Read, read, read – how to survive 8727km from Silicon Valley

(CC) Will Lion

(CC) Will Lion

The web is an amazing equalizer. It brings everything closer. To be precise 8727km closer (the distance from Helsinki, Finland to Silicon Valley, USA).

Since before I started Everyplay I knew I had to learn a lot, but I never imagined I could learn so much by simply being at my computer and devouring blog posts, following people on Twitter, watching conference videos and tracking hashtags. I’m truly grateful to every conference organizer like Charles Hudson (Virtual Goods conference) or Mike Arrington and Jason Calacanis (TechCrunch50) and to every conference presenter, who post their presos, videos and transcripts online. I’m truly grateful to every blogger like Eric Ries, Andrew Chen and Raph Koster, who share their hard earned lessons and insights freely with the world.

If you are geographically-handicapped like me, the best thing you can do is to drink from the fire hydrant. To get you started, here is the list of the 250+ blogs I track. The list gets roughly 400-500 posts per day, so the best thing to do is to just skim the list and read the interesting parts.

The blogs are in a quasi-ranked list of relevance and quality (i.e. I moved the blogs I pay most attention to the top of their respective lists). I’ve bolded a few top selections, that anybody interested in games, startups, virtual goods, and venture capital should follow. If you want to import a whole bunch of these feeds, feel free to grab my OPML file (you can import it to e.g. Google Reader)

Game design

  • [RSS] Raph’s Website (Raph Koster, brilliant designer and thought leader for MMOs, founder of Metaplace)
  • [RSS] Avant Game (Jane McGonigal is one of the thought leaders in using games outside of games)
  • [RSS] Lost Garden (Daniel Cook is a very prominent game designer, great articles e.g. on Funware)
  • [RSS] Zen of Design (Damien Schubert is a very prominent game designer, highly experienced on MMOs)
  • [RSS] DESIGNER NOTES (Soren Johnson, designer at Firaxis for e.g. Civilization)
  • [RSS] musings of a social architect (Amy Jo Kim’s blog, CEO of Shufflebrain, game & community designer)
  • [RSS] Sulka’s Game (Sulka Haro, lead designer of Habbo)
  • [RSS] frans goes blog (Personal blog of Frans Mäyrä, professor at Hypermedia lab, academic perspective)
  • [RSS] The Funware Blog @ rmbr (Gabe Zichermann’s blog, not very active anymore, used to be about Funware)
  • [RSS] Broken Toys (Scott Jennings, formerly of NCSoft, now in a top secret online games startup)

Online games, virtual worlds

Virtual goods

Game industry general

Entrepreneurs & entrepreneurship, startups

Venture Capital

Web 2.0, social media

Flash game tech

Professional blogs


Did you find the list useful? Am I missing a blog that an online games entrepreneur should definitely follow? Please shout out in the comments!

Explore posts in the same categories: blog


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22 Comments on “Read, read, read – how to survive 8727km from Silicon Valley”

  1. jeremyliew Says:

    Thanks for the kind words about the LSVP blog. Note that I’m one (of several) Managing Directors at LSVP, not the General Manager

  2. Jeremy, thanks for the correction (updated above)!

  3. […] but also well sorted under different categories and almost every blog is briefly described too. Check it out and I’m sure you’ll find a lot of interesting stuff to read. (Great stuff, Jussi! […]

  4. jugi Says:

    Waiting to see your blog in Delicious Popular list. Remember to use titles like “110 most important..”, “22 Excellent…” and so forth ;)

    Great list!

  5. A great list, I right away picked some off and filed them in my bookmarks – and I am sure I will come back and check out the ones I haven’t checked yet!

  6. Thank you for including my blog about presentation design.

  7. Jan, I really like Slides that Stick for its practical advice that you can implement right away. Keep it coming! ;-)

  8. […] Social games, entrepreneurship and more Jussi Laakkonen’s blog « Read, read, read – how to survive 8727km from Silicon Valley […]

  9. Benjamin Says:

    Hey thanks for bolding us – we are quite a few miles from Silicon Valley too :-)

  10. Benjamin, keep those amazing reports & slidedecks coming and I just might have to move from <B> to <H1> ;-).

  11. Adam Says:

    Moi? Opinionated? Say it ain’t so!

    1. Holding to one’s own opinion, [b]obstinately, stubbornly and unreasonably[/b]” –

    LOL. Thanks for the thumbs up! See you next week.

  12. ;-) Goes to show that English isn’t my native language. By opinionated I was trying to convey “strong opinions & not afraid speak out”. Way too many blogs are devoid of opinions, and T=Machine stands out in a great way because of the personality you put into it.

    See you at GDC!

  13. Scott Rafer Says:

    Thanks for including us.

  14. Scott, love the Lookery blog for the detailed analysis and your personal blog for the sharp insights!

  15. More great reads on Jon’s blog here

  16. Keta Says:

    Awesome post. But I would love to get a conversation on the best tools and methods to keep track of this amazing amount of data that we look to digest in a day when we are trying to keep up with the fire hydrant.

    It can almost become a full time job keeping up with the related news to an internet industry without a good work flow. Do you have any tools and suggestions?

  17. Keta, unfortunately I don’t have good suggestions on how to manage the information overload. I’ve yet to see a filtering system that would really work (i.e. show all the great stuff I want to see and hide the rest, while letting me discover new stuff I didn’t know I wanted to read previously).

    My method is simply to very quickly skim the “All items” list in Google Reader, and open up new tabs for each post I’m interested in reading. Depending on the day I get around 300-500 posts from the above sources. Of that roughly 35% are duplicates (blogs posting the same news), another 35% are not really relevant (e.g. peHub posting about a cleantech investment) and 25% is semi-interesting and the final 5% (=15-30 articles) is something I really pay attention to.

    I do get discouraged after a conference when I have a couple thousand unread items ;-).

  18. capitanhook Says:

    for web gaming industry i found lots of usuful links and stuff thanks..

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