Looking for places to hang? Smashing Magazine offers “42 Design/Tech magazines to read”. I often have difficulty getting started on a project or writing assignment and I go to my aggregator and read until I find inspiration. I always start with some that I know consistently spark an interest, but I do a lot of exploring for new ideas and just to initiate the get-started juices flowing.
Sometimes you may need to find a community or a person who offers regular news, tips, design wisdom, etc. to get you started on new ideas or just to keep up with what professionals are doing. The Smashing article lists a lot of sites I haven’t checked out yet – so if any of you read one I haven’t seen, let the rest of us know it was of value to you and why – when you get a chance of course!
Some of my regular spots to hang include:
Digital Web Magazine, a solid edited work of many of the top designer/developers, with topics on everything anyone has felt important to write about.
A List Apart, sponsored by Jeffrey Zeldman, is also an important source of invited guest authors, some of the best in the business here also.
Boxes and Arrows is a serious journal approach to peer-reviewed articles about design, info architecture, and related topics. It has been an important voice in the industry since 2001.
Vitamin is a newer community oriented approach to zines, focused on the web design/developer industry. Good articles, job boards, community forums, etc.
9 Rules is also a community oriented site that collects the “best of the web” with articles, practical tips, and news of the industry.
A group of sites that are industry references, specialty areas, and news about the industry include:
Read/Write/Web, a no-nonsense place to keep up with emerging web trends, web 2.0, and general news.
Wired, online and print versions (AID library) is one of my must reads. My personal subscription to the print version is running on about 12 years now!
TechCrunch, is about technology issues affecting our industy – that stuff we absolutely have to keep informed about to do our work.
Mashable specializes in everything social networking, and it does it with flare and depth. Their reporters give live views of conferences about this exciting aspect of the industry.
.net is another online and print magazine with some of the top guys in the industry such as Andy Clark and Andy Budd serving on its editorial board. One of several outstanding British publications, I catch this one in our library every month.
Lifehacker is the tech workers answer to organization processes such as Getting Things Done. Useful and informative information about how to keep yourself participating in the information explosion and to many due date deadlines!
Digg and Slashdot bring us user directed news about the industry – each with its own unique process, but driven by its user community as to what is published, and important to be published. At least one of these may be a mainstay, depending on which you like.
With all of these resources, find the ones that are meaningful to you, and find out who is behind the effort. Get to know the names of people communicating about the industry, as well as noted designers and developers whose work you respect and admire. Build yourself a community within your domain of interest.