Burn Rate

Notes On the Blogograph

Happy Birthday Burn Rate! It’s officially been one year since I wrote the first post on this blog. What started out as a reddit comment on how to survive CSO morphed into a post on my personal blog and then this entire blog.

Over the course of the year I’ve written about a variety of topics, from doing side projects to getting a big N job to even the humanities.

Since I purposefully didn’t add analytics to my blog, I don’t have any numbers on how many people have read my blog. I’m fine with that. I don’t feel any obligation to grow my readership or cater to anybody.

What I’ve Learned

Over the course of this year (and 35+ posts!), I’ve learned a few good lessons on writing blog posts.

  • If your intro or conclusion feels awkward or stilted, omit it. It’s completely fine to jump into the content and leave just as quickly.

  • Remove as many filler words like “Okay but”, “well”, “so”, etc. as possible without sounding like a robot. It’s more than you’d think.

  • Or as Strunk and White espouse: Omit needless words.

  • Keep track of words you use a lot and vary accordingly. Read the post and note how many times you use “but”, “also”, etc.

  • Don’t keep saying that you think this or IMO that. This entire blog is your opinion. You don’t need to repeat it.

  • Any post that sits in your drafts for too long won’t make it. Just kill it. Especially if it’s too technical.

  • It’s okay to kill a post and revive it.

  • If you’re out of ideas for posts, talk with people and keep track of your kvetches.

  • Try to make posts shorter (still working on that!)

  • Posts with any sort of technical details take easily twice as long.

  • Just keep writing. Don’t worry about superficial stuff like how the blog looks or whether you should add comments, etc. Dan Luu is an extreme, but good example of content over form.

  • Edit edit edit. You need to read and reread the post. Be ruthless with sentence structure and clarity. Delete entire swaths of text if necessary.

Looking Ahead

I’m going to keep this blog going as long as I have post ideas. I’ve definitely exhausted a lot of the obvious topics, but I do come up with ideas here and there.

I’ve thought about expanding the formats of posts. Perhaps I can do some interviews with people in CS. I’d also love to have some guest posts. If you’re interested in writing a guest post, please get in contact.

I’m taking this semester off to intern at Cloudflare, so I might find some ideas there.

I’ve also started writing posts again on my personal blog, Horribly Underqualified. The posts there are slightly more technical and less related to NYU CS, but they may still be of interest.

Thank You

If you read this blog, thank you. I hope you enjoyed these posts and that you were able to use them to improve your CS career.

This project is maintained by torchNYU