I’m often asked which blogs I read, so here goes…
I actually subscribe to very few blog feeds, normally limiting myself to no more than 15. I frequently add new feeds, but if they don’t prove their long-term value to me, I drop them just as fast.
Here are the current long-term survivors from my feed reader:
ProBlogger: Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger.net is a blog about professional blogging. This was one of the first quality blogs I found, and it’s been a consistent favorite. I don’t read every new post because Darren’s posting rate is prolific and many of the topics are beginner-oriented or simply not relevant to my situation, but Darren has achieved an outstanding balance of quantity vs. quality. I found his blog very helpful in getting my blog to generate income, but I had an advantage because I’ve been doing business online since 1995. Darren subscribes to many different feeds related to professional blogging, so I feel I don’t have to. If something relevant to professional blogging happens, I’ve noticed Darren almost always has a post about it within 24 hours. ProBlogger saves me time by acting as a filter. This is one of the few blogs where I occasionally post comments too, since I like helping other bloggers who want to go pro. If you have an interest in professional blogging, I highly recommend ProBlogger.
LifeHack.org: Leon Ho’s blog covers a variety of topics related to personal development and productivity. It doesn’t have as much original content as some other blogs, but like ProBlogger it acts as a filter and helps me keep up with what’s happening elsewhere in this field. I don’t read most of the posts that come via this feed (there are too many), but I scan the headlines to look for anything interesting, and occasionally I find a real gem that warrants a deeper look. This is the blog that first alerted me to polyphasic sleep, which has had a tremendous impact on my life. While ProBlogger acts as my net for the professional side of blogging, LifeHack.org is my net for the personal side.
How to Save the World: Canadian Dave Pollard’s blog intelligently tackles many of the most challenging issues facing the world today. He covers politics, economics, sustainability, environmental issues, and more. His voice is one of compassion and common sense in a world whose behavior could be labeled insane. Some of his writings have had a notable effect on me. For example, after reading about Walmart in his blog and later watching the DVD Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price, I decided to stop patronizing Walmart altogether, and I thank Dave for helping to educate me on things I was previously oblivious to. Nevertheless, I have something of a love-hate relationship with this blog. I have tremendous respect for the awareness-raising work Dave is doing, but I often find his tone a bit too brooding and defeatest. While the odds are long on some of the global changes that Dave and I would agree need to be made, I hold a more optimistic view that a shift in human consciousness is achievable before we drown in our own wastes (and with enough time remaining to repair the damage). Unfortunately, I think much of Dave’s writing will continue to fall on deaf ears until enough human beings raise their consciousness beyond a certain level. At present most people are still too fearful and disconnected to follow Dave’s example. Personally I feel the best thing I can do to save the world isn’t to be a vegan (been one since ’97), to buy local produce (Vegas cactus?), or to expose the evil acts of corporations (hasta la bye bye, Walmart). I think that approach is too little, too late and will ultimately fail. I feel the best thing I can do right now is to attempt to help large numbers of people reach the level of consciousness where they’ll begin to drop some of these modern insanities of their own accord and then influence others to do the same.
Quantum Biocommunication Technology (now defunct): Thomas Herold’s blog covers the unfolding consciousness revolution in science, especially neuroscience and quantum physics. What I like most about this blog is that the scientific discoveries it reports resonate so perfectly with my personal development work. I wish I had time to keep up with the latest noetic breakthroughs in addition to all the other fields I pursue, but there are too many new books that I’ll never get a chance to read. However, this blog helps me stay up to date with some of the latest relevant research and its implications to personal development. My only complaint is that I’d love to see this blog take more of these high-minded abstract concepts down to the level of practical everyday application. Often there is an application, but it remains laboratory-bound, and it isn’t clear yet how it could be applied by individuals. Even though this might require some unscientific speculation, I’d be grateful to see a little speculation in order to generate more possibilities for my own personal experiments.
HunaTrainer.com: This is a podcast, not a blog, about the shamanic system of Huna and its practical application to modern life. Whereas Quantum Biocommunication Technology feeds my mind, HunaTrainer nourishes my spirit. Pohaku teaches specific techniques to use the power of thought to affect reality through means other than direct physical action. This resonates with my personal exploration of intention-manifestation, including the Million Dollar Experiment. I started listening to this podcast in the summer of 2005 (back when it used to be called JediTrainer) and soon listened to every episode. While I personally don’t subscribe to a shamanic belief system, I have integrated many of its tools into my life as I’ve done with other belief systems. In some form I probably use these tools every day, although I’ve adapted them quite a bit. One example is the method of consulting intuition that I explained in Podcast #3.
Vanity Feeds: I have a “vanity feed” that finds blog posts that mention the word Pavlina. Pavlina is a Czechoslovakian name (a variation on Paulina, the female form of Paul), and lucky for me it’s uncommon enough that 90% of the blogosphere’s matches on this term are references to me or my wife. The other Pavlina’s in the world don’t have much of an online profile, with the exception of a Czech nude model named Pavlina, so her photos tend to spice up this feed on occasion. I don’t primarily use this feed to track my own proliferation through the blogosphere (trackbacks already handle that), so I mainly use it to further my own growth. Since I write about personal development, people who mention me are usually writing something about personal development too, so I like to check out what they’re writing, especially as they expand on posts of mine. Most of the reasonable terms I might use for a feed on personal development are too broad to provide useful results, but my own name has effectively become a filter for finding relevant posts in this field (nude photos notwithstanding). I also like that this feed allows me to see how people are applying various ideas and what results they’re getting. Occasionally I post some advice or encouragement as a comment.
ErinPavlina.com: This is my wife’s blog, which is fairly new. Whereas I tend to address personal development from a very masculine perspective, she addresses it from a more feminine one, focusing on topics like spirituality, compassion, and interpersonal skills. She also addresses more new agey topics like astral projection and lucid dreaming; her skills in these areas far exceed mine. For more than a year, Erin would tell me how much she enjoyed reading my blog and how it enhanced her opinion of me, and now I can relate because I feel the same way about her writing. I don’t know how many other husband-wife blogger teams are out there, but I believe this arrangement can have very beneficial effects on a relationship. Co-blogging is a fascinating channel for learning about your partner.
That’s really it. The rest of my feeds are new ones I’m still testing, or they’re feeds from local friends who just started blogging. Over the past couple years, I’ve temporarily subscribed to countless other feeds, but I triage ruthlessly to keep my feed experience productive and empowering.
Most of my personal development reading is actually done offline. I currently have a queue of 25 books, CDs, and DVDs to read, most of them sent to me directly by authors and publishers. While I use blogs to become aware of new ideas, I favor the greater depth of books and audio programs when I want to learn something specific. I find my education is best served by a very select group of blogs combined with books and audio programs from experts in their fields.