Over the past couple of days, I will admit it, I have been in a bit of a funk and yesterday I really thought about how to get out of it.
What brought this funk on? Most likely it was when I read that David Patterson lost his battle to cancer this summer. I knew that he had fought it for over a year, but I hadn’t realized how bad it had gotten.
David was the person who taught and mentored me in how to use and implement many facets of social media into my classroom and eventually into my life. Although we didn’t see one another all that much over the past few years, we did stay in contact through commenting on his photography blog and he would stop around here to see what I was up to every so often.
I was saddened to hear of David’s passing and know that the world lost a true gentleman. It made me look again at how fragile our lives really are and how we need to work harder to stay in contact with those people who have touched our lives.
He would be the first to tell to me to do something about my funk (some would call it grieving) and get my butt moving again.
David taught me so much about how to use social media and the more that I thought about what David and I discussed back in 2008 and that I need to get back to why I started using social media.
You know – the conversations with other real people and use our blogs as a place to share ideas, things that work for us and as a journal to look back at – not simply as another marketing tool for brands or continually looking find ways to monetize it.
So yesterday, I decided to take a long look at my social media presence, especially my blogging and came very close to just completely starting over.
I haven’t been happy with my social media presence on social media for a while, but at the same time, I haven’t been able to put my finger on what I need to do to make me happy.
David’s death made me stop and really look at what I am doing.
Honestly, I have never let go of the idea of being a pro blogger and what might have been – if I had only…fill in the blank.
Even though I have said that I have moved on from that dream, today I know that in the back of my mind I held out that tiny hope of “someone” making me an “offer” that I couldn’t refuse – out of the blue.
That is not reality and not the direction that I really want to go.
I am retired, enjoying being retired and do not want/need the bullshit that goes along with being a pro blogger.
Okay, now that I have that figured out, I can keep moving away from that dream.
Last night I was going to do Option 1 – the nuclear option and in all likelihood would have- if Blogger/Google still hosted custom domains.
Before you move your blog to a custom domain, you need to have already purchased a custom domain (www.example.com) from another provider, as you can no longer purchase custom domains through Blogger.
I had created a new blog, but when I saw that I could not get a custom domain through Blogger/Google, it made me stop and think about whether that was what I really wanted to do. I am not totally thrilled with WordPress.com and never have been – it has alway been a compromise blog host, but I used it because it severely limited my ability to do pro blogger stuff there.
Now that I know that I will not being any pro blogger stuff, the limitations of WordPress.com are becoming more of a pain-in-the-ass factor. Especially, with the widgets that I want to include and cannot.
Although, in WordPress.com’s favor I do have all of my posts there, which is one of the reasons that I blog – to be able to look back at what I have written.
However, not being able to purchase custom domains through blogger, added too many variables into the picture and I do not want deal with them. Which leaves me either having a *.blogspot.com URL vs my own blog.com, which is not the end of the world, but at the same time not really what I am used to.
So I have to decide whether to live within the limitations of WordPress.com or if I am willing to deal with a *.blogspot.com URL in my blog or if Blogger is one of those products that Google will phase out and push bloggers to use Google+ as their blog.
I changed the theme and name of this blog last night, but still am not all that happy with things and do like the freedoms that I have on Blogger. So I am going to sleep on things for a couple of days, before making final decision here.
I am very close to deleting my account and starting over. I am not going to do the online marketing deal again, so having thousands of followers and following thousands of people doesn’t really make a lot of sense. I don’t care who you are, if you have that many conversations going on in your Twitter feed, you sure as hell are not going to follow too many of them. Even though I use lists and #hashtags to keep things manageable, I still feel overwhelmed by the amount of conversations or should I say the lack of quality in my conversations with others on Twitter now.
How many people do I actually converse with on Twitter today? Actually not many and I use it more to blast/market my blog than I have to enjoy conversations with others.
I have a feeling that Twitter is going to go the way of the nuclear option this weekend and I will re-build it, to keep the quality of the conversations.
However, as they continue their attempts to monetize the product, it seems that it is beginning to have some of the same issues as Facebook and I am concerned about the direction they seem to be going.
I do not trust Facebook.
That is the bottom-line and nothing they have done recently changes that. I did the nuclear option on Facebook a couple of years ago and I have kept it mostly to people I know personally and brands that I use. So I don’t have a lot to do here.
Google+ just doesn’t do it for me and I can’t seem to really find a use for it that fits me. However, if I decide to go back to Blogger, do I start using it more?
I have had my Google account for a long time and even though I love many of the services they provide, there are no guarantees that the services they offer today will be the same as the ones they offer tomorrow.
As Google changes, grows and narrows their focus, things change and not always in the direction that the users want or expect. Yes, we adapt to the changes, but…
do I really want to put all my social media eggs into the Google basket?
I tread carefully when choosing Google services.
I have to make a decision:
1. Do I start over my social media presence and get back to the reasons that I started using social media?
2. Do I tweak a few things and just keep going?
This would mean a reset of my social media persona. I would delete my current Twitter account/start over, create a completely new blog, going through my Google and Facebook accounts and getting them as close to a re-set as I can.
Change the name/theme of my blog, (which I did – but it doesn’t feel like it is enough), that way I still have all of my old posts that I can look back to. Go through my Twitter follow list and get it back down to 300-400 people, instead of following 4,422 twitter handles (there is a difference). Just keep editing my Google and Facebook accounts to make the conversations more people oriented than just using other services as a blog marketing tool.
The reality is that
when I found out about David’s passing was a sad day in my life.
It made me think of my mortality and that we are only here for a short time, so we need to be happy with the direction we are going.
However, I think that he would also be proud of my using it as a chance to reflect on the lessons he taught me about social media.
David was a great mentor and teacher, who is still making a difference in my life.
I still have a lot of thinking to do about what I am going to do about my dissatisfaction with my social media presence, but at the same time I have begun the process to make positive changes to it.
Thank you David, you will be missed.
What do you think?