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In A Bit of a Funk and Some Changes – Maybe

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 Patterson teaching a session at ACTEM 2010

David Patterson teaching a session at ACTEM 2010

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.

Moving On

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.

Why?

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.

Blogging

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.

Twitter

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.

Facebook

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

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.

Now What?

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?

or

2. Do I tweak a few things and just keep going?

Option 1

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.

Option 2

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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?

Option 1

or

Option 2

11 Comments »

  1. I don’t know what I should advise, since I faced the same dilemma two years ago and went with option 3: delete all social media accounts and start a new blog specifically for my study-abroad time. Having a focus for my blog, not just to get my thoughts out (since I do that handwritten still) but to have a sort of forum to share my experiences with the world, makes the most sense to me. I think social media is the things of the present and future, but I am finding it very hard to accept the idea that virtual worlds are just as important as real ones, and I find that the quality of my personal time is limited by access to other people’s lives and ideas 24/7, and my interpersonal time has lost its quality as well.
    My two-cents, and not really valid for you since you do want to continue using Facebook and Twitter. I would actually suggest option 1, simply because resetting is good once in a while to readdress priorities and figure out what/who is important to you. It’s like a book shelf that needs to be cleaned out once in a while to make space for new books and new ideas. However, I hope that somehow I’d still be able to read your posts?

    • Shawn & Wanderwolf – Thanks I am looking at the re-set as much as I can option more and more. I really think that is the direction I need to go and move completely back to just personal social media. I do plan to do a post here on what/where I will be posting, once I get things fairly squared away again. So the blog might be a little neglected this weekend as I figure out what I want/need to do 🙂

  2. I am sorry to hear that you lost someone who you cared about. From reading your posts and previous posts with several name changes in the recent past from an outside perspective I think that option 1 is the way to go. Sometimes we need a fresh start and that’s what it looks like to me. I fear that if you go with option 2 you won’t truly kick the funk and will end up back at the same place in a short while. Best of luck

    – Shawn

  3. I am sorry for the loss of your friend. I think it is always interesting what triggers introspective moments and changes in how we do things.

    Personally, because I have no aspirations of ‘professional blogger’, I have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc … that are all ‘mine’. Not branded to my blog, they are the same as my personal accounts. I have a free WP account intentionally as well – there are many things I would rather do, but the combination of free WP, personal accounts and so on keeps me focused – this is just a fun little outlet.

    As for Blogger … wow that is total crap at this point! I have little doubt that it is high on the list for Google to kill off or integrate. I was pulling some old stuff from there, and it is really creaky feeling at this point.

  4. I’m sorry to hear that you have lost a good friend.
    This is a great post, Harold, and you are making me think as well. The real question is, of course,: “why do you blog?” (if it is just for yourself and for pleasure, why not keeping as simple as possible?)I guess that once you can answer this honestly you will know what to do,

    • Thanks – I think that is what I am moving towards keeping things as simple as possible and I have pretty much figured out the direction I am headed. Now to just take the off-ramp and get there. 🙂

  5. Losing a friend, particularly one who has mentored us in a particular area, is so tough. You’ve outlined your concerns. Take your time in reaching your decision on addressing them.

    • Thank you. I have a pretty good idea of what I am not looking to do anymore, so that means that I have to move forward, which means that I have to make some decisions and just a little work this weekend. 🙂

  6. I’m so sorry about the loss of your friend – never an easy thing and it makes great sense p that it would be a time to step back and reflect. In the end I always say go with your gut – it won’t steer you wrong.

    • Thanks Michelle. Sometimes we just need to stop and think about what is important and trust ourselves enough to know when something feels right or not. 🙂 I have made a bunch of decisions and am very comfortable with the direction that I will be heading 🙂

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