People start blogging for many reasons. Some just want to share their hobbies like photography, food or film. Others are doing it to stand out from the 430,000 other Jonathan Smiths. For me, I’m starting this blog for a number of reasons:
1) To build my personal brand.
There’s only one “Jason Evanish” on the web, so I’m not fighting other people for relevancy on Google search. Of course, this also means that anything you find in searching my name is definitely associated with me. This fact provides me the great ability to control what anyone searching me finds first. Right now, Google search lists (in order):
This isn’t a bad start; you can figure out a lot about me from this, but there’s nothing that reflects my voice. The exception to this may be Twitter, but how much do you really say in 140 characters? With a blog I can get into my passions and interests, showing what’s important to me and make a contribution to the world wide conversation. And, of course, I also have the opportunity for future employers/partners to see an unfiltered view of me.
2) To discuss my passions and interests
I love entrepreneurship.
It all clicked my freshman year of college when I took a seminar class from the School of Technological Entrepreneurship at Northeastern which featured a different entrepreneur sharing their experiences and insight each week. Every entrepreneur was in a different stage in their startup and had different viewpoints; some showed their VC presentations, others just showed off their technologies or told war stories. I loved it all. I was hooked. It seemed exciting, challenging and a break from the Office Space world I feared may be waiting for me after graduation. (Scott Kirsner, among others, is actually working to put together a program like this for all Boston students to have the opportunity to visit CEOs, which is awesome.)
I love technology and innovation.
Having been born in the mid ‘80s, I have very little concept of a world without computers and the internet. Can you imagine having to use the postal service to stay in touch instead of email? Or even more important, using manual tables and a typewriter to keep your business together? Every minute the world is becoming more interconnected. More information is at our disposal thanks to search than ever was remotely possible before. I love reading about all the new technology and considering how the next innovation may change the way we work, play and interact.
3) To share what I find interesting
I read. A lot. Currently, I check 18 blogs per day. Not all of them update daily, and the blogs have changed a few times based on my interests, suggestions from others and eliminating some redundancies, but it’s still an undertaking each day to go through them. To me, it’s like an a la carte daily newspaper from around the world. Currently the list is as follows:
http://blogmaverick.com/ <– Mark Cuban’s blog…my resident “man-crush” as my roommates call it. He writes about many different things, but it’s always insightful and brutally honest
http://www.collegemogul.com/ <– Blog for young entrepreneurs
http://www.xconomy.com/boston/ <– Online business/tech news site focused on Boston
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/ <– Seth Godin’s blog…always an interesting thought for the day
http://blog.hubspot.com/ <– I’m really interested in inbound marketing, and hoping to get a job at HubSpot, so you gotta keep up on what they’re saying!
http://entrepreneur.venturebeat.com/ <– Subset of the VentureBeat site with great articles specifically for challenges facing entrepreneurs
http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/ <– Scott Kirsner’s blog on innovation in Boston…he always finds something interesting to write about.
http://www.startuplessonslearned.com/ <– Eric Ries’s blog…when he writes it’s pretty lengthy, but packed with good content.
http://www.chrisbrogan.com/ <– In my research of Hubspot, I came across him and enjoy his daily social media entries.
http://www.emergingenterprisecenterblog.com/ <– the Lawyers over at Foley Hoag in Waltham provide insights to common legal issues for local startups.
So you can see that’s a pretty broad list. I augment that by also reading Popular Science, Inc Magazine and MIT’s Technology Review. Add it all up, and I know at least a little bit about just about everything that’s going on in technology, entrepreneurship and the local start-up scene. This has come in handy more than once when I’m at a networking event; I’m able to both comfortably enter conversations with others, while also giving me a good base from which I can generate questions. I can tell you from experience the latter is really important; nothing gets attention faster than an insightful question or comment at an event, especially from a young person.
So what does all this reading mean for this blog? Well as my roommate quipped recently, “How can you read that much and not have something to say?” So when I come across something I find particularly interesting, I’ll pass it along and add my thoughts and questions.
4) To help fellow Young Entrepreneurs
When I started trying to get involved in the local startup community, I actually found it pretty difficult. There are a lot of subtle things you need to understand and a lot of resources are out there that aren’t necessarily easy to find if you aren’t “plugged in” to the community. Through this blog and future efforts with some fellow young entrepreneurs, we’re going to try to make this process much easier. This will include reporting the efforts others are making in this area like our friends at DartBoston as well as writing about our experiences and lessons learned.
Most artists have some type of trademark that makes them unique. For me, the unique feature of my blog will be a quote; at the end of every entry, I’ll leave you with a favorite quote of mine (I’ve collected hundreds over the years). This time, it’s the quote that inspired the title of my blog and embodies my philosophy of life:
“The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him, he is always doing both.” –James A. Michener