For the past several years my nightly web surfing consisted of visiting the following websites:
- Shawnblanc.net, a blog about Apple, tech, and design.
- Marco.org, a blog about iOS app development and tech
- Loopinsight.com, a blog about Apple, iOS app development, and tech
- The Verge, a site about all things tech and pop culture
Here’s the thing: I am involved in a lot of creative environments, film and fiction writing being foremost. But iOS app development has never been one of them. Yet every night I would spend time looking at all these tech sites unrelated to both my job and the projects I did on the side.
I knew these things were outside of my regular sphere, but I shrugged it off as a guilty indulgence. I do find the Apple/tech world intriguing so after a while I just went with it. I would listen to podcasts like Accidental Tech Podcast, which is all about development. I would sketch app ideas and even considered learning how to code apps. But in the end it was just a side hobby. Actually, not really a hobby. More like a vague interest.
At the start of 2015, I decided to change things up. What if I spent my time reading websites that wrote about the things I’m directly involved in? It’s only been a couple months into this experiment and I am loving it.
Here are a few sites I’m trying out:
- Fifty Foot Shadows, thoughts on life and photography
- Analog Senses, thoughts on life and photography
- Prolost, thoughts on and products for film
- The Dissolve, film editorials and reviews—great content here!
- Jamie Todd Rubin, the writing life
- Janice Hardy’s Fiction University, consistently insightful writing advice
- Backchannel, a new addition with well-written, in-depth tech articles
- Suggestion of Motion, in-depth articles about film, specifically the Panasonic GH4, which I own
- Garrett Koepke’s blog—my brother is writing some great stuff about travel, with beautiful photographs
- The Music Bed Community—at first just a stock music site, TMB have become so much more
This is a longer list than I used to check, but that is offset by the fact that they post less frequently. Instead the pieces are more focused on really thinking about a topic. It’s a slower pace that I’ve come to appreciate. And yes, there is still a tech website on there. That’s because Steven Levy writes some of most insightful, engaging, and well-written articles about tech I’ve found.
After just a couple months of changing the websites I read, I’m already feeling a difference. Reading Fifty Foot Shadows and Analog Senses has inspired me to get a film camera and try my hand at slower paced, more focused photography. The editorials by The Dissolve and Stu’s writing at Prolost is helping me be more thoughtful about my filmmaking—a category to which I’m excited to add The Music Bed.
The point is, I’m reading good writing about the topics I daily interact with. The content is encouraging and inspiring me in the things that I create, and I’m really thankful that I made the change.