Here We Go Again

This is a perfect time to scrap content that I felt was holding me back, causing me that paralysis and dissonance

Here We Go Again
Photo by Andrew Winkler / Unsplash

I almost shut down Neural Market Trends a few months ago. I migrated it to WordPress from Hugo at the beginning of the year and started posting new articles ranging from coin collecting, precious metals, the stock market, passive investing, startups, and much more. I enjoyed the writing part again but a familiar gnawing inside the pit of my stomach began again. I knew that what I was doing wasn't going to last.

There were two big problems I ran into, again. The first one was related to using WordPress. I hated using it and didn't like the 100s of plugins I had to use to do anything with the site. What I did like about WordPress was its frictionless writing, it was easy to write and post. I would fire up my iAWriter, start writing, and with one click was able to stage a draft on my site. That was something I couldn't do with a Hugo-based site.

The second problem was the topics I wrote about. I felt like I was muddying the topics between economy, money, data science/machine learning, and startup life. That's something I've been suffering with for years after I started Neural Market Trends as a finance/economy/trading site and turned it into a RapidMiner site. I've been suffering from an identity crisis and I've been stuck on this for nearly a decade.

Was this a RapidMiner/H2O/data science blog or a finance/economy/stock blog? Or was it something else entirely?

I started to make progress on solving both problems a few months ago and in part by distracting myself by writing on Medium. I learned long ago that the best way to overcome any obstacle is to keep working and keep trying. Maybe the trick is to go around the obstacle or climb over it. Maybe it's to jettison a heavy load you've been carrying for so long.

So I started making changes. First, I migrated my personal site, to a site. I began writing about startups, selling, and technology and sharing a curated list of links with my insight as a member-only weekend briefing. Doing that broke through my first problem, I was able to write frictionlessly on the Ghost platform. I also started to find a path around my second obstacle, I was able to write on topics I cared about freely.

For the first time in 10 years, I felt like I had a way out of my paralysis. With RapidMiner being acquired by Altair I felt like I could close that chapter of my life and move on. My only real traffic generator up till now has been my RapidMiner Tutorials post, so why not make a pivot?

So, I hatched a plan.

First, I started a subdomain using Blot.IM as the backend. I shared market-related links and quick posts about whatever tickled my fancy. Then I started posting gold and silver price forecasts using my proprietary models and started to feel like I found my way again. I realized that I liked writing about the stock market, the economy, and stuff that's happening in the finance world. I  know that I don't want to be like a CNBC or Seeking Alpha, I wanted to be me. I wanted to recapture a bit of the old glory of that Neural Market Trends in 2007, but new and improved.

I definitely like what I did with but felt it was too noisy. So I stopped posting over there and decided to make another transformation. This time, I plan on clearing out all the old debt and starting fresh.

My first step was to shit-can my WordPress blog for my root domain,, and port it back to Hugo as I staged it for a new hosted site. The only problem with porting 600+ posts to Ghost was formatting everything into their JSON format. I've had little success up till now to get it to work so I decided to port a few popular posts manually. I expect over time to add older posts back but for the most part, a lot of those 600+ posts are pretty useless and I get zero traffic to them.

This is a perfect time to scrap content that I felt was holding me back, causing me that paralysis and dissonance.

Another part of my plan was to look up my old blogger friends and see what they were doing. Some have closed their blogs long ago and moved on with their own startups or life. Others are still kicking around and blogging on their old domains. I also checked out the potential competition and saw what they're doing and realized that one thing remains constant on this crazy Internet, you have to be yourself and share that with the world.

Of course, sharing yourself with the world is just one facet of a precious gem, it's building a community around your site that matters too. It's all about the conversation that the content starts, something I've missed after using Hugo. I know I lost 1000s of great comments from readers because I didn't have the CDN tweaked to give me fast comment loads.

After all my experimenting and evaluating my plan, I've decided to use Ghost as my platform. It makes writing frictionless and I can build a community with comments and through email newsletters. Granted, it's not Medium or Substack and I'll have to build my audience from scratch, but it'll be worth it.

If you're reading this post then the cutover to Ghost has happened and you should see a few old posts here. Things will be broken for a while as I write new content and migrate over more posts. If there's a specific file or scrap of code you're missing then drop me a comment and I'll try to get it on the site as fast as possible.

Thank you for being here and I look forward to meeting you all again.


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