WordPressers Making a Splash

Bloggers are leaving their marks everywhere, online and in print.

We read hundreds of blogs and websites every day, from up-and-coming voices and established pros alike. We love visiting those sites on WordPress.com, but it’s just as rewarding to see other platforms embrace the work of writers, journalists, and artists who regularly publish here, introducing it to new audiences.

Here’s a selection of WordPress.com bloggers who recently made a splash.

A mathematician at work

Terry Tao is a veteran blogger, publishing prolifically on his site since 2007. He also happens to be a Fields Medal recipient and one of the leading mathematicians working today. The New York Times Magazine just ran a fascinating profile of Tao and his work by Gareth Cook. Cook follows Tao around the UCLA campus as he explains his most important contributions to the field.

Even those who experience great success through their college years may turn out not to have what it takes. The ancient art of mathematics, Tao has discovered, does not reward speed so much as patience, cunning and, perhaps most surprising of all, the sort of gift for collaboration and improvisation that characterizes the best jazz musicians.

Tao has earned a reputation for being a gregarious, generous colleague — and the piece is studded with testimonies of his collaborative spirit (including a cameo appearance by Izabella Laba, a fellow mathematician and WordPress.com blogger).

Highbrow laughs

The Toast, a humor site with a literary, feminist bent (and a self-hosted WordPress site to boot) has been one of the web’s favorite destinations for satire and witty writing since its inception. And just in the past few weeks, two WordPress.com bloggers had pieces in the site’s lineup.

Author Lauren James, a young adult writer with a physics and chemistry background, recently wrote The Hogwarts Houses of the Periodic Elements: A Critical Analysis,” a post as full of unrepentant geeky fun as its title suggests. And last month, linguist, internet language specialist, and blogger Gretchen McCulloch published her most recent essay, “A Linguist Explains How We Write Sarcasm on the Internet” (essential reading for all bloggers, naturally).

Via Gretchen McCulloch's essay at The Toast, a proposed early-20th-century "irony mark."

Via Gretchen McCulloch’s essay at The Toast, a proposed early-20th-century “irony mark.”

You should visit Gretchen’s earlier contributions to The Toast, as well as her frequent articles at Mental Floss.

Beyond hot takes

Bloggers share writing in a variety of genres and tones on their sites, from short, impassioned reaction pieces to probing longreads. The same versatility is easy to discern in the pieces we highlight here.

Tressie McMillan Cottom, a sociologist and blogger renowned for her powerful prose, recently reviewed Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, one of the season’s most talked-about titles, at the Atlantic.

My mother once told me that black progress meant fighting for your children to never know you. Coates knows his son’s body is vulnerable but he worries first here about his son forgetting.  He is afraid of losing his son to the “new black” of multiculturalism that absorbs blackness and spits out beige history, beige politics and beige faiths.

On Manliness and Joan Didion,” a thought-provoking blog post by writer and teacher Frank Strong, patiently explores the murky boundaries of gender in Didion’s writing voice, as well as in discussions of her work. Frank’s essay was picked up last month by The Millions, a prestigious online literary magazine.

Lastly, just this past weekend Rebecca Schuman, who blogs frequently at pan kisses kafka, scored a viral hit with her Slate column, “I Am Terrified of Taking My Child Literally Anywhere.” It’s a raucous, absorbing piece on parents, misbehaving kids, and the people who mistreat the latter — and especially on our dangerous tendency to react to these stories online with unnecessarily extreme rhetoric. It’s a great read for anyone who ever sat behind a crying baby on a flight (or for anyone who was ever the parent of such a baby).

Was your blog just featured in the media? Has a recent post generated a healthy dose of buzz? We’d love to know about it — share your story with us in a comment.


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55 Comments

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  1. Somali K Chakrabarti

    Well I am just waiting for the day my blog gets featured in the media.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. joseph elon lillie

    Thanks for these suggestions and for the encouragement to keep going. I am learning that blogging is as much about living life as writing about it.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Zak Kolakowski

    I hope one day I become a successful blogger!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. kim881

    I am very new to blogging and didn’t realise how popular, informative and entertaining it is. I would love a mention.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. andy townend

    Thanks for sharing this Ben, the WordPress platform has encouraged and inspired many of us to do things perhaps never imagined.

    In my case my first blog http://www.belgradestreets.com has directly resulted in two books of photographs being published, two exhibitions in Belgrade and a TV doco

    http://belgradestreets.com/book/
    http://belgradestreets.com/category/video/
    http://belgradestreets.com/category/mentions/

    Dreams made true, in part through the support of you and your colleagues and for that I salute you!

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Alicia Sakal

    My recent interview with an Anti SBAC Testing – Common Core Grass Roots Activist received quite the stir in my community as well as online: http://aliciasakal.com/2015/05/18/40-of-parents-refuse-sbac-testing-for-their-children-at-the-sherman-school/

    In a follow up to this post, the refusal rate increased… http://aliciasakal.com/2015/05/30/57-of-middle-school-parents-refuse-sbac-testing-at-the-sherman-school/

    I would also love to know how WP finds the articles to feature. Is this automatically done or do we have to submit the link for possible consideration to xyz? Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ben Huberman

      Hi Alicia,

      We find stories like these by reading and following a lot of blogs as well as a wide selection of other media — which makes it possible to draw the connections between bloggers and their pursuits beyond their sites.

      With only a handful of editors and many millions of bloggers out there we’re bound to miss hundreds of these stories, which is why I invited everyone to share theirs in the comments.

      Liked by 6 people

  7. writingblissfully

    Thanks for highlighting these blogs!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jock Campbell

    Can anyone explain why my WordPress page has been shut down? I can’t access it.

    Like

  9. Painting for Joy

    Great blogs! Mine recently received 66 views in one day, the most ever, when I posted my story of a fire in our hometown. https://paintingforjoy.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/fire-on-the-mountain-part-1/

    Liked by 1 person

  10. elaineoliveirarte

    Hi, Ben! It’s good to know how blogging can change and inspire lives!
    I have 4 WordPress blogs and my favorite one has become a book called How To Be a Husband. Unfortunatelly, this blog and also the book are in Portuguese for the reason that I live in Brazil.
    Even if you want to check out my blog, you will understand the context and be amazed by the pictures I have there. They are mostly pictures of trips, places I have visited with my fiancé and FOOD, by the way he (my fiancé) is a very good cook which is one of the steps to be a good husband!😉
    I hope you’ll enjoy it: http://www.comoserumbommarido.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sheryl McAlister

    I’ve been a WordPress user for about a year and am a huge fan. I just received your email asking us bloggers to share our story if we’ve had a successful posting. Recently, I’ve had a couple: One post titled “The Ultimate Selfie” was included in a chapbook published by Gallery West called “Collective 1.” A second post titled “Start Spreading the News” has had several thousand visits around the world as well as favorable reviews. Thanks for the great work, WP! And thanks for making it easy for Old Broad & New Trix.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Lorraine Escher

    I write a blog that describes my transition from stay-at-home mom and landlubber to competent, blue water cruiser. My blog is at: becomingasailor.wordpress.com.

    After months of planning and downsizing and renting our house, our family of six plans to set sail for a multi-year adventure starting in August 2015.

    A couple of weeks ago, our story and my blog were covered by CBC news radio. A print version of the story is at:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-family-donates-belongings-to-sail-caribbean-1.3144612

    As an aside : my blog uses the WordPress Apostophe format, which seems to be perfect for my needs as it displays all of my blog content – from the first post up until now. It allows readers to see, at a glance, the transition part of our adventure. Many thanks to the WordPress group who put this format together.

    Like

  13. Margie

    My blog is featured in the Calgary Herald’s local bloggers section. I think it is great that some large news sources have a section like this.
    My most famous posts are three that have had long term staying power: one is about induction cook-top pots and pans, one is about using a Nook in Canada, and one is about re-purposing Grandma’s doilies! When I wrote these posts, I didn’t realize that many people were looking for something that few people were writing about…

    Like

  14. C.H. Armstrong

    Someday I’d love to be featured on this blog. 🙂 I consider 100 hits/day to be a good day. 200 hits is a “really” good day. A couple of weeks ago, I had one post that hit nearly 1200 hits! That was an AWESOME day!

    What makes me almost as happy as the hits are the number of shares. I have a couple of posts that have received 400+ Facebook shares. Now THAT makes my day. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  15. cherished79

    My blog was noticed by a psychologist in Portland, Oregon who has a radio show on “Safe Space Radio”, geared to mental illness topics. I was chosen to do an interview via podcast, thus allowing me to promote my blog and discuss mental illness stigma, PTSD awareness, depression and bipolar disorder.

    https://cherished79.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/me-on-the-radio/

    Twitter: @livinginstigma

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Andrew Joseph Pegoda

    I’ve been blogging for just over two years now…and absolutely…love it!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. amommasview

    I’m pretty sure it will not happen as my opinion is not spicy enough but it doesn’t matter. The feedback I get from my readers is amazing and it keeps me going. I love what I’m doing and that’s the main thing. Looking forward to checking out the blogs mentioned here. Thanks for this list.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. littlepurpleasiangirl5

    I just started blogging recently and while reading this speech, I feel inspired to continue it no matter what! There is more to blogging than the eye can see so I’ll continue with a positive vibe!!

    Like

  19. eths

    I have an idea. Why don’t we bloggers who have commented on this post about making a splash visit each other and start the ball rolling.

    Liked by 5 people

  20. celinatalk

    I love everything about blogging! I grew up writing a lot and once I stopped writing I struggled with school, sickness, emotions, friends. But once I got everything situated I finally picked writing back up and started my blog! I have had it for about a month now and the blogging community is beautifully indescribable!
    https://celinatalk.wordpress.com/

    Like

  21. Kreng Jai

    One day my blog will also get featured in the Media https://rekhaaa.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/plastic-the-silent-killer/ 😃🌻

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Stuti (the Expression- ist)

    The response of my readers, and most often than not, the comment that they can connect with my posts really, keeps me going with the blogging!! Cheers to the Splash team🙂
    Best,
    Stuti

    Like

  23. jmcideas

    HI
    I finally found a blog’ site that has a feature i’m looking for
    ie: Recent posts in a slide show (or a number of)
    http://the-toast.net/
    Unfortunetly, it’s appearing as a ‘self-hosted WordPress site to boot’
    Isn’t exist similar theme I can get through all proposals WP.COM ?
    THKS

    Like

  24. Idle Eye

    My humorous blog ‘Idle Eye’ of almost four years is currently raising funds on Kickstarter to be made into an illustrated book. Hoping I’ll generate a bit of media attention and will report back if I do! Nice to read the comments here, blogging can get a bit lonely sometimes but it’s good to know everyone feels the same way about it! https://theidleeye.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Shivya Nath

    Great compilation! My beloved travel blog was recently featured on BBC Travel (and on national television in India).

    http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20140624-how-i-quit-my-job-to-travel-the-social-media-addict

    Liked by 4 people

  26. Margie

    To Celinatalk – the Commenters name is the link to their blog; the symbol or photo to the left of the name takes you to their Gravatar Profile if they have one.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. I Am In A Place

    If blogging is done with the intention of being an enjoyable hobby then success starts from the moment the domain name is chosen! I have JUST started my travel blog based on the three months I will be spending in North America. Hope I can receive some critical feedback on it🙂

    http://www.iaminaplace.com

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Evang.Gretiana

    I’m inspired by this post. I’ll keep going.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. edremsrola

    My little world is too obscure to ever go viral, but I’ve been sharing my thoughts and telling gardening stories non-stop since October of 2007!

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Pat n Pip

    Hi

    We’re pretty pleased with the response to our WordPress blog about our time volunteering in Timor-Leste – ‘Dili dally’ has had over 30,000 views.

    Regards

    Pat

    Liked by 1 person

  31. rickypennington

    I am “an up and coming voice” and appreciate the nice article you wrote!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. S U G A R C U B E ®

    Our interview with Jimmy Hankins* owner/designer of Asbury Park Clothing Company quickly took off in the demin world of jeans via social media. Press wise we have received notability by GQ, Condé Nast, CNBC and the Tobe Report all linked to our wordpress site. We try to best represent what we do with out brick and mortar through an appealing wordpress approach. In the art Sphere we wrote about featured artist Jedediah Morfit Sculpture** currently on exhibition. Second link.
    *http://sugarcube.us/interview_with_jimmy_hankins/
    **http://sugarcube.us/jedediah-morfit/

    Liked by 1 person

  33. zianna

    I wish someday my blog, thinkpoetic.wordpress.com, gets featured too,i feel poetry should be more popularly known as the language which can literally inspire people and make them feel not alone when they read something ,relating to an aspect of their life
    But the people up there have really done an excellent job in providing brilliant content through their blog

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Alka Girdhar

    Great work by outstanding bloggers, Ben. It seems like we should focus more on academic, intellectual and informative essays rather than general spontaneous posts, howsoever creative they may be.

    My success till now, as I see it, has been the ratio of ‘likes’ to the number of ‘followers’ I have. Even with just a few hundred followers, most of my posts are very well accepted. That’s what inspired me and kept me gong from day to day, otherwise I would have given up blogging just when I accidentally started.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ben Huberman

      It seems like we should focus more on academic, intellectual and informative essays rather than general spontaneous posts

      Not at all — I’d say that all writing is better when the writer’s heart is in it. If spontaneous, personal posts are what you feel like writing, they’re bound to be more enjoyable than anything you write to satisfy some amorphous reader out there. And in fact, many, many bloggers who write mostly spontaneous, personal posts enjoy a wide readership. So: write whatever you love and feels rewarding to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alka Girdhar

        Thanks Ben for your wise suggestions!
        You are right. All great writing is straight from the heart, irrespective of the genre or subject chosen. A poem can be as effective as an article/essay or a story. In fact if one wants, one can have multiple blogs. One that is exclusively for essay writing – that should be my path as well. If blogging still fails to bring desired results, and one simply cannot give up writing, then one should totally focus on writing books.

        Liked by 2 people

  35. Biola Diary

    This is amazing, I am barely two months here and the WordPress platform has really inspired me more to continue writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Nancy

    I’m a pretty new blogger, too. I write a lot about books, but one recent post about a place that was very important to me growing up got more views than any other so far. I guess there is something to be said for that “write from the heart” thing.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Alicia Sakal

    On another one of my WP sites, the article about the transformation of a foreclosed farm into an organic farm, shop, and learning center received much positive community feedback… http://mysonshines.com/2015/07/21/celebrating-summer-at-strawberry-fields-farms-grand-opening/

    Liked by 2 people

  38. nadiaf123

    Hi all, how inspirational. I only signed up this morning, I am very excited to get my first views, and comments. Feel free to be the first to check it out, Know Your 0wn Happiness. https://knowyour0wnhappiness.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Christy Anna Beguins

    Hannah Richell ( http://hannahrichell.wordpress.com/ ) wrote a heartbreakingly beautiful piece on grief for Harpers Bazaar Australia, “Good Grief”: http://t.co/NM2fbmIlsN
    It was their most clicked on story for that week, and hit a chord with many readers.

    (I’ll comment separately on Steph Land. Didn’t want the links to spam block this.)

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Christy Anna Beguins

    Stephanie Land had a piece go viral over at Vox: http://www.vox.com/2015/7/16/8961799/housekeeper-job-clients
    It was based off of her observations as a housekeeper for two years; money doesn’t buy happiness or longevity.

    She reflects on going viral ( http://stepville.com/2015/07/17/chalk-it-up-to-mothers-intuition/ ) and says, “I trusted most people would see through it, and see the real story that needed to be told: that the big house on the hill doesn’t mean a perfect, happy, life, and my disenchantment from discovering that as a maid.”

    Liked by 3 people

  41. ayietim1

    Well, my blog is not there yet but it will be in the local media very soon. WordPress.com has given me the best platorm to launch a new career of writing, speaking, teaching and sharing with people my experiences in life. I am enjoying every bit of it. And I have learnt so much from other wordpress bloggers. Thanks guys.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Sophie Sjösten

    If only people thought my blog was interesting enough!🙂 I guess my topics are not specific enough, as I write about a bit of everything!

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Pamela Ann

    My blog centers around my recent loss and how justice is denied low income women. I could blog everyday on the losses in my town caused by people who are supposed to be saving humans and animals.

    Liked by 2 people

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