Student Helps Bloggers Overcome Writer's Block

Dec 09, 2008
Student Helps Bloggers Overcome Writer’s Block
Georgia Tech student Paul Stamatiou created Skribit, a blog that helps bloggers overcome writer’s block. Skribit has more than 4,000 blogs using it and gets more than 4 million hits per month. (Photo: Rob Felt/Ga Tech)

( -- If you write a blog and haven’t been to Skribit ( perhaps it’s just a matter of time. Paul Stamatiou created the service as a tool to help cure blogger’s block (writer’s block for bloggers) a little over a year ago, and already it boasts more than 4,000 blogs using it and gets about 4 million hits per month.

Stamatiou created Skribit (rhymes with ribbet) out of necessity to help him as he worked on his own blog, He had been running his blog since 2005, but was having a bit of trouble coming up with the next thing to write. So he pitched the idea at Startup Weekend Atlanta, a conference that brings together entrepreneurs, computer programmers and marketing types to create companies and products —they built it that weekend.

“After three days, people start to ask, ‘why haven’t you blogged in a while?’,” said Stamatiou. “With Skribit, readers can vote on topics and post ideas on what to write about and the widget will sort them out by how hot they are. If you suggest something, you will get notified when they use your suggestion.”

Skribit’s user base is vast, according to Stamatiou. Everyone from English-speaking bloggers to Japanese, Spanish and Korean bloggers are using it. He even has a police department in Maryland using it to get feedback from the community.

What makes Skribit successful, said Stamatiou, is that it provides a place for bloggers to get new ideas, rather than simply write about what everyone else is already talking about.

“Someone might use Skribit if they want their site to be up-to-date, but don’t want to go to the echo chamber to mimic everyone else,” said Stamatiou.

Skribit works in two ways. Users can post suggestions on topics to write about on the site either anonymously or with a user account. Bloggers can either read the site or post a widget on their blog. The benefit, said Stamatiou, of having the widget is that readers can post their suggestions directly to the blog they read. Readers can vote on their favorite topics, and the blog displays the suggestions based on factors such as how many votes they’ve received and how recently they were suggested.

Stamatiou created the site while he was a Computational Media student in both the College of Computing and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Tech. And although it came out of his initial idea, Stamatiou continues to develop the site with co-founder Calvin Yu. When he graduates later this month, he plans to work full time on making Skribit profitable with help from the Georgia Tech Edison Fund.

The Georgia Tech Edison Fund helps provide initial funding for early-stage technology companies that have a close association with Georgia Tech. Chief Commercialization Officer Stephen Fleming said that keeping young talent from having to look outside of Atlanta for initial funding is one of his most important missions.

“At one time, I know that Paul was looking to move out to California to try to get funding for Skribit,” said Fleming. “I’m glad that we were able to provide him with the initial funding to keep young talent like him here in Atlanta.”

So, does Stamatiou ever use Skribit to help out when he gets blogger’s block? Of course he does.

“For me it is a backup plan when I really can’t think of something to write. If I notice something that has received a lot of votes in a very short amount of time, I'll take that as a note that my readers really want to read about it and I'll change my plans and blog about it,” he said. “Then there are the times that, for a few weeks, I won’t have any clue about what to write, so I'll just rely on it.”

Provided by Georgia Institute of Technology

Explore further: After a decade online, YouTube is redefining celebrity

Related Stories

NSA winds down once-secret phone-records collection program

11 minutes ago

The National Security Agency has begun winding down its collection and storage of American phone records after the Senate failed to agree on a path forward to change or extend the once-secret program ahead of its expiration ...

Pipeline that leaked wasn't equipped with auto shut-off

21 minutes ago

The pipeline that leaked thousands of gallons of oil on the California coast was the only pipe of its kind in the county not required to have an automatic shut-off valve because of a court fight nearly three ...

Uber drivers fined in Hungary

1 hour ago

The Hungarian tax authority fined Uber drivers in its first probe against the ride-sharing service which the economy ministry said Saturday "ignores passenger safety" and must be made to follow regulations.

Recommended for you

ICANN chief stepping down in early 2016

May 21, 2015

The head of the group that oversees all Internet addresses will step down early next year, after a plan to end US oversight of the key nonprofit organization.

How alternative currencies could catch on and cash in

May 21, 2015

Alternatives to cash, like Bitcoin and Uber, may never replace the coins in our pockets or paper bills in our wallets, but they are creating significant social and economic impacts, and with some design adjustments, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.