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Dave's Blog List

The following is a link list to blogs I feel demonstrate the power of an open web without succumbing to overtly disruptive monetization or "follower building" efforts in this day and age when people assume the efforts are bound. My own blog, and these, prove that isn't the case.

For criteria and notes jump below.

Directory

Last updated 3/3/19

  • Eli the Computer Guy

    Technically a YouTuber who has, in paraphrasing a remark from one of his videos, committed to creating and presenting videos outside the YouTube environment. A kudos to the open web. A fascinating internet/www/digital philospher as well.

  • I'd Rather Be Writing

    An expertise on technical writing for beginners and advanced writers. Is host to author's podcast as well.

  • JWZ

    The personal and operations blog maintained by early web lumninary Jamie Zawinski who worked on Netscape. His blog remains strong and popular apparently never once deviating from the early web charm of the 90s. Given who he is this seems a right and proper example above all others.

  • Mike the Gun Nut

    A gun policy pragamtist. With ad blocker, and possibly without, presentation is clean and to the point.

  • Mozilla Hacks

    Straightforward blog of the non-profit Mozilla Corporation. Seems to cover a broad range of internet and web infrastructure tech along with native Mozilla topics.

  • Out-Null

    The blog of a system administrator who loves scripting and automation.

  • Suzy McHale's Personal Site

    The personal website and blog of aussi Suzy McHale, keeping it real with a static HTML presentation she keeps active to this day.

  • West Side Rag

    A New York City Blog.

List Criteria & Other Notes

Of course list inclusion is going to be subjective and unavoidably nebulous at the edges. But for the most part it is concrete along these lines:

  • Blog must be harrassment-free, no obtrusive ads or ad saturation
  • Zero pop-ups or slide-overs at any stage of its presentation
  • The former means not even European cookie notifications
  • Must be demonstrably reliable in its uptime
  • Must look good on the "desktop web", a PC or laptop browser
  • The former largely meaning it is not trying to look good on mobile
  • Must be hosted in a personal presentation

In short, these blogs are browsable in the spirit of the earliest web pages. You drop in and you are unafraid of clicking deeper and exploring further.

The topic does not matter to me. I may include blogs that I myself would never think to visit on a regular basis. I only need to have visited it at least once to discover it, and been impressed and hopeful enough of its tenacity to avoid an overt monetization effort, to include it.

It may be from time to time that I de-list a blog. Perhaps because I discover a missed violation of one of the principles above on the initial visit, or, perhaps because the publisher made changes later in the same vein. The temptation to "grow" a blog is ever present and many publishers will eventually succumb, screwing up what they have in the process. Unfortunately.

Why?

What's the point? To showcase clean blogs on as a reminder that the PC desktop web is still a great place for your custom blog or website. A few big players in the digital age have hypnotized creators into believing that there's no point to your publishing unless you apply monetization or follower building strategies that invetiably trade presentation for SEO.

Further, the same big players have used malware scares and security goal-post-pushing (stigmatizing non-https URLs for example) tactics to not just scare the publishers off the web, but their audience. The big players want people afraid of the open web because when people abandon a free-wheeling web, they pool into digital populations that they directly control and harvest for data.

Clean, comfortable to read, blogs can exist to refute these trends if publishers stick to them. I believe that if people stop trying to make their blogs and websites work on both mobile and the desktop (i.e., "responsive design"), stop contributing to the Tragedy of the Commons as it affects blog asthetics, the trend away from personal publishing outside the likes of Facebook will reverse.

I am not a bot so of course there is no way this list will ever be comprehensive. Thousands of blogs that would qualify for listing remain alive that I will never see. But I do hope to accumulate a big enough list that it becomes a compelling example and an inspiration to others to do the same.

De-Listed or "Never Listed"

This section is actually important to include. It shows off blogs that "might have" been listed, save for some nuance that I can discuss in mentioning it here. I know, it's weird, but I'm trying to make a point with all of this.

  • Sunnyside Post

    A New York City -- Queens Blog. De-listed after I turned off ad-blocker and discovered that it used a slide over ad. A shame. They are heavily bannered in the first place but that was fine -- flat ads even in abundance are okay if they don't interfere with the driving overall asthetic of a blog. But somehow all those ads weren't making them enough money so they apparently ceded to a slide over for I dunno, a few K more? An otherwise masterful balance that seemed to show you could be ad-heavy yet still pass mustered for my list, shot dead. :(

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