Founded in 1998, kottke.org is one of the oldest blogs on the web. It’s written and produced by Jason Kottke and covers the essential people, inventions, performances, and ideas that increase the collective adjacent possible of humanity. Frequent topics of interest among the 26,000+ posts include art, technology, science, visual culture, design, music, cities, food, architecture, sports, endless nonsense, and carefully curated current events, all of it lightly contextualized. Basically, it’s the world’s complete knowledge, relentlessly filtered through my particular worldview, with all the advantages and disadvantages that entails.
kottke.org has helped influence the design and format of social media on the web since its inception. In 2000, the site introduced the permalink as a deliberate design feature, now the atomic element of social media. kottke.org has been cited in hundreds of books and academic publications and was one of the first blogs covered in major media like the New Yorker. In 2005, work on the site was 100% funded using a patronage model that anticipated services like Kickstarter and Patreon. The launch versions of both Gawker and BuzzFeed were partially based, in design and function, on kottke.org. The site has helped discover and popularize many emerging ideas and media forms, including tumblelogs in 2005, about a year and a half before Tumblr launched.
More recently, The Guardian named kottke.org one of the 50 most powerful blogs in the world in 2008. In 2013, Wired Magazine asked me to write about kottke.org for their 20th anniversary issue honoring the people, companies, and ideas that “have shaped the future we live in today”. Slate wrote a robotic blogger to see if the site’s output could be matched algorithmically. Time named me one of the 25 best bloggers in 2013. You can read more about the site on kottke.org. Meta!
I love the Web. I discovered it in college in 1994 and have been designing, programming, and writing online like my life depends on it ever since. In the 90s and 00s, I designed and developed sites for 3M, E*Trade, Target, and Charles Schwab. I designed Gawker for its launch, including the logo, which I’m proud to say a) lasted the entire tenure of the site and b) was photoshopped being bodyslammed by boyhood hero Hulk Hogan. I designed a font called Silkscreen, which has been used by Adobe, Volvo, Britney Spears, Herman Miller, and in The Bourne Legacy.
My work on kottke.org has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Wired, and dozens of other media outlets. I was an early advisor to BuzzFeed and helped them hire two key early employees. I’ve headlined at SXSW Interactive and spoken at MoMA, Ars Electronica, and Webstock. In 2005, I was a Senior Fellow in the R&D Lab at Eyebeam. In 2011, I designed and built Stellar (closed down in July 2016) to make it easy for people to discover great things online.
You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Wikipedia. I’ve lived in WI, IA, MO, MN, CA, NY, NH, VT, and, briefly, France. I currently live in Vermont with my two kids. I don’t have a plan. But I still love the Web.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or try to catch me on Twitter. I get a lot of messages (too many to reply to), but I read everything I receive and will try my best to respond if a response is necessary. If you send me something on Facebook I probably won’t even see it because I don’t spend a lot of time there.
If you’d like to send me something, email me and I might send you my address.
kottke.org is hosted by Arcustech and published using Movable Type. The text on the site is Whitney ScreenSmart by Hoefler & Co. If you’re interested in advertising on kottke.org, please get in touch with the folks at The Deck. If you would like to post a job listing on kottke.org, try We Work Remotely.
Thanks to all of the guest editors over the years who have lent their energy and perspective to the site, including Ainsley Drew, Tim Carmody, Sarah Pavis, Aaron Cohen, Susannah Breslin, Choire Sicha, and Adam Lisagor. And to Chris Piascik for the awesome illustrations.
Other indispensables: GitHub, Dropbox, Gmail, Chrome, AWS, Sketch, Apple 5K iMac, Feedly, Transmit, TextMate, Emeco Navy Chair, Spotify, Muji Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser, and Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones.