Sometimes spectacular talents — whether for art, words, code or seo — don’t gel well online, even for the exceptionally gifted.
Artists do art. Writers weave words. Programmers code. And seo specialists do whatever it is they do to get websites crawled, searched, seen, acknowledged, linked, and liked online.
To get all four talents working together on one blog with just the right thoughts, eye candy, professorial-level geekness, and social status is an accomplishment usually only admired and appreciated by those who do it for a living.
Even so, most — if not all — of these 8 great social media web design blogs have found their own unique ways to translate all their artistry, technical website savvy, word sculpting, and social acumen into web design blogs definitely still worth following on Twitter in 2013:
1. A List Apart @aliapart
L. Jeffrey Zeldman, Founder, Publisher, Executive Creative Director
Founded in 1997 as a mailing list, ALA’s “bold, interesting, and human” website launched in 1998 with a special focus on web standards and best practices, along the way exploring design, development, and meaning through web content.
If ever a site could be judged by the standards it sets for its writers, it’s this one. They love their contributors and look for project managers, developers, designers, strategic thinkers, and other specialists with big ideas and interesting voices who change the way their industry conceives, designs, produces, codes, and distributes web content. World-wide peer prestige is often their reward. They never “republish” articles found elsewhere and don’t allow press releases or product pitches, opting for a highly credible and respected stable of writers.
Highlights from A List Apart:
“Like the Roman god Janus… every web application has two faces: Its human face interacts with people, while its machine face interacts with computer systems…. Showing too much of either face to the wrong audience creates opportunity for error.”
2. Smashing Magazine @smashingmag
Smashing’s Sven, Vitaly, Iris, and Esther love high-quality content and good design, believe they’re crafts worth sharpening. They require two independent experts to approve every article before getting published and they pay all writers for their work.
Their goal is for Smashing to remain uncompromising, professional and independent online, never controlled nor influenced by advertisers, partners or third parties who may seek to influence editorial policies. The result of that integrity is a design magazine in a class by itself.
Smashing Magazine Highlights:
An excellent starting point for you to freshen up responsive design processes, with insights from Drew Clemens and promising tools and deliverable’s.
A few elementary macrotypographic techniques, with a tad micro, on how to combine it all to build readable, cohesive, adaptable web pages.
3. 456 Berea Street @rogerjohansson
Roger Johansson, Founder
A full-time web developer at NetRelations, Swedish interactive media and web pro Roger Johansson shares his favorite articles, tutorials, and comments at his 456 Berea Street web address. With most posts related to usability, accessibility, and web standards, he has a penchant for making the web more useful and usable for all. He’s not disabled, but has trouble reading small text, light text on dark backgrounds, and often lacks the fine motor skills needed for his mouse to manipulate drop-down menus.
Highlights from 456 Berea Street:
4. Meyerwebcom @meyerweb
Eric Meyer, Founder
From “Presto Changeo” where Eric Meyer looks back on the consolidation of word processing programs that left WordStar and Word Perfect insignificant and MS Word the defacto survivor. He muses about what’s become of Opera as it migrates to Webkit, his podcast tidbits in “Audio Waves,” and his guidance on “Where to Avoid CSS Hyphenation” in response to one of his commentors’ questions the week before, “Should I Hyphenate CSS?”
By all means and measures, Meyer’s site reflects a quiet, personal, and passionate conversation about the world in which his interactive peers live, eat, and breathe web design and programming — past, present, and future — with a particular passion for preserving the web’s fleeting past and all its associated, rapidly aging, disappearing relics.
A noted expert and speaker on CSS and HTML to groups large and small on the business benefits of using standards, converting HTML-based design to CSS-based design, and using CSS for advanced layout, Meyer shares a collection of problem-solving or enhancing tools, plugins, and hacks with website visitors.
While his site’s now a bit dated, it’s the web history he’s helped preserve that makes this one still a bookmarked favorite.
In September 2012, Meyer started a new web history podcast with Jen Sammons on The Web Ahead, interviewing those who made the web possible, sharing stories, insights, and perspectives that may otherwise be forever lost.
5. Simple Bits @simplebits
Dan Cederholm, Founder
Home-site of author, designer, and speaker Dan Cederholm, co-founder of Dribbble and Cork’d (the first social network for wine enthusiasts later sold to Gary Vaynerchuk), SimpleBits is where he writes about craftsmanship, web standards, design, CSS, markup, and life.
An honored 2012 TechFellow in Product Design & Marketing, Cederholm has worked with Google, YouTube, Microsoft, MTV, ESPN, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, and other household name tech companies.
He authored four books — Web Standards Solutions, Bulletproof Web Design, CSS3 For Web Designers, and Handcrafted CSS. An aspiring baseball-capped clawhammer banjoist, he hangs his cap in Salem, Massachusetts, but often dangles dangerous ampersands on Simplebits.
Resources on Dan Cederholm:
6. Six Revisions @sixrevisions
Jacob Gube, Founder and Cheif Editor
Launched in February 2008, Gube’sSix Revisions publishes practical, useful content, and exceptional, noteworthy tips, tutorials, and resources that web developers and designers appreciate.
Highlights from Six Revisions:
7. noupe – The Curious Side of the Web @noupemag
Michael Dobler, CEO and Dieter Petereit, Editor-in-Chief.
One of those “best to behold” beautiful websites, noupe is so full of inspiration that words cannot explain. One little peek and you’ll understand.
Full of passion and style, Noupe delivers dynamic news to global web designer and developer audiences, serving up only one goal — to help them “communicate effectively on the Web with an engaging website and functional interface.”
Categories include AJAX, CSS, Design, Photoshop, Tutorials, WordPress, Tools, Inspiration, Freelance, Showcases, Photography, and Wallpaper.
Showcasing noupe Highlights: