Alex Santoso is the founder of the addictive blog Neatorama. Featuring a wide range of topics, as well as a shop that carries all things neat, Neatorama is a great place for getting lost in the Internet.
Since Alex Santoso is on the cutting edge of blogging, we asked him a few questions about how he maintains that edge, and how he stays creative.
3 Questions with Alex Santoso
1. How do you keep your work on the cutting edge?
As a blogger, it’s part of my routine to look for new sources of stories and posts. I do this in two general ways: the first is good old fashioned browsing (following blog rolls, for example). This method is easy and fun, but it’s also very time consuming. The second method is technology driven: we created an Upcoming Queue to let people write their own posts on Neatorama. We’ve gotten some really good stories that way.
I also constantly try to develop new ideas for the website like new features and collaboration. Many of these don’t make it - but that’s part of the creative process.
2. How do you reset yourself to become creative? Do you have any rituals?
I find that my creativity decreases as my to-do list expands. We all get bogged down with the mundane part of life - and running a blog actually has a lot of mundane parts! Every now and then, I clear low-priority things from my to-do list and start anew. The very act of wiping the slate clean actually frees up a lot of mental burden and unleashes quite a bit of creativity - I’ve gotten some of my best ideas simply by starting a new to-do list ...
3. What is an example of a time where you have thrown away an existing idea to force yourself to find something new?
Some ideas are good on paper, but are actually very difficult to carry out. We’ve invested a lot of time, money, and effort in trying to change the infrastructure Neatorama from a single blog into an interconnected group of blogs. After months of trying, however, we had to cancel the project because of technology glitches.
I’ve recently found a new lead in how to do it without all the technical headaches by talking to a lot of people - so the moral of the story is this: when you run into a brick wall, start talking to people because someone may have already built a door in the wall!