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Widex’s Blog Picks for Teens

By Lindsay Hutton

Widex’s Blog Picks for Teens

The good news about the internet is that everyone can have a blog. Some might say that’s also the bad news, but in a world where social media sites like Twitter and Facebook seem to be taking over the hearts and minds of most console trolls, there are still thousands of terrific blogs covering everything under the interwebs.

First things first. If you haven’t already, look into a RSS (Really Simple Syndication) reader for your smartphone or home computer (Google Reader is a good start). These readers compile all of the blogs you choose to subscribe to in one-stop shop, instead of having to navigate to each page separately.

Here are some of our favourite top-drawer pickings in the blogosphere:

Teen Ink – This site isn’t a blog in the traditional sense, but worth including because it features dozens of user-driven categories to share your creative work, be it poetry, photography, video or even movie reviews. Perhaps best of all is that it creates a positive space to critique each other’s work, minus the snarky peanut gallery.

The Soundtrack of My Life – A project of a student in Virginia, this is one of the most wide-ranging blogs about music you will ever read. Offering thoughtful, non-judgey takes on everything from punk to electro-pop, this blog will have you doubling your playlists exponentially inside of a month.

17 and Baking – Did someone just say peanut-butter-and-jelly loaf? Dust off your oven mitts and take a look at the baking blog of Elissa (who is now 19, by the way) whose entries would make even those without a sweet tooth drool. This isn’t just a run-of-the-internet recipe blog, either – Elissa is a real charmer with her storied, often hilarious, blurbs about each recipe.

Mental Floss – Every wonder why author Edgar Allen Poe got kicked out of the army? Or how much your favourite TV character would actually earn in the “real” world? Me neither. Therein lies the genius of Mental Floss, which gleefully digs into the weird and wonderful footnotes of culture. If anything, a wonderful daily dose of random stuff that will up your small-talk game.

Indie Games – The Weblog – Not for the weekend gamer, Indie Games takes a long view of the gaming world and focuses on games by independent designers and coders: the quirky, groundbreaking stuff that isn’t quite what you find at Wal-Mart. An excellent enclave for gaming trend watchers and those working toward getting in the ‘bizness.

Sports, Spice and Everything Nice – Imagine Amy Poehler was a tomboy with a near-encyclopaedic knowledge of sports and this is what you would get. Boston-based college student, E. Peterson lays down toothy, sarcastic commentary on everything from hockey fights to the Rose Bowl.

Reading Rants! Out of the Ordinary Teen Booklists! – Sure, we’ve all had someone link to a books blog featuring titles that seem as interesting as an afternoon waiting in a doctor’s office. For the past 10 years, this blog has featured the best picks across genres and gives an honest, chatty critique from the capital of hip book nerds: Greenwich Village, New York City.

Not Exactly Rocket Science – Science blogging it-boy Ed Yong started out his blog in grad school, then was picked up by Discover magazine earlier this year. You can see why. Yong regularly rounds up the best nuggets of science news and views on the web, from what happens when a Slinky falls to a recent study on globetrotting snails that travel across oceans by hitching ridges - inside birds, no less!

And while we’re talking blogs, why not think about creating one yourself, or with some like-minded friends? Nowadays, staking your own little piece of the blogosphere is just as easy as Facebooking – no prior knowledge of coding or html is required to get started. Wordpress and Tumblr offer no-fuss interfaces to frame up your ideas. However, a few words of caution: the internet is forever! Make sure you think twice before you hit the ‘publish’ button!