Boston may be one of the top technology hubs in the U.S., but we are a laggard when it comes to high tech commentary online. Our local VCs, entrepreneurs, and big company executives have adopted social media with less enthusiasm than their west coast counterparts. For example, Boston has only 2 of the top 20 venture capitalist blogs (as rated by Google Reader).
So what’s the big deal? Unfortunately, high tech commentary has become the grease that lubricates the high tech engine. When Guy Kawasaki talks about using Flipboard, people are listening; and when Marc Andreessen talks about his latest cloud investment, you know an industry is paying attention.
The good news is that we do have a small but growing group of high tech bloggers that are beginning to make a difference. So for today’s post, I’d like to call attention to my top 10 influential personal blogs for the Boston area.
10 - BUZZ in theHUB
BUZZ in theHUB is the blog for Tom Summit, a local recruiter and founder of TalentGraphz. Tom has a great pulse on the startup market, and his site is often where I first hear about new Boston startups (Boston Web Startups Q4 2010, Launching Soon?). His blog also covers events (The Keys to Brand Transformation: Learn From Local Success Stories) and local personalities (A Boston Angel You Should Know).
9 - VCMike’s Blog
Mike Hirshland is a general partner at Polaris Ventures focused on internet investments. He was promted to start his blog in 2005 by WordPress co-founder, Matt Mullenweg, as a requirement to investing in his company. Mike’s investments sound almost left coast leaning (e.g. Automattic, Hangout Industries, LolApps), and his blog reflects these interests. He’s also one of the higher rated VC blogs on the internet. Whether he’s making observations based on talking with industry experts (The Best Viral Strategy: A Great App) or talking about a hot new company (I Just Saw the Coolest Company!), his posts are always worth a read.
8 - HighContrast
Simeon Simeonov is founder and CEO of FastIgnite, entrepreneur in residence at General Catalyst, and serial entrepreneur who previously co-founded Thing Labs and Allaire. His blog focuses on high tech startup topics with a stream of consciousness style. He sometimes take on hot development topics (Agile ideology in startups), or talks about how writing a bash script led him to some insightful thoughts on cloud computing (The next reincarnation of cloud computing).
7 - Innovation Economy
Scott Kirsner is a Boston Globe columnist, author of Fans, Friends And Followers, and arguably the best known tech writer for our area. His blog is hosted at Boston.com and is usually news or event focused (MassChallenge, For the Win: Cultivating All Kinds of Great Start-Ups). But perdioically Scott also provides general purpose advice (Generating buzz for your venture). Scott in one of our more influential local personalities, so definitely a blogger to follow.
6 - Venture Cyclist
Venture Cyclist is the blog of Richard Dale of Sigma Partners Venture Capital. Richard free ranges across a number of topics, typically revolving around topics relevant to his investments. His posts often have some much needed humor (VC: VC Can I offer you a euphemism, Is a VC letting you eat your lunch?, or Last word on Venn Diagrams). Did he really recently say: "Seasoned means . . . old. 'Will you do an informational interview with my cousin. She's quite seasoned.'"
5 - OnStartups
OnStartups is the personal blog of Dharmesh Shah, CEO and co-founder of the Cambridge-based HubSpot. Dharmesh covers a variety of topics revolving around startups. Sometimes he talk tech (Why PHP Is Fund and Easy Buy Python Is Marriage Material), and other times he talks business (11 Ways Your Startup Can Deliver Support That Will Increase Sales). He also regularly uses guest bloggers to keep the content fresh.
4 - Seeing Both Sides
Jeff Bussgang is a general partner at Flybridge Capital in Boston and former entrepreneur (co-founded Upromise, executive at Open Market). His blog focuses on startup topics that range from the entrepreneurial (The ABCs of Starting an Investor Pitch Meeting) to the venture side (Can VCs Be Value Investors?), and is syndicated to several sites. Jeff is also the author of Mastering the VC Game, and one of our better known local personalities.
3 - For Entreprenuers
For Entreprenuers is part information portal and part personal blog. It is written by David Skok, general partner at Matrix and former founder of the local success SilverStream. David has aggregated his advice in a series of articles and blog posts. The articles often provide deep analysis on highly relevant entrepreneurial topics (Optimizing your Customer Acquisition Funnel, SaaS Metrics - A Guide to Measuring and Improving What Matters). David’s entrepreneur side shows through on this site, and his insights and wisdom are always worth a read.
2 - Bill Warner’s Blog
Bill Warner was the founder of Avid Technologies and is very active in local startups. In addition to running a collaborative space for entrepreneurs, he also engages in a variety of high tech organizations focused on supporting entrepreneurs (e.g. MIT Gordon Leadership Program, Mass Technology Leadershp Council, TechStars). You can try to follow Bill’s frenetic pace on his blog, whether he is at unConference (I love Boston. I love Cambridge. I love it here) or talking to his old boss from Apollo (Start Hero: Mike Gallup Was My Boss at Apollo - Without Him, Avid May Never Have Happened). Bill’s contagious passion for high tech startups and Boston shine through his writing.
1 - Startable
Startable is a blog by Prasad Thammineni and Healy Jones, former Wharton classmates and now colleagues at OfficeDrop. The blog focuses on general high tech themes, including venture investing (Seed investors are not gone - ignore the hype) and entrepreneurial topics (Video marketing seems to really work), with a clear local theme (Keeping startups in Boston). I only recently came across this blog, but think the content and frequency of posts make it one of the better ones I read.
A few years back Scott Kirsner commented that one of the changes Boston needed to make to maintain competitiveness was to develop a "vibrant blogosphere." A lot has changed in the local area since then, and certainly our interest and investment in blogging and social media has substantially increased. Local blogs provide a great way to keep in touch with the high tech community, and also help promote our local companies, products and people. So next time you have your morning cup of coffee, take a few minutes to learn something new and support your local bloggers by reading their latest blog posts.
You can follow these bloggers on Twitter at @tsummit, @VCMike, @simeons, @ScottKirsner, @rdale, @dharmesh, @bussgang, @BostonVC, @billwarner, @officedrop_ceo, @HealyHoops.
Also if you want to look beyond personal blogs to local tech news, take a look at VentureFizz or BostInnovation.