Ini adalah daftar 40 Blogger terbaik dunia menurut TIMES
Few professionals in the arts maintain a blog as lovingly as David Byrne, or post at such length about topics of genuine interest (one recent entry, on the recontextualisation of performance art, breaks the 6,000-word mark). Given that Byrne is most famous for his work with Talking Heads, one might expect music to be the order of the day, but he writes just as searchingly about art and film, photography and opera, buildings and food. A treat.
Gwynnie’s lifestyle blog is easy to deride. Yes, it’s a chance for her to show off the breadth of her cultural experience while encouraging the humble reader to “nourish your inner aspect”, but it does provide some rather useful tips, not to mention opportunities for celeb-spotting. Her friends Steven, Christy and Sofia, whom she taps for book and movie tips, are Spielberg, Turlington and Coppola respectively.
Move back in with your parents, commit your 74-year-old father’s obscenity-strewn wisdoms to text, post them on Twitter and, if you’re Justin Halpern, end up with 1,288,000 followers, a book deal and a show on CBS. Halpern started after he moved home from LA to San Diego last year. “You look just like Stephen Hawking… Relax, I meant like a non-paralysed version of him. Feel better? Fine. Forget I said it.”
Pelayo Diaz Zapico
The 23-year-old Central St Martins College of Art and Design fashion student/model/designer may appear to be 50 per cent quiff and 50 per cent cheekbones, but don’t hate him because he is beautiful. Instead, marvel at his candid snaps of fashion parties, gasp at his taste in kilts, and wonder at the two million-plus hits his blog has accrued since the Spanish teenager obsessed with Kate Moss blossomed into the undisputed It boy of London fashion.
Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs
“We get recognised on the street quite a lot now,” admits Joshua Kissi. You’re inclined to believe him. Even without the blossoming reputation of their fashion blog (in which the 20-year-old pair are the only featured models) and the subsequent namechecks in US style titles, Kissi and Gumbs seem fated to draw second glances.
“With us coming from New York, from the Bronx, and being African-Americans… well, we look unique to a lot of people,” explains Kissi, a medical student turned clothes shop assistant. Their seemingly unlikely yet perfectly executed obsession with classic American tailoring, Clarks desert boots, tweed and early 20th-century outdoorwear informs Street Etiquette’s approach. It may not be the most methodically updated blog, but then again, on the internet, anyone can find style inspiration independent of time and place.
“With our outfits, we’re telling a story. In history, people have been wearing the clothes we’re wearing, and we feel we could do a post on anything: a belt, a shoe, a certain type of shirt. Everything has come from somewhere, and everything has its history,” Kissi says. And indeed, their site is full of retrospective snaps of classic apparel (they drool over a young Stephen Fry’s tweed jacket, for instance).
Kissi describes how, the other day, on 42nd Street, a man approached him just to say “Thank you” for allowing him to see men’s fashion differently. “And that’s the thing about blogs: you may not have the awards and accolades of big magazines and successful writers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t inspire and influence people every day.”
An 18-carat eccentric, Pernet is never seen without a black mantilla atop a high pile of hair and the Fifties sunglasses that explain the title of her style blog. A Shaded View on Fashion documents the glamorous life of this American fashion veteran. She isn’t bitchy, doesn’t fawn over celebrities, and writes keenly about both young designers and her other passion, movies.
Joe Sinclair and Katie Mackay
“Joe writes the words. Katie wears the clothes. A different outfit every day for a year.” That’s the simple but ingenious concept behind What Katie Wore, a blog started in January 2009 by Sinclair and his girlfriend Mackay. And when the year was up, they just continued doing the same thing – why mess with a winning formula?
Gabi Gregg started Young, Fat and Fabulous in 2008 when she found that “there were no quality fashion blogs for fat trendy girls”. Now she is one of many plus-size bloggers, and fashion magazines are beginning to take notice: Italian Vogue recently asked Gregg to video blog for the “curvy” section of their website. YFF now attracts more than 100,000 hits a month.
The fashion escapades of an übercool London mum. Pippa Brooks co-runs M Goldstein in East London, an Aladdin’s cave selling vintage clothes, antiques and curiosities. She’s also a fashion designer, a DJ in demand on the London club scene, and the mother of eight-year-old twin boys. Somehow she still finds time to write a blog. Madame Says documents her adventures in text, music and photos, which show off her individual style – Brooks describes it as “that very British, dusty old tweedy thing… Kind of Miss Marple meets trash.”
Disney Roller Girl
“Observations and opinions on fashion, lifestyle trends and popular culture from an anonymous fashion insider” might sound a little highfalutin’, but this blog succeeds where so many fail. Well regarded within the industry, the photos and comments about the cakes and canapés at fashion events add to the sense of amusement at how silly – but fun – it all is.
Being in charge of the sharpest, snarkiest, most popular women’s blog around sounds as if it should be a lot of fun. Anna Holmes pauses and chooses her words.
“It’s not not fun,” says the editor-in-chief of Jezebel, which launched in May 2007 and today attracts almost ten million hits a month. “But it’s more like the blog is a baby, and it has to be tended to at all times. And the baby might grow up a bit, but it’s never going to get past the age of 2 or 3 in terms of how much it demands of you.”
From the spare room of her New York apartment, Holmes oversees blogging on a near-industrial scale as she commissions a team of writers who churn out a new post every 10 minutes for almost 12 hours a day, addressing anything from urinary tract infection vaccines, via dating and stupid celebrities, to the evils of glossy women’s magazines’ airbrushed covers. Typically, a working day will stretch to 11 or 12 hours at her computer.
“I don’t want to say it’s ruined my life – I don’t want to put it that way. But it’s reconfigured it in a way that’s probably extremely unhealthy. A social life? Nah, I don’t have one,” she chuckles. “That’s the problem with the internet: it’s always on.”
The town of Pepper Pike, Ohio, doesn’t sound a hotbed of feisty young feminist thought. And prior to the F Bomb, it wasn’t. The 16-year-old Zeilinger created her blog to address topics ranging from pubic hair to Twilight; to keep the content teen-focused, she’s even said she’ll pass control to someone younger when she hits 20.
Fresh from university and a course at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland, Ramsden writes about cooking handsomely on a budget. You could say his cuisine is post-student: he’s recreated Turkey Twizzlers and dabbled with Snickers ice cream. But the 24-year-old also finds time for oxtail with polenta and gremolata. Recipes, then, plus the odd review and some videos, such as one documenting his never-to-be-repeated fortnight on a raw vegan diet.
Primarily a cookery blog – if you’re after a recipe for slow-roast wild boar belly, look no further – but lately London-based Shields, who describes the blog as a “monument to pleasure and weight gain”, has been doing a lot of eating out. Recently, she organised a female-only carnivores’ night at Hawksmoor in Spitalfields (“Girl’s Just Wanna Have Steak!”).
The crusading Canadian journalist’s site mainly collates work published elsewhere – by herself and others – but Klein also posts direct to the blog on a wide variety of matters, including climate change, globalisation, surveillance and Palestine. Recent posts, in keeping with Klein’s interest in disaster and its aftermath as explored in her book The Shock Doctrine, have focused on the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.
Simon and Robin Majumdar
Their site is a shambles, but the Welsh-Bengali brothers are two of the most discerning food writers to emerge on the UK blogging scene. They started Dos Hermanos in 2006 – Simon now lives in LA, with Robin keeping up the London end, but they remain united in their love of fish and chips and Spanish cuisine.
In 2005, a gay, Cuban-American with an anarchic taste in tittle-tattle set up his own blog. Today, Perez Hilton, once known merely as Mario Lavandeira, is arguably the internet’s most notorious – and recognisable – blogger. His formula? Mocking rarely sober starlets, outing celebs and putting his own spin on every rumour. He reckons 13.5 million readers visit his site every month, is developing more websites and even, apparently, his own boy band.
The showbiz gossip and news blog founded in 2002 hit the mainstream after breaking high-profile stories such as Madonna’s divorce from Guy Ritchie. With more than one million visits a month, this acid-tongued site continues to delight the celeb-weary.
Picture the archetypal internet eco-entrepreneur – chiselled good looks, breezy confidence, into extreme sports – and you’ve more or less envisioned Graham Hill, the Québecois founder of the world’s most popular green blog, TreeHugger. It reports on everything from renewable energy growth in China to tweeting kettles, and its upbeat approach attracts 3.5 million unique visitors a month.
Stuart Gray encounters more blood-curdling drama on a single shift than most people would in a year. A paramedic with the London Ambulance Service, he started blogging about his experiences in April 2006 and has since published two books about dicing with death (and injuries, drunkenness and hoax calls) on London’s streets. Compelling and plainly written, the blog allows Gray to vent about the emotional highs and lows of his job after a particularly intense night. Each post ends with a heartfelt plea to “be safe”.
Last May, Jones was diagnosed with breast cancer and began a blog about her experiences. Slowly, a readership was attracted to her wry, unflinching accounts of juggling love affairs with hair loss and make-up techniques to see you through chemo. At once confessional and inclusive, Jones sugar-coats nothing.
If Nikki Finke isn’t the most powerful blogger in Hollywood, she’s certainly the most feared. Her blog, Deadline Hollywood (which she recently sold for a rumoured $10 million-plus, but continues to run), is where you go for all the bitchy behind-the-scenes industry drama. Finke herself is a reclusive New Yorker who works in isolation from her LA home, yet she manages to know everything going on in Hollywood before it happens. Her attention to detail is almost as legendary as her vitriol – she savaged The New Yorker after the magazine ran an epic profile of her last year.
A good Tinseltown blog needs a dash of eccentricity, and Hollywood Elsewhere, home of veteran movie reporter Jeffrey Wells, is deliciously entertaining as well as informative and insightful. When not goading his legion of readers with fiercely opinionated posts on everything from the Oscars to cinema-going etiquette, he’s airing strongly held political views and curious details from his everyday life. Posts come thick and fast, and he’s as conversant with world movies and classics as he is with the latest 3-D Hollywood juggernaut.
The Magistrate’s Blog
There are 30,000 or so unpaid magistrates across England and Wales. For five years, one of them has anonymously detailed the cut and thrust of the job, providing a grimly funny insight into Britain’s sinful underbelly with the same feel and tone as a Hogarth or Dickens.
Maud Newton, a Texan based in New York, started blogging about literary matters in 2002 while pondering a book of her own. The book has yet to emerge (although an excerpt from a novel-in-progress bagged her the 2009 Narrative Prize). The blog, meanwhile, has springboarded Newton into assignments for The New York Times Book Review and Granta. Consistently good reading, with just the right ratio of personal anecdote to debate.
David Edwards and David Cromwell
A long-running blog-cum-“media watch project”, Medialens is the baby of two British journalists intent on revealing the biases inherent in news agendas driven by profit: so witness weighty, considered deconstructions of the reported status quo, advice about how to best kick against this tide and possibly more Chomsky references than Perez Hilton.
Heather B. Armstrong
Heather Armstrong is in a hotel room in Washington DC. The previous day, the 35-year-old mother of two from Salt Lake City received an invitation from the White House to attend a “workplace flexibility” forum. Naturally, she jumped on a plane. “I’ll be in meetings all day with the President and his wife,” she says, trying to sound breezy, before chuckling. “I had no idea this would be my life.”
There’s no reason she would. Dooce.com was created in 2001 for Armstrong to post musings on pop culture and gleefully acerbic accounts of life as a “recovering Mormon”. When she had her first baby, though, “the blog traffic tripled in one day”: people wanted to know what happened next. So she blogged about everything, from her postpartum depression to mischievous takes on the foibles of daily life.
It was in 2005 that her husband suggested they could make a living if she accepted advertising. “I said, ‘No! No! No!’ I was very scared about the idea of supporting my family with a blog.” But she relented, becoming one of the first professional personal bloggers. Since then, she’s been given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Weblog Awards, been cited in Forbes’ Most Influential Women in Media list, written books and, now, met the President.
“And some people still reckon, ‘Who does she think she is?’ Which is fair. I was this housewife, and no one in their right mind would have hired me to write about my life,” she says. “So I just did it myself.”
The last few years have witnessed the rise and rise of the mummy blog. Dulwich Mum is a satirical take on the phenomenon, written by Bea Parry-Jones, a working mother in her late thirties. Just in case you don’t spot the tongue-in-cheek element, asides such as “(sigh)”, “(smirk)” and “(swoon)” liberally punctuate her writing.
The Huffington Post is left-leaning but its creator, born in Athens and educated at Cambridge, was a card-carrying conservative, married to a Republican congressman, before she changed political tack and started blogging. Now HuffPo, which attracted 40 million unique users in February, resembles your average news blog like a cruise ship resembles a canoe, and formidable networker Huffington has attracted the likes of Barack Obama, Madonna and Alec Baldwin to speak their mind on her site.
Gadget lives in Ruralshire, “a county in England, not too far from Metrocity” – an anonymity measure, obviously, because if this police inspector had his identity revealed, he’d be out of a job. His blog is where he lets off steam about the Home Office, bureaucracy and political-correctness training courses. It’s provocative stuff, and as an insight into life on the policing front line in 2010, it’s invaluable.
When she introduced Labour’s manifesto last month, the student was every inch the poster girl for political social networking. Never mind she once called for Brown to resign. “There aren’t enough progressive women in the blogosphere,” says the activist who aims to “squash Tory trolls”.
Markos Moulitsas Zúñiga
In 2002, 30-year-old Zúñiga founded a blog supporting liberal Democratic politics in the US. By 2005, Barack Obama was posting diaries on the site; today it attracts 2.5 million unique visitors. Some turnaround for a man who, though born in America, arrived back in the US in 1980 a Salvadorian war refugee. Once a Republican, a three-year stint in the Army (“Kos” was his nickname) rewired his politics.
Dale makes no bones about his own politics: he’s been a Conservative general election candidate and has written such tomes as The Big Red Book of New Labour Sleaze. It’s his blog, however, for which he is best known, with it claiming more hits than the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative websites combined. Witty and thorough, it is, for the time being, a wonderland of Tory oppositional thought.
He’s the blogger who could decide the election. Damian Whitworth meets Guido Fawkes
Like his 17th-century namesake, the political blogger Guido Fawkes likes to operate in the Westminster shadows and is loath to let too much daylight illuminate his mystique.
But he shed his anonymity some time ago and is now known to be Paul Staines, 43, a former political activist, City broker and rave organiser with a wild past. He is voluble on the subject of his right-wing libertarian views and his mischief-making blog. But he is cagey about where that blogging actually takes place.
His website, order-order.com, is published by a company based in Nevis. “Very hard to sue the company. It’s a litigation shield,” explains Staines. When pressed on whether he has an office somewhere, he admits, “Yes, there is a secret office, but it’s not mine. I don’t have a business address in the UK. I have a laptop.” The advertising sold on the website “pays for two junior staffers”. Unlike some other blogs, he says, he doesn’t have a union or rich rightwinger as a backer. It is just him. “I am Lord Evil.”
In the world of political blogging, Fawkes has found a distinctive voice; not by the way he expresses himself (though he is louder and angrier than most), but by breaking stories and claiming political scalps. He claims David Cameron as a reader and that George Osborne recently told Conservative Party staff he didn’t want leaks to Guido. The pep talk was leaked.
Last year, Staines obtained e-mail correspondence between Damian McBride, Gordon Brown’s top spinner, and the Labour activist Derek Draper, in which they discussed a smear campaign against Tory figures. Brown was furious and McBride resigned.
The net result has been a huge boost in readers, up to two million page views a month from about 150,000 different computers. He says his readership figures “jostle” with those of The Spectator magazine (the right-wing weekly sells 76,000 copies a week). The median reader is a 44-year-old male and the biggest identifiable source of traffic comes from the Parliament he despises, followed by the BBC. “Then it might be News International [parent company of The Times], Associated Newspapers, the investment banks, the bigger universities: Oxbridge, Manchester.”
Like his namesake, he wants to light a fire under Parliament. “I pretty much hate politicians as a given. I am a libertarian…British politics are pretty low-grade. The best people don’t go into politics nowadays, do they? There’s a difference between politicians and other people who fiddle their expenses. Newspaper men do not get on their high horse and say they are moral, upstanding citizens working for the common good. Politicians do. They are despised.”
The blog, which describes Gordon Brown as the “prime mentalist”, is written in the third person. “Guido is me times 150 per cent.” Staines is the son of an Indian-born engineer and an Irish mother. He considers himself Irish and carries an Irish passport, but sounds as you would expect a boy from northwest London to sound. After messing up his A levels he went to Hull College of Higher Education, “arsed around in student politics and got thrown out. I was one of those too right-wing for Norman Tebbit types. Spent a few years dossing around in think-tanks and pressure groups.”
He worked for David Hart, the right-wing activist and sometime adviser to Margaret Thatcher and Michael Portillo. “Did a lot of stuff behind the Iron Curtain. I was Hart’s aide-de-camp, it was great… We groomed Portillo for the leadership. After politics, did a bit of acid house.”
He is referring to a spell promoting raves and taking drugs “if I got a chance”. He spent 18 months playing blackjack for a living. “One day I lost all the money. Borrowed money off the Triads. All that sort of mayhem.” He became a City trader and ended up in Tokyo with “a terrible coke habit, chasing strippers”. The blog made its debut in 2004.
Over a coffee in a local café he is good company and wears his right-wing nuttiness lightly. He would rather Cameron was in power than Brown, but he wishes the Tory leader would be bolder and more right-wing. Whoever wins the keys to Downing Street, he’ll be causing trouble, for he is nothing if not tenacious in pursuing his feuds. Last autumn, Nadine Dorries, the Tory MP whose private life had been the subject of allegations in the McBride-Draper e-mails, sued the pair. Staines delivered the writ to McBride. “The look of horror on his face was priceless. And he had to pay me to serve him.”
You’d expect British comedian Mark Watson’s blog to be funny. But it’s also thoughtful, touching, self-deprecating and more besides. Watson updates it every day, usually at considerable length, in spite of a new baby and radio, TV and novel-writing commitments. Recent posts have tackled the Frankie Boyle Down’s syndrome debacle and “things that are really popular but which you don’t get”.
Sex at Oxbridge
How do you make your blog headline-worthy after a handful of posts? Write about your sex life as a female undergraduate. The author of Sex at Oxbridge has slyly neglected to disclose which of the two institutions she belongs to, and her anonymity remains intact after three months’ writing about drunken trysts with rowers and rugby players. If Belle de Jour or Girl with a One-Track Mind are anything to go by, she won’t stay unidentified for long.
In Britain, sex blogging tends to be a furtive act; the Americans are much more easygoing about it. Violet Blue certainly ain’t publicity-shy – Oprah has had her on the show as a pundit. At her daily blog, Tiny Nibbles, she writes about public attitudes to sex and makes her position on the pornography debate clear by posting NSFW pictures at every opportunity.
When a recent survey named the 24-year-old from Aberdeenshire as the most influential Briton on Twitter, the response from the mainstream media could be characterised in one word: who?
When Cashmore founded Mashable in 2005, online social networking was in its infancy. Twitter and Facebook didn’t exist, while sites like MySpace, Bebo and YouTube had only just arrived. “At the time, there wasn’t much coverage of what was happening, even though lots of people were interested.”
So he began blogging about them from his parents’ house. The readers flocked, ad revenue flowed and he relocated to San Francisco. Today, Cashmore has almost two million Twitter followers, while Mashable, his blog, claims over seven million monthly page views, making the softly spoken Scot a high priest for web users everywhere.
“I think my parents kind of get it,” he grins. “It’s not that they’re completely unsavvy, but sometimes I’m at a loss how to explain what I do.” And the fame? “It’s good to be recognised for having achieved something, but I don’t want to seem boastful. Maybe that’s a British thing.”
In June 2005, Michael Arrington started TechCrunch, a Silicon Valley blog that assesses new internet start-ups and other online developments. Five years on, the 40-year-old, who grew up in California and Surrey, is one of the most powerful people on the internet. Posting 30 or so stories a day, he breaks big news, such as Google’s acquisition of YouTube, and his approval is gold: a positive review on TechCrunch today usually means interest in your ingenious new app or social networking tool will explode tomorrow.
When Michael Yon calls, it’s from somewhere northwest of Kandahar, Afghanistan. He’s on patrol with members of the US Army’s 117th Infantry Battalion.
“They’re not doing much fighting at the moment,” he says, chattily. “The last mission we did was pretty uneventful.”
It’s not always thus. “People have been killed around me in the past, and I’m sure it’s going to happen again this year. I’ve been in so many firefights and seen so many bombings that I literally cannot remember them all.”
The ex-US Special Forces member has documented frontline life with American and British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2004. When first invited to Iraq he claims he “didn’t even really know what a blog was”. When he discovered the reality on the ground was a world away from the sanitised reports in Western media, he resolved to expose the genuine situation via his online dispatches.
By 2006, he recalls, “I was saying very clearly, ‘We’re losing the war in Afghanistan…’ I lost a huge number of readers because of that. But I stuck with [that view] until this March, when I said for the first time we might be turning the war around.
“I don’t call myself a journalist, because I do take sides openly. For instance, I am very pro-British soldiers and very pro-American soldiers: I can’t take that out… The British and American governments, on the other hand, well, they get different treatment.”