Being in the tech industry, it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of technical blogs. There are approximately a gazillion technical blogs, and a whole gob of those are really good. I could easily spend 8 hours per day just combing through the good articles and blog posts out there. Of course if I did that, I wouldn't get much real work done, and I would soon be without income. That would be bad.
So with all those good technical blogs out there, I'm not even going to attempt to put together a Top Ten list of technical blogs. But I will share with you my Top Ten list of non-technical blogs. Why would you be interested in that? Well, career enhancement, for one. There are some companies that will hire you strictly on your outstanding technical skills, but there are far more companies that want you to be a little more well-rounded, and reading some of these blogs will help with that. This is even more important in tough economic times. And if you, like so many others, aspire to be your own boss, you will definitely need to know a few of these things.
Now here's the list, with brief descriptions, of my favorite non-technical blogs (in no particular order):
- Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds: Whether you speak in front of large audiences like at the PASS Community Summit, or just have to communicate a few ideas to your boss and coworkers, take a few tips from Garr and avoid "death by PowerPoint".
- How to Change the World by Guy Kawasaki: If you've been around for a while, then you remember Guy as one of the early Apple Evangelists. These days, Guy is a Venture Capitalist and advisor to startups, with a lot of wisdom for entrepreneurs. Sure, he loves technology, too, but this is about creating meaning and making a difference, not just creating software.
- Seth Godin: Great author and definitely an outside-the-box thinker, Seth will challenge assumptions you may not even know you had, and push you to go against the grain and do something great.
- John Maxwell on Leadership by Dr. John C. Maxwell: World-renown author and guru on the subject of leadership, Maxwell is far and away my favorite author. His blog is just the tip of the iceberg. Go buy some of his books and really move yourself forward.
- Indexed by Jessica Hagy: Sometimes thought-provoking, and always humorous, it is amazing how much can be conveyed by a few simple sketches on a 3x5 card.
- Duarte Blog by Nancy Duarte and others from Duarte Design: Originally named Slide:ology after Nancy's book, this blog has been expanded to include others, but overall hits the nail on the head regarding making presentations and communicating visually. Use in conjunction with Presentation Zen and really move yourself to the head of the class.
- Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim: Thought-provoking, humorous, and encouraging to anyone who has ever thought about striking out on their own and becoming their own boss. Doubly encouraging to those who have actually done it.
- Business of Software Blog by Neil Davidson: Some may accuse me of splitting hairs here because this blog is about the tech industry, but it is really about business, not how to do some technical trick, so I still categorize it as non-technical.
- I, Cringely - Cringely on Technology by Robert X. Cringely: Like the previous one in the list, this is about the technology industry, not about actual development. Cringely has an amazing collection of sources and contacts in the tech industry, and loves to speculate, sometimes wildly, about what is coming next. While I wouldn't necessarily invest my money based on his prognostications, they certainly get you thinking about things in a different way.
- InfoWorld Blogs: This is actually a collection of multiple blogs. By now you can probably tell that I think it's important to stay caught-up on what's going on in your industry.