TOP FIVE: 2010

A final goodbye to 2010. Here lies a list of my five favorite books, blogs, photo blogs, and ideas that I stumbled upon this past year. Enjoy.

Top 5 Books:

  1. Linchpin (Seth Godin). I have already written about this book here, so to make a long story short, Linchpin offers a focused perspective on the modern economy. No matter what field you are in, you cannot afford to go without reading it.
  2. VisionMongers (David deChemin). Got this one for Christmas this year, having wanted it since Christmas of last year. A great read for anyone looking into a creative profession. It covers not only how to find unique vision, but also how to let people know you found it, through marketing skills, and maintain it, through business and finance skills. Packed with information and stories of the industry’s top professionals to demonstrate there is no map or how-to guide. There are different paths for different people.
  3. I Am The Messenger (Markus Zusak). A bit different from the others, this fictional work leaves you wanting to help anyone and everyone. It combines Godin’s idea of giving gifts with Abani’s idea of compassion. A great read that will inspire you to extend a hand.
  4. Decoded (Jay-Z). To be honest, I haven’t exactly finished reading this one yet. I am however, about halfway through and can already tell this one is a keeper. Decoded offers a multitude of insight. Not only does it reveal the meaning behind references, phrases, and slang in Jay-Z’s music, it also includes captivating stories about his childhood in New York. You don’t have to be a rap fan to appreciate the culture represented, or the perseverance practiced by the author.
  5. Seattle 100 (Chase Jarvis). This fine art photo book is different from most. It is cultural and consistent and modern and educational as much as it is great people photography. The books features full spread portraits of 100 of Seattle’s greatest people through a variety of professions and cultures. Plus, all of the author proceeds go to charity.

Top 5 Blogs (Any Subject):

  1. Seth Godin. Already mentioned as the author of Linchpin, Seth’s blog provides a daily extension to the ideas found inside the books along with many economic and work ethic observations. A good candidate for a daily read via RSS.
  2. The Onion. More of a news source than a blog but terrific nonetheless. The Onion publishes articles, art works, polls, and videos that are sure to get you laughing. They recently (last night) began airing a TV show as well.
  3. iJustine. I have to admit, I ❤ iJustine. Her blog is really a vlog, which holds everything from music video parodies to iPad purchases. She’s sure to perk you up due to her level of exuberance with whatever she is doing.
  4. Clients From Hell. A blog that will have you laughing instantly on a bad day. Each post is a story between a professional and his or her client that goes a bit sour.
  5. Mashable! This blog combines news with social media. It will keep you up to date on what is trending (in technology especially) without you having to stare at your twitter page. It goes into more depth and offers articles with a news publication’s feel about each topic.

Top 5 Blogs (Photo):

  1. Chase Jarvis. Already mentioned as author/photographer of Seattle 100, Jarvis’ blog holds a mass of behind the scenes video and textual posts. They inspire projects and techniques for photographers all over the world and continue to build relationships through-ought the photography community. He practices his belief in transparency both as a professional and as an artist.
  2. FStoppers. Speaking of behind the scenes, FStoppers.com was created for the sharing of behind the scenes video from photo or video shoots. They find some great stuff to teach other photographers and also hold contests and meet-ups to unite the community.
  3. Photojojo. This is simply the funnest photo blog. Yes, the funnest. It combines art & crafts with photography and boasts an ever-growing online store of some of the coolest photo accessories around. They also have a book.
  4. A Photo Editor. This blog is unique in its niche of content. It keeps photographers informed of modern trends in commercial and editor photography from the business and marketing side. A must read for anyone looking to impress an editor.
  5. Calikartel. Here is a photo blog that is literally a photo blog. Each post is a different photo shoot (usually of a female model). These high fashion images keep me checking back often for inspiration.

Top 5 Ideas:

  1. TED Award + JR. This may be cheating but I am combining the TED award with this years recipient of it. In their own words: “The TED Prize is designed to leverage the TED community’s exceptional array of talent and resources. It is awarded annually to an exceptional individual who receives $100,000 and, much more important, “One Wish to Change the World.” After several months of preparation, s/he unveils his/her wish at an award ceremony held during the TED Conference. These wishes have led to collaborative initiatives with far-reaching impact. I just love the idea of this. As for the recipient in 2010, JR, well you really need to check his website out for yourself. He combines photography and street art and community and cause. Super inspiring.
  2. The Creators Project. thecreatorsproject.com is part blog, part project showcase, and part innovative social network. It features some of the most amazing creatives from around the world and allows their productions to be viewed in one place.
  3. charity: water. One of the coolest charities around. Make a donation and 100% goes to building wells for communities without water around the world. An estimated one billion people do not have access to clean water and through corporate sponsorship and public donation, charity: water aims to shrink that statistic until it reaches zero.
  4. Kickstarter. Kickstarter.com changes the way creatives fund their projects. With a successful run on this funding site there is no longer a need for advanced payments or exploiting investors. Personal projects can have the same budgets as commercial ones. Donors are paired with artists and new things are made. Simple as that.
  5. creativeLIVE. Founded by Craig Swanson and Chase Jarvis (previously mentioned for blog and book), creativeLIVE.com offers free, live education by some of the world’s best instructors. I blogged about this around the time it was announced here.
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