Some websites just have “it.” Whether it is good writing, a pleasing design, or great content, those sites rise above the others. Today I take a look at five tech-related sites that are worth visiting on a regular basis, or subscribing to in your RSS reader (or both). Of course, I would put 40Tech at the top of the list, but since I might be just a wee bit biased, I’ll leave it off. For this post, I’m focusing more on sites that generate their own content, rather than social media sites like Twitter. Also, since gadget sites just remind me of what I don’t have and might never have, sites like Gizmodo and Engadget are absent from this list.
Photo by stuartpilbrow.
Lifehacker isn’t really a tech-only site, but most of the posts have a tech slant to them. As the name suggests, Lifehacker is a “life hacks” site, dedicated to productivity tricks, tips, and improvement. On Lifehacker, you can find posts ranging from Evernote tricks and hacks, to a hack enabling you to upgrade the Windows 7 release candidate to the official release version without reinstalling, to tips on how to avoid impulse purchases. Although some tips are clunkers, I’ve gotten more useful tips, and discovered more helpful software, from Lifehacker than from anywhere else aside from perhaps the previously mentioned Leo Laporte.
Technologizer is the brainchild of Harry McCracken, the former editor in chief of PC World. Technologizer takes a look at tech trends, the internet, gadgets, software, and even gaming. McCracken, a respected voice in the tech field, goes beyond just reporting on these topics, but instead lends his commentary and perspective, as do the other regular contributors at the site. Technologizer seems a bit infatuated with Apple at times, but nobody can accuse Harry McCracken of being biased, as he once resigned from PC World after his bosses killed a story, “10 Things We Hate About Apple,” out of fear that it would offend Apple, an advertiser. (He later returned, and the CEO who killed the story was moved into another position). The posts on Technologizer are often informative, thought-provoking, and well-written.
I have mixed feelings towards TechCrunch, a tech blog created by Michael Arrington. I don’t visit the site every day, but do stop by when I have time. The site does seem to stoop to the lowest common denominator at times, and comes across almost like a tabloid, but if you can sift through all of that, you often will find some real nuggets. TechCrunch covers Internet companies and products, but given that the internet is pervasive in just about all tech products today, its coverage also spills over into general tech matters at times. Recent TechCrunch posts have covered a search engine blind test, Apple’s acceptance of a third-party Gmail push application into the App Store, and the recent Twitter outages. TechCrunch seems particularly adept at getting scoops, but sometimes does so involving ethics that are open to debate.
4. The 2.0 Life
I discovered The 2.0 Life after starting 40Tech, and fell in love with the site right away. The creation of David Pierce, the 2.0 Life feels like the sort of blog that I’d like to write. It has a Lifehacker vibe to it, but unlike Lifehacker focuses almost exclusively on tech. Recent posts have covered topics such as Google Voice, tips on apps to speed up your computer, and a look at productivity apps and tips. The site is also very manageable to follow, with just a few posts a week, much like 40Tech. If you haven’t checked out the site yet, I highly recommend that you take a look.
One part of technology today that can’t be ignored is social media. Mashable has that covered, billing itself as “The Social Media Guide.” Occasionally Mashable’s coverage will spill over into other areas, but social media is its bread and butter. Recent posts have examined the future of Tweetmeme, Twitter’s coverage of the helicopter and plane collision over the Hudson River, and the upcoming Google Voice web app for the iPhone.
Did I say 5 sites? Well, for those not into social media, and therefore not into a site like Mashable, here’s a sixth site worth visiting. TechBlog is the online home of the Houston Chronicle’s Dwight Silverman. The site has a similar feel to Technologizer, covering software, the internet, social media, gadgets, and more. TechBlog also publishes a daily link roundup, which is handy if you’re like me and don’t always have time to keep your finger on the pulse of the tech world. Recent posts have covered the latest Twitter outages, another look at Google Chrome, and the release of Mac OS X 10.5.8.
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are other sites out there (TechPatio comes to mind) that I’ve only recently discovered, and don’t know well enough yet. How about you? What tech sites do you visit?