17 April 2012

The Best Blogs of 2012

The voting is now complete.  The blogs listed below (in no particular order) have been selected as the Best Blogs of 2012.  Click on the video to hear Freddy Mercury sing you a celebratory song while you peruse the list.

Tank Hughes writes the eponymous TankHughes.com: "I write enthusiastic posts about the history of words, I create a comic every Monday, I make short music playlists based on themes, and I think up odd useless projects."

Flask is the author of furthermore, flask, which "is simply my own story or part of my story, or at least a view from my window or hints about what's on my worktable... really. soon i am going to tell about beans, beans, fritos and cheese, and there will be pictures."

ScottyMo's Double Features pairs up the movies in his 600+ DVD collection and explains "why they work together, and what they mean to me. Posts are usually succinct and amusing."

Tyler Hewitt has two blogs; his Lightbender is "'a journal of the creative process', which basically means that I show and talk about my work (both in-process and finished pieces) and occasionally post about other interesting art related things," and at A Photo A Day he posts original photographic work.

Setecq, by Seth, contains "largely my photos of things around NYC, along with interesting reading, creations by friends, and miscellany."

Theory Fighter is "a blog about video game design, theory, and criticism. We are focused on initiating intellectual discourse about games and other media of interests.  I mostly cover video game related events that I attend (lectures, seminars, workshops). There isn't much coverage of these events in the blogosphere."

Maia uses Traveling Maia to document her travels "(mostly to Europe and South Seas) by boat and bike, with snippets/curiosities/observations about food, science, snark, and other.

Zhoen explores the world One Word at a time, via "essays, meanderings and mutterings, lots of cat photos. That's all, really. No point, no agenda, very personal."

At Books As Portable Pieces of Thoughts, Anachronist presents "book and movie reviews, mainly for my own sadistic pleasure. I've also written several historical and cultural essays. It is a form of a treatment, I am weird, I know."

Tread Life, by Jerry Smith is the best motorcycle blog in this list: "It's about motorcycles, which I started riding in 1968, and now and then it's about writing about motorcycles for a living, which I've done since 1980. Also some stuff about dogs. Some curveballs, too."

forMYinformation, by trickpa, is an "accumulator" blog which "collects things off the net that interest me. Mostly humor and posts I'd like to refer back to."

Lady Aritê gunê Akasa is in the Society for Creative Anachronism (a living history group) and has a Sarmatian persona (one of the Eurasian steppe nomad cultures). Sarmation in the SCA is where she is compiling everything she learns about them plus her other experiences in the SCA.

The Town Scryer is described by jaundicedi as "a mixed bag of humor, socio-political observations and ephemera from the perspective of a eclectic Pagan veteran of the counter-culture."

Twelve Mile Circle is an appreciation of unusual places. It's all about spots on the map that just don’t seem to make sense. Highpoints, non-contiguous boundaries, latitude/longitude confluences, and other trivial geographic facts are all fair game for my adventures.

Frank Kasell reports "I'm just finishing up a trip through China to research a book about Chinese street food.  A Field Guide to Chinese Street Food, is the companion piece to the future book. The blog includes reviews of Chinese street food (I've now eaten the street food in 53 cities in 32 of the 33 Chinese provinces), information about travel in China, and other bits of mostly relevant information I find interesting."

At CascadeExposures.com Jan posts her "own photos Mon-Fri, with little or no commentary. They're mostly stuff from my garden, places around the northwest, or anything else that I see and like."

Dora is the author of My Idea of Paradise.   "Becoming a mom in recent years has brought a whole new perspective to my work as a pediatrician. This blog is my way of sharing those experiences with others. Most of the topics are child/family focused and are meant to help, inspire, or amuse its readers."

You can read James Comins' novels (!) and short stories at his Smashwords website.

Let's Go (いきましょう) is Beckey Mulkey's blog following her family's life and adventures in Okinawa, Japan.

Seth Wilson is an artist, animator, teacher, and blogger.  Inkfumes Sketchbook is his "personal blog for illustrations, doodles and sketches. No digital stuff, mostly scans from my sketchbooks and what not."

Offbeat Home, by Cat Rocketship, offers "homey inspiration and advice for offbeat occupants."

Another home-related blog is That Crazy American Housewife by Britney, which posts "recipes, crafts, activities, and.. well, its random."

Bradd Libby blogs about "PEER issues (Population, Economics, Environment, Resources), though occasionally about physics and chickens and Google and such."

David Crews – Essays, Poems, & Musings on Life, Spirit, Entheogens, and What Is Real is "a philosophical and arts blog for my writing, pro photography, travel, poetry, digital artwork, and more," including his experiences with Amazonian shamanism.

DeeSaturate, by Dee Cunniffe contains "bits and bobs about comics, toys, movies and process. I've recently become involved in the comic creation process (flatting and colours) - so I share the things I learn from being a newbie in comics world."

Tanveer Ahmed uses The Beachcomber's Delight as "a repository of tales, links , extracts,poetry, photographs and quotes I come across while surfing ( anything that could make people go hmmm.. or make them smile)."

Dan Lewis' Now I Know is an emailed newsletter "the purpose of which is "to share something new, interesting about the world, each morning. Like the fact that carrots used to be purple, or that Abraham Lincoln created the Secret Service the day he was fatally shot, or that there's an island of hyper-poisonous snakes off the coast of Brazil."

Endomental and I {heart} Rhody are companion blogs, the latter focusing on the state of Rhode Island - "the smallest state geographically, but it has so much to offer in food, history, culture and natural beauty. We want to see it all and share it with our readers."

William D. Richards established A Writer's Chronicles as "a place where I could comment about the process of writing and publishing my books... It serves to help me clear my mind of miscellaneous thoughts before writing and I hope might be a point of reference and education for anyone considering following the path of becoming a writer."

In her spare time, when she is not managing Neatorama or writing for Mental Floss, Miss Cellania posts "funny found stuff, with a few serious links" at Miss Cellania; she has written over 4,000 posts in seven years - a remarkable and enjoyable archive to browse.

If you're interested in reviews of beer, you can find hundreds of them at cjemmott's Five Thousand and One Beers.

Madeline's blog is Octopuses - ""a humorous blog by a Virginia girl" (with a pinch of marine biology), though my camera skills have increased infinitityfold!"

Dr. Mieke and her family were among the first visitors ever at TYWKIWDBI.  Her "home blog" is The Grange: a small farm in the Northern Rivers area of NSW.  For her professional work as a social psychologist specialised in interpersonal & intercultural communication she set up a blog for Master's students focusing on the management of technological systems for hotels, conventions and events.

Criggo is a premier humor blog which is on my regular reading list and to which I have linked a dozen times over the years.  It highlights "bad newspaper articles/headlines/advertisements.

Teacher Rich maintains The Frustrated Teacher, a blog about "eduwars," politics, and lots of editorial cartoons, which I occasionally harvest.

Flippism is the Key, by Professor Batty, "has been exploring all things strange thought to be common and all things common found to be strange since 2004. Special emphasis on Icelandic culture, photo-illustrations, a weekly cartoon and serial fiction."

Lauren Villarama's blog, a wee i,  "is mostly about my life's little tidbits, nothing too serious. I have pages on my film photographs and sketches, just a few of my interests."

~im just only me~ maintains two blogs. "Caught in the Dawning is just a collection of my poetry from over the years, with links to some of my favorite blogs. What may be more interesting is my other blog Cabbages and Kings wherein I post random art and drawings from time to time."

Mikeb302000 is "mainly about gun control, but I post quite a bit about liberal politics and every once in a while something of general interest and amazement."

GDad is the author of Cranial Hyperossification.  "I started my blog as an exploration of the adoption process from the perspective of a gay man. Now, the posts are sort of all over the board."

bulletholes writes Bulletholes in the Mailbox - "a journal, a notebook and stories of things I’ve done and people I’ve met. I don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story, but a lot of my stories need very little embellishment. I written about some hard things, and written myself out of some dark places too."

Once There Were Lions is teacher Scott Lilley's blog "about ecology, biology, education, natural history, technology, current events, environmental science, and other things that happen to fall into the large Venn diagram where those things occasionally overlap."

EMC lives on the island of Shikoku in Japan, and his blog, Tiny Reactors, "is about that, and about things I am reading or trying to read in Japanese, and the places I go in this out-of-the-way place, and the things I do."

Paperworker has created Regular Paper - "a visual blog with personal collage work."

"Language lover and linguist-in-training" Allison's blog is Polyglossic -"As a future scholar I'm particularly interested in endangered language preservation and revitalization, but as a person I'm also a little addicted to learning languages and to writing and literature, so all of these things get featured on my blog. I also have a weekly feature on Fridays where a native speaker gets to show off his or her language in a short audio clip and text."

Elly Vortex has had the good fortune to move to the majestic North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota.  This year she started Tales of the Witch of November in order to blog about about "my hiking, biking, and snowshoeing adventures. I'm planning to hike much of the Superior Hiking Trail this year, visit many state parks, and do some road races on my bike. I also write about weird and interesting stuff I find on the North Shore."

Bird in the Machine, by emj, is a chronicle of an American family's life in rural England.

Piera's "fandom-related" tumblr, This Tumblr Pwns N00bs, includes "the occasional sciencey, arty, history-y, or otherwise good-quality post."

Veuve describes Illustrated Obscurity as being "mostly about art, politics, culture, and random things that interest me. I also have a link to my art on the blog."

Cindy Kilpatrick, a K-12 librarian, maintains three blogs.  Going Beyond Survival in a School Library should be self-explanatory.  On and Over the Hills features her photography, and The Nature of the Hills is "more of a catalog than a blog as I attempt to record the flora and fauna specific to the unique high-altitude ecosystem of my home region" [in Alberta].

UrsaRodinia writes a newsletter (news, jokes, videos & links gleaned from the internet) rather than a blog; its contents are sometimes cited online in Eideard.

The Wild Edge is Kirk's blog about "my photography, and a little bit about my life in Maine and other things that occasionally gets my interest."

Every story at T. Purton's 200 Word Stories has 200 words, and when complete, the blog will also have 200 stories.  His accumulator blog is Disappointing Children.

Dietetic Sinners, by Heather, is a personal blog about "food I cook, the craft projects I mess up and the things I buy (candle sand storage containers) and my life in gen'l."

Sets of Nine is jonfen's tumblr in which the images of "contemporary art with occasionally smut, nature, memes and history topics" are arranged... well, take a guess...

It seemed like a good idea at the time is Funder's blog "about endurance riding with my Tennessee Walking Horse in the mountains of Nevada, but there's a healthy proportion of non horse stuff too."

Jonathan Holmes uses Crait's Lunchbox "to release my free programs and games that I program. I also post what influences my design and coding process...(and) I post about technology news, chickens, music, and I play rugby [on an undefeated state champion team], so I post about that, too."

From Finland comes Ennen oli paremmin- "about old photos and kind of funny little stories. Nothing too serious, I guess."

Richard "RichiH" Hartmann compiles "random thoughts about about Free Software, technology, and travel to the weirder destinations on Earth" in his blog.

Robs Webstek is "a kind of magazine style collection of things I like and subjects that fascinate me. It’s a mix of old photos (for instance daguerreotypes), paintings, maps, actresses, etc" collected by Rob From Amersfoort.

The posts in Philip Graham's eponymous blog "concentrate on issues of craft in the writing of fiction and nonfiction, and also focus on the creative arts in general... One recent post, "What Casablanca Can Teach a Writer," was a finalist for the 3QuarksDaily website's 2012 Arts & Literature Prize."

Buttonmashing is Tony's blog about video games.

Kat from California writes Kat's Almost Purrfect World, about Barbie dolls and to "share free vintage images, craft tutorials, recipes, images from my daily life and more."

Bill's blog, Practicing Resurrection, is "mainly about life on our farm [White Flint Farm, in Virginia], peppered with frequent quotes and poems from Wendell Berry."

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 

The end.  Uff da!  I have visited all 71 of these blogs; they vary from the casual hobby blog to the sophisticated professional website, and the content is obviously all over the place.  Only the most uncurious reader will not find one or two links to explore.  I've added a couple to my bookmarks.

I'll close with some administrative notes.  First of all, bloggers, please proof-read the entry about you and notify me re any corrections needed on the typography of your blog's title (spelling, caps), any incorrect links, and any misinterpretations by me re your gender, nationality, or the nature of your blog.  No need to affirm correctness or to write thank-you notes.  Don't expect a surge of visits, because many readers of this blog will already have stopped by during this past week after reading your listing comment.

Now, about the title, video, and introductory sentence of this post... On a whim, I decided to convert the list of blogs to a list of "winning entries" in an imaginary contest.  Why not?  It's a little misleading, but I tried to make it technically correct by having "voting" on the outcome (one voter - me), and by eliminating one obviously inappropriate blog entry (thus making these the 71 "best" of the 72 entries). 

The other advantage of titling the post as I did relates to Google searches.  For whatever reason (probably related to links in and out), TYWKIWDBI posts often rank high in Google searches of words in the titles of the posts (less so re content).  I'm hoping that later on, after it gets indexed, if someone searches Google for the "best blogs" of 2012, this post will wind up on the front page, and you guys may continue to get some traffic for the rest of the year.  Perhaps not.  We'll see what happens.*

If I do this again next year, I may set it up with actual (and probably silly) "categories" (Best Blog about Farms in Virginia, Best Guide to Chinese Street Food, etc.)

These closing administrative comments will be erased next week.

*So far, so good.  A Google search for "best blogs" (in quotes) + 2012 shows this post as #7 out of 43,000,000.  For "best blogs of 2012" this is #1 out of 17,000.


  1. Thanks for the shoutout! I really, really appreciate it! I'll be checking out some of the other blogs, too! :)

  2. Thanks for the plug, TYWKIWDBI!

    For the record I have a real name, and that name is Bri Hughes. But! Eponymous is a nice word, and Tank Hughes is a good pun, so don't change it. I could have mentioned that I'm an MA Linguistics student, but I'm not sure if my non-etymological posts deserve that kind of validity.

    I've subscribed to Sets of Nine and forMYinformation so far. Good job, fellow followers :)

  3. Thanks very much for this! You're right, I found more than a dozen blogs to check out.

  4. Thanks so much for posting mine! A few others have caught my eye already. :)

  5. Thanks so much, Stan. This is a really kind and generous use of your space! :)

  6. Thanks!

    And the blog I've checked out so far, Twelve Mile Circle, is very, very interesting--I'm glad I found it!

  7. "Uff da" My new word for the day.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Having a ton of fun reading everyone's blogs! Of course this would be the place to find a bunch of blogs and bloggers I previously didn't know about. How appropriate. Thanks for the shoutout and traffic to mine as well.

  10. Isn't this too early to do a top 2012 list?!?

    1. Nope. Not unless you think someone will start up a new blog after today and within 8 months make it better than the ones listed above.

  11. I've been needing to add some fresh voices to the bloglist. This is a welcome breath of fresh air.

  12. Thanks Stan. I'm not actually an academic information technology specialist ... I'm really a social psychologist specialised in interpersonal & intercultural communication ... The university gave me the technology unit to manage I think because they couldn't find anyone else crazy enough to try and teach an IT subject across three universities / three countries simultaneously ...

  13. Thank You! BTW the town I live in and which I desperately try to promote is called 'Amersfoort' (from ford, a shallow place where a river may be crossed).

    1. Fixed. I actually did know that, because I looked it up the first time I visited your blog. (I'm also planning to blog that nice photo of Norma Jean Dougherty next week).

  14. Thanks! for sharing such a great work and i can say thatTwelve Mile Circle is the very facinating post for me.. i enjoyed it lot.


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