Who to Follow in 2014

Earlier this week Matt Gemmell posted Who to Read in 2014, where he pointed out ten writers and explained why he felt everyone should pay attention to their work in the upcoming year. At the end of his post, after listing his five favorite articles from the last twelve months, he called on other writers to provide their version of this list. Never one to back down from a challenge, I have done so with a bit of a twist: in addition to the individuals I believe everyone should follow in 2014, I also included a section devoted to people I believe we ought to stop reading before providing a collection of my own favorite works.

As Matt did I will begin with the individuals you likely already follow, ordered alphabetically by last name. Some of these writers, like John Gruber, I have read for quite some time; others, like Benedict Evans, I did not become conscious of until much more recently. Regardless of how long I have known of them though, everyone on this list brings unique insight, experience, and personality to the table. If, somehow, you do not already follow their work, I strongly encourage you do so; make it your New Year’s resolution if you must.

Next, my list of people who you probably do not already follow, but should; people who have excelled in their respective professions in 2013, and look to do so once again in the coming year to fantastic — and even disruptive — results.

Unlike Matt I did not have five people for this list, and rather than finding two others to fill out the empty spots I chose to maintain the integrity of this grouping and leave it at the first three individuals that came to mind. Also unlike Matt’s article, I decided to include one more set of entries pointing out popular writers who I feel we ought to cease paying attention to for one reason or another. Because rather than suggest you become more familiar with their work I will instead advise you disassociate yourselves with them, I will neither include a website link nor a Twitter handle.

On that dour note, we have finally come to this year’s articles I feel most proud of. In preparation for this section I had to go through everything I published in the last twelve months. To put it frankly, they embarrassed me; I barely made it through: I had such disappointment for so many of the posts I came across that I nearly abandoned this venture altogether. Luckily, I remembered the words of a wise writer who once told me that if you do not feel some shame when looking back at past works, you have failed to grow. Hesitantly secure in this knowledge, I pressed onward and found a number of pieces I can share here with pride. So many, in fact, that I have twice the number of entries Matt did in his post. However, whereas Matt felt each of his selections stood “as a strong example of my current writing, and has some measure of truth, insight and emotional resonance”, three of the ten mark an important point in the development of both my website and myself as a writer, and I had such fun putting the other two together I could not help but include them. In those five’s absence, then, I have five left over, just as Matt did, that I feel epitomize the best aspects of the last year spent writing.

All complaints aside, because even if I do consider many of my posts terrible it does show growth that I could point to some proudly, 2013 proved a great year for both this website and my career as a writer. 3,356 unique visitors generated 4,416 visits and 7,902 pageviews. I know enough to realize the insignificance of these numbers compared to even Benedict Evans’ newsletter, fast approaching ten thousand subscribers, but I still had more than three thousand people come to read my work. Talk about humbling. That blows my mind.

So raise a glass to another great year, this one even better than the last. Perhaps this is the naivety of youth speaking, but I feel like 2014 will go down in history as a pivotal year for many of the industries we all rely on every day. Industries will change as will the definitions of what it means to inhibit them, all the while I hope to get just a bit better at what I do here. Stay tuned in 2014, everyone: it will be a big year for all of us.