While the final decision on which blogs and bloggers would make the cut was decided by you people, we at Home Rejuvenation also did some semi-scientific research of our own to 'validate' the findings. We referred to notable blog ranking sites like Technorati, The Truth Laid Bear and Alexa, and found that the amount of traffic and number of back links to a blog largely coincide with how influential that blog or blogger is. Many of the design blogs we've come to term 'the big boys and gals' showed up on our list.
At the same time, we are happy to see some of the 'small boys and gals' garnering a pretty impressive amount of votes and have come to believe that every blogger can indeed have a certain extent of influence on others, whether the number of readers ranks in the hundreds, thousands or millions. If enough people appreciate what a blogger is doing, he or she can equally be regarded as influential (and inspirational) to those within a little community.Nevertheless, a poll is a poll – we respect the decision of all those who have voted here. Though you might not like every single blog that's listed here, just treat it as a guide to the best in design blogging. Also, it is never the purpose of this poll to demean any bloggers or blogs which aren't on this list. As echoed by Holly Becker from Decor8 in our email conversation earlier on, “a blog should be a personal space where a person shares whatever it is they are either for or against and should be authentic and from the heart. When people start thinking that their blog isn't good enough, they lose their passion and I see this time and time again and feel really bad”.
Enough said. Here's a rundown on the 10 most influential design bloggers:
Pegged as 'a visual filtration of ideas + aesthetics + amusements', this blog is, in the words of voter Melina, “contemporary leaning and highly stylish”. The musings here cover all aspects of creative design in a tasteful manner. No big surprise, considering that the 24 year old founder Jean Aw holds a Masters Degree in User Experience Design where she focused on both conceptual and visual design and usability research.
Without trying to sound unfair, this is one blog I thoroughly enjoy reading every single time I visit.
I'd say we have the hardworking ladies at Desire To Inspire to thank for introducing us to so many talented designers and architects along the way.
Original content is obviously on the mind of many when they cast their votes, as displayed by Sarah. She says, “A lot of bloggers write about things that have already been covered on other blogs... but most of Holly's posts are original. For that alone, it beats other blogs hands down!”. Woah.
2. Apartment Therapy (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/)
The blog that first introduced me to design blogging. While this blog is not always about design – it dishes out posts on home improvement regularly – Apartment Therapy possesses all the elements to keep its wide base of readers happy. From monthly contests to product review to free classifieds where readers can trade their second-hand furniture, the blog is committed to “connect people to the resources they need to redecorate their home, while reducing their reliance on stuff”.
Voters generally think that AT deserves a spot in the top ten as they have not across another blog which focuses on providing so much useful information and ideas on small space design. The opportunity to 'peep' at other people's houses (without breaking the law) is another big draw. Readers love to chip in freely with their personal opinions and tips on décor problems posed by other readers here, making it one of the most interactive of all blogs around.
Furthermore, contests like The Smallest, Coolest Apartment and the publication of the book Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure also cemented Apartment Therapy as a brand (on home-related resources) rather than as a conventional weblog.
At long last.
The only blog that surpasses Apartment Therapy in terms of sheer influence (and votes), Design*Sponge is written by Brooklyn-based writer Grace Bonney. Launched in August of 2004, her weblog features store and product reviews, sale and contest announcements, new designer profiles, trend forecasting and store/studio tours.
Having worked as a freelance writer with top publications like House and Garden, New York Home and The New York Post, nobody would doubt her credentials and influence. With a knack for uncovering indie designers, Grace's writing style is “always fluid and witty”. Many people also find her sneak peeks and guides very helpful, and adore the “extremely practical and useful ideas” she offers.
While you might think being positioned number 225 on Technorati's own ranking system (at last check) is nothing to shout about, you'll start to be very impressed when you find that D*S, with Apartment Therapy at number 234, are about the only design-oriented blogs on their Top 500 list.
There you have it - the 10 most influential design bloggers at the moment. Are you surprised by the findings? Or do you have anything to say about the blogs on this list? We'll love to hear from you!
Next week, we'll roll out our special feature '3 questions that matter', in which some of the most influential design bloggers will share with us their views on this global phenomenon called blogging. Keep your eyes open.
Meanwhile, hop on over to Laissezfaire for their '10 new design blogs to watch'.