Top 15 geek blog sites

Lifehacker took our top spot because of its great time-saving tips

Some blogs educate, help people collaborate, spark ideas and just plain expand our thought universe. Others stir emotions and anger us or make us laugh. The editors of Computerworld got together and offered up a list of their favorite blog sites. We pared more than 50 submissions to the top 15 technology blog sites based on breadth of information, newsworthiness, design, frequency of updates and entertainment value.

Sure, the list is subjective, but we think this is one of the best catalogs of blogs that has ever been published. The entries ran the gamut, from serious technology news and reviews to commentary on games and the latest tech gadgets. We included some honorable mentions at the end because the competition was so close.

Of course, not everyone will agree with our selections. If you think a blog site that's not on our list deserved a top 15 spot, share it with us in the comments section.

1) Lifehacker

www.lifehacker.com

Lifehackers' motto says it all: "Don't live to geek, geek to live." This blog offers timesavers of just about every stripe, from Firefox shortcuts to tips from the "Getting things done" faithful.

2) IT Toolbox Blogs
http://blogs.ittoolbox.com
IT Toolbox has a number of "in the trenches" IT pros who talk about technology and management issues. There are specialist blogs dealing with security, databases and project management, among other subjects. It's a versatile site.

3) Valleywag
http://valleywag.com
Bring in the noise, bring in the snark. Valleywag is for those who believe that the tech industry lives or dies by the scuttlebutt pinging around Silicon Valley. And it's amusing for those of us who prefer that the lotus-eaters of Northern California stick with the dishing and tongue-wagging, leaving the rest of us to get the real work done.

4) Kotaku
http://kotaku.com
Kotaku is the snarky, gamer uber-blog. It has everything from reviews and gossip to cheat tips. Just about anything you'll ever need, including which game to buy and how to play it.

5) Danger Room
http://blog.wired.com/defense
Wired's military and defense blog writes about some of the coolest and scariest military technologies -- not to mention scandals, debates and other military news. Lots of video and imagery are included.

6) Gizmodo
http://gizmodo.com
Gizmodo's got the scoop on all the latest toys and cool and wacky inventions -- from high-def TVs and coffee makers to booze belts and USB drives. You've got to love a site that publishes photos of a solar-powered bathing suit. Yeah, they also blog about serious technology news too.

7) O'Reilly Radar
http://radar.oreilly.com
This is where you can read Tim O'Reilly (founder of O'Reilly Publishing) and others discuss networking, programming, open source, intellectual property, politics, Web 2.0 and emerging technology.

8) Techdirt
http://www.techdirt.com
Techdirt is a newsy, "tell it like it is" blog that frequently features debates on the hot issues in the Internet and computer fields. Scandals are a specialty. Simplicity is its hallmark.

9) Groklaw
http://www.groklaw.net
Groklaw's raison d'etre is needling SCO in its long-running legal fights against IBM and Novell, but the discussion sometimes veers toward other issues that involve technology, intellectual property, and government regulations.

10) Hack a Day
http://www.hackaday.com
Want to learn how to add USB to a cheap Linux router? Create a snake robot? How about an XBox 360 laptop? Hack a Day has these basement projects and many more. This site is for the serious techie. At the same time, it's good for a laugh or a new hobby.

11) Engadget
http://www.engadget.com
As Coke is to Pepsi, so Engadget is to Gizmodo. It's all about gear, gossip, techish issues and the occasional rant. It's got great product photos, and the editors have access to pre- and early-release gadgetry. Also, some really funny homemade junk. But we prefer Gizmodo.

12) Feedster
www.feedster.com/feedpapers/Technology
Like drinking from the hose. This Web page brings together blog sites about technology, sports, celebrity gossip, food, personal experiences -- you name it. It also offers a blog search feature that allows you to input words or phrases, and it has a very cool RSS aggregator for news feeds. It also injects some great humor into technology news. An all-around great site.

13) Forever Geek
http://forevergeek.com
Forever Geek is a great site with a myriad blogs on diverse topics, from technology and general interest news to movie and game reviews. Definitely a geek paradise. If you want to learn about the upcoming Iron Man movie or read a review of Photoshop CS3, this is the place to go.

14) Rough Type
www.roughtype.com
Nick Carr -- of "Does IT Matter?" fame -- has a sharp-minded blog that discusses all manner of issues and trends relating to technology. Always an entertaining read, Rough Type often locks horns with companies, people, technologies and policies that rub Carr the wrong way.

15) Smorgasbord
www.smorgasbord.net
Billed as a site for gadget- and game-loving geeks, this blog also serves up articles that cross over into the political and celebrity news of the day. The combination of entertainment value and tech news make Smorgasbord a top contender.

Honorable mentions:

1) The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)
www.tuaw.com
TUAW offers collection of independent bloggers -- that is independent but not undecided or uninformed. It's a good source for Apple-related news. The only reason it didn't make the top 15 was its singular topic focus.

2) Elliot Back's blog
http://elliottback.com/wp
A self-professed computer scientist, Elliot posts everything from his opinions on why XML sucks, to the Titanic's passenger list and reviews of movies like 300. This site is diverse and well composed, offering great tips on topics such as increasing system performance and blocking spam.

3) Ed Foster's Gripelog
www.gripe2ed.com/scoop
There is a new crop of blogs that highlight poor customer service for consumer electronics, bad UIs and outright rip-offs, but Ed Foster has been doing it longer than anyone else. Check out these recent topics: Defective DRM, tricky warranties on plasma TVs and bad mobile phone service.

4) Gadgetell
www.gadgetell.com
This is a great site if you want to get the latest gadget and game news along with some topical opinion pieces.

5) 4sysops
http://4sysops.com
This is a very useful with well-written tips and how-to's for Windows admins.

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