A Year in Review: The Frugal Nexus

So progress on TFN has been….. anemic for most of 2016. Somewhat on the edge of being forgotten.  Even logging into this site to cook up some articles feels a little foreign. But to fully reflect on this year, I  feel I have to recap the history.

The History

In April of 2016 I decided to purchase a formal domain name for the Frugal Nexus and secure proper hosting.  On April 18th I declared the move on my wordpress.com blog

I’m happy to announce that I am moving the Frugal Nexus to self-hosting.  The new domain will be up and running hopefully in a few hours.  I will update soon.

-DBecks Editor of the Frugal Nexus

Since I moved to my legit hosting, I published a meekly 7 posts. Two of those were drafts I had kicking around from back from the winter, so really I only did 5.  How did I come to such a place?  Well like a book on Chinese Mythology, allow me to reach back to the beginning…

I started TFN, back in late spring of 2015.  I was a freshly minted graduate out of university.  I spent the past 4 years in the trenches of the Ivory tower, slinging laptops and clinking keyboards making papers happen.  And like everything that has a start, my academic career came to an end, culminating in a lackluster graduation ceremony, and my commitment to my frugal ideas was shining bright as I framed my degree in a frame I bought from the dollar store.  The thing about being a student, it’s a self-driven pursuit, most are fortunate enough to have those to help you out, but your failures and your successes are yours to own.  I knew people who treated it as a speed-bump, the attitude persistent among some people I knew was “C’s and D’s get degrees”.   It was nice having a purpose, a driven pursuit.  University was stressful, it was interesting, I learned lots, and I grew as a person. So, as summer rolled into my life post exams, I missed having something, something to work on, something to grow as my own.  It’s with this sinkhole in my hole I decided to start a blog.

I started researching how to make a blog.  I had no idea who they were at the time, of course I speak of The Minimalist, they were decidedly in the meta-epoch of their blog.  Blogging about blogs, but the instructional video they provided made blogging seem so easy and free.  I started by making a political satire blog on wordpress.com. My plan was,  as I listened to my litany of political podcasts I was going to write about the news through the eyes of a character I made, Free Market Trevor.  I wrote maybe two posts, but the experience was enriching in that I learned how to start a blog. I decided to turn the dial to full still-born mode and aborted the idea of a political satire blog.   Next out the shout of ideas the Frugal Nexus.  As I recount in my second article I published, I was approached by a MLM evangelical and I made a blog post about why Life Leader was silly.  Admittedly critiquing Life Leadership was a slam dunk.  It was like looking at joining Scientology, an obviously terrible idea.

I enjoyed the process of making an article, some research, some keyboard clinking and out came a product. It’s nice looking at your intellectual labors.  I then physically moved less than a month after I started FN, to up north, and there was an immediate voltage sag, what happened?  The blog was laying down in the frozen tundra of neglect, but I brought it back from the brink.  After that sag, I was pushing out material. When I moved up north I got a job, a job that i can only describe as a “dip-shit” job.  It was entirely physical labour, and offered very little opportunities for job advancement.  It was my fear when I graduated I would be underemployed (but better than being unemployed), and it seems I would be living my second-worse fear.  But it was a humbling experience, it offered an interesting experience, one that would only be a negative one if it went on for too long.

It’s this period of dip-shitness that this blog flourished.  My academic talents waned under the monotonous, repetitive and unthankworthy tasks night after night, but this blog helped truck through the bitter nights.  I started reviewing books, I made long form articles with a richness of sources, and I enjoyed what I was doing with this blog.  If I’m pretentious enough to gild an era of my blog with the badge of “golden era” it would be this era.  I got so excited I wanted to start a new project. A professional website, something that I would like to think of as a “garage think-tank”.  It would obviously lack the PhD’s, the resources that the an organization like The Heritage Foundation has, but that is what I wanted.  I even started researching on how to start a non-profit organization in Canada.  It was going to a slicker and more professional version of the Frugal Nexus, My plan was the have my pseudo-think tank, grow it enough to have a couple other contributors. TFN would be relegated to be a more personal blog and I’d save my longer form content for my garage Think Tank.

I did end up buying a domain and I published three articles before this blog faded to the nether.   I had lacked the bandwidth and the motivation, but more importantly life got in the way.  I got a new job, I started my career that I feared I would not start, and this pseudo-think tank became unimportant to me.

But at the same time, my interest in the blog dropped.  I was mentally exhausted when I got home, unable to bring myself together to clink words together to drop articles.  My Evangelical vigor blew out to a mere ember.  It’s this state I still exist in.  But like a sinusoidal wave form, from the depths of neglect to peaks of interest,  It’s with this temporal revival I make these reflections. And that short synopsis is the history of this blog, sounds sorta silly to write a history piece on my blog, but I just did it. If you don’t like it, talk to my lawyer.   So that brings us to….

The future, what is in store? Do I have anything planned?

The Future

DIY
Do it yourself is such a natural marriage for frugality.  I already put out a couple pieces about DIY, but I plan on doing more.   I set forth into a new exciting electrical age, as I discovered sparks and I’m armed with my trusty multi-meter! Look for my upcoming DIY stuff, if I don’t blow myself up.

More Personal Blogging
I plan on embracing my inner narcissist by publishing more material about myself. Now that I have more money and the stakes are higher I can engage in more about saving and documenting the journey of frugality.

I’m Closing my Pseudo-think tank
When my domain expires on the post-consumerism center I will be purchasing a new domain that focuses on photography.

Commercialization.
I started this website with zero intentions of monetizing it, and my stance remains unchanged. Including zero ads (adfree master race).

Maybes

Podcast
I am quite a fan of podcasts, and I always think of starting a podcast.  I’ve done a few practice runs talking to my dashcam,  Maybe 2017 will be the year of the podcast.

Videos
DIY is a good topic for videos. This is again, a maybe.  I am more comfortable with clinking keyboards than stumbling around with a camera.

And with all that out of the way, how did my blog do this year?

Performance

48 “posts” published.  most of these are longer articles.

Since I migrated platforms I’ve had almost 10,000 visitors, and a inbox full of spam almost everyday.  I suspect many of these visitors are spam bots from Russia.   My old wordpress.com blog, despite being handicapped on a free platform naturally had better indexing because it generated some traffic with my MLM piece.  My old wordpress.com still recieves small amounts of traffic everyday, with the occasional peak.  But the numbers are fairly low.

My most popular articles are:
Multi-Level Marketing, Life Leadership: Getting Someone Else Rich

Canada’s Oligopoly: How Canadians are Getting Ripped Off by Big Telecom

Which I find interestingly enough that they are my oldest articles.
then my book reviews,
Most of my book reviews receive some traffic, but not lots.

Engagement with the content has been fairly low on this new domain.  The amount of spam has gone up a billion-fold.

Conclusion:

Started a blog, planted content, lost interest and spirit.  Still dealing with a lack of interest.

 

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