Category Archive 'Internet'

More thoughts inspired by Darren’s group writing project

Blogging, Internet

I’ve gotten a lot of comments on my recent post about what I’d do differently if I had to start this site all over again. Many people wrote for the project (with varied and sincere advice), so if you’re new to blogging or thinking of starting, I highly encourage you to take a look at all the recommendations being given.

That being said, I wanted to take the time to make a few points:

  1. From browsing around, I realize now that part of the reason I have no regrets on my own (quite new) site is due to the experience of people like Darren, Katy, Peter and others who’ve been at it longer and made jumping into blogging much smoother a process for the rest of us than it would have been. So a very sincere thank you must go out everyone for sharing their generosity and wisdom with those of us lucky enough to benefit from them.
  2. The ‘net is really a great equalizer. Where else could you be where you’d feel just as comfortable giving advice after being at something for only 6 months as someone who’s been at it for 5 years? There were respondents who were also just getting into blogging after several years of web experience elsewhere, like Jersey Girl.
  3. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: these group writing projects allow you to connect with people all over both the blogosphere and world. Last time, I found out about SouthAsiaBiz, and this time The Big Chorizo (Spain), Leon (Jamaica) among others. You never know if you’ll find another blog that helps you in your niche or some other aspect that interests you. How great is it to be able to connect to the rest of the world so easily, and how did we ever manage before with just traditional media?
  4. Blogging can definitely be a successful part of your own small business. Just take a look at Paul, Katy, and Lil’ Duck Duck.
  5. So what are the key lessons? A quick perusal shows that the following advice (in no particular order) is often repeated: get your own domain, use WordPress, learn about keywords and linking, decide on a focused topic, decide on a design. Always keep in mind though, that just because everyone else says something’s better doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you.

And probably the most important thing to note is that most people are very happy with their site and the way things have turned out. Now I join the ranks of those who will try things on my own for the benefit of future bloggers.

Puzzle of the week


For all you puzzle lovers out there, go here. It’s an alphabet puzzle, sort of like the SAT analogy section on drugs. The first answer is “b”. The rest is up to you. How far can you get? (I’m stuck on “P”.)

A brief update on site happenings this week


Lots of changes seem to be afoot! First, welcome to all the readers who might be visiting from The Street’s Daily Blog Watch. It was an unexpected but pleasant surprise to find my article on ETFs had been picked up by such a well-read site this morning.

Second, those readers might also be interested in this week’s Carnival of Investing, a collection of investment-related entries being hosted over at Free Money Finance. I submitted a post on choosing a bond fund, but there are several others worth reading, including one on , which I’ll need to look into learning more about myself.

Third, as you may know, I’m writing both here and on All Financial Matters this week for JLP, the blog’s author, so why not drop by and take a look? My posts there have been shorter and a bit more interactive, in an effort to respect his spirit of writing. Maintaining two blogs and writing multiple, interesting articles on each one is quite the challenge, but well worth it. Thanks again to JLP for giving me this opportunity.

A quick welcome to new visitors, and thanks JLP!


If you’re visiting this site from , welcome! Starting this Saturday, and continuing through the week, I’ll be doing double duty and writing both here on my site and as a guest author on All Things Financial for JLP while he’s on vacation, at his kind invitation. To break up the work, I’ve decided to focus on some longer, less time-sensitive posts on this site and dedicate current personal finance topics to JLP’s site.

So, look around and check out my “about” page for some of my philosophy, as well as links to some of my popular posts.

And of course, feel free to send me any feedback, including any topics you might like to see this week. I can’t promise I’m qualified to write about everything, but I’ll certainly do my best.

If you like what you see here, I hope you’ll stay a bit, browse, and revisit often. If not, that’s fair, and thanks for visiting!

How to successfully barter for a house

Business & entrepreneurship, Internet

A month or two ago, I wrote a post about , where a guy named Kyle MacDonald was attempting to get a house by trading up for things each week. Well, tomorrow, July 12th, he , having reached his goal exactly one year after his project began with a lowly paperclip.

I’d mentioned before that what Kyle’s doing might work because it’s part auctioning and part free advertising. Apparently, the little town of Kipling (who’s offering MacDonald the house), was looking for ways to attract businesses and tourism, and what better way was there than to be the one who fulfilled Macdonald’s increasingly high-profile quest? What’s more, the town plans on holding auditions to fill a role for Corbin Bernsen’s upcoming movie, which was the official item up for barter. If you believe the , it seems the town will continue get plenty of what it’s seeking: attention.

seems to be gaining strength these days. That’s funny, because money was created to serve as a proxy for bartering in order to facilitate the exchange of goods and services that would be hard to match up, especially over long distances. Now that we’re in the 21st century and have all this computer technology, more and more sites are appearing dedicated to bartering, too. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

(Thanks to my bro for following this story and sending me the link!)