Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Second QA

This week I'm going to check in with Samer Kurdi, the founder and webmaster of the Freeware Genius blog. Freeware Genius has been around for quite a while, and according to both Technorati and Google it's a pretty high profile site. That's easy enough to understand, Freeware Genius publishes quality content.

Speaking of quality content, I wrote some for the site a while back. Freeware Genius updates regularly with posts discussing and reviewing free software. That includes both open source and freeware applications of all kinds; business, games, productivity, system tools, ect.

Samer agreed to answer a few of my questions about running the site:

Travis: When did you start Freeware Genius?
Samer: September of 2006.

Travis: What has kept you motivated to keep writing the blog?
Samer: It has had some good reception. I was lucky; my site was started at a good time when sites like it were not as common. I was fortunate to get linked to by some high-profile sites and/or get traffic spikes at times when my blog really needed it. There were quite a few times that I was about to give up on it. At this point it has garnered a sufficiently large following/traffic that stopping is not something I consider seriously anymore.

Travis: How many people visit Freeware Genius daily?
Samer: Approximately 6000-7000.

Travis: Do you like working with Wordpress? Have you ever used other blogging platforms?
Samer: I love Wordpress. I have experimented with Blogger, but there's no comparing the two.

Travis: Are you ideologically attracted to free software, the open source movement, or net neutrality?
Samer: I care about net neutrality in theory, but wouldn't call myself an activist. I kind of truly believe my site's slogan "Some day all software will be free", in the sense that I believe that in the future most software will be free, and that only niche or custom software will be sold. Except "Someday most software will be free" doesn't quite have the same ring to it ;)
But I do think that ultimately there is value in having a claim on people's attention: that they're using your software, watching your movie, reading your book, consuming your content, listening to your music, etc., that makes it worthwhile to give intellectual property out for free.
As the the open source movement: I am merely in awe that it has succeeded to the extent that it has.

Travis: How much time do you spend maintaining Freeware Genius?
Samer: More than you would think. approx 3 hours every day on average, in the bus, during my lunch break, and late at night. Its a full fledged second job that is takes a toll.

Travis: Do you promote Freeware Genius, or make use of SEO?
Samer: I don't do much. I have SEO plugins installed, and have benefited from organic links that I do not actively go out to solicit. At the moment I don't have the bandwidth to do much more, unfortunately.

Travis: What advice would you give a newbie blogger?
Samer: Have an opinion, and create posts that are entertaining to read. Get the theatrics right.

Travis: Can you tell me about yourself (Education, Age, Location, Profession)?
Samer: I have a BA in Psychology and Philosophy and an MBA from Boston University. I am 39. I live in Seattle, and work as an analyst in an internet marketing company.

Travis: Do you read other blogs? If so, what are your favorites?
Samer: Not really. My favorite blog is the political blog fivethirtyeight.com, which was just bought by the New York Times. I try to avoid reading tech blogs because if I see an article or a review posted on them that I am thinking to write or in the process of writing, my reaction is to chuck it out. I find it more practical to be myopic in terms of what I am working on.

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