Maybe it’s the years, or simply wanting to share my thoughts again. It seems I’m at a crossroads in regards to blogging, and to be honest I’ve been at this crossroads for a long time.
Over the last 8 years (can you believe this blog turns 8 next month!) I’ve focused almost exclusively on social media. It was a great ride and a lot of fun which taught me quite a bit in areas that I hadn’t even known to exist before. It brought me out of my introverted shell, allowing me to meet hundreds (thousands?) of great people who I would otherwise not have had the opportunity to.
All that time, however, there was another side to what I do and who I am. In fact, a larger more important aspect that I rarely touched on was my real career in information technology.
Though I mentioned it in passing many times, I never really delved into the technical aspects of my profession, choosing to explore the social media path at its infancy, helping to bring ideas and establish connections among people. This is what drove me to start Social Media Breakfast in Minneapolis early in 2008.
That experience was entirely possible from blogging and my work with early social media tools. Being among the first wave of people to really “get” what social media was about and take part on a national scale. It was great fun. It still is for many of the people I initially met and conversed with. Several have built and are growing great, strong businesses on local, regional, and national scales.
What I found over time was that it wasn’t exactly for me. In my heart I’m not a marketing person, though I do understand some of the inner workings. I’m also not a public relations person, though again I did seem to adapt to a portion of that role in my work with SMBMSP. What I am, however, is a storyteller… or at least that label feels more comfortable than the others, and that is a core piece of social, and the work I was doing.
Today, however, I have completely reverted to my IT roots, and I’m happy with that. What I have had trouble with though, is getting back to blogging. At one point back in the day, I was posting on a daily basis. Today, it seems I can’t even post monthly, let alone once a week. I seem to keep holding back on writing/posting anything because I’m afraid of what “my audience” might think of a change of topic. The reality, of course, is that practically all of the readers I once had have long since moved on.
I’ve fallen into the classic blogger’s dilemma of worrying too much about what people think and not enough of the value of my own contributions. Believing that I might let someone down just for being myself and following the path I’m meant to follow.
So what does it all mean?
What this post isn’t, is a proclamation or promise to blog more often. It’s really just a note to anyone interested that what I may post about in the future is likely to be a lot more technical, and a certainly a lot less about social media. Who knows, by changing the topic of this blog and my focus for it, I just may find that gumption and passion to actively write more often. That will be the true proof that I’m out of my writers block… we’ll see.
It was overdue really. Over 7 years on this blog and I hadn’t done a thorough review and cleanup of my comment section ever.
There were nearly 4,000 comments and, unfortunately, a very large chunk of them were duplicates and a more than I want to admit were some kind of spam comments. The duplicates undoubtedly came from the time that I imported my comments into Disqus and then exported them back out to my blog to stand alone. I should have caught the duplicates then, but I must not have been paying attention.
The spam comments are a frustration. They weren’t rampant, but there were a lot more than I thought there were. Some were the passive kind of spam where they didn’t leave a link in the comment, but the name and URL they used to “log in” were certainly links to follow. Luckily, only a handful were “lightly” inappropriate, counting them on one hand easily.
In the end, it turns out that there are just under 2,000 comments left, but they are at least valuable conversations that I had regarding posts with a number of readers and a good many friends online. These I will treasure.
I’ve honestly not been interested much in Steve Jobs, or Apple to date. I watched the Apple/Microsoft/IBM ‘wars’ when I was a teen back in the 80’s and had always been interested in what a ‘real computer’ could do.
I didn’t really ‘get’ the idea of computer clubs and the passion hobbyists had for Apple at the time. I understand it today, but still don’t connect with Apple fans.
In reality, the world did loose a visionary when Steve Jobs died. I respect him for the work he did, and the passion that drove him to greatness. I miss the contribution and the competition that he brought to the technology world, and hope we can achieve as much as new people and new ideas continue to stream into the industry.
Ideas Notebook By Matthew Allard
Sometimes you find that you’ve got too many ideas. Ever have that problem? I do this week, and I swear I’m going to do something about it. I’ve got blog post ideas going back several years covering things from social media to technology to life topics and so on. It’s time I liberate these post ideas. I’m giving them to you to take and run with, just in case you’ve run out of ideas and need some inspiration. What better way to end the week, right? Alrightly, here we go:
- Social Networking & The Impact On Your Personal Brand
- Moleskine Notebooks – Going Analog For The Fun of Writing
- How To Balance Social Network Participation In The Workplace
- 101 Uses for Twitter
- Why I Believe The “Smartphone” Isn’t So Smart
- Your Blog IS Your Social Network
- Online Communities – You Get Out Of Them Only What You Put Into Them
- The New Social Economy
- Social Media Is About Sociology Not Technology
- Never Stop Experimenting To Grow Yourself Or Your Brand
- If Words Mean Things
- Old Media Using Social Media
- Building A Better Branded Blog
- Decline Of Technology In America?
- Social Media And The IT Professional
- Anonymity – Pros & Cons
- Can You Connect Up To 6 people?
- Linux: Ubuntu Or Fedora Or ?
- The Most Powerful Social Media Tool: YOU
- Decisions: iOS Or Android
- Personal Branding And The IT Professional
- 10 Reasons For A Windows Hack To Love The iPhone
- Disengage From The Collective That Is Your Corporate Mindset
- “Who Am I?”
- How Can I Help People?
- Linux Software Installers – Why Do They Suck?
- Essential Software For The Blogger
- The New Intellectual
- Is the Theme/Style Of Your Blog Important To Readers?
- Social Realities Of A New Generation
- What Do I Do?
- What Can I Accomplish?
- Powerful Writing…
- Do I Realize How Lucky I Am?
- Social Media In The Enterprise
- Negativity In The Workplace
- Don’t Talk, Just Do
- Social Media Is An Evolutionary Step
- Tear Down This Wall (Cubicles That Is)
- What Is A “Social Entrepreneur”?
- Enterprise/Corporate Culture Clashes
- Good Enough
- Social Media Shoehorn
- Blogging Is A Commitment, Social Networks Are A Fling
- Making It Happen
- Why My Blogging “Rock Stars” Are From the Z-List
- SharePoint Can Be An Internal Enterprise Social Media Tool
- Labeling Things And Why It’s Ok
- Why Paper Publications Will Never Go Away
- A Culture Without Culture
- To Meme Or Not
- Step Away From The Ledge – It’s Going To Be Ok
- Help People
- Want To Be A High-Buck Consultant?
- Positive Growth Through Negative Feedback
- Virtualization: For Technology Only?
- Build Your Own Brand Armies
- Networking For Fun And Profit
- Fostering New Communication In The Enterprise
- What Social Media Has Taught A Techie Geek
- Afraid To Succeed?
- Stodgy Or Stale Brand? 10 Sure-Fire Ways To Freshen It Up
- Social Media Does Not Equal Marketing Or PR
- Fearing Free (Free Rage Fears?)
- The Problem With Technically Excellent Solutions
- Be Your Own Editor
- Thinkers – The Ones To Watch
- Getting Back To Where We Came From
- Go Where Your Forefathers Couldn’t
- Unsung Heros: Headhunters
- The Line In The Sand & When You Step Over It
- Landing Pages – Why Bother?
- Put It On paper
- Gen Y & Why They’re different
- Engage HR For Change
- Friend Counts Do Mean Something
- Anatomy Of Twitter
- Lack Of New Examples
- The More You Share
- The Android Dilemma
- Is Your Day Job Your Only Gig?
- When Self Promotion Goes Too Far
- The Joys Of Building Community
- Is Social Media Respected In Corporate Environments?
- Lets Not Screw Around
- Why The Old Tools Don’t Work
- Why The Old Tools STILL Work
- Corporate Obsolesce
- The changing Face Of Social Media
- What’s The Big Deal About 4G?
- What’s Next For Social Media
- The Dark Side Of Social Media, And Why It Sucks
- You Will Live Online
- Why Tablet-Haters Loose In The End
- 10 Billion Apps
- Do What Comes Naturally
- The Decline Of Social Media
- Social Media Posers
- Ongoing Standards Wars
- Shortsightedness Of Newspaper Publishers
Well, there’s a handful of the post ideas I’ve got in my notes. That was just from one page of a OneNote notebook of post ideas! Sometimes, you just run out of time or simply never get back to the ideas you had when you thought of the topic. Whatever the case, I figure somebody might make use of one or two, or ten of these. Better to set them free than keep ’em in a dusty digital notebook right?
Blog Header Photo credit: JOH_1994
. Thanks for a neat picture of post-it notes that captured my thought!
So it seems that I’m constantly talking about blogging rather than actually doing it. A lot has been done since my last post where I talked briefly about changing hosting providers (here’s my InMotion Hosting review) and getting that work done. Along with this site, I had three others to move over. That’s been done for a while, and I’m pretty pleased with the service so far.
The challenging thing is making time to get back to writing, sharing thoughts and ideas through this blog. That, of course, is where I’ve let work and life pull me in multiple directions. As usual, one of the first things that’s affected when too many tasks and projects demand more time are activities that don’t seem to support those task and projects. So it is with my blog from time to time.
It’s been a busy couple of months, and I’m finally catching up on a number of life challenges that randomly occur, especially with the economic changes that have been in play. So while I am saying I’m returning to blogging, I am certainly going to be working my way back into it. Easing my way really, building new habits into the days and weeks ahead instead of setting a hard schedule that would inevitably not follow.
Also, I plan to include a bit more personal experiences and items of interest rather than just talking about social media in business. That is still my core focus, but I believe there’s more in that by getting back to some of the original reasons I started blogging… as an outlet and ongoing record of creative ideas and points of view.
All in all, it’s been a long time since I’ve sat down and really thought about blogging again, and I hope to reconnect with those that wish to do so. Some say life is about challenges, but I prefer to look at it as a series of adventures. Each one building on the experience of the last.
So, on to the next adventure.
Photo credit: Hugh MacLeod – gapingvoid