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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Some Good Reading

After all of the headaches surrounding tonight, I thought a little break was in order. I have been wanting to make a post like this for a while, but the summer league stuff and Chops drama has made it all but impossible.
Having a blog is a tough thing to do. Most writers create a site, post some stuff, and hope that somebody reads it. Sometimes it takes a couple of days; sometimes it takes a few weeks. Unfortunately there are times that nobody seems to discover a blog at all.
Getting a blog noticed is hard work. Most notoriety comes from word-of-mouth. Occasionally sites get found on random Google searches, but getting a site to ping is tricky business. Site pop up on Google based on complex algorithms which calculate number of visits, number of sites linked, number of sites lining to, date of last post, etc. Even then, you may not know what you are getting into. Blogger has a nice feature, "Next Blog," that allows you to visit a random blog. Unfortunately you literally hit a random blog, which sometimes means foreign languages. A search button would be much more useful...
All of this brings me to the point of this post - I have compiled a list of blogs/sites that I routinely visit and have provided a brief description of their content. Please do the author(s) and yourself a favor by checking them out:

Yardbarker: Kyle Harrison - The personal blog of the professional laxer (Denver Outlaws), Nike/STX spokesman, and former Johns Hopkins standout. Harrison gives his take on everything from the latest lax gear to the MLL to movies. Sometimes he writes his posts and sometimes he videos them. Always entertaining and informative. The 2009 K18 line by STX debuted here...

412 Lax (Virtual Varsity) - Written by a University of Pittsburgh (MCLA) player, this site is devoted to college lax, particularly the under reported MCLA. Topics include uniforms and equipment used by club programs, the skill levels around the MCLA, the state of the league and its programs, NCAA lax, pro lax, etc. Every once in a while he divert from lax for a humorous post or to discuss the Pittsburgh Penguins. His posts are usually golden.

LaxBuzz - I've just started reading this blog and I do not read every post. It is fairly comprehensive and covers pretty much all things lax - from MLL to 6th grade girls programs. Very informative to say the least...

Alien Hockey - Started by the former owner of the now defunct Des Moines hockey store, Alien Hockey, this site focuses mostly on the adult hockey scene in the DM metro. Joe's infusion of humor makes his adult league "predictions" a worthwhile read. Posts about the various adult leagues and tournaments are the norm and information about youth leagues appears from time-tom-time as well. Chops and Bucs news sometimes appear. Joe was the first person to publicly predict the "Chops" name; he did so in his store around April 2008...

The Iowa Chops - Fan blog about the local AHL franchise. May be a victim of no readers...

Puckdrawn - Focused on hockey uniforms, logos, etc. Great concept work and home of some outstanding design concepts. Some of the stuff here blows away the actual NHL teams' designs. Every once in a while you will also stumble across a nugget of league news.

Icethetics - Mostly a logo concept site. There have been brackets and battles to determine the best logo/uniform in various hockey leagues. Very focused on how hockey teams look on and off the ice. Posts are not as frequent as they once were...

American Pro Hockey - Comprehensive site of all things dealing with pro hockey. Primarily focused on the under reported and chaotic minor leagues. Links to full articles which the author takes tidbits from and then comments on. Very useful place to navigate the minor league hockey scene. Soem original content and interviews as well.

American Junior Hockey - Take everything I said above and apply it to junior hockey.

The Third Intermission - Houston Aeros fansite. While not an Aeros fan, I have discovered that this site does a better job of covering our division of the AHL than any other. His insights are often ahead of the curve. It would be nice if the aforementioned Chops blog was at this level of coverage...

Pete the Il-uh-strey-ter - The chronicles and online portfolio of a working illustrator/artist. Some interesting stuff including original artwork. Some step-by-step examples of his work evolving from a paper draft to a computer rendered finished piece. Very aesthetically appealing style.

Des Moines Is Not Boring - Pretty self explanatory... Articles about various goings on in the Des Moines area. Designed to prove that we no longer live in Dead Moines.

Wasted Words No Longer - Original works of short fiction - primarily horror and sci fi. Plans to include nonfiction, essays, poetry, and other works in the near future.

Why I Suck - Personal stories, observations, and humor from a fairly intriguing Des Moines resident. Michael describes himself as "a lazy and worthless human being," but his posts are easy to relate to. His cynicism works as a defense mechanism that adds to the complexity of his posts. This is one of my all-time favorite blogs.

-If you've read any of these and want to recommend them, please comment below. The same goes for any other interesting blogs you've stumbled across. If you have a blog/site, post the address so people can check it out!

Tribe 7