Cool Hunting has been celebrated by Time Magazine (2011) for its excellent use of video. As it name already hints at, Cool Hunting hunts for anything that’s cool. Naturally, this is all done in a very cool way, with nice little short documentary-style videos that show the newest trends in technology, food, culture, fashion and more.

This blog has many in-depth articles with beautiful pictures, for instance one that shares five must-see places in Amsterdam that are overlooked by all the tourists. To check it out, click here.

I think this blog shows that in this world of one-minute news feeds and Twitter messages, in-depth journalism is still appreciated. Delve into the content of this blog, as it is a rich source of well- written articles and clever videos.

Dooce.com is the blog of Heather B. Armstrong, that turned from an on-the-side blog into a full-time job that pays the bills. Her husband Jon manages the technical and business-related issued around her blog, which allows Heather to fully focus on writing witty and interesting posts, next to looking after her children and dogs.

Her story shows how bloggers can bite back: she was fired for writing stories about the people she worked with. She warns her fellow bloggers:

“My advice to you is BE YE NOT SO STUPID. Never write about work on the internet unless your boss knows and sanctions the fact that YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT WORK ON THE INTERNET. If you are the boss, however, you should be aware that when you order Prada online and then talk about it out loud that you are making it very hard for those around you to take you seriously.”

Getting fired turned out quite well for Heather, which shows the business potential of a blog, even though it is ‘just’ about music, pop culture or lifestyle. Any subject can turn into something profitable, as long as enough people read your stories. Advertisers want to reach people, so make them do so through your blog. Click here to see Heather’s example.

New media provides companies with an opportunity to receive feedback from customers. This can be used to improve customer satisfaction, but fact remains that many companies fail to deliver good products or services.

Paying for goods or services that are lacking in quality can be frustrating, which is exactly what the Consumerist blog shows. Their logo states: ‘Shoppers bite back’, and this blog lives up to its name. The Consumerist informs and warns customers about misleading advertisements, failing customer service, faulty products, basically anything that can turn buying a good or service into a tiresome and unsatisfactory endeavour.

A useful tool for consumers, and a warning, maybe, to companies who refuse to respond to customer feedback, either online or offline. Click here to visit the Consumerist blog.

Seth Godin’s blog is the number 1 ranked business blog of 2011, according to Strategist News. Writer Seth is the author of 11 books, and has quite some experience in business and marketing. He was also a co-founder of one of the first online marketing organization.

Seth’s blog is updated almost daily, and clearly shows that writing style can contribute to, if not be essential to, building an audience. A particular post that contrasts giving away samples on farmer’s markets and on the online world, really caught my attention, and I’d like to share it with you. Click here to read.

Datingwebsite OkCupid found a smart way of attracting daters to their website by linking it to their fun dating statistic blog: OkTrends. On this blog, they provide fun information on dating, sex and relationships that they have collected from their members.

OkTrends compares the self-confidence of curvy and skinny women, researches the relationship between college tuition fees and sex drive of students, mathematically calculates beauty, and shows what are, statistically, the best questions to ask on a first date. Sexy and interesting information for online daters, and an extremely smart marketing tool to attract new users.

‘The Big Picture’ is listed as one of Time Magazine’s best blogs of 2011. This blog has photographs as the main aspect of a story, instead of words. This blog presents albums of large photographs about various subjects, which gives you a very visual account of what is going on, as well as beautiful photographs to look at.

It shows a new way of presenting something, with only a few words, but a lot to say. As audiences nowadays do not read big pieces of text online, providing them with pictures to tell a story is an effective way to capture their attention for a longer period of time. To see news in pictures, click here.

‘Information is beautiful’ was listed as one of the ‘Best Blogs in 2010’, according to Time magazine. It has been created by a British data journalist and information designer, who aims to make information less dull and more appealing. His blog contains his own unique visualizations of a wide variety of different kinds of information, bringing a whole new dimension to what used to be plain facts. This blog shows that information can be made entertaining, while maintaining its essential function: informing people.

Here’s one of his visualizations, click on it to see the full-screen version on the Information is beautiful website.

The Hierarchy of Digital Distractions