The technology and culture sites you need to know
The internet is a big place; this is the best of it, for technology and media nerds like me
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Technology is a fast-paced industry, and staying up on what’s happening at the intersection of technology and culture is tough. There are a number of sites I admire and use as resources when aggregating stories to publish Codebrief. In no particular order, these are some of the best technology blogs and websites, and the best culture blogs and websites. Enjoy on your own, or subscribe to Codebrief, which will refer and link to many of these sites on a weekly basis. Of course everyone can visit the technology section of their favorite newspaper or find news about movie openings or stars from Variety, the New Yorker, or any other number of nationally recognized publications, but that’s not what this list is about; it’s about recognizing the often unrecognized publications that do great work in synthesizing the news and make sense of it.
The preeminent technology analysis site, written by analyst Ben Thompson. It’s a must-read for anyone remotely interested in the business and strategy of technology companies and the impact of these companies on society at large.
CB Insights is a firm that makes its money by providing in-depth analysis and reports to paying subscribers. For non-subscribers though, they send out fun newsletters about startups and disruptive technologies once a week or so, which give high-level overviews of their latest research, as well as brief commentary on other trends and news. It’s a newsletter that provides a lot of levity to an industry that often takes itself to seriously.
A multi-weekly newsletter (is that a thing? they usually publish two or three times a week) covering everything DNVB (that’s digitally-native vertical brand, for the uninitiated — think Warby Parker, Glossier, Everlane, and all those other companies that started as a mere ad in your Instagram feed). They provide great coverage of the businesses reshaping consumer habits and the venture capital behind these businesses. They’ve also cultivated an active and passionate community via Slack and other channels.
A self described “wondermissive,” this weekly newsletter is delivered every Sunday, providing links to articles from around the web on self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, and other so-called “exponential technologies.” A great newsletter to understand the high-level trends impacting every industry and person today.
Okay, suggesting Hacker News isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but their weekly newsletter does a great job of distilling all of the headlines that pop to the top of the site for those who can’t stay on top of it every day. It provides the best in programming, design, business, and more. A great window into the hacker world, for non-programmers (like me).
John Gruber is the Apple blogger to listen to.
The preeminent technology news aggregator. For the more aurally inclined, also check out their daily podcast, a 15-minute roundup of the tech news from the day.
I can’t afford the hefty subscription to The Information, but their weekly newsletter still provides a great overview of what they published the week prior, as well as characteristically cogent analysis from founder Jessica Lessin.
Casey Newton is an editor for The Verge (probably my favorite online technology publication), mainly covering Facebook and other social networks. This is his nightly newsletter, providing an overview of the day’s news. I don’t subscribe anymore, mainly because I became overwhelmed by the constant stream of FB controversies of the past few years, by Newton describes and analyses this controversy better than anyone else out there.
Publishing some of the best long-form pieces out there, often analyzing how technology is impacting what it means to be human.
Benedict Evans is VC Andressen Horowitz’s big thinker – he sends out a weekly newsletter of links from around the web, often providing a blog post that synthesizes his thoughts on the big trends in tech.
The Wall Street Journal of the fashion industry. Quite simply, this is the go-to resource for business people in the fashion industry. Founded in 2007, BoF provides daily analysis about whatever’s going on with fashion and the businesses creating the trends of tomorrow.
Started by Ben Clymer ten years ago, this is the go-to stop for all things watches. New releases, in-depth analyses, and a surprisingly entertaining podcast make all of Hodinkee’s content a must for mechanical watch nerds everywhere. Oh, and you might even spot a post or two by one John Mayer.
RIP Racked, long live The Goods. When Vox shut down the Racked brand in early 2018, it promised to roll its fashion, consumer and retail content into a new sub-brand under the Vox flag. Well, we finally have it, in the Goods, and its content to date has been superb. Of course, Vox’s Eater also churns out great content for the foodies among us.
A publication fast gaining in popularity, The Outline provides unique and sometimes odd takes on all variety of culture and society. It was started by the founder of the Verge, who was also one of the founders of Vox Media.
Well-known but by no means a household name, Fast Company focuses on the future of the businesses we all know and love. And, with its recent purchase of Co.Design, the publication is also a destination for understanding the design strategies these companies are pursuing.
A special publication by Quartz focused on all things consumerism: from design to dining to decor.
This one’s for the guys, but Gear Patrol does a pretty good job of putting its readers on notice of the best new tech and fashion gear so its worthy of a mention here.
David Fischer has built something of an empire at the intersection of sneakers, fashion, and music, becoming an authority on streetwear in the process.
The weekly newsletter of Web Smith, who’s something of an authority in the ecommerce-retail-brand space. Subscribe for his thoughts.
Okay, this one is off topic, but just subscribe. You never know what you’ll get from Scott.
Of course, I try to stay up to date on popular, more general-interest news sources — Verge, Vox, Wired, NYT, WSJ, Digg being some of my favorites — but I think these lesser-known sources are worth highlighting.