John Jago

Personal blogs I enjoyed reading in 2023

I wrote last month about traits of blogs I genuinely enjoy reading, and a reader mentioned it to me in an email, so I thought it would be good to list a couple of them.

Search engines are not particularly good at helping people discover personal writing on the web, so I’m excited when I find a good blogroll, like or

I considered having a blogroll of my own, but it would inevitably change, so I find it more interesting to create a blogroll once or twice a year, a kind of snapshot in time.

Here are all the blogs I have bookmarked as my favorites as of January 2024. The more recently bookmarked ones are on top. — a director at a Canadian digital agency who uprooted to China in 2005 and started a company which is today a major consultancy, sharing his story in a few poignant posts.

I’ve fucked up so many times since I arrived in China in 2005, I struggled to pick any specific anecdote. I decided to not choose and simply tell the many ways I fucked up on my way to creating and growing my company, Wiredcraft. — technology choices, web programming projects, and artistic things. — literary takes on society and technology. I liked How Websites Die for its comprehensive description of a phenomenon that happens all the time but that we don’t really think about. — life lessons and unique ideas for note taking. — university student who makes a lot of web projects and writes about them. — brief notes about working on I like reading these behind-the-scenes thoughts. It’s actually the inspiration for what’s currently on — a journal about design-related software projects, where I got the name “work logs” from for — law, technology, and programming. — the classic. — another classic. — science and society, wordy and rambling but fun to read. — this year he started a series called People and Blogs, which is about people and their personal blogs. A must read, naturally, if you’re reading this. — what puts this blog on the list is that one person is talking about a wide variety of topics, from overkill objects for everyday life, to programming languages, typefaces, and DIY accounting for SaaS companies, just to name a few. Usually, you don’t see typeface designers who have experience in quantum computing, and vice versa. This leads to discovering new viewpoints as those viewpoints aren’t siloed. — if you like reading approachable essays that help you understand things you didn’t before, this is the place. Also a lot of good reminders. Apparently, my impression matches what the author intended, which is a good sign:

Above all, my goal is to share essays that capture the essence of what it means to be curious and search for understanding.

Road to Ramen — though it hasn’t been updated in a while and is moving between domains, DK’s daily work logs—really daily, unlike the other two—were delightful to read to see how Browserflow came to be. It even led me to to using Browserflow and writing a testimonial! — DHH’s (creator of Ruby on Rails, among other things) latest writing place. Probably the one that best balances frequency of posting and quality. — to be fair, I haven’t read this one as much, but a few posts I did really stood out.

Here’s what I know: if someone’s much better than you at something, they probably try much harder. You probably underestimate how much harder they try. I’m not saying that talent isn’t a meaningful differentiator, because it certainly is, but I think people generally underestimate how effort needs to be poured into talent in order to develop it. So much of getting good at anything is just pure labor: figuring out how to try and then offering up the hours.

マリウス.com — how often do you see a punycode domain? — does a lot of things and doesn’t complain. — not as active recently, but has a few gems like this take on how comparison kills creativity. & — similar to three others above, fun to read behind-the-scenes thoughts of the person behind a product with a wide reach. — programming and other topics explored deeply, plus great photography. — most “left an impression on me” posts for a single blog.,, & — you could say he’s mastered the art of side projects. — apparently the first one of these I bookmarked.

I hope you find some of these insightful, if you’re also on the lookout for good, personal writing.