Blogging at a Crossroad

At the crossroads by Thomas Guignard

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.

Home page header photo credit: At the crossroads, by Thomas Guignard

Blog post photo credit: Crossroads, by Richard Elzey

My Technical Bent

... computer demo center! By x-ray delta one

… computer demo center! By x-ray delta one

It’s been awhile since I really delved into my technical side. So much so that it’s affected what I’ve written about for a couple of years. What this means is that I’ve been keeping myself from sharing a large chunk of life and work. Considering I’ve moved back to a technology-centric working role, this has kept me from telling more than a few good stories.

So its time to set the social media aspect aside for a while and bring back something that I’ve been missing for quite some time. Hey, I’m an Information Technology guy at heart, and while social media has brought a lot of learning and sharing to my life these last 6 or 8 years, the fact is that I like technology. A lot… just ask my wife.

With this updated focus in mind, I do have a fun project coming up in the next few weeks that I’ll be sharing here as well as a few forums. I’ll have a separate post up later describing the project in detail, but it’s simply about bringing Android-specific functionality to my daily driver.

I’m looking forward to sharing more about technology and what I do as an Information Technology architect & engineer. There’s a lot of fun things there that most of us in IT simply don’t talk about often. Some of it we can’t, of course, for various reasons like client confidentiality, or compliance-specific scenarios. But that’s mostly about actual data. Anyway, what I like to talk about is the capabilities of the technology, and the experiences implementing it.

Until next time! Cheers.

Photo Credits:

…computer demo center! by x-ray delta one

A lonely iMac waits for WALL·E to collect him (on top of home page) by tracilawson

The Winding Road

The Winding RoadEver have a plan? One you are sure is the one you’re destined to follow? Did it work out the way you thought?

Yeah, same here. Though its becoming less surprising as the years pass I think. The great part of following your gut and your heart in life’s great adventure is that you’re guaranteed an exciting one.

Its been awhile since I’ve talked here about the exciting challenges I’ve run into, and this year has been filled with a number of new ones. Events, people, and situations that make you think hard about what you’ve chosen to do. They give you another perspective that you may not have had when you started.

I speak, of course, about the challenges and choice of freelance consulting. Taking the world by the tail and making the most of your skills and knowledge in a new and exciting way. The great things about plans is that they always tend to deviate… to zig when you plotted a zag, or that the situation you thought would take place doesn’t seem to develop.

For many who attempt it, this is simply known as the Plan B effect. Of course, “The Plan” didn’t require a Plan B… so we never develop one. They tend to develop themselves, and that’s where the real excitement comes from.

In my case, I’m talking about SMBMSP, and there is so much to tell, so much to share on that front that I’m going to cover some of that over the coming months. What I hope to do is share a bit of the back story, some of the perspectives from my viewpoint on how we’ve got to where we are today, and what’s happening next. I guess I should call it “Plan SMBMSP”.

Its interesting to see where the long and winding road will take you.

Changes & Opportunities

Rick MahnIt’s been a long time coming, but there are significant changes taking place here this week.  The first change being a new look* and updated layout here on the site.  The current design was done almost two years ago by Mykl Roventine, a great designer & creator of things ;-), and has served this blog well during that time.
The next evolution of this site, needs to support the evolving needs I have online and in working with clients and organizations.  More information on resources, ideas, offerings, services, and such are part of that plan, and I think the new design is going to fit those needs nicely.  In addition to that, it’s just time to freshen things up a bit to go along with that new direction.
The other portion of the refresh is around opportunities.  The growing Social Media Breakfast community here in Minneapolis & St. Paul is one part, but also the national organization is working together as it grows.  The education needs of our communities are growing, the number of businesses both large and small in need of advice & direction is expanding along with the opportunities to mentor folks who need it.  All these things are part of my thinking in this redesign and direction for the future.
So when you ask?  This week I say!  Much of  the new design is ready to go and I’ll be working into the wee hours here & there to bring it live, but it will be done by the end of the week.  Gotta go now though, still much to do, and still more to share later.
* New design now live, the old one looked like this.

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