Ryan Koehler

Personal Journal

Library Book Sale

I stopped by my local library today and purchased some books from their annual book sale.  I brought home two atlas of the world reference books, a Lonely Planet Mandarin phrasebook, and a contemporary Japanese textbook printed in 1999 titled “Yookoso!”

A Visit To The Museum

The National Gallery of Art is featuring a collection of Gustave Caillebotte paintings for a show entitled Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye. I took some time today to visit the museum and see the famous paintings in person.  Among my favorites were On the Pont de l’Europe, The Bezique Game, and the famous Paris Street, Rainy Day.

Waiting To Buy Tech Stocks After The Bubble Bursts

Are you prepared for the next tech bubble burst? Facebook and Twitter may never recover, but companies that have a proven and established business model, like Microsoft and Intel, will stick around.

Intel is a good buy right now, but wait until the bust to get the best deal.  In the meantime, invest in food stocks like Coca-Cola and Hershey’s, whose stock prices will dramatically jump during the bust as investors gobble them up for safety.

Why I Write About Myself

I had a blog in 2006.  It was when blogs were new and everyone was signing up for one.  Blogger was the most popular ( was there even another choice at the time? ).  This was before Twitter and WordPress.  Before smartphones, before Facebook had the ability to share photos besides showing off your one profile picture.

I wrote regularly for about three years and kept it unfiltered and private.  It was just for me.  The Internet was scary.  I didn’t want strangers reading about my personal life.  I didn’t want anyone to know my real name.

Then Adsense came along and threw a wrench in it.  You could make money by people visiting your blog.  I decided to make my fifty-something post blog public in the hopes of making money.  And I did earn money.  A few dollars a day, but I wanted more.  I would read articles about best SEO practices from day to night.  Keywords became very important to me.  It started to affect the quality and the subject of my blog, slowly turning it into an odd collection of posts about myself mixed with posts about random Japanese topics.  The blog was no longer about me.  Eventually I stopped writing altogether, hiring a writer to work in my place.

The blog became a monster, a mutant with personal stories for the legs and body attached to a wikipedia talking head.  It didn’t feel right.  It was also around the time online marketers started to realize the benefits of writing niche targeted blogs as compared to a general catch all personal blog.  I let the monster die and moved on to writing niche blogs.

Niche writing didn’t work out for me.  I struggled writing about the same topics everyday.  But by this time I had a lot of experience setting up websites and working with WordPress.  I moved on to the web development side and left the content creation side behind.

The Internet has changed a lot since 2006, and so has people’s feelings towards sharing their lives online.  I too have changed.  Rather than avoiding strangers, I now seek them out in the hopes of building lifelong meaningful relationships.  It took ten years and various work experiences to arrive to this mindset.  I’m giving myself the permission now, after a decade of holding back, to share all my thoughts in one place, no matter how unrelated or trivial the topics may be.

Why do I write about myself?  One reason is that it is therapeutic.  Another reason is that I enjoy reading the minutia of an average day I experienced many years ago.  A third reason is to make a connection with people.

© 2016 Ryan Koehler

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