This was the year of the blog! In some ways, the proliferation of blogs and bloggers this year reminded me of the flurry of Y2K predictions at the end of the last century. In 2020, we saw the rise and reincarnation of many informative and insightful sites that tracked the trajectory of the virus across the country and across the globe. Others analyzed the adverse impact of the pandemic on special populations. We know that the poor, people of color, women, folks over the age of 50 in the U.S. and in most countries are the most adversely impacted by COVID-19. While there is still a lot being written about the pandemic, a number of bloggers and others are working hard to ensure that we have more hopeful things to contemplate besides the devastating impact of this global health crisis.

My top blogs/podcasts/websites list this year consists of diverse authors and topics for the curious, inquisitive, and eclectic mind. Beauty exists in words and in images around us and in places that we have yet to discover. Others have found small, yet effective tricks to help us be more productive, be present, and be happier. I hope you will enjoy these as much as I do.

  1. Dean at Home—This pandemic blog by our College’s former Dean of Humanities, Science, and Engineering was among the posts that kept us all sane at the height of the pandemic. It marries pandemic observations, hardships, and adaptations with everyday encounters. Not too heavy, just perfect. https://deanathomethepandemicblog.blogspot.com/

  1. The Sea Change Project—If you saw the movie My Octopus Teacher (available on Netflix), I am nearly certain that Craig Foster brought you to tears with the friendship that he formed with the underwater creature. This is less of a reading blog and more of a visual one that highlights the South African sea forest. Watch the movie and support the project. https://seachangeproject.com/gallery/

  1. McKinsey Insights—Ok, I admit that I am a geek, but you already knew that. McKinsey has been so consistent with their analyses of current and future trends across industries and multiple aspects of leadership, management, economic recovery and preparing for the post-pandemic world. Treat this site like a blog and bookmark it for periodic reading. https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights

  1. Singularity Hub—You don’t have to be a tech geek to appreciate this site. If you live on this planet and plan on continuing to reside here (or in space), I recommend Singularity. Tech advancements affect our everyday life, work, and influence our world. This site also gives us a sense of the technologies to come. https://singularityhub.com/

  1. Books are Our Superpower—If you are not sure what to read next, this is a compilation of blogs of reviews of books from the well-respected Medium.com. They have recommendations to suit both your interest and your mood, and help you discover new topics. It’s an eclectic mix, for sure! https://medium.com/books-are-our-superpower

  1. Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead—This is a twofer from Brené Brown. If you haven’t heard of her, you are living under a rock. In need of inspiration; need tips on leading yourself and others? She is the guru. https://brenebrown.com/podcasts/  

  1. The World Bank Blog on Gender Equality—Yes, this is a little heavy, but if you are looking for your call to action, insightful analysis or statistics to cite about the status of girls and women across the globe, this is your main source. https://blogs.worldbank.org/tags/gender-equality

  1. Research Whisperer—This website is by and for academics (mostly faculty). If you want to write or research and just can’t seem to get to it, going to this site may lead to more procrastination. So, time yourself. Great resource, though. https://researchwhisperer.org/

  1. Work Life with Adam Grant—The organizational psychologist’s site is a treasure trove with blogs, podcasts, Ted Talks and other readings. No matter what your time budget is, you will find something that fits now and you later for the in-depth talk or reading.  https://www.adamgrant.net/podcast/

  1. Greenfield Community College Computer Arts—This is an image-heavy website of computer-generated art work of students at Greenfield Community College. It includes the work of undergraduates and dual enrollment students. Fascinating to see art from the lens of college students. https://www.gcc.mass.edu/computer-arts/

  1. James Clear—Author of the New York Times bestseller Atomic Habits keeps this very simple blog of empirically proven ways to solve concrete problems. You want to stop procrastinating and be more productive? Looking for small ways to be happier? Want to make better decisions, check out his website: https://jamesclear.com/articles

  1. Insight—This collection of insightful articles from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University is informative, uplifting, and addictive. So much to learn and so little time! https://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/

  1. Racial Equity Blog—This blog from the multidisciplinary Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice and Health at UCLA is a treasure trove of research, insights, and data that can help us each make our country a better place for all. https://www.racialhealthequity.org/blog

Yves Salomon-Fernández (she/her/hers) is president of Greenfield Community College in Massachusetts. She writes about women’s issues for Inside Higher Ed’s “University of Venus” from the perspective of a Generation Xer, a mom, immigrant and leader of color. Her social media handle is @PrezYves