The Observer recently listed their fifty most powerful blogs, and while the list does contain some of the usual suspects (Techcrunch, the Huffington Post), there are plenty of more out-of-the-box choices too, such as Susie Bubble‘s creative fashion blog, Chocolate and Zucchini‘s Parisian food blog, and Waiter Rant (I think anyone who has ever worked in the service industry can identify with this one, at least a little).

What’s interesting about this list to me is that very few of these blogs fit into the typical mold or follow the rules/ideas popularized by the pro-blogging community; there isn’t a lot of obvious writing to the search engines, the design choices range from completely basic (Kottke) to quite complex (like Treehugger, where the front page has a lot going on but is still fairly easy to navigate).¬† In fact, the only thing that all these sites seem to have in common is¬†compelling writing/information/images/videos – perhaps it is proof that useful or entertaining content really is all that matters for blogging success.