Truly Unique and Outstanding Blogs — Recap Week 1

A Recap of the Facts

Finding Ideas Outside of the Box logo 2

On Monday, February 26 I started looking for 200 Unique Blogs. . . . I said that the blogs I am looking for are

are one-of-a kind, stand-out, nothing-like-it, wow-will-you-look-at-that. only-one, wish-I-had-that-idea blogs. Every blog in the bunch will be outstanding in its own way.

Many people came to offer suggestions. Many people came for many reasons.

John Said This Would Be Interesting

John, a wise, money man and bartender at the sidebar, predicted that it would be interesting to watch. John only said that because he knows me.

Part of the fun and intrigue of a project like this is the opportunity to see blogger behavior. I found three kinds of people seemed to show up.

  • The Authentic Participants These folks saw value in the project and took on the challenge with sincerity. They read the original post; offered blogs they believed in; and contributed to the discussion fully.
  • The Hopeful Attendees These nice folks brought a blog, often their own blog. Their comments seemed to show that they didn’t fully read the post or perhaps didn’t understand the goal the post had stated. Many of these blogs were almost there, but all of the parts didn’t seem to fit together seamlessly.
  • The Opportunists I shy from that term, but I couldn’t find another term that seemed to fit. These folks saw an opportunity to promote their blog and in some cases, their product or service. The blogs they left were unremarkable.

It’s also interesting how all who left links seemed to undervalue the impact of design on readers.

Round 2 — Let’s Keep Looking!

Comments have been closed at the old post and this one is open.
I redefine the quest here:

A unique and outstanding blog is one so compelling and remarkable that it sticks with you — days later you still want to tell folks to experience it. A unique and outstaninding blog has an amazing impact on a reader. It is unforgettable to both the adult and the kid in you.

I’m still looking for 200 one-of-a kind, stand-out, nothing-like-it, wow-will-you-look-at-that. only-one, wish-I-had-that-idea blogs. Every blog in the bunch will be outstanding in its own way.

Fifteen Blogs that Stand Out in a Crowd

Each of these blogs is exceptional for one reason and executes well in other facets. That’s why they stand out in a crowd. [The numbers do not represent an order. They only represent a count. Nor does this listing ensure that any blog will remain all the way through to the final 200. Also note: I’m looking for 200 outstanding and unique blogs, NOT a top 200.]

  1. NMC Virtual Worlds a program of the New Media Consortium

  3. the thinking blog by ilker oldas

  5. Very Short Novels by David Dale

  7. Knife Gun Pen by Robert Bruce

  9. ha.ckers by Nick and others

  11. From Where I Sit by Michael Hyatt

  13. Can Google Hear Me [dot] com

  15. Creating Passionate Users by Kathy Sierra and Dan Russell

  17. Engaging the Disquiet by Dave Schoof
  18. http: //

  19. Hungry for Hunger

  21. Logivc+Emotion by David Armano


  25. The Occupational Adventure by Curt Rosengren

  27. The dullest blog in the world

  29. Bento Box

How many more can we find?

–ME “Liz” Strauss

How Many Truly Unique Blogs Can We Find?


  1. says

    One of my design clients has taken the tool I helped build for her and created a delightful community. The conversation is lively, funny and often very provocative, and the interaction is strong, especially when you consider this blog hasn’t yet seen its first anniversary, nor has Robin’s novel been released yet, which was the blog’s reason for being.

  2. says

    You are too kind, Liz – thank you! Of course, you can’t swing a cat in the blogosphere without hitting a little clumsy self-promotion, but there’s nothing more educational than making mistakes. It’ll be fun to see where this goes. -j

  3. says

    Hi John,
    I think it may be stuck. I don’t know whether folks are ready to try some more or not. Great blogs deserve to be found, but I’ve set the bar pretty high and maybe folks don’t have time to find the onces that are really remarkable.

    I know that you’d know one when you saw it. :)
    I’m going to make a big deal if I find 200. Maybe I’ll have to find them all on my own. :)

  4. Anne Kilmartin says

    I would like to suggest a standout blog who also happens to be an SOB.

    Craig Harper at

    As an example, I just read his amazing ‘tongue in cheek’ spin on Stephen Covey’s original version of ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ called
    The Seven(teen) Habits of Highly (In)effective People

    I think his original content is up there with my other favourites – YOU, Steve Pavlina, Alexander Kjerulf, Ririan Project, and Steve Olson.

    I think Craig’s Blog was best described by a recent comment from a visitor which said:

    Another Tough Love epistle from the blogospherical pulpit of the velvet sledge hammer, Rev. Craig Harper. Your blog picks me up and shakes me till I hurt. Hallelujah!!
    Anice, Aberdeen, Scotland

    Have a great day!!

    Anne Kilmartin

  5. says

    I’ve been lurking over here at your exceptional blog for awhile. I usually don’t have time to comment anywhere (six kids!) but I had to de-lurk to let you know about two blogs I feel are stand-out blogs. One is a 6 month old humor blog that has made me laugh and smile all the way through this long, dark winter. I see a lot of humor blogs out there, but this one is consistently funny, and he does cool things with words to boot!

    My 2nd outstanding blog recommendation is an inspirational blog that is written so beautifully that I feel like each blog post is a work of art in itself.

    Evenstar Art

    Thanks for doing this. I hope you enjoy the blogs I have listed.


  6. says

    Hey Polli!
    Welcome! lurkers who find their voice are particlarly nice. :)
    I just heard about babbarama for the first time this morning πŸ˜›
    An inspirational blog is always welcome

    Thank you Polli!

  7. says

    Hi Ben!
    Great to see you! Can’t wait until we can talk again. Glad to hear you’re still with us on this one.

    Scott’s blog is a great choice!

  8. says

    OMG – I just read several posts in HungryforHunger. That has to be one of the most amazing stories I’ve ever read. Great writing, heart-breaking yet kind of hopeful. I just want to go hug that guy!!!

  9. says

    I would really hate to have to pick only one from the 1800 feeds in my Bloglines .. although, my own should qualify, right? I mean – who *wouldn’t* want to see pictures of my cute Papillon dogs every day .. eh?

    But, alas .. I even though I can be a pig at times .. I still consider myself having enough social responsibility to NOT list the URL of one other site that seems to fit all of your criteria .. (for the sake of the women and children reading this) .. But .. it’s tagline is: “Beautiful girls found on Flickr, YouTube and other Web 2.0 sites”

    It’s like other mindless sites that amuses the masses on a daily basis (in my opinion) .. Dilbert, or Bank Locater, or Cute Overload and PapillonLvr :)

  10. says

    Thanks for saying me from the beautiful women on Fliker. I guess that makes it worth it have to get the other uURLs. I know them all except Bank Locater. Hmmmm.

    I’ll check them and shee if every one is a winner. πŸ˜›

  11. says

    Hi Tim!
    Welcome. I’m really interested in why you would think IA is oustanding and unique and that is not? maybe a service site, but it’s a twist, well-executed with high production values. IA may be high on content and minimalist design, but it lacks in imagination or passing on a feeling that the developer had a high sense of investment.

  12. says

    Ha, I was talking about the blog hardly being remarkable. The main site is of course fantastic πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for the complements and keep up the good work. I look forward to seeing the top 200.

  13. says

    Hi Tim!
    I’m looking to list Blogs — so I link to the blog. They will be 200 unique and outstanding ones. There is no top or bottom. All will be outstanding and unique. :) I have to keep saying that so that no one misunderstands. πŸ˜›

  14. says

    Hi Candice,
    That’s why they’re not making the list. They’re only making suggestions. If you look at last week’s post you’ll see how many blogs were offered of those I took 12 and add 3 of my own to make the list of 15 you see above. Which, by the way, I should go note are only number to count how many are there — they are in no order. Nor is it certain that all 15 will be in the final 200. :)

    PS. I think seeing what is offered is an interesting experience in learning how the bloggers who participate think over the progress of this endeavor. :)

  15. says

    Hi Candice,
    You know me. I can’t live by group think. I’m the one who’s looking at the elephant in the room when everyone else is painting the ceiling. :)

    Hey thanks for the kind words. My son did the header. Sean did the design. I’ve missed you, but I knew you’d be back when you had time. :)

  16. says

    What color is the elephant?

    I’ve read but not read the comments lately, time is at an absolute premium.

    Oh, and a second to knifegunpen, robert bruce does good work over there.

  17. says

    Well Candice,
    The elephant I usually see is the color of putty, but now and then a pink or blue one will show up. I figure it must the first elephant’s day off.

    Yeah, I like Robert too. Those were the days when he lived downstairs from Chartruese.

  18. says

    Okay, you’re going to glance at the following blog with its standard Minima template and begin to roll your eyes.

    BUT. If you look a little closer, you’re going to see some rather demented-yet-compelling content. When I say compelling, I mean that this somewhat insane lady really knows how to get people talking. 80 comments. 50 comments. 60 comments.

    And she doesn’t get all that much traffic, either, from what I can tell. Her participation ratio must be through the roof. Something to be learned there.

    Anyway, without further ado, I submit:

  19. says

    I saw this blog taking off last week and already it is widely recognised across the blogosphere. I’m talking about a lady Sania Wyatt who is trying to help others achieve happiness. Although you may think it’s like the other personal development blog out there, this lady describes simple practical ways to put a little joy in your life with a human touch. Her posts about her life experiences are a must read for their simplicity and inspiration. Here it is:

  20. says

    Hi Liz –
    I’m recommending this blog – Sand in the Gears – for its content. I don’t know Tony Woodlief, but he’s a terrific writer and his posts never fail to touch my heart, my head, and sometimes my conscience. The URL is:

  21. says

    Hi Yan Sniim,
    Welcome! I just stopped over for a quick look and she does have a certain energy that is appealing you can almost hear it before you start reading. :)

  22. says

    Hi Judy,
    Welcome! I don’t know Tony, but putting head and heart together is important to great writing. What a compliment you pay him to say that he puts you in touch with yours.

  23. says

    Liz, My blog is about helping people to fight Adultitis and Escape Adulthood. How can I not throw it into the mix?

    But also I’d like to comment on the idea of “manufacturing” a great blog. I think it could be done, but not in an artificial way. “Manufacturing” sounds robotic and repeatable to me. If someone were to try and manufacture a GREAT blog, I think the process itself would be more of an unearthing of the uniqueness of the actual person behind the blog. Sort of like getting a diamond out of a piece of coal. Good design is nice, but I think the best blogs are the ones that are unique because they most exemplifiy the spirit of the writer, rather than trying to ascribe to some higher standard of what a blog should be.

    This blog by Chris Hollenback is a good example. The design is pretty template-based, but hs writing is top-notch and I love the way he uses images for comedic impact.

    This blog is a highly niched blog, but her passion for the subject matter is very apparent, and she’s been able to build quite an audience.

    So I’d say design is the best way to get someone’s attention, but in the long run, the best blogs are the ones that are so in tune with the blogger’s personality and passion that they are uncopyable (is that a word?)

    Jason, I added a link to your blog and freed the other links so that readers could easily access them. –Liz πŸ˜‰

  24. says

    Hi Jason (of Kim & Jason)!
    Your blog sounds clever. I can’t wait to take a look. I like the reasoning for your other choices as well.

    What you say about design is so true — it works the same way with books. It’s the design and the title that gets us to pick an unknown work, the content is what gets us to come back again.

    Having said that, design is pretty darn important — it needs to be inviting and to underscore the work, not fight against. I have no problem with a template if the content is compelling . . . however, it it’s a popular templete a great number of folks will never get to the ocntent to find out.

  25. says

    Thank you, Laura!
    The link was being overtaken by a missing tag in the link right before it. I really appreciate your alert about that.

    I found Hungry for Hunger so compelling when I read that in three days I told five people about it. And yesterday I contacted the man who writes it to see how I might help. A blog that moves me to action like that is remarkable. Thank you for recommending it. :)

  26. says

    Another suggestion I have is the nakedpastor. David posts artwork, cartoons, and writing that draws you in. The template is clean and draws attention to the content, rather than the bling on the blog. It’s not so much an “I wish I had thought of that” blog, but an “I wish I could do that” blog.

  27. says

    Liz – I am honored to be on this list. I started in October and wonderful things have been happening as I am learning this art form. But this tops the list of great experiences. And it really means something coming from you, a person I have really grown to enjoy reading, learning from and respect. I feel like I want to put this on the fridge under a magnet :-)

  28. says

    I’m curious to find out how long will it take to locate 200 outstanding blogs. But I’m looking forward to seeing the final list.

    Who knows maybe my blog shows up there (*wishful thinking*) πŸ˜‰

  29. says

    HI inspirationbit!
    I think it’s going to take a few weeks, but I’m holding out for the very best and I’m sorry that wishful thinking won’t get me to look. Passion and committment are stronger than that. :)

  30. CB says

    I’m going to list a few blogs that I read daily that have very interesting topics, post frequently, and keep me interested. (I know there are a lot but I did put thought into them, I didn’t just randomly throw blogs on this list!) I’m not associated with any of these blogs.

    This one is really fun. It’s “about the city in which you live”…

    An inside look at being on lighting crews in the film industry in Hollywood:

    Neat stuff, usually with links to more neat stuff:

    Chronicling of hoaxes and possible hoaxes:

    This guy has so many interesting ideas:

    Just discovered this one, I guess the theme is design:

    This guy’s goal is increasing people’s happiness at work:

    And this one is about “word of mouth” marketing and the power of the customer:

  31. says

    Hi CB,
    The original rule was one, but we eased it a bit. . . . you are an overachiever. :)

    I know some of the blogs on your list and some I do not. All of them are top-notch blogs. It’s a strange position to love a blog there and know that I don’t think that it’s one of a kind.

    Thanks for time you spent, CB, I appreciate that you didn’t just randomly compile this list. I’ll be looking these over with care. :)

  32. Don Ray says

    Have a look at Kineda. Not only is the design compelling, but the articles are highly entertaining and often has me yearning for more.

  33. says

    Hi Don Ray!
    I will have a look at Kineda. I’m delighted to hear someone mention design as well as the articles. Thank you for sharing your yearning. :)

  34. says

    Hi Liz,

    I would implore you to consider tdaxp. Whether it’s his series on how Jesus’ and Paul’s philosophies were the archetype of 4th generation conflict, or his discussion of how to reform education by structuring classes as representative democracies, his work is beautifully written and deeply thought provoking. His writings about the loss of his grandfather and then his father were so poignant that I wept more than once. He is truly a gentleman and a scholar.


  35. says

    I still can’t figure out why those comments show up after a half hour. My brain hurts!

    I realize that Dan’s stuff may not make the cut (a heck of a lot of great blogs haven’t, as you pointed out). The consideration is all I was imploring for. πŸ˜‰

    Have a great weekend!

  36. says

    It didn’t show up because it took a detour to visit the monster. It shouldn’t with only 1 link, but for some reason it did.

    Of course, any blog your recommend would be considered. :)

  37. says

    Hey Liz,

    Toby Bloomberg has a blog called Blogger Stories that is truly unique and outstanding. Its a blog where individual bloggers tell their own story of how blogging has touched their lives, created new relationships and opened up opportunities..

    In Toby’s own words, “I wanted to do this because I think stories are the fabric of our lives; quilted, silken, burlaped, or braided, stories give us warmth and hope, they provide memory and reflection, and they help each one of us weave a blanket of many colors and textures – that is uniquely our own.”

    If you haven’t sent her your story, you should!


  38. says

    I just landed on your blog because I too am also looking for unique blogs to write about for a project I’m doing for charity. I’m leaning mostly towards sites that are doing something creative, fun or are simply authored by someone truly unique and worth getting to know.

    At any rate, I don’t know if it’s too late by now but one of my favorite blogs I’ve discovered lately is In Cinq. It’s a very simple concept, but for me at least it’s memorable and a place I always return to:

    Also if you’re interested I author a little comic blog where I draw cute little aliens. With so many blogs out there writing about how to make money, how to optimize your site for Google and so on, I thought I’d just create a blog to make people smile :)

  39. says

    Hi Mike,
    Never too late, I’m still working on this project, I was in fact, going to update it in a few days. So welcome!

    I’d also like to hear about yours. Perhaps we can help each other? If you’d like to talk, email me at

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