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Let's hear it for irrelevant blogs

? BW Letters to the Editor |


| Yahoo's audio search: Play me dum diddy dum dum dum ?

August 04, 2005

Let's hear it for irrelevant blogs

Stephen Baker

A couple of months ago, Dan Pink responded to this post by sending me a copy of his book, A Whole New Mind. The book makes the case that in a world with cheap computing and lots of ready workers in India and China, we have to bolster our creativity. This involves nurturing so-called right-brain areas, from design and humor to empathy.

To open ourselves to new ideas, Pink suggests an exercise. Go to a big magazine stand and buy 10 magazines that are totally outside our traditional interests. Then read them. If I remember right, he says that he got a couple of new ideas from baking and lawn design magazines.

My idea: Why not do this with blogs? It's cheaper and faster than buying a bunch of mags. Do any of you know great (and relatively unknown) blogs that have absolutely nothing to do with business, news or technology? Nominations are welcome. If enough come in, I'll put them in a post with links.

04:24 PM

new blogs

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? Is Your Blog Irrelevant? from Futurosity

Stephen Baker, over at BusinessWeek's Blogspotting column, has posted an entry about reading blogs that are totally outside your traditional interests to spark your creativity. [Read More]

Tracked on August 4, 2005 07:06 PM

How about a blog that provides a peek inside a vortex of creativity, Living with Legends: Hotel Chelsea blog.

Posted by: AHCB at August 4, 2005 05:15 PM

Great idea, but why limit it to blogs?

I've written up a few of the magazines I've read recently and some of the blogs I visit when I need a diversion from "business, news or technology" at But if you really want to think out of the box, try Random Web ( Click on the Generate Random Words button, then click the I'm Feeling Lucky button. You never know what you'll find.

Posted by: Robert Ellis at August 4, 2005 07:24 PM

That is a good idea. One of the dangers of the internet is how easy it is to filter away anything you don't like, anything with which you disagree.

Posted by: Michael Martine at August 4, 2005 08:34 PM

How about one on parenting? Trust me, that doesn't have much to do with technology, through maybe marketing (think the intersection between sales and coercion, with a little bribery thrown in, is more accurate):

It's just, of course, the tip of the "irrelevant blogs" iceberg! :-)

Posted by: Dave Taylor at August 4, 2005 10:27 PM

I often find it interesting that with 80,000 blogs a day being set up, people think that these must all be about business, politcs, technology or news. There are many genres of blogs out there that are doing a great job. I think that the latest debate on the Technorati 100 and Jason's latest offer to provide a new list will do well to shake out the A-listers and perhaps allow some more cream to rise to the top.

Posted by: Jim Turner at August 4, 2005 10:36 PM

Blowing my own horn...

I augment my own business-oriented Focused Performance blog with the potpourri aptly named Unfocused -, which peaked (in my own humble opinion) last September, documenting a vacation in China.

Really impressed the family.

Posted by: Frank Patrick at August 4, 2005 10:47 PM

A couple of times a month I'll troll around for blogs outside of my typical interests. I discovered a nice blogger local to me about handicap access issues, and another local blogger "The Looneys" who just cracks me up. They're both in my blogroll under "Longmont."

Posted by: Fritz at August 5, 2005 01:14 AM

i am not sure i get it. there will be tons of blogs which are personal diaries and would not be connected with news, technology & biz.

to help you anyways, here are some such blogs (dont know about the 'great' part of your criteria!!)

Posted by: srini at August 5, 2005 04:25 AM


My blog This French Life provides news, advice and information for people living in France, or keen to move there.

Posted by: Craig McGinty at August 5, 2005 04:36 AM

Great idea, Stephen. A good replacement for the 10blogs meme. There's a new blog up today called Writers' Blog Alliance. It aims to set up a network of writers who work through their blogs. Ground breaking?

I would recommend my own blog, but I've already been chided by "This Blog is Full of Cr"p" for doing that in 10blogs. Silence is the best meme of all.

Posted by: John Evans (SYNTAGMA) at August 5, 2005 05:47 AM

I'll suggest, a golfing resource blog. Great writing, and totally outside what I normally pay attention to.

Posted by: Matthew Oliphant at August 5, 2005 07:53 AM

you know, well, maybe not...but, i think the blog site will pretty much get most people in touch with a great many blog sites.

you can view blogs by city or topic or things that interest you...

if i have missed the mark with this response, sorry...=]

Posted by: jbr at August 5, 2005 01:52 PM

Most Blogger blogs have a "NEXT BLOG" button in the upper right corner that takes you off to a random blog. It should say "Another Blog", since there is no true ordering, as far as I can tell.

It's fun. It takes you on a deep, gritty tour of the Blogosphere, or at least of the Blososphere "continent" called Blogger (

It's definitely highly irrelevant to whatever assignment you are *supposed* to be working on today.

-- Jack Krupansky (14 days to go)

Posted by: Jack Krupansky at August 5, 2005 01:55 PM

For creativity, here are some great design and crafting blogs to look at:

Posted by: Juliana Aldous Atkinson at August 5, 2005 02:45 PM

I'm kind of partial to physician blogs when I need a break. Some of my favorites are:

The Examining Room of Dr. Charles:




Posted by: Sue Pelletier at August 5, 2005 04:16 PM

My approach on this is to follow on a weekly basis random links from one blog to another and on and on up to 10 blogs. Almost without fail I run across some great inspiration or idea. Being a blog nomad is a productive creative influence.

Posted by: Jeffrey at August 6, 2005 07:20 PM

Here is a blog of a Surgeon. A very interesting blog.

The URL :

Posted by: Venky Krishnamoorthy at August 7, 2005 12:24 AM

My blog, "Numenware", must be the only one out there on the topic of "neurotheology"--the relationship between the brain and religion. I try to keep posts frquenct and objective.

Posted by: Bob Myers at August 8, 2005 06:24 PM

Two of my favorites...

book of joe

J-Walk Blog

Posted by: Shawn Lea at August 9, 2005 01:00 PM

"Irrelevant" is a little harsh...maybe "topically unrelated"?

We all like to think we're relevant, at least to our own audiences...

Posted by: Esther Kustanowitz at August 9, 2005 01:49 PM

Esther, I came to the same conclusion as I wrote the follow-up to this post yesterday. So I avoided 'irrelevant" and called them "out-of-the-way blogs."

Posted by: steve baker at August 9, 2005 05:55 PM

Sports Photography for Parents is a blog by a complete photography amateur - me - about taking action photos of the kids playing sports. How "irrelevant" or "out-of-the-way" is that?

Posted by: Randall at August 12, 2005 11:53 AM

Check out for an unusual take on living with diabetes.

Less and less irrelevant, I guess, with this disease reaching epic proportions. The Wall St Journal even mentioned me in a story on "patient blogs" back in May... Pretty neat!

- AmyT

Posted by: AmyT at September 17, 2005 08:07 PM

topically unrelated

Posted by: embroidery at January 19, 2006 05:28 PM

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