Exploring the Reader: Pet Topics
In Owning your Reader: Pet Topics, Michelle looked at some of the tags that keep her Reader abuzz, before opening up the conversation to the tags and topics that most fascinate you. Today I’d like to pick up on that idea and explore a few more tags, and see what’s grabbing your attention lately.
The Reader can be an unwieldy forest of content if left untended, and at times it can be hard to see the wood for the trees. By following tags that interest you the experience can become a lot more personal, giving you a constant source of ideas for your own blogging, or just for something to browse while you’re sipping your morning coffee.
We’d love to know the tags that keep your attention rapt if you have a minute to drop your favorites in the comments. Here are some of my personal favorites, and the reasons that they keep me coming back for more:
The Transhuman tag yields a ton of fascinating explorations of what happens when technology and humanity dovetail. From tattoo-based password encryption keys to Descartes, Kickstarter campaigns to biological computers, here’s a tag that runs the futuristic gamut. If you’re at all interested in the shape of things to come, and the ideas, ethics, and advances in our collective shift away from our “natural” state, this is a tag you might enjoy skimming through.
One of the things I love about WordPress.com is the fact that news and issues facing people the world over continue to be explored long after they cease to be traditionally “newsworthy” for the major networks. It’s been a little over two years since the calamitous Tohoku earthquake and subsequent Fukushima meltdown, which means that for the most part the aftermath has fallen off the TV news radar. Not so with WordPress.com, where news, opinions, and information continue to circulate often, and from multiple points of view. The same can be said for any news story to an extent — while it may disappear from the headlines, you’re likely to be able to explore the aftermath or ongoing issues you won’t find elsewhere via the Reader. The news doesn’t end when it stops being newsworthy, and WordPress.com bloggers continue to run with stories that the novelty hungry mass media often tire of, however important they might still be.
Lovecraft is ever a divisive author, but the worlds he created have outlived him, and have a thriving home in your Reader, as well as on the web at large. From Cthulhu plushies to recordings of his stories, film reviews that namecheck the man and his work, to philosophical treatises, the Reader is a veritable Necronomicon of the weird, eerie, eldritch world of Lovecraft and his Old Gods. If you’re a Lovecraft fan, dive in. If you’re not, this tag might just convert you.
As a child of the eighties, eight-bit video games are in my DNA, and their blocky, pixelated aesthetic, along with the bleeping, screeching strains of their soundtracks, have become another mainstay of the web. The 8bit tag yields a bounty of daily goodness ranging from saucy yet inventive NSFW retro games to lengthy, thoughtful essays on the history of video games, and from chip tune musical masterworks to some truly amazing pixel-inspired art. 8-bit media might be a thing of the past, but on the Reader they’re very much a concern of the present.
At least since the days of Henri Cartier-Bresson taking candid shots of people’s everyday (street)lives with his Leica, there’s been a rich photographic tradition that aims to avoid the stilted, posed family photo style for something more real, more spontaneous, more dedicated to capturing those illusive “decisive moments” as they happen. The Street Photography tag in your Reader yields an endless stream of beautifully captured moments from other people’s lives, other people’s streets — an ongoing history of beautiful, everyday moments.
Over to you
Of course a lot of these topics might be an acquired taste — we’re all different. If you could take only five tags to your desert island Reader, which would they be?
If you’ve never added a custom topic to your Reader, now’s a great time to start! To follow a new topic, scroll to the bottom of the topic list, put your term into the search bar, and hit the “+” sign to start following. You can also visit the Topics page to search for a topic (“Cognitive Science”), and then decide whether you want to follow it.