Ryan Stephens Marketing

Top 10 Gen Y Blogs

I’ve discontinued the Top 10 Gen Y list primarily because I want to write about passions outside the Gen Y niche, but I stand by the fact that the bloggers below are talented and worth reading. Check them out, and for the entire entry featuring honorable mentions, explanations, and more click here. Also, if you’re looking for archived lists, you can find all previous lists here.

The Top 10 Gen Y Blogs for December 2009:

10.) The Curbside Marketer – Jackie kickin’ it and stirring up conversation about social media, marketing, and life in the business world.

Tough for me to write about Jackie because I’m biased, but I sat next to him in an office for 5 months, and I know he’s brilliant. (Especially at making powerpoints. Hi Jackie!) He does two things really well that consistently keep me reading his blog:

First, he’s great at connecting ideas where most people wouldn’t recognize similarities. And second, he does an awesome job expanding on current events with his own insights and how it’s applicable to marketing. I really liked this particular post, and his analogous Friday’s are always a welcome reprieve from going stir crazy awaiting the weekend.


10.) Thrilling Heroics – Blog that encourages young professionals and entrepreneurs to pursue an unorthodox, exciting lifestyle and career, strive for excellence, and make a positive difference in the world!

If you want to get out of the cubicle and on the beach, if you want to experience ‘Lifestyle Design,’ Cody’s blog is a good place to start. He might be living a dream, but it took a lot of hard work to get there. Thrilling Heroics will give you a little insight into how you make your own dreams come true.

For example, this post is chock full of all the tools you’d need to live location independent. I’ll take Cody’s word for it that he’s pulling beautiful women, but his he does explain in depth how he finances his lifestyle and what a typical day looks like. The only thing I don’t understand is why you’d live in Thailand and not Texas if you could live anywhere in the world.


9.) The Rest is Still Unwritten – Tech News and Random Ramblings from a 20-something year old bachelor.

What do Ryan Reynolds, Bill Simmons and David Stehle have in common? You guessed it. Mancrushes. All 3 of them. Maybe it’s because David’s a cool guy. I doubt it’s the reason that 95% of the commenters on his blog are women.

No, I think the reason I enjoy David’s writing is because it’s raw. And that’s who I am, completely unfiltered. And yet I turn it off when I enter the “real world” or when I share with you on this blog. So do you. But David writes like nobody is reading, which inevitably let him write push the edge. I want to be that free. Don’t you?


8.) Location 180 – Most of the topics written here are about some combination of Sean’s passions: travel and entrepreneurship.

What I love about Sean’s blog is that he’s sharing his journey with us, and he writes in such a way that it feels like we’re along for the ride. And not just sitting shot gun (especially since he just sold his car), but actually witnessing his everyday life and decisions from his eyes.

Another thing I really appreciate about Sean is that his path isn’t defined by those around him. He defines his own success, and he doesn’t let deterrents slow him down. Case in point: “21 Things I Have Learned From Unemployment


7.) Ophelia’s Webb – Musings and Ramblings from a no-so-average girl next door bumbling around the gorgeous metropolis that is Portland, Maine.

Aside from her Blog Crushes, which are a superb way to highlight young bloggers, Elisa (her name isn’t Ophelia) also has a knack for taking seemingly small, every day encounters that we might take for granted and writing about them in a way that maybe you haven’t thought about.

Whether that means evaluating the beauty of vulnerability and relinquishing power or finding happiness in the middle, her hodge podge of assessments are always thought, and usually a bit introspective.


6.) Small Hands, Big Ideas – Musings and Inspiration on Technology, Career and Generation Y

Grace has graced us (get it? I’m clever) on this list four consecutive times now, and I have a sneaking suspicion that her ability to consistently find herself on this list has a lot to do with the consistency she displays on her blog.

Which isn’t to say she won’t surprise you with a new approach sometimes. As I know I’ve mentioned before I really appreciate her ability to mix up her posts and cover a wide variety of topics, infuse some of herself in there, and deliver insightful nuggets like this one.


5.) Life’s Like a Box of Chocolates – Stories and advice from the variety of things Sam’s discovered in her box of chocolates.

Poignant. That’s how I’d describe Sam’s writing. Like other writers on this list she really opens up and bares her soul to her readers, and a result we’re forced to learn about ourselves simultaneously while Sam examines her own life.

I can forgive her for her reality TV affliction when I read how she poetically navigates everyday conflicts like selfishness, and I don’t think I’m the only one who gets a lot of value from her [Sam] antics posts. Top all that off with the fact that she’s an absolute sweetheart and never fails to brighten a busy day with a quick hello via gchat.


4.) Sydney: Unfiltered – A raw take on Syd’s life. One she describes as: unpredictable, frightening, and wildly exciting

Sydney’s altered her brand a bit and while I don’t think she’s nearly as unfiltered as a Jamie Varon or a David Stehle, I think she’s really grown as a writer since stepping away from just PR and encompassing a lot more aspects of her personal life. Not to mention rejuvenated herself (and her blogging) I believe.

Not only is she getting the opportunity to speak at SXSW, which she riffs on here, but also her love life (which I kinda get to help with sometimes), and a savvy and personal look into growing up and being a working woman (and all that entails) in big city Chicago.


3.) Life Without Pants – The blog about everything and nothing: Without restrictions, without cause. The latest on Gen-Y, technology, philosophy, and more!

Three consecutive weeks at #1, and I suspect he thought he’d fall further than this after some people voiced their displeasure of late. But this is a testament to both Matt’s content and his ability to market himself and genuinely connect with people. (And that’s part of being a top blog, no? Rallying your community?)

Whether it’s useful tips Matt’s acquired from his own experiences or just the fact that he’s always on the grind Matt’s certainly earned my respect.


2.) OwlSparks – Daily short posts (oh, erm, not anymore) on philosophy, marketing, social media, personal branding, love, friendship, questions, discussions and all that stuff.

Carlos debuted at #3 on this list in August, and since then he’s switched from daily short posts to some less frequent longer posts, he’s ruffled some feathers, and most importantly… he’s probably made you think. About yourself, your beliefs, societal norms, foolish paradigms and much more.

I don’t always agree with Carlos, but wouldn’t your rather read something that challenges you to ask questions and dig a little deeper than nodding along and going, “Yeah I can dig that.”


1.) Life After College – Jenny’s mission is to provide simple, practical tips that help you focus on the BIG picture of your life…not just the details. Find tips and resources for life, work, money, happiness, productivity, personal growth and more.

Admittedly, I’ve been anticipating Jenny’s ascension to the top for few months now. I suspect it was only a matter of time. Quickly becoming famous (in our insular world) for her nifty templates/guides, Jenny does so much more. For one, though I haven’t met her I can assure you she’s real (just read the post).

I don’t know if it’s because she gets to hang around smart people at Google all day, but sometimes it just feels like Jenny knows something I don’t (aside from what a red velvet cupcake tastes like). For about 3 seconds it makes me want to live vicariously through her until I read that I should Stop Audition for Other People’s Lives.” Told you she was smart. Like Sydney, she manages to mix in a few dating posts. But most importantly, she takes great pride in convincing the most charismatic bloggers in the world to guest post for her. (What? My fingers are tired. I deserved that plug!)

Congrats Jenny! And to everyone who made the final Top 10 Gen Y Blog List of the Year (and in this format)! I’m off to call Jenny and congratulate her, seriously. You – scroll down to the comments section and let me know how awesome these write-ups were.


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