2015’s top 11 websites for insightful and in-depth articles. You won’t believe what #12 is! (kidding about that last bit, duh!)
The internet is a wonderful place — a place to learn, to gaze, to wonder, to share, and to converse. However, most websites these days seem to be about one thing, and one thing only — making the moolah. With tempting, vacuous, and ‘curiosity gap’ “clickbait” headlines becoming the norm, it’s getting harder and harder to find respectable places that actually provide original, insightful, and in-depth articles and news on a regular basis. Luckily, there are still some great sources that you may not yet know of, and I will outline each of them below:
1. Snapzu — This user curating/voting community reminds me of Reddit (or even Digg) at its infancy. Members can post links, videos, comments, various contributions and vote. The fact that it’s invite only (but you can request one on site with your email), along with XP progression and personal reputation scores keep this place mostly free of spammers and trolls. It also includes a wonderful visual grid-like front page, where content gets larger with more votes, and excellent for those (like me) with larger monitors. I could go on, but TWIT (This Week In Tech) recently had a short video review on them and if you’re interested, you can find and watch it here.
2. /r/TrueReddit — One of the few insightful “subreddits” on Reddit left, along with /r/insightfularticles, /r/foodforthought, /r/indepthstories, and /r/redditforgrownups. Lots of daily user added/curated content make this a must visit on a regular basis, unfortunately Reddit’s complex format can be a bit rough on the eyes and a challenge to get used to for some. Tip: Use this link to combine and browse all the best subreddits I mentioned above into one list.
3. Medium — Medium needs no introduction. (Hint: you’re on in right now.) As the company puts it, “The world has reached a saturation point of shallow, thoughtless content, and half-skimming through these pages of filler is increasingly unfulfilling. Every day, your Medium homepage is full of stories with depth and meaning — stories that make you laugh, cry, and actually feel things.”
4. Longreads — In their own words, “Longreads features the best storytelling on the web from hundreds of publishers. Story picks include longform journalism, short stories, in-depth interviews, and even historical documents”. Longreads can be new stuff from current magazines and newspapers, or old classics. Online since 2009, it’s been one of my favorite places. The one downside is that there isn’t a lot of daily content, but most articles are worth the time to read.
5. Longform — Longform.org recommends new and classic articles from all over the web. Article suggestions, including writers and magazines submitting their own work, are encouraged. Longform usually only considers pieces over 2,000 words. Longform was founded in 2010 and Longform Fiction was added in December 2012 and features well written and long fictional stories. Like Longreads, the content is outstanding, however updates are scarce.
6. Digg — The “new” Digg, after the infamous v4 collapse was re-branded and is now an excellent hand curated blog of daily articles, media and news. In a way, Digg is the anti-portal. Portals were created in an internet era where it was hard to find interesting stuff to read online and they aimed to cram as much useful content as possible on one page. In contrast, the Digg team prizes simplicity and hand curates the best of the web on a daily basis. It’s updated nearly every morning on every weekday. They are also aiming to bring back conversations sooner than later.
7. Priceonomics Blog — Don’t let the name fool you. Yes it’s a blog run by a data crawling company, but it has some of the best random “brain pickings” topics and they typically have 3 – 4 fresh articles every week. Every post published on the Priceonomics blog is in-depth, well-researched, statistics-based, and totally engrossing. The folks at Priceonomics prioritize putting out amazing content for free, and they really set the bar high. It’s definitely worth a look once in a while. They even published a book: Everything Is Bullshit: The greatest scams on Earth revealed.
8. Inside.com — Modeled on lean mobile-first startups like Instagram, Inside.com wants to be your front door to news on your phone, by using humans as aggregators and filters, not reporters. In a nutshell it’s mostly news summed up into smaller digestible news, but often links to some very insightful articles. Readers can follow certain topics and thumb left or up and down to find new stories.
9. Hacker News — Hacker News is an early Reddit clone (summoned in 2007, just after Reddit was born) that has slowly turned into a top hub for technology, business and programming link sharing and discussion, all while keeping that original simple Reddit look. It is run by Paul Graham’s investment fund and startup incubator, Y Combinator. As Graham puts it, “In general, content that can be submitted is defined as anything that gratifies one’ intellectual curiosity”.
10. REDEF — Longtime popular curator Jason Hirschhorn’s REDEF newsletter/website collects forty of the best tech, media, business, and culture articles every day. If you work in these fields, or if you simply dig smart, never-boring articles, it’s essential reading. It creates daily “interest remixes” which are curated information streams focusing on specific categories. Definitely worth a look around.
11. Listverse — Listverse says, “We are a place for explorers. Together we seek out the most fascinating and rare gems of human knowledge. We write, we read, we learn — and in the process, we have fun. Every day we publish three or more amazing lists packed with as many new facts as possible. You will always leave Listverse smarter than when you arrived. Guaranteed.” Honestly, it’s by far the best source for finding in-depth lists about all sorts or topics stuffed to the brim with facts and details.
There we have it folks. Go on, enjoy them. Happy New Year’s and happier reading!