Follow Friday

It’s Friday (the last Friday of summer, in fact) and that means Follow Friday on Twitter. I’m a bit of a newbie to Twitter, so it’s taken me a few Fridays to pull a list together.

I am shamelessly stealing the idea to have Follow Friday posts from Gini Dietrich, whose Spin Sucks blog is on my blogroll. I’ve stolen this idea because of the sound reasoning behind it: suggesting that you follow someone has far more value to YOU, the reader, if you understand why.

My first Follow Friday picks are all in the engineering/design field. I’ve always been a writer, but I always was jealous of the cool guys in school who could design something, who could sketch and draw vivid images. They always had pens and mechanical pencils in their products and intense, jagged handwriting. I wish I could do that as easily as they do!

Chris Glass (@glass): I’ve never met Chris in person, but I’ve followed his blog for years. He has an amazing eye not only in creating his own work, but in appreciating the work of others. His blog is a good place to start to get a sense of his aesthetics. He’s also a part of Wire And Twine, a great online store. Extra bonus: Chris is perhaps the kindest, coolest person alive. I have yet to see any ego, bitchiness or negativity in Chris – only a wonderful childlike perspective and a humble appreciation for the world around him.

Coudal Partners (@coudal): Coudal is an advertising and design firm in Chicago; they have a great interactive Web site that’s really engaging not only for professionals but also for people like me. Coudal definitely gets all the cool kids to come and play in their sandbox (I believe they’ve featured Chris on a few occasions). They are smart and funny, and their posts usually find a way to mash together high art and graphic awesomeness with a pop-culture sensibility. One of my favorite things they’ve done was to create a meme (which readers populated) of book titles and band names mashed together (e.g., The Chicago Manual of Style Council).

Aaron Renn (@urbanophile): City planning, and how cities use urban spaces, has become an area of interest for me. I’m not an expert by any means, and I need to learn more about the field, but I’m really interested in planning and architecture. Aaron’s blog, The Urbanophile, always has smart analysis of cities, and he’s specifically written a great deal about cities in the Midwest. Having lived in or near several of the cities he’s written about (Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Erie, Columbus, Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and of course, Chicago), it’s intriguing to see what Aaron thinks and how he frames his discussions.

Axis Maps (@axismaps): Axis Maps is doing great work in a field that, until recently, I knew nothing about – cartography. Their work goes far behind simply making maps; work in cartography and geographic information systems (GIS) is far reaching work that can be used for something as complex as government projects – and something as simple as the apps on your iPhone.

Okay, full disclosure: My best friend is a partner in this company. But even if he wasn’t, I’d be pretty blown away by the work that these guys are doing, and the exciting possibilities that those programs have for the future.

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