Staying on top of the curve in business takes dedication. It takes a willingness to be flexible, adaptable and learn new ways of doing things. No matter what your business might be, information is key. Information pertinent to your particular industry, customers, marketplace, products, delivery systems…there are many areas that change with changes in technology, economy and human nature.
One way to stay on top of things is to read. Read the news of the day. Read journals and other publications specific to your business. Read about your competitors. Read about innovations and new ideas. Read about what the rest of the world is up to. The outlets for information are many:
- print newspapers and news magazines
- online versions of newspapers and news magazines
- radio and television
- online radio and television
- industry publication and trade journals
- books and magazines – both print and online
Blogs. What interesting and unique children of the internet they are. They are at once informative, educational, entertaining, irreverent, personal and commercial. There are millions of them spread over blogging platforms and written by people from everywhere about everything. Pingdom, in their blog in January of this year, gave a list of the top 100 blogs and blogging platforms. The top 5 blogging platforms/services they listed:
- Moveable Type
In their list of top 100 blogs [which they gleaned from Technorati for that post], the blogs ranged in category from news to entertainment to web design. The top 5 as of January were:
I mention this because one great place to find great blogs to read is at a blog directory site like Technorati and Alltop. I find Alltop the easier of the two to locate interesting blogs. In fact, if you go to the “w” at Alltop’s homepage, then choose “women,” you’ll find this blog, Women On Business, listed there with its 5 most recent post titles. Another site is Blogher.com. This link has a listing of blog directories, but I don’t know the date of it…but it might provide good places to both find blogs and list your own blog.
Another way to find great blogs to read is on the blogroll of a great blog. I discovered an interesting blog last year called The Viral Garden. Mack Collier has an impressive blogroll that includes such interesting blogs as The Church of the Customer, Jaffe Juice, and The Harte of Marketing – where Beth Harte also has quite an impressive blogroll.
You can, of course, do a search engine search for blogs…but I find that inefficient. A better way is to start at a blog directory. Personally I find it more interesting to travel blog-to-blog, following what others recommend. Anymore, it’s pretty much guaranteed that regardless of the subject or topic, someone, somewhere is writing a blog about it.
Here’s a few of my favorite blogs:
- Women On Business (of course)
She Takes On The World (a top rated, award-winning blog for women entrepreneurs by Natalie MacNeil)
- The Huffington Post (breaking news and opinion blog)
- Seth’s Blog (who isn’t familiar with Seth Godin?)
If there is a negative to the many outlets now available for gaining information is that every one of them consumes Time. In the 21st century Time has become one of our most precious resources.
Susan Gunelius says
Thanks for putting Women On Business on your list! Brian Clark of Copyblogger.com (ranked 5th on your list above) wrote the Forward for my copywriting book, “Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps”, and I used to work with Darren Rowse through b5media, so I’m a bit biased but I do love both of their blogs! 🙂
Also, for starting a blog (since I’m the About.com Guide to Web Logs I feel compelled to chime in here), I have to recommend WordPress.org hosted through a third party. If a person’s plans for their blog are minimal, then Blogger.com is a good alternative. Just to clear things up, Gawker is a blog and corresponding network of blogs owned by Gawker Media, not a blogging application. Blogsmith is owned by AOL and powers some of their big blogs such as Engadget, but it’s not a blogging application available to the masses to use themselves.
Here’s a good comparison of the most popular blogging applications for independent bloggers: http://weblogs.about.com/od/choosingabloghost/p/BlogSoftware.htm
And here’s an older article, but still relevant, with info about the top blog search tools: http://weblogs.about.com/od/blogreferenceguide/tp/Blog-Search-Engines.htm
Linda C Smith says
Susan, thanks so much for chiming in! It’s always enlightening to have clarification and extra information. I’m always surprised at how much in the world I have yet to learn…and excited at the prospect that there still is so much to learn. I will look at the those references. Thanks for adding your expertise. – Linda
The list you referred to for blog directories I believe is about a year old, but, only the best ones were listed. Although any site can go at anytime, most of the ones on the list I would expect to see around or a very long time. You have written a great article. If you want to know about blogging, Jack Humphrey really is the guy to read. Jack as well as Brian Clark and Darren Rowse have all had some similar topics, but are all worth reading and are all very great guys as Susan had mentioned.