Sunday, April 27, 2014

Revisiting "Another Blog You Should Read"

Yes, more wordy news. This time we're revisiting our "Another Blog You Should Read." series, before we start adding new posts to the series. Here's where things stand now with our previously featured favorite bloggers:
  1. Bruce nh/Bricktales and the "_Bricks" blogs - these are still going strong and there are even more of them now - in addition to the previously mentioned MicroBricks, VignetteBricks, GodBricks, and MinilandBricks, there's now also ArtisticBricks, ContestBricks, ComicBricks, DisneyBricks, SciBricks, and TolkienBricks. All of which are quite good, and updated fairly frequently. Incidentally, you can also use ContestBricks as something of a replacement for that Contests calendar layer we recently covered the demise of.
  2. Mariann Asanuma's Model Building Secrets - Model Building Secrets is still as fantastic as always, although perhaps updated a bit less frequently these days (justified by her ongoing career as a professional LEGO artist). Since 2009, she's also become a fixture on the convention circuit, allowing more of us to put a face to the name behind the blog. She's been getting more commissions lately, including a recent Rocketship House for the upcoming game WildStar Online.
  3. TechnicBRICKs - TechnicBRICKs remains up to date and largely the same as it was when I recommended it in 2009 - the emphasis is still primarily on set news, with videos, techniques, and original creations being more occasional features. It's a must-read if you have even a passing interest in Technic, and a good way to keep up to date with the seemingly endless stream of new Technic pieces we've seen in recent years.
  4. The NXT Step - The transition from the NXT kits to the EV3 kits didn't stop The NXT Step. Although updated a little less frequently than it was in 2010, it's still a good source of Mindstorms news - the best Mindstorms news source in RSS format that I know of (although I may be slipping, since the Mindstorms community tends to gather around forums instead of blogs).
  5. reMOCable - Mike Doyle's reMOCable was apparently a bad call - it hasn't been updated since September 2011 (and we only featured it in August of 2011). It was a fairly new blog when I recommended it, although his Snap blog was more established at the time. Snap primarily focuses on his own creations and displays instead of covering other people's models, but is certainly worth keeping up with (and can take reMOCable's place on this list). Entertainingly, I described reMOCable as a cross between a blog of LEGO creations and a coffee table art book - and now Mike Doyle's gone on to release a coffee table art book of LEGO creations (a second volume is on the way). We probably won't end up reviewing the book (since it came out during our unintentional hiatus), but No Starch Press lets you see some pages from it online.
As a housekeeping sidenote, while we are still using the "Another Blog You Should Read" tag, most of our tags/labels will be in flux until this site's new format is settled in (and we have no idea when that will be). The handling of tags/labels was one of the things we didn't like about the 2012 update of Blogger, and we weren't terribly organized with them beforehand.

As another sidenote, at one point, we were planning on making a Google Reader Bundle for all of the other blogs we've highlighted here. Now that we're up to fourteen (14) blogs (with more that I intend to cover soon), it seems more important than ever to make it simple to start following blogs to keep up with the online LEGO community, but the days of easy RSS-based blog reading in Google Reader ended last year.

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