Apr 24

MakeUseOf

I took a keen interest in all things tech back around 2007 when I wanted more than just music on my mp3 player. Initially, I tried news podcasts then searched around for something different. As a PC user, I looked for a PC related podcast and hit on the Mike Tech Show first off. A great show with great tips, links and recommendations and it was from a listener email there that I found out about MakeUseOf. Yes, it’s not obviously apparent what this blog is about from the name, but in effect, it’s really about making use of tech software and web services. From their website

The aim of MakeUseOf is to guide you through the web and tell you about hot websites that you have never heard of, best software programs, and all kinds of “how to” tips for Windows, Mac and Linux computer users.

From very early on, this has been one of my top tech blogs for tips and recommendations on great software, apps and web services. And not just me; they have around 450,000 active subscribers.

As I browse through the latest tech posts in my couple of hundred feeds in Google Reader, I’m constantly finding that, for me, MakeUseOf is number one for posts which catch my attention and which I have to read through, bookmark and ‘make use of’ as they say. I’ve learned so much from these posts over the years. Not only do they have great tech posts, but they’ve also published a number of tremendous free pdf format guides available for download. These cover everything from Linux to Reddit to WordPress. Or ask a tech question and get it answered at MakeUseOf Answers and find the best websites, software and apps at MakeUseOf The Best Of.

Let me say I’m not sponsored by MakeUseOf or affiliated to them in any way, just as always trying to pass on great recommendations. So subscribe to MakeUseOf in your RSS reader or follow them on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. You’ll find all the links at the bottom of their home page. And coming back to the subject of tech podcasts, three members of the MakeUseOf team put out a regular informative tech podcast called Technophilia which I now subscribe to. Check it out as well.


Apr 14
My top 5 tech bloggers
icon1 techandlife | icon2 Tech blogs | icon4 April 14, 2011| icon33 Comments »

hands on keyboard

After several years of reading RSS blog feeds, you get a feel for the authors whose posts you most look forward to reading and who rarely disappoint. I’ve picked out 5 tech bloggers who you might want to follow. I could easily have picked out 10 more but I’ll leave that for another day.

David Pierce

David writes at his blog Digitizd and covers topics from web tools and organization to writing. He aims to help you make the most of technology but yet is never too technical, always thought provoking and always a good read.

Matthew Guay

Trying to make tech simpler, Matthew blogs at Techinch but can also be found at Web.AppStorm, How-To Geek and Digital Inspiration, all excellent tech blogs. Covering mainly web apps and software, like David, he’s never too technical and always willing to help out with questions in the blog comments.

Lee Mathews

One of my favourite bloggers, Lee has put me in touch with many really useful web apps and software over the years. If Lee blogs about it, it’s generally worth trying. He got me started with LastPass some years ago and Chrome more recently. Lee used to blog at DownloadSquad but unfortunately, this site folded earlier this week much to my great dismay. In the meantime, you can follow him on Twitter. I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s actively blogging again and when he does I’ll update this post.

Rich Menga

Rich blogs at PC Mech and covers PC hardware, software and the internet. I find his posts on PC hardware, routers, networking, etc particularly useful and well written. He clearly know his stuff.

JL Beeken

JL blogs at JLog with the strapline ‘Simple computer technology for genealogists’ – but don’t let this put you off. I’m not interested in genealogy but find many of his posts incredibly useful and insightful. JL covers photo management and tagging, file organization, and backup among other things. Here’s a great recent post A Simple Backup Plan explaining file backup using the free utility Syncback.

So if you’ve enjoyed reading posts on my blog, I encourage you to look at these five tech bloggers – you’ll probably like them too. And of course if you really enjoy reading a particular blogger, I’d love to know in the comments.

Image credit: Gregory Szarkiewicz / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Nov 23
Top tech blogs – November 2010
icon1 techandlife | icon2 Tech blogs | icon4 November 23, 2010| icon3No Comments »

I’m currently following about 330 blogs in Google Reader and learn an awesome amount from reading great posts there.  I’m mostly interested in blog posts about new online applications and services, tech how-tos and tutorials, PC troubleshooting, Windows and Linux tips and tricks, learning Linux, learning WordPress, SEO, web design, and social networking. I star and tag the best posts that I find really useful and that I may want to refer to again.
Read the rest of this entry »


Apr 27

If you follow as many tech blogs as I do in your RSS reader (currently about 160 tech blogs in my Tech folder), a good number will probably be tech news blogs. When a big tech story breaks, the news can get blogged to death as each site puts up their own post rather than linking to or just tweeting someone else’s story. Understandable really, they all want to meet their daily quota of posts to maintain page visits and pagerank, and don’t want to miss out on big tech news stories.

Tech and Life isn’t a tech news blog. We concentrate more on blogging about useful web apps and services, and tips and tricks for Windows, Linux and WordPress. If I do come across some interesting tech news, I’ll generally tweet a good link, rather than adding yet another post to the blogosphere. Follow us on Twitter at @techandlife. I try and tweet the best 5 or 6 tech links I see each day.

I’ve noticed that Microsoft stories are particularly prone to reblogging. I’m thinking of Windows 7 ‘God Mode’ a few months back – everyone seemed to carry that story. More recently, it’s been Microsoft Fix It Center and just a couple of days ago, the Microsoft/FaceBook Docs.com story. Here’s the 16 posts on Microsoft Fix It Center gathered together in my Google Reader feed

Fix it

This reblogging can really clog up your feed reader so here’s what you could do. Read the story on one of the bigger blogs like Download Squad, ghacks or Lifehacker, bookmark it if you like, then set up a filter in Google Reader to suppress that story from your feed in future. I’ve blogged about the awesome Google Reader Filter before and using it to filter out stories you just don’t want to appear in your RSS feed. After about a week, the surge over that particular item of tech news will have subsided and you can remove the keyword from your filter.

Incidentally, if you’re interested in following some good tech blogs in your RSS reader, there’s a few good ones there to get you started.

Quick tip: Filter out tech news stories being reblogged to death is a post from Tech and Life. If you’re reading it in full elsewhere, it’s been copied without consent. Please go to Tech and Life to read the original post and many others in the archive.


Nov 14
10 top tech blogs to follow
icon1 techandlife | icon2 Tech blogs | icon4 November 14, 2009| icon33 Comments »

Having blogged for just over a year now, I never cease to be amazed at the time and effort some bloggers put in to produce tech posts which patiently detail a how-to or compile a list of great web apps, and on top of that, the blogger’s ability to post on a regular basis, very often in their spare time. I’d like to list a few of the best tech blogs I’ve found, not blogs passing on daily tech news, but those putting in a great effort to compile tech how-tos and walk-throughs or review and compare a number of web applications, clearly written and with great illustrations. These blogs are all great for the tech novice, and advanced users will find lots of interest in them too.

Hongkiat.com

Hongkiat

Covering blogging, web design, photography, list posts, tips and how-tos all with a great layout. Well worth checking out. And with all of these blogs, be sure to check out their archives too.

Giggle Computer

Giggle

I only came across this tech blog recently, I think through a link in a tweet, and I’m glad I did. Take a look through the archive and look at the range of stuff covered. Great walk-throughs and list posts.

WebAppStorm

WebAppStorm

Nice looking blog with list posts, round-ups, how-tos and reviews – and a sister site MacAppStorm.

Knowliz

Knowliz

Roundups, and how-tos covering Windows, Ubuntu, etc. I’ve bookmarked many posts on this site.

Technically Personal

Technically Personal

Raju started this blog about the same time as I started mine and is clearly doing a great job. List posts, news, tips, tricks, and tweaks, how to watch online content for free, etc. And he posts at least once a day. Check it out!

Dedoimedo

Dedoimedo

A real gem here. Just look at the range of articles on the home page – Linux, Windows, web applications, games, physics. A lot of effort put into each post and a wealth of information to read. Bookmark this site.

Smashing Apps

SmashingApps

List posts covering web design, web apps, tech, photography, and social media. Again a great back catalogue of posts to work through.

Tux Radar

TuxRadar

Very good Linux blog for beginners and advanced users alike. Walk-throughs, reviews and round-ups. Published by Future Publishing, publishers of Linux Format magazine, for me the best Linux magazine.

MakeTechEasier

MakeTechEasier

Covers tech cross-platform, and explains it in an uncomplicated fashion. Tech tips, reviews, walk-throughs and occasional list posts.

1stWebDesigner

1stWebDesigner

Lots of list posts for bloggers, web designers and developers. Ten out of ten for effort!

So that’s just 10 of the top tech blogs I’ve come across and I’m sure there are other great examples out there. I haven’t included the big ones like Lifehacker, MakeUseOf and ghacks which I’m sure you already know of. If you have any you really like – particularly those dealing with web apps, tech how-tos, blogs that pack lots of useful info, drop a comment below.


Jan 3

Thought I’d rerun the stats on the top tech blogs I followed in December to compare with my top blogs in November. I’m mostly interested in sites blogging about applications and services, PC freeware, PC troubleshooting, Windows tips and tricks, learning Linux, learning WordPress, blogging and social networking.

Google Reader can show you trends for the blogs you follow over the last 30 days. In Google Reader, I star posts I find really useful and that I may want to go back to at some point. So, for me, the blog with the most stars is effectively my top tech blog. Here’s a screenshot showing the top 20 blogs with the most starred posts in Google Reader in December.

Top 20 tech blogs - Dec 08

I have separate RSS feeds for Makeuseof and their Web Services Directory, that’s why they appear twice in the list. But when you take them together, they are still out in front as my top tech blog, followed by gHacks and Download Squad. I’ve taken a greater interest in Twitter and blogging in December so have started following a number of new blogs. Of these, Twitip and HowToMakeMyBlog have made it as new entries in my top 20.

If you’re looking to start following the RSS feeds of tech blogs, I can recommend all of these.


Dec 2
Top tech blogs – November
icon1 techandlife | icon2 Tech blogs | icon4 December 2, 2008| icon3No Comments »

Thought I’d rerun the stats on my top tech blogs. I’ve posted on this before but thought it would be interesting to see what’s changed since September as I’ve discovered some new blogs. I’m mostly interested in blogs giving info on new online applications and services, PC freeware, PC troubleshooting, Windows tips and tricks, learning Linux, learning WordPress, and social networking, and hopefully you are too. I love discovering new stuff!

Google Reader can show you trends for the blogs you follow over the last 30 days. In Google Reader, I star posts I find really useful and that I may want to go back to at some point. So, for me, the blog with the most stars is my top tech blog. Here’s a screenshot showing the top 20 blogs with the most starred posts in Google Reader in November.

I have separate RSS feeds for Makeuseof and their Web Services Directory, that’s why they appear twice on the list. But when you take them together, they are way out in front as my top tech blog, followed by gHacks and Download Squad. I discovered Madhur Kapoor’s blog back in October and it’s a new entry into my top 20 list. Digital Inspiration, PC Mech, Online Tech Tips and Windows Tips and Tricks (The PC Informant) follow on behind these.

If you’re looking to start following the RSS feeds of tech blogs, I can recommend all of these. I’ll be following them all thoughout December and into 2009.


Nov 11
Thank you gHacks!
icon1 techandlife | icon2 Tech blogs | icon4 November 11, 2008| icon3No Comments »

gHacks tee-shirt

I recently entered a small contest on the gHacks tech blog and received a tee-shirt as prize. Thanks guys!

ghacks I’ve mentioned gHacks before when I listed my favourite tech blogs. It’s a really good blog for technology news, freeware reviews, Windows and Firefox tips. I’ve subscribed to their RSS feed in Google Reader and find that I ‘star’ a higher number of posts for future reference on this blog than on any other tech blog. If you only want to follow one or two tech blogs as part of your daily news feeds then I suggest you give gHacks a try.

By the way, if you like the tee-shirt you can order them on the gHacks website! There are two different styles.


Sep 8
Top tech blogs
icon1 techandlife | icon2 Tech, Tech blogs | icon4 September 8, 2008| icon34 Comments »

I’m interested in tech blogs which give me tips on using software, troubleshooting Windows, freeware, PC security and useful new Web 2.0 sites and services. I used to have a number of blogs bookmarked in my browser and visited them individually until I listened to the podcast Bookmark Oblivion by Knightwise. The second part of this podcast deals with using Google Reader to collect the blogs you’ve subscribed to in one place using RSS feeds. So since January this year, I’ve been using Google Reader to fetch my tech feeds. Once you have added a few feeds, by clicking Discover, Reader will actually suggest new ones based on these so now I have about 75 tech feeds.

Not all are updated daily. I star the posts I find interesting and that I may want to refer back to and also add tags to those blogs so I can search back to find them.

304px-Light_bulb_icon_tips.svgTIP: There’s little point in listing all 75 feeds here but I’ve found that by using Trends in Reader, I can list say the top 20 blogs where I’ve starred posts most often in the last 30 days.

Here they are:

So if you want to subscribe to 5 or 6 really good tech blogs which are regularly updated, I would recommend gHacks, Download Squad, Make Use Of, PC Mech, Online Tech Tips, Techie Buzz, and Bill Mullins Weblog – Tech Thoughts.


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