When we kicked off our list of 50 Must-Read IT Blogs  last year, we knew we were onto something special. We scoured the web and read many blogs before we settled on our 50 for the year, but we came away with a deep respect for the abundance of thoughtful content being generated by the collective small business and IT communities.
This year, we decided to invite our readers to throw their suggestions into the ring as well. The response to our call for nominations  was amazing. We received 1,159 votes from more than 400 people, so a huge thanks to everyone who contributed to this year’s list.
What criteria are used to select a Must-Read IT Blog? We look at a variety of factors, but we want to see that the blog serves a purpose (it provides tactical advice, leadership, inspiration or relevant news), has a unique voice, updates regularly (if the most recent blog post on your blog was from 2011, it didn’t make the cut) and, best of all, keeps us coming back for more.
One other important criterion is that the blogs . . . must actually be blogs. Unfortunately, that means some of the popular communities and forums that received many votes in the nominations round, such as myITforum , ITNinja  and Windows-Noob , didn’t make the final cut.
Without further ado, here is BizTech magazine’s list of the 50 Must-Read IT Blogs for 2012.
No, this isn’t a blog about the American Idol contestant Anoop Desai, but it is a blog about infrastructure management. Anoop Mannur is an IT consultant based in Mumbai, and he shares tips and news about Microsoft’s System Center, making this blog a handy resource for Microsoft system administrators.
If you’re looking for technology news and insight, with a dash of slightly cynical humor, then Brian Katz of A Screw’s Loose is your guy. And to prove what a fun grouch he is, Katz uses Statler of the Muppets  as his Twitter profile pic. But it’s not all jokes. With 14-plus years of IT experience under his belt, Katz knows tech.
This cloud-focused blog by BMC Software leverages its inside intelligence by calling on multiple workers within the company to lend their insight on all things cloud. There’s a good mix of company news, along with actual event reporting. The different personas on the blog add a great sense of diversity (hello, Doctor Cloud ).
Big Blue knows a thing or two about technology innovation, and this IBM-sponsored blog brings together different voices from both inside and outside the company to talk about big ideas. This post from Malcolm Greaves on his internship with IBM’s Watson , an artificial-intelligence breakthrough, is a perfect example of how innovation-focused the content is.
Contrary to what Cyndi Lauper said, girls don’t just wanna have fun. They also want to work with technology. Adria Richards, a developer evangelist for SendGrid, has been working hard to combat stereotypes about what women can and can’t do in the tech industry. Her blog, But You’re a Girl, covers issues on women in tech and trends in technology.
Barbara Weltman is an accomplished small-business guru. Having worked as a tax attorney since 1977, Weltman is able to blog about taxes and accounting in a way that’s easy to understand. Her blog is an invaluable tool for small businesses that need help getting their finances in order.
As an accomplished and recognizable business analyst for the Altimeter Group, Brian Solis has built a name for himself by calling it like it is. A self-described “futurist,” Solis effectively tackles everything from evaluating ROI in social media to collaboration — before the trends catch on.
Sometimes, love does hurt. So we’ll have to start calling Carol Roth the Punisher, because the way she “loves” small business is pretty tough. On her blog, Carol and her team don’t beat around the bush; here’s a sample headline: Why You’re Not Selling Anything . If you’re looking for a dose of truth serum, Carol’s got your prescription.
Chuck Hollis, a VP for EMC, is actually a pretty frank guy. His transparency comes through in his blog as he regularly engages with readers who post opposing viewpoints in the Comments section. His blog regularly generates thoughtful discussions about IT, so bring your thinking caps, boys and girls.
With the role of the CIO undergoing a monumental shift, PwC principal Chris Curran is here to help navigate CIOs through these cloudy times. Curran tackles all aspects of enterprise IT, from the cloud to BYOD and beyond.
If your head is always in the cloud, then consider making CloudAve a frequent online destination. This group blog features voices and commentary from knowledge experts in the cloud and SaaS field.
Gartner analyst Lydia Leong uses her profound knowledge of cloud computing, hosting and Internet infrastructure to inform her discerning analyses of the market and the IT industries That makes this blog a must-read for technologists and market watchers alike.
It’s a cloud-computing world — and we’re all just data floating in it. CloudTweaks publishes a consistent and prolific stream of news, commentary and analysis relating to the cloud.
IT consultant Eric D. Brown knows tech. But he also knows a thing or two about the American Coot . His blog is a curious blend of personal and professional content, so even if you don’t agree with his view that shadow IT can be a force for good , at least his Foto Fridays features fit in with the Instagram era we’re living in.
No, this isn’t Wonderland, Alice. This is IT security. Rafal Los, a security strategist for HP, offers up tactical advice and insight to help enterprises become more resilient in the face of growing threats to their networks.
Data retention is a battlefield, and Hu Yoshida, a vice president and chief technology officer for Hitachi, is a five-star general in the storage army. His blog for Hitachi covers the technical, personal and professional aspects of storage technology.
Engineers work in IT, but what do you call someone who innovates IT engineering? Jeff Sussna leads Ingineering.IT, a virtual IT consultancy, and on his blog he explores the untapped potential for new ways of achieving efficiency and productivity in IT.
If lean is mean, then startup star Ben Yoskovitz might be considered evil. On his blog, the technologist and entrepreneur offers strategies on building and managing lean, agile startups. Salesforce.com recently acquired his latest startup, GoInstant, for a reported $70 million , so Yoskovitz knows a thing or two about building a successful company.
If you’re an IT worker looking for answers, Keith Mayer, an IT evangelist for Microsoft, is here to help. Mayer offers hands-on tips for network and system administrators using various Microsoft products, including Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V.
Startup culture doesn’t just create successful companies. It also elevates charismatic, thoughtful personalities. Count Instapaper founder Marco Arment among them. His blog is often cited by other tech blogs for his insight and commentary on tech and startups.
The mobile computing world is evolving at blistering speeds, but InfoWorld’s Galen Gruman always manages to keep up with the roadrunners in mobile. His blog is great for keeping track of general trends in the mobile industry.
Mick Pletcher, from Tennessee, is a resourceful Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) admin with a knack for whipping up useful custom scripts and answering questions we’ve all had, such as, why do we lose our 4G signal when we enter a Walmart ?
In the startup world, there are big fish and small fish. The big fish get covered by larger blogs, such as TechCrunch, but Nibletz makes sure to shine a spotlight on the many, many startup minnows that rarely get press coverage.
This is a site by startup entrepreneurs, for startup entrepreneurs. Dharmesh Shah, co-founder and chief technology officer of HubSpot , and his band of guest contributors share war stories and strategic advice that any entrepreneur can rely on while they build their own company.
If you like your IT security advice bare and without preservatives, then Paul Asadoorian, a product evangelist for Tenable Network Security, is the guy you want to talk to. As part of his robust security blog, Paul runs a vlog called Hack Naked TV, which is a name that, thankfully, is more figurative than literal.
Consider Paul Thurrott the Clark Kent of Windows, because when it comes to Microsoft’s flagship OS, he’s a real superhero. Paul’s blog offers thorough, round-the-clock updates on Windows devices and the various flavors of the iconic operating system.
Benjamin Robbins bravely goes, where few technology professionals dare to venture. As a principal with consulting firm Palador , Robbins advises organizations on mobile deployments. But as a blogger, he puts it all out there. Robbins recently showed off pictures of his pink phablet , proving that he’s not afraid to let his inner diva show.
Named after the rishis , a Sanskrit word denoting ancient figures in Indian mythology who had the power to see the future, Rishidot Research founder Krishnan Subramanian, a well-known voice in cloud computing, and his team guide readers through cloud-computing forecasts and beyond.
Microsoft Data Protection Manager specialist Robert Hedblom shares quick, useful tips on DPM, SCCM and others Windows products. You can trust his word, too, because he’s a certified Microsoft MVP.
A data center can sometimes seem a little like an insider’s club. After all, only a select few are invited to take a peek behind the IT curtain, so to speak. But the team at Schneider Electric uses its Data Center Blog to make everyone feel like an insider.
Bruce Schneier is, without doubt, one of the more recognizable IT security gurus in the field. He’s an accomplished author, speaker and blogger as well. Schneier on Security is a constant feed of short updates and external links, along with an occasional essay.
37Signals is one of those amazing startup companies that bootstrapped  its way to profitability rather than taking the more common venture capital route. The company’s secret to success lies, in part, with its amazing team. Signals vs. Noise lets readers in on the company’s thoughts on design, business and digital culture.
Former Gartner analyst Simon Bramfitt covers the desktop-virtualization and application-delivery ecosystems in detail. This is a great resource for IT workers considering client virtualization for their company.
If the technology industry were a human body, Silicon Valley would be its beating heart. There are plenty of blogs that claim to cover the Valley, but former Financial Times journalist Tom Foremski keeps his finger on the pulse of the industry.
How can small businesses thrive without the infrastructure and resources of a major metropolitan city? Becky McCray and her team of small-town small-biz veterans will show you how.
If you’re looking for a little leadership advice, Taffy Williams, CEO of Colonial Technology Development, has a few pearls of wisdom to share. His blog tackles all sorts of challenges that entrepreneurs and workers face in the small business workplace — such as huge egos .
After spending 21 years working for eight different high-tech companies, you can classify Steve Blank as a technology-startup veteran. These days, Blank passes on his rich business and technology expertise in two ways: by teaching at Stanford University, UC Berkeley and Columbia University and by writing on his blog.
Mark Thiele has data running through his veins. As the executive vice president of data center tech for Switch , Thiele advises IT workers on data center optimization. But he might also make a good Survivor contestant, as he admits to having hunted a wild boar , with a spear, as a child.
Affectionately referring to himself as a “technogeezer” on Twitter, Dan Mintz, COO of Powertek, isn’t shy about being a senior in technology. But there’s nothing old or stodgy about his grasp on social media and future technology. This is one “geezer” who gets IT.
Is success in IT the result of serendipity or calculation? Dr. Jim Anderson, an IT consultant, makes it all seem so simple on his blog, where he offers practical advice and strategies for CIOs.
Entrepreneurship isn’t just a way of life; it’s also a state of mind. Dr. Jeff Cornwall, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Belmont University , knows all about building and molding a great entrepreneurial mind, and he proves it regularly with his thought-provoking posts.
If you’re a Linux-open source-UNIX kind of IT pro, The Geek Stuff has got you covered. This blog is heavy on code snippets and programming, and light on filler, which is great for programmers who want to get the information they need as quickly as possible.
With over 2 million IT workers and counting, the Spiceworks community is one of the largest IT-pro communities on the web. The Spiceworks blog regularly highlights community members with Q&As, and the Spiceworks team goes out of its way to shine a light on IT workers  doing great things.
There are lots of mainstream newspapers that don’t “get” technology, but the San Francisco Chronicle isn’t one of them. Which makes sense, since it’s right in the heart of Silicon Valley. The paper’s technology blog, The Tech Chronicles, keeps readers up to date on all of the “news and views from the digital frontier.”
Mitch Garvis is an IT training and certification guru with expertise in Microsoft environments. He’s also an impressive black-belt martial artist and bilingual Canadian. His colorful background shapes his view of everything he discusses on his blog, which is a mixture of the personal and the technical.
Don’t underestimate the entrepreneurial power of a talented young person. After all, look at what 28-year-old Mark Zuckerberg has been able to accomplish with Facebook. Leaning on the rich experiences of other young startup talent, the Young Entrepreneurs Council blog, The Insider, is a great resource for budding business owners.
Where are the best ideas created? On a whiteboard, of course. The team at SolarWinds share some of their best ideas on IT security, BYOD and more on the corporate blog.
Before she set up shop as a senior technical marketing manager with F5 Networks, Lori MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing magazine. Which means she has a reporter’s nose for cutting out the hyperbole and giving you real insight. Like when she told all the Chicken Littles of the blogosphere that software-defined networking was not the next IT killer .
Veteran tech journalist Eric Lai has covered technology for more than 15 years, but he now works as an in-house expert on mobile enterprise technology for Sybase, a SAP company. His blog touches on everything organizations need to know about adopting and using mobile tech.
Keith Townsend claims to have “an unhealthy fascination” with technology, but his diet of blog posts about virtualization, cloud computing, networking and PC hardware seem perfectly healthy to us.
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