Present Magazine has asked for a list of top 10 Local Blogs, and I’ll go ahead and join in the game. This list is much different than one I would have compiled last year – a lot of good blogs have folded or simply shriveled to occasional postings. I hope to feature a few that haven’t really gathered a ton of attention otherwise, in the hopes that I can get their name in Present Magazine.
It was sneaky of Present Magazine to not specify what they should be “tops” in. In making the picks, I am going to focus on blogs with a distinctive voice that publish regularly. Mostly, it’s just who I think is doing great work lately, and it’s a personal list. I could expand it to 30 without a whole lot of effort – there is some great writing going on out there – and I’m going to ignore a few that others are listing simply to be a little contrarian. So here goes, in no particular order:
1. Ancillary Adams: Ancillary Adams is the center of his own universe. He has political opinions, and he states them when they’re on his mind, but he’s not a political blogger. He loves sports (even, for some reason, professional basketball), but he doesn’t use his blog as a cheering spot for any team. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of 80s movies, and he shares a weekly quotation. Despite its broad range, the blog is just a perfect guy on a barstool, spouting off on what comes to mind, but not ever really getting personal. Ancillary Adams is a guy’s guy – sharing the stuff you can laugh at with a buddy.
2. Erin in the Real World: Erin describes herself as “the hottest pickle in town”, and, whatever that means, I think she’s probably right. Silly and boundingly enthusiastic, she’ll write the funniest and almost-inappropriate pieces you can find. Her multi-chaptered series on her courtship of Mr. Perfect may be a perfect blog example of my favorite joke on the difference between men and women.
3. Tony’s Kansas City: A lot of people are carefully constructing their lists to avoid Tony, but no serious list of top Kansas City bloggers can ignore Tony. Even if you don’t like him, he creates more posts on all Kansas City topics than the rest of us combined, and it wasn’t very long ago that a link from Tony would bump my own numbers up for the day. He’s used his humor to hurt people, but he’s also created the most-read and most powerful blog in Kansas City.
4. Frighteningly Uncommon Sense: Faith is a character I love to read, and I thank my lucky stars I don’t live or work with her. Easily annoyed, quick to condemn and frequently wrong, she’s also funny and strong. I might not be able to get through a conversation in a bar without an argument, but I’d happily buy her a beer. Her self-description captures her essence: “SUPER-pissy. Would you people stop pushing my buttons? GAH!”
5. FuKCed City: This blog is too new to have really earned a place on my top ten list, but they have provoked more literal laughs out loud from me in one month than anyone else in a year, so why not?! Their sample depo page is horribly wrong-headed, but funny, funny, funny. When I see that they have a new post, I click over with a mixture of dread and anticipation.
6. Observant Bystander: If blogs were sold like magazines, most of us would be cheaply published and sold on the newsstand, like the Daily News or some other tabloid. Observant Bystander would be sold in warm, quiet bookstores filled with leather comfy chairs, among the fine literature.
7. Noodletown: Noodletown has had an infant to distract her from her blog for a while, but she’s still the Monarch of local foodbloggers, and we have a great selection of food bloggers for her to rule. This is an optimistic choice – I really hope she finds more time in the coming year to enthrall us with great recipes and reviews. I feel bad choosing one food blog out of the plethora of great ones . . .
8. Hip Suburban White Guy: HSWG is profane, funny, and always worth a read. He’s kind of the Mad Max of the blogosphere’s Thunderdome. I think I might be a lot like him if I were single and I suffered a major head injury.
9. My Spyderweb: Nobody has done more for the sense of community in the local blogosphere than Spyder. She gets the word out about the gatherings, can always be counted upon for support, and is simply one of the nicest people I know. Her blog is funny and often features snippets of good fun from around the internet, and no description of local blogs would be complete without acknowledging her role.
10. Absolutely Feisty: Earlier, I described Observant Bystander as being sold in the literary section of a great bookstore, while other blogs would be sold on the newsstand. Absolutely Feisty wouldn’t be sold, it would be printed on posters and pasted in bright colors on walls. She’s a blast of fresh air in a room – she’s the bucket of gatorade getting dumped on a coach. Intense, direct, and personal. Read at your own risk, and you’ll be going on a roller-coaster ride through the life of a young woman barely keeping it together through all the challenges of single-motherhood in a weak economy. I cheer for her.