What to Read Wednesdays: What’s in YOUR Blog Feed?

RSS feed symbolThose of you who are my Facebook friends know that I am infamous for posting a pretty steady stream of interesting articles (or at least articles *I* think are interesting!) on my timeline. Last week, after posting this fantabulous gem of a post, a friend asked me to share what blogs I read. She seemed to think it was cool to hear of some new awesome blogs, and I love what these folks have to say, so I’m happy to share them with you!

Below are the two main categories I have in my Feedly, one for general things I like to think about and ponder and one for things that relate to my work as a web presence consultant and writer. (Disclaimer: not all my Facebook articles come from these blogs! But these are the folks I read every day.)

(Also – asterisks indicate my #1 for each category. If you read only one, read THOSE.)

The Rock Tumbler (i.e. things that make me think!)

Experimental Theology – experimentaltheology.blogspot.com

The theological musings of psychology professor Richard Beck. Sometimes this blog can get a little bit academic for me, but more often it makes me think about really interesting theological questions that I haven’t thought about before! From his bio: “Richard’s published research covers topics as diverse as the psychology of profanity to why Christian bookstore art is so bad. And on his blog Richard will spend enormous amounts of time writing about the theology of Calvin and Hobbes, the demonology of Scooby-Doo or his latest bible class on monsters.”

*Rachel Held Evans – rachelheldevans.com/blog

If you read no other blog on this list, read this one. As a self-described evangelical AND feminist, Rachel continually amazes and humbles me with her fairness and grace as she writes about extremely hot-button issues without demonizing either side. Also, her “Ask a…” series is a great way to learn about all different sorts of folks you might not know personally!

Dianna E. Anderson – diannaeanderson.net

Whereas I would place Rachel Held Evans smack in the middle between evangelicalism and feminism, I would place Dianna a little farther down the feminist side. I really appreciate her thoughtful analysis of women’s issues and sexism in Christian subculture.

Confessions of a Former Preacher – danbouchelle.blogspot.com

As a former teacher and forever PK (pastor’s kid), I totally resonate with many of the issues former preacher Dan Bouchelle discusses on his blog. His insightful, spot-on analysis of some of the struggles faced by churches in our country today is a prophetic voice that I have found very refreshing and helpful in my own “recovery” process. (Right now Dan is taking a break from blogging, but his archives are still up and totally worth a peruse!)

Confessions of a Heretic Husband – heretichusband.com

This anonymous blog is written by Heretic Husband, a guy who began as a Christian, de-converted, and is still working out what it means to be himself and also support his Christian wife and kids. I don’t always agree with everything he (or his guest posters) write, but I find it informative and thought-provoking to read about the Christian Church from another perspective.

Hyperbole and a Half – hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com

Cartoons? Check. Hilarity? Check. Epically honest cartoons about struggling with depression? Check. Need I say more?

Jamie the Very Worst Missionary – theveryworstmissionary.com

This blog is wonderful because Jamie (the Very Worst Missionary) is so honest. She calls life, missions work, and the Church at large like she sees it, which is often a mix of funny and broken and beautiful. No longer in Costa Rica, she is now figuring out what it means to be a missionary with her family in California. Just read it. You’ll see. =)

Newspaper Blackout – newspaperblackout.com

I recently discovered this site, which showcases creator Austin Kleon’s creative newspaper-blackout found poetry. This one is just for fun. (Also, it makes me wish I still got a newspaper!)

xkcd – xkcd.com

Sometimes deep and meaningful, sometimes silly or nerdy, this webcomic is so unique and wonderful that I’ll just let it speak for itself: “Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).”

Writing & Web Stuff (i.e. things that help me be a better web presence consultant!)

I’ll zip through these more quickly, since most of you probably aren’t copywriters. (But if you have questions about any of these, just ask and I will happily spill!)

12 Most – 12most.com – This blog is mostly about business and leadership, but really the posts can be about anything as long as the title begins with “12 Most…”

Copyblogger – copyblogger.com/blog – This is why I do my job as well as I do my job. If you are at all interested in copywriting, content marketing, social media marketing, web design, etc., do yourself a favor and start reading!

Michael Hyatt – michaelhyatt.com – A big name in Christian leadership and publishing. Sometimes I feel like he’s a little slick, but he’s sort of a trendsetter, so good to keep tabs on.

Nonprofit Tech 2.0 – nonprofitorgs.wordpress.com – Author of the book “Social Media for Social Good” (which I also recommend).

Rachelle Gardner – rachellegardner.com – Literary agent for Rachel Held Evans. I like her no-nonsense, practical style.

*Seth Godin – sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/ – Seth Godin is like *the* go-to business and leadership thought leader guy. He’s written about a gajillion books and is memorable for his positive, insightful, and pithy (read: sometimes really short!) blog posts.

Signal vs. Noise – 37signals.com/svn/posts – A blog about technology, working from home, and web stuff.

So there ya go! Those are the blogs I follow on a regular basis. (Plus, of course, a few of my friends’ blogs and my sister’s New Zealand study-abroad blog!) Every once in a while all those posts pile up in my Feedly, but I find that when I read them it really gets my brain churning with new ideas and new ways of thinking.

What blogs do you follow? Any suggestions for what I should add to my list? Let me know in the comments!

48 Titles From My Future Blog

Ok. I read a super cool blog post this morning that had some great ideas for being a better blogger… and by “great ideas” I mean new, inventive ones that aren’t the same basic repetitive ones EVERYONE blogs about. The one that really stuck with me was this: “Write lists of titles.”

GENIUS.

Because, of course, I have all sorts of things that I like to think and talk and write about — but as soon as I think, “Man, I should probably write/post another blog post, since it’s been a while…” my mind goes blank. (Probably because, as I learned from Rachelle Gardner this morning, “Desperation makes a very poor muse.” True dat.)

So today, I would like to share a list of titles that I hope to someday actually author! Leave a note in the comments section if there’s one (or several) that you’d like to read, and I’ll try to bring them into being sooner than “someday”. =)

48 (or so) Titles From My Future Blog

Why I Left the Lutheran Church (or maybe “Why I Left the Secret-Code-Name-So-I-Don’t-Piss-People-Off Church”)
Why I’m Terrified of Drug Cartels, but Still Like Mexico (or “The Thing That Terrifies Me More Than Anything On The Planet”)
Why I’m Glad I Married a ‘Weirdo’
Why Reconciliation Is the Best Thing Since EVER.
How I Accidentally Made A Million Dollars (Wishful thinking there!)
Why The United States Education System Is Broken (maybe someday I’ll be able to write “And What We Can Do To Fix It” !)
Why I’d Rather Work For Connected Families Than Be A Teacher
The Biggest Reason Religious Education Wins Over Public Education
The Thing That Frustrates Me Most About Christian Leaders
Why Connected Families‘ Message Explodes My Face With Awesomeness
Why Mental Organization and Workspace Organization Don’t Always Go Together
924 Things I Never Knew I Learned In College — Till They Were Really Useful
293 Reasons Why It’s Important to Major in a Subject That Interests You, and Not in One That You Just Choose In Order to Have a Job Later (insert my life here)
Why I Despise 50 Shades of Gray, Even Though I Haven’t Read It.
On Why I Am A Feminist… and What The Heck That Means
The Mistaken Faces of Feminism (Or at Least the Ones I Dislike)
Pros and Cons of “Conservative” Ideals
Pros and Cons of “Liberal” Ideals
The Preacher and the Patriarchy: A Personal Reflection
Why Lakes Are Infinitely Superior to Swimming Pools
Why Media/Ad Portrayals of Women Make Me Mad.
How to Use Your Learning/Thinking Style to Your Advantage
Why Being Multi-lingual is AWESOME (or “Why the USA is dumb for not requiring more foreign language proficiency”, or “Why immigrants are way smarter than most Americans give them credit for”)
Why I Care About My Country, But Am Not A “Patriot”
Music That Helps Me Get Work Done
Why “The Sing-Off” Was Way Better Than American Idol Will Ever Be
Why I Think The Government Should Get Its Nose Out of the Marriage Business
Is the US a “Christian Nation”? (Research required! I believe there is a book by this title…)
Why My Generation is Put Off by Traditional Evangelism (and/or Traditional Missionary-stuff)
394 African Authors that Everyone Should Read (because I doubt your high school and/or college bothered to teach you about a continent that is home to 1/7 of the world’s population. Whoops.)
Why Ngugi wa Thiongo Rocks My Socks
203 Ways White Supremacy Hurts White People (not my original idea… but one I love because it explains so much!!!)
987 Weird Things That Help My Brain Function Properly
239 Books I Appreciated Much More Once I Was An Adult
Why I Read Shakespeare For FUN! =)
398 Ways White People Were Asshats to First Nations Peoples (And Why We Should Call Them Whatever the Heck They Want to Be Called)
Why “Whiteness” Is A Total Crock
Why We Can’t Just “Move On” From The Oppressive Sins of Our Past
Why I Love Post-It Notes
On Privilege, and What To Do Once You Realize You Have It
[related] Why I Hate and Love My American Passport
“Yes, I Really Mean It When I Ask for Socks for Christmas”
Why Small, Mass-Market Paperback Books Make Me Happy
Why e-Readers Explode My Face With Awesomeness
482 Reasons Why Water is The Most Tasty Liquid On The Entire Planet!
My Husband is So Awesome That You Don’t Even Understand… No, Really.
752 Life Lessons from the Bike Ride Kid (“I Feel Happy of Myself!”)

I seriously recommend this exercise to anyone who loves to write but struggles with choosing topics. Who knew I had almost 50 blog posts lurking inside me?

Don’t forget to “vote” on your favorites in the comments if you want to read them sooner than whenever I get to them!