The “Favorite Writer” Experiment

The experiment: who is the one writer or blogger whose new material you make a point to go check out?

The motivation: a two-part hunch–
a) that people’s favorite writers are not necessarily the most well-known
b) that a lot of people actually don’t know who their favorite writer is

The distribution: 

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 3.33.31 PM

The full list (in order of frequency) + sample writing:

  1. Bill Simmons, sportswriter @ Grantland – God Loves Cleveland
  2. Tim Ferriss, entrepreneur & life hacker – Smash Fear, Learn Anything
  3. Seth Godin, entrepreneur – The Tribes We Lead
  4. James Altucher, investor & entrepreneur – The Only Rules You Need to Know
  5. Ta Nehisi Coates, culture writer @ The Atlantic – The Case for Reparations
  6. Zach Lowe, sportswriter @ Grantland – In Search of the Elusive Makeup Call
  7. Joel Stein, freelance writer –  The New Army Recruiting Pamphlet
  8. Paul Graham, investor & entrepreneur – Do Things That Don’t Scale
  9. Rembert Browne, culture writer @ Grantland – Taylor Swift, New York?
  10. Jason Silva, host of NatGeo’s BrainGames – The World in a Sentence
  11. John Siracusa, software developer & blogger – Creativity, Inc.
  12. J Kenji Lopez Alt, culinary director @ Serious Eats – The Food Lab: Poached Eggs
  13. Atul Gawande, surgeon & writer – The Best Possible Day
  14. Nicholas Kristof, columnist @ NYTimes – American Dream Leaving America
  15. Jhumpa Lahiri, novelist – Brotherly Love
  16. Ben Wellington, statistician & blogger – Affordable Housing w/o Representation
  17. Cass Sunstein, professor @ Harvard Law – “Nudge” & Decision-Making
  18. Roman Mars host of radio show 99% Invisible – Straight Line, Godless Line
  19. Pepto von Bismol, blogger/writer – Breaking News
  20. Brandon Sanderson, novelist –  Centrifugal
  21. Alastair Campbell, journalist & former political aide – Robin Williams Tragedy
  22. Megan Smith & Kara Parker, education bloggers –  Creative Language Class
  23. Ji Kim/Luxirare, fashion blogger – Ideas Cannot Be Imprisoned
  24. Chris Ballas, blogger @ The Last Psychiatrist – Who Bullies the Bullies?
  25. Shane Snow, entrepreneur & journalist – The Art of Strategic Laziness
  26. Tina Roth Eisenberg, designer – Clever Bike Rack
  27. Randall Munroe, former NASA roboticist, founder of xkcd – Physical Salary
  28. James Clear, entrepreneur –  The Theory of Cumulative Stress
  29. Tim Urban, founder of WaitButWhy Why You Secretly Hate Cool Bars
  30. Samantha Sharf, writer @ Forbes, Penn alum!! –  The Recession Generation
  31. Penelope Trunk, entrepreneur – What Type of Woman Should Freeze Her Eggs?
  32. Leo Babauta, Zen entrepreneur –  The Empty Container
  33. Adam Bryant, columnist @ NYTimes – Scratching the Itch to Create
  34. P. L. Thomas, educator – My (Often Painful) Online Education
  35. Arts and Letters Daily, Chronicle of Higher Education – The Cult of Speed
  36. Tadas Viskanta, founder of Abnormal Returns –  Daily Rundown of the Market
  37. Russell Brand, actor – Bare Minimum Wage
  38. George Will, columnist @ WashPo – The Nastiest Political Tactic This Year
  39. Ezra Klein, E-i-C of Vox – Washington Is Returning to Normal. And It Sucks.
  40. Tyler Cowen & Alex Tabbarok, economists/founders @ Marginal Revolution – The East 25 Years After Communism
  41. Sarah Kliff, senior editor @ Vox – The Secret History of Birth Control Pills
  42. Jon Youshaei, Googler, writer @ Forbes, Penn alum!! – Succeed w/o Being a Workaholic
  43. Venkatesh Rao, philosopher & decision theorist – How to Fall off the Wagon

The categories (terribly drawn):

The “Self”:
Tim Ferriss
Seth Godin
James Altucher
James Clear
Tim Urban
Penelope Trunk
Leo Babauta
Jon Youshaei
Venkatesh Rao

Ta Nehisi Coates
Atul Gawande
Rembert Browne
J Kenji Lopez Alt
Jhumpa Lahiri
Ben Wellington
Pepto von Bismol
Ji Kim/Luxirare
Chris Ballas
Randall Munroe
Arts & Letters Daily

Cass Sunstein
Alastair Campbell
P.L. Thomas
Tadas Viskanta
Samantha Sharf
Tyler Cowen & Alex Tabbarok
George Will
Ezra Klein
Sarah Kliff

Paul Graham
Jason Silva
John Siracusa
Shane Snow
Roman Mars
Tina Roth Eisenberg

General Opinion:
Joel Stein
Nicholas Kristof
Adam Bryant
Russell Brand

Bill Simmons
Zach Lowe
Megan Smith & Kara Parker
Brandon Sanderson

** if you’ve got better articles to include for authors, or better categories, or if you want to do this experiment at a bigger scale, hit me up!


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