Ways to waste time – best of the blogs

If you are thinking of wasting some precious time online, non-Twitterers, do it here.  The Editor’s top arty and news-based blogs for the discerning procrastinator…By Alice Sage

Not everyone spends all day religiously keeping up with blogs, Twitter, RSS feeds and Facebook updates (I do.  Yay me) – but you are online right now, and obviously not busy, so why not see what else is out there!

Four arty-types:

Comics, jokes, diaries and doodles – the pretty blogs I love best…

No 1 A Little Piece Of Me covers a multitude of thoughts, doodles, beautiful pictures and interesting research.  Drawn, typed and confusingly arranged by Claire the Counselling student, followed by quite a large community of jolly folks.  A good place to wander about, clicking on things and leaving messages.  A very welcoming blogger…

And on the other side of the scale…

No 2 The Incredible Adventures Of Bean is a series of super-cute one-frame comics following the mundane, if lovingly illustrated, life of the eponymous Miss Bean.  This is a new site, just starting out and as-yet only sporadically updated.  However, that is soon set to change (I actually researched that).

No 3 Prozacville is a new one for me, but I am loving it already.  Psychology-oriented and surreal, it boasts a host of cartoon Prozac pills exploring life (in funny ways) for our edification and entertainment.  Well worth a follow as this is a commendably regularly updated blog.

No 4 BoneJangles is a personal favourite.  Hit and miss at times, though it is updated daily, so you are never far from a good’un.  This neat little sideline of a comic includes some day-of-the-dead style skeletons in long running situations and an occasional manatee.  The jokes are funnier, often, when you recognise the characters, so go back and check over the archives.  Mainly philosophy based humour, accessible and stylish.  Very pared-down like Bean (above)  but styles and layouts change.  My fave recurring character is Cafe Le Bon Mort’s resident rebel tramp:

At first I found it difficult to get into the whole blogging thing, but they are great resources for getting a deeper look at news stories and understanding how news media works.  So here is a join-the-dots of news-based blogs I have found myself following…

Four newsy-types:

No 1 Martin Cloake Online I know this guy, so that was a good place to start.  The personal blog of a London-based journalist, though less about Martin and more about London, journalism, politics and football.  Twitter lets me know what’s going on in the world – but following accessibly simple, chatty and friendly blogs like this is how I try to understand the news.  Includes a very full and nicely organised BlogRoll of handy links

…which leads us to:

No 2 The Media Blog includes contributions from Martin (above) and appears on his BlogRoll.  This blog is updated more than daily, so can be difficult to follow.  It has multiple contributors and is, therefore, less personalised.  However, it is pretty accessible, particularly if you ignore the maddening sea of links around the main articles and keep your eye on the quality content.  Obviously, this blog is about things that have appeared in the media.  Again, this means breaking down the news, how it works, and why.  Indispensably interesting.

And then to…

No 3 Robin Brown, wrote a very neat (and useful) article giving advice for bloggers, which turned up on Journalism.co.uk.  This lead me to look around Robin‘s blog, where I found  “what does Adrian Chiles Look Like?” (apparently he looks like a hungover bear)  I followed his blog on the strength of that post alone.  Written by a Liverpool based journalist it’s just as informative and newsy as the blogs above, personal and, occasionally, stupidly funny.  For a consistently funny, less sensible bit of Robin take a look at Robin Brown Tumbles – very pared-down, barely any reading to do and lots of videos.

No 4 SkriftRobin (above) Tweeted a link to this blog and an unusually uplifting article about online journalism.  A pretty near-perfect mix of personal interests, opinions, observations and current affairs, this is actually less media-oriented than the blogs listed above.  It dips between a broad range of topics, is generally pretty funny and pleasing to read.  In other words, a great deal of interesting content, supplied with humour, style and swear words.

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