Despite having almost constant access to a wifi signal for the past five years, not many blogs have captured my attention in a such a way to keep me coming back to them as a form of entertainment. There are a few, however, that break the mold:
1. “Dani’s Diary,” written by Dani Maxwell at WKOW-27
As a child, my parents played favorites.
Not so much with my brothers and I (although all three siblings have claims to support we’ve all been wronged at some point in our adolescence), but they definitely did with their preferred news stations. We’d watch WISC-TV 95 percent of the time, but there would be days we couldn’t get a signal to come through, and we found ourselves clicking to the next favorite station: WKOW-27.
That’s how I had the name recognition with Dani Maxwell earlier this year, as she wrote blog posts about the loss of her three triplet sons in April 2015. I was drawn to it, because even though I’d never lost a sibling or a child, I know someone who has: my own mother.
She talked about her brother Richard, born in January of 1969, and how she’d never met him, but felt a connection to him through her mother’s creative non-fiction writing, much of which she’d read after Grandma Toni’s passing.
Reading Dani’s Diary gave me powerful insight into the loss my four-year-old mother had dealt with, the quietness my grandfather exhibits when my uncle is mentioned and why it’s so important to my mother that she honored her little brother by christening my little brother with his name.
Dani’s blog posts convey raw emotion rarely seen, speaking about the ways she can honor the lives of her sons, who only lived for a few hours. The tone she presents her story with, one where she doesn’t hold back about how she struggled with the loss she felt, is what helped build her audience. By writing candidly about the loss of her children and turning herself into someone human, not just a distant TV personality, she gained an audience of those who had dealt with the loss of family members.
The only fault: she’s only written a few posts, but there will likely be more to come as she continues to cope.
A few links to her posts:
2. Love and Lemons Healthy Eating Blog
General knowledge about nutrition doesn’t come easy for a girl who ate maybe three slices of whole wheat bread up until the age of 16. That led me to becoming a vegetarian for a few years that still ate complete processed garbage with a Pinterest account of “Healthy fun recipes!” that I was never going to try.
That’s when Love and Lemons, a food blog focusing on mainly vegetarian dishes not filled with junk prompted me to put down my “vegetarian” cinnamon roll and seriously reconsider what my goals were. Was I not eating meat because I wanted to stick it to my steak-a-day family, or was it a long-term health goal I had for myself?
I’ll be honest, one of the things that stopped me dead in my tracks was the quality of the art on their blog. It made healthy eating look glamorous, and simple to obtain. Using quality photography to show the ease of eating healthy can aid anyone to at least giving it a shot, and IMHO, that’s one of the best strengths you can have. Showing that anyone can do it is basically saying your audience is as infinite as the number of people who are willing to try.
They’ll build more of an audience come March 2016, when they release their first printed cookbook. If anyone wants to buy me an apartment-warming gift two months early, you know what to get me.
3. 500px ISO Photography Blog
Looking at this blog makes my soul hurt.
Not just because I’m nowhere near as good as all of the photographers writing blog posts for 500px ISO, but because it shows the infinite potential of how creative you can be with photography. The articles range from the ugly beauty of the recent snowstorm hitting the East Coast, to how do create multiple exposure photographs and how to become a novice travel photographer, etc.
Going off the list I spewed off above, it’s easy to say this blog’s biggest strength is its diversity in the types of photography and the experience level needed to comprehend the material. Finding a way to reach the most basic learners while still engaging the most advanced photographers is can be quite the undertaking because of the differences in technical knowledge, and they seem to be able to do it pretty well.
Here’s where you can see some of the most breath-taking photos on the internet, and learn how to take them: https://iso.500px.com/