I first started programming in middle school, and my first real/useful (homebrew) programs were written in C for the Sony PSP. I wrote a quadratic equation solver, to help with my math homework. I also wrote a program that would allow you to sign in to AOL Instant Messager, but left it at that as a proof of concept because I used the older AIM protocol which didn't allow for setting away messages (the Facebook status of that time). After programming for the PSP I decided to try to make money using the internet, as I was too young for a job still. I set up the LAMP stack on an Ubuntu desktop machine and started working on a custom Wordpress theme. After a full summer of work, wii-mario.com looked great, but had no visitors.
I eventually gave up on the site, when I was browsing around on the digitalpoint forums and bought a website, newlilwayne.com, that was receiving 100 to 150 visitors per day. I thought that was so many visitors, I could just throw adsense on there and make lots of money. It was enough to make about a dollar a day. By lucky coincidence, I learned that you're likely to rank higher in Google if you're (among) the first to post about something new. I took my knowledge of programming, and ran with this. I determined the most important 10 sites that release new rap music to the internet. I wrote a Python script that would scrape all of those websites every 1 to 3 minutes, looking for any keywords relevant to my site. If something relevant appeared, an email with the title would automatically be sent to my cell phone. With the help of this script, I was able to grow the site to get 20 to 25 thousand visitors per day. This provided me with enough money to pay for my first two years of school.
Simultaneously, I decided to build out my site scraping script to be more generally applicable. While it provided a very fast turnaround time, hard scraping other sites was infeasible in the general case. I decided to use RSS feeds. I wrote a Perl command line script that would handle retrieving feeds and searching them for any desired keywords. I came across the XML-RPC protocol, and used that to send blog posts from the script into Wordpress installations, as draft or published posts. I decided to build a front end for this script and make it usable by anyone. I did this using PHP and the CodeIgniter framework, with a MySQL backend for storing the posts. I used jQuery in the frontend, and the Xinha HTML editor for editing posts. I set up user accounts that would work off of payments from the Paypal API. The site was functional but unmarketed, when I went back to school and was too busy to work on it. Near the end of that school year, I was approached by someone who wanted to buy my websites. I sold them newlilwayne.com as well as toastrss.com and my other content sites for a lump sum. I went back to solely focusing on my desk job as a Software Engineer at Internet Marketing Ninjas, and on completing my Computer Engineering degree.