posts in a 24-hour period
So, please be understanding if I've overlooked yours, and accept my heartfelt thanks for reading ours.
When I first encounter a blog I'm hoping to find one or, preferably, more of the following - unique content, wit, intelligence, superior design, excellent photography, quality links, creativity, and personality. I've chosen ten blogs that I've returned to many times in the past year because they have made a significant impression on me.
The first (in no particular order) is A Bloomsbury Life. Who can resist the joie de vivre of Lisa Borgnes Giramonti? I can't. And not for lack of trying. The depiction of her perfect life, husband ("the divine Italian"), son, house, and travels are just ... too perfect! And still, like a train wreck, I can't help looking. To her credit, the woman has taste, charm, wit and intelligence. I can't help wanting her to be my friend.
I'm a reluctant traveler at best, but that shouldn't suggest a lack of interest in other places and other cultures. Art Propelled is the blog of an artist, Robyn Gordon, from South Africa whose aesthetic sense and list of "interests" mirror my own. She generously shares her blog space with other artists whose work she loves; and intersperses her reviews with fascinating glimpses into her life in Africa. If invited, I would travel to her world.
Avuncular American is the title of a blog by Gerald Loftus, self described as "an expatriate view of America and the world from Europe", by a former diplomat. Many years ago I had an opportunity to spend five weeks in Europe. It changed my view of the United States for ever. Reading Loftus transports me outside the borders of my country, gives me back that outsider's view of things, and provides a measure of objectivity that is very hard to come by in our national press.
Stephen Szczepanek has spun off a blog, Sri Threads, from his business site and dedicated it to "commenting on the world of Japanese folk textiles." His blog is a model of an informative site, full of difficult to find information about a subject that excites me on many levels. The objects he discusses are lovely in themselves, beautifully photographed and often (unlike so many beautiful things) available to own at prices within the budgets of almost anyone. I've succumbed several times.
I have to admit that Rustwire is a blog I would probably not have taken up if it had not been co-founded by my niece Kate Giammarise, with Angie Schmitt, two outstanding young journalists who have been downsized out of jobs at newspapers. That being said, I have found their view of our nation's rust belt cities insightful and, more than I would have thought, encouraging. They have delved below the cliched views of TV news and found stories both heartbreaking and inspiring.
BibliOdyssey is all about images. It's a feast for the eyes. Extremely modest, Paul (or "pk") is from Sidney, Australia. He claims to be "just the curator" of this fantastic resource. Woodcuts, etchings, water colors, and drawings along with charts, maps and calligraphy illustrate every conceivable subject from nearly any country you can think of. They attest in a magnificent way to the creativity of mankind throughout history.
I go to Janet Blyberg for the photography, both hers and the links she often includes to other exceptional work. Her blog, ~JCB~, is as understated as its title. Her posts are as elegant, succinct, and rich as petit fours. Her trouvee photographs are always a delight and have moved me to see my family's albums in a whole new light. I always leave her site feeling refreshed.
Each fall, as seasonal effective disorder threatens to engulf me, my thoughts turn to philosophy. Who is the absurd man?, by Rick Bomstein, is subtitled: Ruminations on the meaninglessness of it all. It is a blog that embraces the absurdities of life. I realize that it may seem odd (absurd?), but reading his ruminations always make me feel better. They make me think, and thinking seems to lift the gloom, to bring me out of my seasonal funk for a while. Reason enough to find his blog significant.
I admit, I'm a bit of a slob. As an art student I worked on a persona that made a virtue of poverty. Blue jeans and Salvation Army Store shirts were my uniform. Reading Easy and Elegant Life has shamed me into trying harder to dress and act like a grownup. Chris Cox may wear black tie for Christmas dinner, but he also shows you how to look elegant in jeans. His expectations are modest. He just wants us to "dress a little better than you have to."
And, finally, my most recent internet inspiration: Altoon Sultan's Studio and Garden blog. She paints beautifully, hooks small sculptural rugs, gardens, cooks scrumptious looking meals, and still has time to share it all through her blog. But the thing that I think sets her apart from so many other bloggers is the fact that she is a natural teacher. Her text is always full of information, explanation and insight into whatever interests her.
I hope you will visit each of these blogs, every one a work of personal passion and commitment. And, having read them, if you think you know of another I would enjoy, please pass it along.
Have a healthy and happy new year.