We tend to use the successful as templates. There’s nothing wrong with this. We have to start somewhere. After all, it would be nothing but stupidity ignoring what others have achieved. Gleaning from their experiences can save us pain, loss and many resources. Anyway, most of our learning is already learning from other people.
Why I write and or blog is one question I’ve answered many times in different ways. However, as I think about it, there are more answers everytime I contemplate this. Almost everytime I have a go at answering this questions different expressions and nuances ensure.
See other posts about blogging here.
I thought it would be helpful, for me and others, to explore how I’ve blogged for a long time. “Long time” is relative. It’s been several years since I started to do so without quitting. In the process I’ve started some blogs and shut them down as I explored concepts and ideas. I’ve thought I’d share how I’ve managed to blog for a long time…
In this post I did a general reflection on my blogging in 2013. It’s been a great year in terms of what I’ve managed to accomplish in and through blogging.
At the time of writing this post, I’ve done two hundred and sixty-two blog posts on this blog alone. By the time 2013 closes that number should be up to at least two hundred and eighty posts! Insane, right?
One of the coolest things that happened as far as my blogging is concerned was the release of Pressgram. A cool app that slaps filters onto photos and allows me to publish to my WordPress blogs.
Pressgram has enabled me to included a short form blogging to the mix of all my blogs, which at the moment are running on WordPress. I am looking to convert at least one to the new blogging platform, Ghost. The reason is simple; I just want to be able to focus on blogging.
Back to the blogs etc…
I started and shutdown a blog, which I might / might not pick up again. I’m rethinking the concept of it and other things around that. The thing is, if I do pick it up again, I’d want it to be a little more than just a blog. I won’t spend much time on this one for now…
Though I’ve been most productive with blogging this year, Leadership Heretic took a knock as I haven’t given it much attention in the last quarter of the year. I am working on a strategy that will see it become more than just a blog.
Michael and I have had brief chats about him coming on board. If it works out, great, if not, I will be finding other ways to make things happen.
At the time of doing this post I had done fifty-eight blog posts on Leadership Heretic. A little sad; I was hoping to do more but it does make sense, for now, that it would be less than blessing.im, which I consider as my ‘primary’ blog.
Notice it is now “blessing.im”. I’ve always wanted my first name to be my domain name but .com was already taken etc etc. (A shout out to Lee Watkins of Scooch Media for helping me migrate some stuff etc) For more on the switch from blessingmpofu.com go here.
I started two other blogs (I must be insane!). The main reason I did this was I didn’t want to overload this blog. The themes and nature of the blogs were just going to clutter the focus I wanted for blessing.im. Hopefully in 2014 the posts on Leadership Heretic will be more as I seek to better serve leaders as I also grow.
I started I Am Jonah as a voice for my faith. One of the things I wanted to do with this blog is a free expression of faith. However, I didn’t want another typical blog, so I had and am still having a go at expressing my faith in a somewhat themed way.
It has proved a difficult feat due tot he discipline to write and most challenging to be vulnerable as the theme demands. Above this, what has been most fulfilling about I Am Jonah are the conversations I’m having about my faith with other people who identify with the posts.
At the time of writing this post, I Am Jonah sits on sixty-three posts. Not bad for a blog I started late-ish in the year…
The second blog I started (when I mention blogs I started I mean the personal ones, out of my work etc)… The second blog I started was Freeze Frame, which is an off-spin of my use of Pressgram. I also didn’t want to overload this blog with another too many photos, hence Freeze Frame, the photoblog.
2013 also sees me having a go at an online store, together with the photoblog. Check out my store here. There’s something big as well launching in 2014 as far as startups for Ingrid and I are concerned. Stay tuned…
I had no intentions for a post this long hence I’ve left out other blogs, I contribute(d) and or did guest posts for…
Excluding Freeze Frame posts I did at least three hundred and eighty-three posts!
383 on my personal blogs!! This excludes guest posts / contributions elsewhere… That’s a heck of a lot of writing!
Looking ahead, I hope to continue getting better as a blogger and writer. Creating “kick-something” content and great delivery as well…
Google+ is now introducing ads. Also, unless you tell them not to they are going to use your face to endorse some stuff. That sound familiar?
And, in the other corner, all content on Facebook is now searchable. Oh, did I mention Instagram serving ads. Awesome. Yes, awesome, for them that is.
Once I was the guy who was outraged by this. I mean, “How could they use my content like that? It was my content, my family picnic photos, my wedding and my creative artwork. And, they’re just going to use it anyhow, not even without my permission.”
Like I said, I was once that guy, then I grew up.
Complaining about what social networks are doing with “your data” is naive [Click to Tweet]
User Agreements and Privacy Policies
You would’ve been aware that you were at the mercy of the network you would commit the memory of some of your precious moments in life. How do I know? I did that. I didn’t read the long, boring, legal jargon that the “agreements” are written in.
My take is that they, the user agreements that is, are written to protect the social media platforms more than the people who use them.
Stop complaining about the change of privacy and advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and the rest. They told you, in their complicated way and incomprehensible way that they would do what are doing.
It is their house you went to play in and you have to play by their rules. For me, it is that simple. But I didn’t just arrive at this. It was journey. They need to keep their lights on and want some sort of reward for allowing you to play in their house.
Is it that simple enough for you?
One of the ways I chose to grow up and stop complaining about all these changes is to put more “stock” on my blog. I now place more value on my blog in that I have chosen to concentrate on putting more of my personal stuff where I have complete control of my stuff.
I do still use Facebook, Google+ and others, because a lot of people are there, but I use it to point to my blog. My pageviews, including photo posts, are now too important for me just give away to Facebook, Google+ and the like.
Again, if you’re happy for someone else to call the shots on your stuff that is fine. But it is not for me. I use self-hosted WordPress for my blogs. I don’t like the free blogging platforms (e.g. wordpress.com, Tumblr) because I don’t know what bee is going to be in the bonnet tomorrow. I also don’t have complete control about what ads show on “my blog”.
My writing, precious memories in photos and other works are that much more valuable to me that I want where I can protect them and do as I please with them, without being a share price pawn for Zuckerberg or Schmidt.
Like I’ve said, I now choose to focus my content more on my own platforms. Besides my blog I’m also placing great value on apps and platforms that share the philosophy of complete ownership and control of works.
Anyone serious about influencing in any significant way must know how to leverage the different platforms. However, this must be done in way that also enables their own platform, of which they have autonomy to do as the please with.
Your strategy to influence must never be at the mercy of social media platforms you have no control over [Click to Tweet]
Focus on building your own platforms such as self-hosted blogs where you can put your realty. Use the Facebook, Google+ and others like them to enable your own platform.
[image credit: clasesdeperiodismo]