The Daily Zen #6 “Who you really should be reading in 2014”

I’m snowed under a bit here in central Pennsylvania and thought I’d add a new Daily Zen for my millions of readers. I have millions of readers, right? Right?? Let us begin.


Over the holidays I came across this article by Matt Gemmell on who to read in 2014. At first I was excited and hoping he would recommend a bunch of hidden gems of writers that might not have a big audience. However, his first five writers are literally the biggest writers in the Apple/tech community – Marco, Gruber, Dalrymple, Brooks, and Blanc. He does add five more obscure writers, although even that list contains some fairly well known names such as Patrick Rhone and Guy English.

Now, I love almost all of these writers, but they already have so much recognition that I was hoping Gemmell would highlight some lesser known writers. It’s fine to read the “big names” but you are missing out on so much by not searching out smaller but sometimes vastly more interesting writers.

Thus, I’ll take over the reins and recommend some more obscure writers that have great blogs that you should definitely be reading in 2014. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but only a few writers I’ve been following that I think deserve greater recognition than they currently have. If you think I missed an important name, please mention them in the comments.

This is a brand new blog by Zac Cichy, but he has a track record as being the co-host of the great podcast The Menu Bar and also a interesting person to follow on Twitter. I think this could be the best new blog of 2014 and you’ll most assuredly get viewpoints and ideas that other blogs won’t be discussing.

I’ve only stumbled upon this blog by Sid O’Neill in the last month. However, his last few articles have hit it out of the park for me. Read his “Hauners” article to get a sense of his writing and way he thinks. He’s a great up and coming voice in the community and I wish I had known about him earlier.

This is a blog by Chris Gonzales that I’ve been following for close to a year. I think he’s evolved greatly over that time and I always enjoy his posts. While he links to a lot of interesting articles, I most enjoy his original articles, especially more out there ones like this gem, “Finding Your Own Meaning.” Also check out his great continuing interview series.

If you want great writing and intelligent insight, Nate Barham’s blog is a hidden gem. While he usually posts more infrequently than some blogs, his posts are always well thought out and interesting. He recently wrote a great and impassioned post about the gaming community that everyone should read.

Steven Aquino has made a name for himself in the past year with not only his blog, but also his freelance writing and podcast. While he is probably the foremost tech accessibility expert out there, I think he has great thoughts on tech beyond that niche. Take a look through his blog and you’ll see a wide variety of topics he discusses.

Jaime Ryan is someone that previously worked for Apple and has first hand knowledge of the tech industry. He uses that knowledge to give a unique insight into various tech issues. His blog is always interesting and he usually gives a viewpoint you might not see other places.


Old Article of the Day: “Do No Harm” by Anil Ananthaswamy. This article about people with a condition that drives them to amputate healthy limbs is one of those articles that sticks with you long after you read it, especially the first hand experience of a man who travels to Asia to illegally have his leg amputated.


Instead of following me on Twitter, follow every single one of the writers I highlighted – Zac Cichy, Sid O’Neill, Chris Gonzales, Nate Barham, Steven Aquino, and Jaime Ryan.

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2 thoughts on “The Daily Zen #6 “Who you really should be reading in 2014”

  1. Linus,Thanks for introducing us to some new bloggers. I like and read all of the people that Gemmell sucks up to in his piece, but that’s his shtick: point out the obvious and hope that Gruber, Arment, et. al. will include a link to the blog that is really Gemmell’s favorite–his own. The topic of most of Gemmell’s posts are about HIM and his never-ending quest to be recognized for HIS writing abilities (such as they are…). He focuses mostly on HIS work and how important HIS blog posts are to HIM, including in the piece that you link to–his own favorite articles that HE wrote last year! He writes about what and how HE writes, which makes him little more than an unbearable, self-promoting bore. So let us bid farewell to Gemmell and move on to writers who are interested in something other than themselves.

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  2. Linus,I dont mean to torch a dead horse, but in case you or your readers missed it, a few weeks after I entered my previous comment about Matt Gemmell, he made Grand Announcement that pretty much proves my point.As your readers will learn from Gemmells theatrical ode to himself, after a lengthy period of navel-gazing, thumb-sucking reflection on all of his historic achievements as a programmer and developer of apps, all of which is recounted with a gag-inducing degree of feigned modesty, our Bard of the Internet has arrived at a decision of epic consequence, one that is sure to change the course of blogging as weve come to know it: Matt Gemmell is now a Full-Time Writer. Yes, its true! So, let us sound the trumpets!As any true intellectual giant would do, Matt has agonized over this. He has stood at a window and looked out into the small hours of the night, asking [himself] the same questions over and over. Oh, the anguished soul searching of a man who thinks he may actually be a Writer in Waiting!To be sure, our gifted scribe is scared about his Big Decision, but being scared isnt the same as being unsure. I was a programmer for a living, but for better or for worse, Im meant to be a writer. The Gods have summoned Matt to the computer for a new and even higher purpose! Somebody must inform the editors at the Times Literary Supplement!The world is sure to be a more interesting place, now that Matt will be adding to the more than half a million words that he has posted on his blog (Who really keeps track of the number of words that one writes?), as well as the hundred thousand or so words of fiction out there in various dark corners of the internet that he has produced under a nom de plume. Please, Matt, reveal these great works of fiction to us!We can all rest easily, however, because Matt is really not the immortal figure that his various musings might lead us to believe. No, he is just a normal guy who is interested in so many damned other things besides his brilliance as a mere computer programmer. Indeed, The Next Great Blogger of Our Age is a perpetual student of the human condition, and a deeply flawed (and often frightened) example of it. Wow. Very powerful stuffMoreover, if you love Matts unmatched talent at the keyboard as much as he does, you can join the other 28 dumbasses who have signed up to be a patron of his efforts to create words with meaning. The gasbag is currently hauling in $106.51 for each article of genius about the human condition, social justice, technology and empathy. What else could a reader ask for?Alas, perhaps I come across as a bit harsh. I congratulate our Hemingway of the Blogosphere for giving it a shot. But someone really should introduce Matt to a basic fact about his new career path: When all you write about is yourselfhe used I 108 times in his Making Changes postits a slog to get a lot of people interested in your work.Nonetheless, Im sure that Matt is looking forward to December of this year, when he can formally place his name next to John Gruber and Marco Arment on the list of people who are worth reading in 2015.

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