Friday, February 06, 2015

Old-school blogs, where are they now?

Warning: If you're not an old-school blogger or someone actively looking for great sites to follow, this post likely will bore you to tears.

This revival of PCJM made me wonder about all the old-school bloggers and journalers I followed religiously back in the day, when there were so few of us.

I used something called a Nibelung ring (yes, opera joke) to organize the various weblogs I followed. You listed the sites you went to regularly, and then just a right click would let you page through them all. You had to maintain it, though -- deleting rings that never updated or went dead, adding new ones as you liked, and axing those that presented their site in frames, because that broke the ring. I remember you would occasionally get email from people who saw the ring in their referrals and were confused, or from other people wanting you to add them (which I never would because MY RING DUDE). I had numerous rings for various moods and purposes, but decided to go to my main ring and check out just how dusty it's gotten.

Designer and all-around cool guy Matt Hinrichs is a blog-world mainstay, and it makes me happy that Scrubbles is still being updated, just as it has been since 2000. Matt has an eye for retro design which fits right in with my own retro obsessions, even though he's much more of an artist than I'll ever be.

Not Martha:
Two for two, as Not Martha is still up and running. Its founder, Megan, lives in Seattle, and I'm somehow shocked we've never met. I love everything about this site, from its crisp design to its smart links to its just-enough personal content. Also, she modestly claims to be "not Martha," but LOOK AT THIS.

A story. When I moved to Seattle, finding friends was a tough road. I had so many good pals in Minnesota whom I'd known for years, and starting over at 33 was hella hard. I made some possibly halfway-lame attempts to bring some Seattle bloggers into my friend circle, based on the fact that their content made them seem like people I wanted to know, and in most cases, it did not work out. Two Kims were exceptions, and Pagooey's Kim is one of them. AND SHE LIVES JUST 20 BLOCKS FROM ME! AND WE WORKED ON THE SAME CORPORATE CAMPUS FOR YEARS! We're now in the same book club, and help out with each other's cats, and she is the awesome, even though she doesn't update much. Also, that donut background makes me hungry.

Jason Kottke, like me, from Minnesota. A true online heavyweight. If you don't know him, you don't know blog history (blogstry?). I met him and Meg at SXSW and I swear I was more thunderstruck than when I met any number of Hollywood stars. He added me to his (now dead? or dormant?) mini-list back when email lists were a thing, and I never forgot how honored I felt.

Andrew, from the US but living in Japan when I found him (hence the blog name). Helped feed my Japan fascination and once memorably helped me translate a hilarious Japanese TV commercial that was making the rounds. (I think it was the one with the, uh, big-balled rodent and the chorus, "Sap-pusu Mansion!" or something like that.)  He's now back in the US and is blogging on Facebook instead of gmt, which I would not have known without this blogroll update.

Always interesting, and still being faithfully updated. More a traditional blog, with shorter links, some a bit technical for a dummy like me, but always intriguing. It never occurred to me till JUST NOW that this was a play on "butterfly." D'oh!

Not updated since August, but I always enjoyed Lilly. And another Seattleite, whom I've never met!

Anil Dash:
Big hitter. Great name. Of course, very active still in tech issues and writing, and still blogging away. For as big as he is, he's still able to blog about Pac-Man, so I'm sold.
Just as I checked back in with Katie, she returned from a brief hiatus, so I can count Jejeune among the blogs still going. Honest and interesting.

Web Goddess:
Kris, from Australia! Colorful, fun, and still updating. Nice mix of brief links and commentary.

Little. Yellow. Different:
Always loved Ernie's writing and honesty, and this is one of the wittiest named blogs around. His stories about his mother are the best. Example.  Looks like he was offline for a few years, but has returned.

Ultimate Insult:
First vanished domain in my ring. No idea where it's gone, or if it exists anymore. Site is one of those parked link pages now.

Looka/the Gumbo Pages:
I think I read Chuck's musings on New Orleans and food before I ever visited New Orleans, which is now one of my absolute favorite cities.

TV Tattle:
Norman's TV news blog inspired me and gave me plenty of great story ideas back when I was a TV editor at He cut a deal with Hitfix, and that recently ended, and now is at TV Insider. I think I stopped following him for the most part when my beat was switched to movies, but for years, this was a must-read, and I'm sure for TV folks, still is. I feel like I cited TVT more than almost any other site on PCJM when I was acknowledging where I found a great link. Here's some background on the site's transitions.

Defective Yeti:
Another Seattleite I've never met. Have followed Matthew forever. So smart, so funny. The king of board games.

Google News:
What? Because apparently Google was so new I had to bookmark their news site to remind me they had one.

Hit or Miss:
Still there, but not updated since 2010. Rare to see a site that's still frozen in time without updates in so long, but I do remember this was a goody. The ABOUT page was updated in 2013, so looks like Matt's still around.

Misc Media:
Clark Humphrey! Another Seattleite, but this time one I've met, at a blog discussion just after I first moved to Seattle. Clark's old-school for sure, knows everybody, is known by everybody, and has the same encyclopedic knowledge of Old Seattle that I have of Old Twin Cities.

Arts & Letters Daily:
One of the first non-personal, professional weblogs I followed, from the Chronicle of Higher Education. I feel like the design has stayed comfortably the same for decades, and while the links are more academic than my usual fare, it always makes me smarter.
Chicago-based group blog from Coudal Partners. Still going!

TV Barn:
Aaron Barnhart, TV critic and all-around great guy. The site now promotes his Civil War book, "The Great Divide." We exchanged some emails when I wrote about TV, and possibly met at TCA in California in 2006 or 2007? Smart dude.

A Ghost in the Machine:
Kevin Murphy, but not the "Mystery Science"/Rifftrax Kevin Murphy. Smart and witty guy. I remember being floored by the fact that his sister Gillian was/is a prima ballerina. Still blogging!

News from Me:
Mark is still posting lively commentary and links on entertainment and other things. Don't miss this recent post about "Hortense."

Because like Google News, Gawker must've been a new thing at the time I made this ring. Not so much anymore.

Lost Remote:
Used to be a TV news blog founded by Cory Bergman, who later worked with me at NBC News Digital. Looks like it's part of a network of AdWeek blogs now, focusing on social media and TV. Cory and his wife also created My Ballard, the best neighborhood blog in existence, which just so happens to cover my own Seattle neighborhood.

That's My Bix!
Wendy Weetabix! She's still blogging, journaling, Facebooking. A true old-schooler. Also, the first Diaryland URL in my ring.

The Usual Suspects:
Probably the first forum I ever was addicted to, though I never was a major presence. Many of the bloggers/journalers I loved were, though. Still going!

Something Awful:
You probably know what this is. One of the first of its kind.

Saigon food and other-stuff blog, but apparently went dormant in 2013.
My husband's from LA, and there were a couple times I thought we'd move there, so I read this to stay in the know. I don't think that move will ever happen, but I still have a fondness for the City of Angels.

Another TV news site I used to check regularly when i wrote about TV. Sad face icon, dead site. A Google search brings up news that it went under in 2013.

One of the earliest celeb gossip sites I remember checking. Still going.

TV Shows on DVD:
Loved this site back in the day when I both wrote about TV and bought DVDs. The day they posted news that the "Facts of Life" series was releasing a new season was always a wildly great day. Still there, but I don't buy DVDs anymore. Does anyone?

Kissing Suzy Kolber:
A friend site of Deadspin, with overlap between writers, if I remember correctly. Took its name from the infamous Joe Namath incident. Early writing home of Drew Magary, who's now a Deadspin/GQ mainstay, author, and one of the most hilarious online sports/parenting/life writers ever, as well as my fellow Vikings fan. Michael Tunison, who went by Christmas Ape, was fired from the Washington Post for blogging, or something.

Tech and pop-culture blog that was always engaging and is still there, but the last post is from 2013. And that last post was about The Sims, which makes it seem even older.

Cryptic indeed. This blog has been replaced with some kind of holding page in an Asian language and I can't remember a thing about what was once there.

Little Somethings:
Now-dormant blog of my super-talented artist former co-worker Kim Carney. She was also laid off (or quit?) from NBC, but has landed at Fred Hutch with some great former co-workers of ours. And is a grandma, which BLOWS MY MIND. I swear her son is still in middle school.

Bitch PhD
Has now gone private.

Fishbowl NY
One of many media blogs I once haunted. Still there. Now in the same network as Lost Remote.

Cupcakes Take the Cake
Still going, still posting about sweet treats. How can I not love a blog that posts about red-velvet Oreos?

Seems to have been folded into Gothamist.

Meggan's last post was from June 2014. I never knew how to pronounce this. Quid-didity?

I, Asshole
Another Seattleite! Still going.

Cookies in Heaven
Last updated on Christmas, but seems to be still going.

Send in a secret on a postcard. Still going, was quite the online phenomenon for a while.

Put this in the ring before it became so huge. Now they break sports news all the time. I still never knew what the name mean, but I'm just gonna assume it's some trick move from the Harlem Globtrotters. Hey, Meadowlark Lemon just put that ball into a deadspin!

Essays and Effluvia
Dormant since 2013. Many, many broken images.

Promo Guy
This used to be my go-to spot to find out what song was used in a certain commercial. Darn useful site. Dormant since 2014.

Every Day Should Be Saturday
Great sports blog named for that feeling you get when college football's in season. Still going.

That's on Point
Soccer blog? The writer has now moved on to The Big Lead.

World Cup Blog:
Huh, I was really trying to get into soccer, I guess. Dormant since January 2013.

Hannah Beth:
Hannah has moved to Minnesota, and her blog has moved too. I won't share it because I'm not sure she would appreciate the visibility, but I'm jealous she's in MN even though I have come to love Seattle.

Cookie Madness
Fun cookie and baking blog, still going.

Mister Toast:
Dan Goodsell is Mister Toast! 100 updates in 2013, but just a couple in 2014. One so far in 2015, so there's hope. You need to own his book, Krazy Kids Food, which is chock-full of retro food-label goodness, and just makes me smile.

Candy Addict:
Now this I remember as being a very fun, newsy blog, full of candy reviews and news. Too bad it hasn't been updated since 2012.

Posie Gets Cozy:
Now everyone with a slight inclination has a craft blog, but back then, they were rare. This was always a good one. Alicia is still going strong.

Melissa C. Morris
Took a lot of heat for being wealthy and well-dressed and married to an older man, but I found her fascinating and really liked her. The site is dormant, but she posted an update. Wish all dormant blogs would do the same.

Mom blogs are so corporate now, but back then we were way more casual about it, and no one was selling their soul to Nordstrom for sponsored posts. This one's dormant.

The Impulsive Buy
Fun blog of wacky food reviews, still going strong! If there's a weird new Doritos flavor, they're on it.

Pub Rants
Not the drinking kind of pub, but publishing, from literary agent Kristin. Relocated to here. I think I started following her when getting an agent was only a dream. That was two books ago! Gave me some fascinating insights into a world I really wanted to enter.

The Booberry Alarm Clock
You can just tell from the title why I loved this blog, So colorful, so pop-culturey, so much fun. Sadly dormant for years. I feel like I checked it regularly long after it went dead, hoping for an update.

Hello Kitty Hell
Am floored that this is still going! One man's disgust with Hello Kitty and all the assorted products. Back in the day we had lots of one-topic blogs, and this was one of the best. The joke never got old!

Suicide Food
Ever think it's weird to see a happy pig advertising a BBQ joint? Suicide Food did, and it was always an entertaining read. Dormant since 2011.

David Lebovitz
Still going! Professional baker running a food blog from Paris.

Pacifist Viking
Fun fellow fan of the Minnesota Vikings, now blogging at Kick Ass Blog, Skol!

Dorie Greenspan
Acclaimed author of baking books. I read tons of baking blogs and loved the bread-bakers list in those days before gluten-free took over. Still love them.

Mighty Girl
Maggie is still putting out the fun links.

Josh Reads/The Comics Curmudgeon
YES! So thrilled that this blog is still going! Josh continues to dissect the inanities of comic strips in a witty and community-filled way. I think this is where I learned that certain dramatic comic strips! Like Mark Trail! End every sentence with an exclamation point! Even if not necessary! Just because! It's really funny once you start to notice it!

European foodie/pastry chef blog, gone since 2011 to a new home here.

I Can Has Cheezburger
You know what this is. Or what it used to be. Invented LOLcats, but the site seems to be quite different today. Reportedly sold for $2 million in 2007. Why didn't we all think of it first?

What's My Wardrobe Today?
Now a motorcycle site? But was one of the first regular-person fashion sites I remember, back before everyone got all slicked up with fancy ads and sponsors.

The Dairi Burger
One of a few great Sweet Valley High memory sites. This one featured Robin recapping all the SVH books, and I loved it so much. Named for the Wakefield Twins favorite hangout. Thrilled to discover she turned the recaps into a Kindle book, "If You Lived Here, You'd Be Perfect By Now," which I am definitely buying.

Another great SVH recap site. 1Bruce1 was that snob Bruce Patman's license plate on his Porsche, of course.

Pro Football Reference
Sports factoid site, now has a new location.

Bleacher Report
Did Turner really pay $200 million for this? Wow. My nephew used to write about Minnesota teams for it, but I don't think he got a share of that windfall.

King Arthur Flour blog
From my baking mania phase. Still love to buy things from their catalog. No one sells better products for baking.

My Ballard
Another of Cory Bergman's sites. I would think this was the best neighborhood blog in the nation even if it wasn't my neighborhood, so there! It's the first place locals go when we hear sirens or choppers or need some kind of local news.

Ballardite blog
Another Ballard blog, but looks like it's dormant since 2012. Something about that year killed a lot of weblogs.

Margo Rising
Yet another Sweet Valley High recap/snark site. How were these all so excellent? Whatever happened to that SVH movie Diablo Cody was making?

Daily Norseman
Minnesota Vikings news. Yes, I am a masochist, apparently.

Kevin Kidney
Artist, designer and expert on the old days of Disney.

Two Bites in Suburbia
Mike and Katie's Chicago-area food blog. Dormant since 2014.

Yard Sale Bloodbath
Run by my Seattle pal Jenny and her friends, who go to yard sales with a great sense of humor and an eye for retro treasures. Last post was June 2014, but I imagine they'll be back once yard-sale season kicks in again. If not, they have a regularly updated Facebook page.

The Chocolate Traveler/M&M Collector
The name says it all -- a fun and newsy candy blog. Sadly dormant since 2010.

Becks and Posh Nosh
English-themed (?) food blog, dormant since 2009.

The Bitten Word
Zach and Clay's adventures cooking recipes from food magazines. Still going!

The Food Section
Josh Friedland's food blog seems to have gone dormant, though there are not a lot of dates on entries, so hard to verify.

Wild Yeast
Man, I loved baking bread. Last update in December 2014, so I think this one's still going.

My Five Men
Betsy is a food blogger who has triplets with autism. I remember this being a good mix of the personal and the practical, though I haven't checked it in years. Looks up-to-date.

The Sriracha Cookbook Blog
I love sriracha hot sauce, and you maybe do, too. I bought this cookbook, probably inspired by the blog.

I Hate My Message Board
Tracy ran the Museum of Snack Foods! Site seems to be quiet since 2013. Looks like many of the posts have disappeared, including the infamous Whole Chicken in a Can.

1 comment:

graham said...

Blimey, very thorough. I too drop into old blogs now and again. Am always pleased to see those that are still going and even more so, those that change direction and find another life. Noodlepie is still going, but I left Typepad some time ago Thanks for the mention