Rather than just list people on my blog watch without explanation, I thought I should perhaps "introduce" them or at least explain why my blog watch contains the links that it does. So my lead-off batter for blog watch has to go to Eric Meyer, someone whom I've never met but seems so very familiar...
He grew up near Cleveland in the 60s and 70s; I grew up near Cleveland in the 60s and 70s. He's a web designer and developer; I'm a web designer and developer. He and his wife are teaching their child sign language; my wife and I taught our children sign language. He attends SXSW in Austin, Texas; I live in Austin, Texas. He's an internationally renknowned author and speaker and all-around friendly guy whose writings are followed daily by thousands around the globe; I ...uhmm... okay there are some differences. I don't shovel snow off my driveway being another.
Eric isn't tops on my list just because he's from Cleveland but also because his books have rocked my philosophy and impacted my attitude towards web site design. Six months ago, I was steadfast in the HTML tables camp with only cursory attention to Cascading Style Sheets. In December of 2004, however, my casual post in the churchmedia.net forum and that post's reply set in motion my CSS edification.
Since then, I've read three of Eric's books: More Eric Meyer on CSS (New Riders), Cascading Style Sheets, The Definitive Guide Second Edition (O'Reilly), and CSS Pocket Reference (O'Reilly). In these books, he's not only taught me why convoluted nested tables sized with single-pixel transparent GIF images only lead to heartache, but he's demonstrated the elegance, power, and time-savings that CSS brings with it. Now, rather than just managing font styles with CSS, I am managing the look-and-feel of entire paragraphs, pullquotes, even pages. There's plenty more to explore, and I've appreciated Eric's illumination and writing style.