Lyn the Lazy, who writes game reviews for Part Time Monster, had a brilliant idea last week. She gave the Monster a Follow Friday on her blog. It’s a beautiful post. You can follow them both on Twitter @the_lyn and @parttimemonster. The way Lyn did it, focusing on one blog, is the way to go. For this first post, though, I need to include a few.
I’ve been following all these blogs almost since day one, and six months later, I’m still keeping up with them and having conversations with them. I can’t kick this feature off with just one, because they all deserve the mention. They’ve all encouraged me and helped me improve my game.
Here are five blogs I’ve been following since last year. I’ve had conversations with the bloggers who run them, interact with them on other social media, and sometimes link to their work. They’re listed in the order I met them. Links to the titles go to their about pages, because that’s a good place to start with a new blog. I’m including links to their Twitter handles in case you’d like to follow.
Comparative Geeks is a consistently good blog written by husband and wife duo CompGeekHolly and CompGeekDavid. They blog geekily, and comparatively, about books, movies, games, and lots of other things. They also feature guest bloggers from time to time. CompGeeks is the first blog Diana and I both followed, and the only blog outside our little network I linked to on the day I kicked off my own blogs. David contributed his first post to Sourcerer earlier this week, and he also has a writing blog. @compgeeksdavid, @CompGeeksHolly
Professor V.J. Duke of The Punchy Lands! is a singular talent. I appreciate his brand of humor, and I love the YouTube voice parodies he produces in collaboration with MicPencilpoint Studios. Here’s how we met the professor. Sometime during the first week of Part Time Monster’s career, Diana approached me offline and we had a conversation that went something like this:
Diana: Hey I got a real comment from someone we don’t know and I’m having a crazy conversation with him. Read it and tell me if he’s messing with us.
Me: (Reads thread). I can’t tell. Keep talking to him.
[More conversation on the thread, while I’m looking at The Punchy Lands.]
Me: No, I don’t think he’s messing with you. He’s just got an awesome sense of humor. He’s being friendly.
Diana: Yeah, that’s what I thought, but it’s hard to tell for sure. And he IS amusing. In a good way.
I’m not sure how accurate that is, it’s just the way I remember it. I commented at The Punchy Lands! not long after, and I’m always happy when the Professor stops by one of our blogs. @ProfessorVJDuke
Taylor Grace, Author blogs about writing, blogging, and personal things. She has resource pages for both writers and bloggers. I’ve discovered a ton of good blogs over the past few months by reading her “Posts I Liked This Week” feature. When I started The Writing Catalog, I followed a couple of dozen blogs from the writing tag and tried to strike up conversations with them. Taylor responded to my comments consistently and now we have a running conversation about the trials of learning to write better, the finer points of blogging, and life in general. @tayorgraceauth
The Leather Library is a blog about philosophy, literature,and the finer things in life written by Steven Umbrello with the help of contributor Stefan Morrone, graphic designer Michael La Grassa, and video designer Jurii Kirnev. I discovered The Leather Library by browsing the Tolkien tag, and their Tolkien archive is one of the best I’ve ever seen on a blog. When I’m not too busy with other things, I write a Tolkien series at Part Time Monster, and I often feature Steven’s Tolkien articles in roundups there during weeks when I don’t have a post of my own. I also enjoy their philosophy blogging, and we’ve collaborated on a project against mass government surveillance.@LeatherLibrary1
Gretchen of Drifting Through My Open Mind is an incomparable blogger. She has a talent for taking big issues and connecting them to everyday life in a way that really brings them home. She’s also good at writing long posts that make you forget how long they are and want more when you’re done. I enjoy her posts about women’s issues and music, especially. I first encountered Gretchen on a comment thread at Part Time Monster. A few weeks later I struck up a conversation at Drifting Through, and the three of us have been talking about feminism ever since. I never would have started our Feminist Friday discussion threads without Gretchen’s encouragement. @gkelly73
Here’s why I went long with this first Follow Friday and included so many links. If you’re looking for good blogs to read, you have seven to choose from, about a diverse array of topics. If you’re looking for bloggers to talk with, here are seven I’ve been talking to for months. I started conversations with every one of them by either commenting on their blogs, or by responding to them and visiting.
It can be difficult to find bloggers who both do good work and interact with readers, especially when you’re starting out. If you’re looking for interesting people to chat with in the blogosphere, check these folks out, comment on the blogs that interest you, and see what happens.
Happy weekend! I’m hoping to make Follow Fridays a regular feature for the late Friday post. Starting this week, our “Weekend Music” feature will run on Saturday mornings.
images © 2014 by Gene’O, free to use with credit and a link. I went with flowers because they’re the only original, themed images I have at this point, I’m a little iffy about snagging images off other peoples’ blogs without asking unless I know them well offline, and I wanted this to be a surprise. 🙂