2011-12-19

3 reasons I stopped student blogging

I ran a blog for a few months while I was an undergrad student, but two years ago I noticed that my only regular reader was my mom. (At least there was only one person to tell that I wouldn't be blogging anymore!) What held me back as a blogger? I blame three problems.
  1. My main purpose in blogging was to earn money. Not to get rich, not even to make a living, just to help put myself through university.  I didn't have time for a real job during the school year, and I'd been too pessimistic about being able to find one over the summer. Some say the love of money is the root of all evil, but I think the illusion of a need for money is far worse. Once the no-free-lunch reality of building monetizable traffic had set in, I turned to sponsored posting and grey-hat SEO. I ended up with a spammy blog that nobody would have wanted to subscribe to, and I still didn't make much money.
  2. At such an early stage in both my formal and informal education, it was hard to pick a topic I could write original ideas about regularly and well.
  3. Without being thoroughly familiar with such keywords as "technological acceleration", "transhumanism" and "singularitarian", it was hard to articulate my visions and sense of purpose in life, and hard to find any of the relevant writing on the subject with Google. When I did write on the subject, not knowing such terms made effective white-hat SEO impossible. (More about this in my next post.)
Sofie Andreou, whom I met while studying at Trent University, recently told me I had lots of wild and wonderful ideas that ought to be shared with the world, and asked me why I didn't blog. (She's the sort of extrovert who can get -- and keep -- people like me talking about our interests and passions, no matter how esoteric. In this case, the setting was a highway where she was driving two teammates and me to a programming contest, and the topic was mind uploading.)

As I thought over her question, I realized that the second and third of these problems had sorted themselves out, and that once I graduated the first one would as well. So I promised her I'd start a blog once I graduated; this is that blog (even though I technically haven't graduated yet, since my final exams are still being marked).