I read a lot of blogs and website using their RSS feeds, or by email if they are newsletters¹. These are some of my faves.
Solo efforts, the ‘small web’, much like this very website.
- The Red Hand Files - Nick Cave answers questions from the public. Always really interesting, thoughtful and candid. Sadly the RSS seems to be down so it’s email only now.
- rachelbythebay - Stories and insights from a person with a long career in technology. Not always what I’m interested in but I like the way they write.
- McMansion Hell - A hilarious takedown of massive, gaudy houses. Taught me the term ‘lawyer foyer’. Also great for insight on what does work in architecture.
- retiredmartin - A Good Beer Guide “ticker”, i.e. someone who tries to visit every single pub in the CAMRA beer guide. This makes it more of a travel guide than a beer guide, and the sheer amount of places visited and documented here is astonishing.
These tend to be curated by dedicated human beings
- Jason Kottke - He’s been doing this forever and I’ve been reading forever. It’s weird to me that someone makes a living running a link blog but I’m glad he does it.
- Links I would Gchat you if we were friends - Great links covering a broad range of subjects, often pretty funny.
- Web Curios - Wordy weekly links newsletter with a bit of a tech/web bias, but there’s always really good stuff here.
- Katie Shoots Film - I can’t remember where I found this person’s site but I’ve been a long time reader and fan, and enjoy the photos. She sometimes shoots on expired film giving cool effects.
- The Sheffield Tribune - an online newspaper/newsletter local to me. Great writing.
Because I’m a nerd I actually also subscribe to these via RSS. Between you and I, I watch too much YouTube and my subscriptions list is very very long. I’m trying to links ones that don’t have a bajillion subs already.
- Bobby Fingers - An Irish man makes pop culture dioramas. Kind of the man of the moment, he’s only made a few videos but they’ve all be astonishingly funny, surprising and well produced.
- Criterion Collection - They lock movie stars and directors in their DVD cupboard and get them to pick their favourites. Bit forced at times but an under-rated series that when it’s good, is really good.
- Ogmios - Previously a collection of videos about ‘zen motoring’ that completely changed my attitude towards driving in the city; these days he’s doing a quite good series covering a local Sunday football league.
Yeah yeah these get their own section because I watch too many
- The Late Brake Show - A car channel that covers the whole spectrum of the field; new reviews, resto-mods, old bangers etc. My favourite is the ‘barn finds’ series because it’s more cultural anthropology than car nerdery.
- Harry’s Garage - “Rich guy owns and reviews nice cars” isn’t much of a selling point but Harry Metcalfe is the former owner of Evo magazine and therefore provides a unique level of detail and historical context in his videos. His crazy road trips are fun to watch as are his (sponsored) whirlwind tours of car auctions.
- Tyrell’s Classic Workshop - This guy runs a business restoring high-end classic cars and he makes videos of the goings on in the workshop. He’s got such an easy way about him on camera, and is a fountain of knowledge. The channel started when the above-mentioned Harry Metcalfe got his Lamborghini Espada fixed there, and it’s taken on a life of its own (I probably watch more of this now than I do Harry’s Garage!)
- Soup Classic Motoring - Chilled out restoration videos with a lot of high-end timelapse.
- Smith and Sniff - More of a podcast these days, but still really funny. Jonny Smith of the Late Brake Show (see above) and former Top Gear writer Richard Porter talk about cars, but mostly other shite.
- Vmail - People write in with links, pictures, stories, whatever, and it gets curated into a newsletter by the guy who runs it.
- b3ta - Another really old community that still puts out a really good newsletter. Worth it for the anonymous (probably made up) ‘fesshole’ stories where people spill their shameful secrets.
OK we’re firmly out of blogroll territory now, but I love a print mag a read a lot of them. These are all UK based because I can’t be arsed getting them imported.
- London Review of Books - Just great writers writing about countless topics. More than just ‘book reviews’.
- Sight & Sound - An old old movie magazine that covers international cinema (but really just covers everything it can). Famous for it’s ‘best films of all time’ poll they run every 10 years, which is an interesting barometer of how tastes change but also they write way too much about it.
- Film Stories - An alternative film magazine, UK based and UK focused, which has carved out a niche covering smaller more independent productions. Takes itself far less seriously than Sight and Sound and well worth a look.
- Little White Lies - A artfully produced, carefully designed film magazine. Every issue tends to focus on one feature film, pulls at the thread and generates a load of really interesting art and writing from it.
- Road Rat - Cars, but again extremely high quality. Mostly about history and culture rather than the newest hot stuff.
- Private Eye - Satirical news magazine, but also one of the last bastions of journalism.
- Viz - An old comic, crass and irreverent (and irrelevant perhaps?), but I like it.
- The North - A quarterly poetry magazine based here in Sheffield.
- The week - A concise round-up of the week’s news.
¹ Some RSS readers like Feedbin let you subscribe to newsletters through them. I do this just to keep everything in one place.