Billy goes Hollywood – my attempt at a vlog

So you really think that catchy headline will drive traffic?

I decided to do something different today and instead of writing and posting my blog, I got creative (for me) and made a vlog.

Get to the point if you are going to keep me around

I had a couple of post ideas rattling around in my head, but Griddy’s recent post about what attracts you to a blog got me thinking. One of the things mentioned more than once was if you have a account (free) then that fact alone would prevent you from stopping by. Guess what, I’m ‘that guy’ then.

But I don’t understand why that is. Therefore, that is the question to my community; help Billy out. I get a fair amount of traffic, if I get a self-hosted site are my numbers going to increase just because? Because I don’t have a self-hosted site does that make you not want to stop by here at times?

Here’s where I want your comment

Please give me your top 3 reasons why I should go self-hosted. Also, please give me one reason you don’t like my site because it is not self-hosted.

Does the face and voice match the persona?

Ok, here’s my vid and it is just over 2 minutes long; your final vote is did I look and act like you expected me to? Yes, I could have been more silly but this is all you get for now.

I hope it gives you a more personal look at me for whatever that’s worth. I also hope everyone has a wonderful week.


84 thoughts on “Billy goes Hollywood – my attempt at a vlog

  1. Hey Bill! Kudos to you for doing a video. I’ll be hugging EVERYONE before I do a video! LOL

    I don’t know what you meant by saying people can’t share this blog. I see all the share buttons.

    I think Bill, that you could have the worst-looking blog imaginable and people would still come. You build your following long before you signed up for WordPress. In fact, what you did: visiting other blogs, building relationships there, should be a template for a new blogger to follow. The minute you started a blog, I knew everyone would follow you here. Essentially people follow people, not sites.

    On the other hand, if a person just throws up a site and it’s not pretty it may take longer for them to get a following. First impressions are important. It’s just that in your case, the first impression was made by YOU, not by your blog.

    Just the way I see it!
    Happy Monday – Opening Salve – I think so!

      • The man behind the curtain, huh?

        If the whole premise is engagement, then I definitely follow the person. Actually I don’t pay too much attention to the blog itself. Just like my jumping into this world I went straight for the meat, the conversations and really wasn’t paying too much attention to all the ‘trappings’.

    • You are in first; yay.

      I had the brainstorm to do the video and in my mindseye I was going to be more humorous, but I wanted to keep it short as well.

      I do appreciate the kind words and I probably get paranoid at times wondering too much as to what makes people stop by or not. Ultimately, I think the more I just be myself and don’t worry about the techie stuff it will all work out.

      Kind of like politics I suppose; you will never be able to please 100% of the people so just make sure you take care of the ones you can.

      Good to see you and I think I was first in your house today. Looking forward to the comments.

      I hope you have a great day.

  2. Hi Bill, love the vlog and it’s nice to be able to put a voice to the face. You are way ahead of me in the technical stakes being able to put that together!!

    I would like to give you 3 potential advantages rather than 3 reasons because I am a great believer in ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ and your blog seems to be working just fine for you at the moment πŸ™‚

    The advantages that I have found – 1) Greater functionality – the ability to add more plug in/widget features. 2) More styling options – the ability to change the way the blog looks. 3) More flexibility – more category/page/sharing options available to you.

    I am sure the more technically minded will give you much better reasons but these are the main things I found when I switched. I do think though that some of these ‘advantages’ can be a double edged sword sometimes – more choices means more decisions (and more mistakes)which can sometimes distract you from why you started blogging in the first place. I am guilty of too much fiddling around to try to get the best combination.

    Finally I’m not going to give you a reason why I don’t like your site cos I don’t have any. If you are happy with the way it looks and you continue to attract the a reaction that is the envy of many of the rest of us I wouldn’t be in a rush to change much.

    I am worried now, I think my comment is longer than your post, I will have to more concise.


    • I will just cut and paste your comments and use it as my next post…….:).

      I think we are in the same boat Tony; if we see something mentioned enough we will eventually get around to checking it out. Being social is something that comes easy to me; everything else is getting down in the weeds and sometimes I just don’t take the time to go down there.

      It will be interesting to see the comments as I will probably use it as a guide for the direction I want for my site. Me personally, I like simplicity.

      So good to see you Tony and your support is very much appreciated.

  3. Bill you did a great job! If you didn’t say it was your first time I would have never guessed! Great speaking voice. You didn’t seem too nervous. Congrats!

    • Benny my man; you are next on my list to get to know. I see you all over the place and apologize for not taking the time to make an introduction.

      I do appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment. Thanks for the kind words about my vlog attempt. If anything, I could probably leave out a few of the ‘uhhs’ but probably a close facsimile of what I would be like talking to face to face.

      Good to see you and I’ll be by to your place later. I hope you have a great day.

      • That you for the kind words Bill! I see you everywhere as well and finally came over to see what you had going on here. I see I came at a good time to see your first vlog. πŸ™‚

        I hope to see more vlogs. Yes it wasn’t as polished as you would hope but for a first one? Great job.

  4. First of all, I love the video. I will send you an email on how to embed that puppy into your blog post…but overall, AWESOME job. Love the FL accent!

    Second, if I got as much traffic as you do to your blog posts (on a regular basis) I would not change a thing! Or, worry. However, knowing that you, like me, always want to be at the top of your game, I would consider a shift at some point (for some of the reasons Tony mentioned) but I would not let it rule my day. I also agree with Lori that people follow people, not sites and that you have metric tons of comment love going on here, so go with it.

    I know that I was desperate to change my site once I started getting comments and my posts were shared. I did some minor changes (it’s a wordpress blog that lives on my website) and continue to tweak as I feel comfortable doing it. It made me more confident and comfortable, but it was not what drove traffic to my site. I think any changes made should be for your comfort level, not others, because you already have the traffic. You, my friend, are a successful blogger. Basic site or bells and whistles really won’t impact that fact.

    • Please do send the e-mail on how to embed the video. That is how I thought it was going to come out, but ended up just being a link. I was just happy to get the thing done however.

      It’s funny the idiosyncrasies you pick up like the wandering eyes and too many ‘uhhs’, but that was pretty much me.

      I very much appreciate your kind words and encouragement. Sometimes I do wonder why I can have a post w/ over 90 comments but can tell you at least 5 people I interact with who didn’t stop by. It just makes me wonder was it content, was it my site, or were they just too busy? I’ve learned not to take any of this personally, but if I am stinkin’ it up I would want my community to tell me rather than just disappear. Too much thought I’m sure.

      So good to see you today and your support is very much appreciated. And you will always be my first person who I reached out to w/ a phone call; as Mimi Meredith did to me in my early days.

      I hope you have a great week planned; I’ll be seeing you around.

    • I should have just read Erica’s comment and said “ditto”…that would have saved all that space on your post! (Actually, I think Erica is my long lost little sister, as we seem to think along the same lines and wind up in the same places a lot!)

  5. Awesome job, Bill! I loved the vlog! Just like you, it would probably take me 2 hours to achieve my first one as well. We learn as we go, right?

    As far as having a free site, I’m still new at this as well. Mine is free because that’s what I know at the moment. It certainly doesn’t seem to be preventing anyone from stopping by your site, leaving comments and sharing!

    • Ya know, I’m just a simple guy……I can assure you if yours is free I have no idea how to distinguish the two.

      According to some of the ‘pros’ it’s a detriment so I really am curious as to why that is. I’m new enough and still learning as I go.

      You always wonder how you will look and sound and the vlog sure throws it all at there. I would suggest you doing one as well; it was somewhat liberating.

      So good to see you and I’ll be around later.

    • I got your DM about my reply to your post; it was probably me jumping the gun wondering where it went. I replied late at night so I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t a figment of my imagination. Thanks for getting back to me.

  6. I just realized that you didn’t have a self hosted blog! Ok, so does that entitle me to give my opinion (being the ignorant reader I was) or wait…did I just give it!

    Loved the video πŸ™‚

    • Thank you ma’am; that was me so at least I’m not invisble on my vlog, huh?

      Like you, I can’t tell the difference between free or self-hosted. I’m guessing, but I think the people who are suggesting are doing so because it will be easier for them to help support me. Otherwise, how hard can it be to click on a site, leave a comment and go away, huh?

      Thanks for stopping by and nice words.

  7. Bill, having already heard your voice, it wasn’t a surprise. But what is a delight is your absolute authenticity and consistency in character. You are just a genuine breath of fresh air.

    I guess I’d ask if you really do want to become rich and famous with your blog. If you do, you need to move, not just to create a greater community because you become more available to search engines and more easily shared throughout the galaxy, but because you will have access to more tools that will enable you to expand your empire.

    I know you are followed by a lot of really savvy people who can explain the “why” more technically than I. But, I can tell you from personal experience what it means to blog for three years, producing some pretty good stuff here and there, and then try to rebuild all of it from scratch once the constraints of “free” become too much to tolerate. Please let me know if you want more insight into all that hullabaloo.

    Finally, if you just want to build community, you are doing that in spades! Bells, whistles and striking design don’t make the welcome that builds community–you do. It’s comparable to hospitality in any form. I know people who won’t host a dinner party because they have old furniture and are embarrassed of their home. Really? Some of the best times I’ve ever had were at the home of people who were at ease with themselves and had the willingness to say, “we’re going to order pizza and have some beer, come on over!” The weight of the world seemed to lift the minute one entered their dated, modest home. I think the same is true of the social encounters in social media.

    You’re doing a great job of creating an amazing community. I’m embarrassed to think that I ever offered you advice! And I love the video!

    Here’s to stardom that starts with the amazing light you have within that you share naturally and freely with others. It can shine from anywhere.

    • Wow, that sure put a smile on my face. You did give me some good advice and I’m sure some of it stuck w/ me.

      I think the gist of your reply was that if and when I go to a self-hosted site everybody who is already a part of this will have to move over with me. I just can’t keep this network and subscribers and go self-hosted, huh? If I am going to make it to the next level, then it is certainly something to consider.

      Two things I can do, I can be social and I can be myself; essentially that is my business and life model. Because of that, sometimes I might be slower to catch on to some things I ‘should’ be doing but I’m of the attitude it will eventually work its way out.

      Of course, you were my first phone talker and you saw my very first post; and I think that’s pretty special. You were very instrumental in showing me this can be a fun as well as a rewarding journey.

      So good to see you today and hope all is well.

      • You may be able to take your subscribers with you. I couldn’t, but that was the limitation of my previous host. And my posts did migrate to my new blog, they just all appear to have been written on April 1st or later, instead from February of 2008 and on. Those were the major hiccups. That being said, you’re already on a better host than I was…so I think, should you choose to make the move, it will be easier for you. I guess my only question would be, if you’re toying with the idea, why wait?

        And thanks for the kind words, Bill. You’re a good person!

  8. Billy Goes to Hollywood – Awesome! I love, love, love the video! It’s so fun to get to see people, listen to voices, and get that person behind all of the written words. You are definitely inspiration, and we might just work our way up to doing some of the same. Bill the social media leader – who knew?? Did Ryan have any idea what he was creating when he offered to get LU started?

    Honestly, I don’t think about your site unless you point it out; I’m here reading what you and all the others write. I guess site changes should depend on what your longer term goals are and as you figure those out, the questions about the site will likely work themselves out as well.

    So great to see you this Monday! πŸ™‚

    • A monster has been created indeed…….:).

      I just know there is some application to keep it social but also make a name for yourself as a leader and people seek you out.

      I think Mimi’s point about getting too far down the road w/ the free site and then decide the self-hosted is a must it might be like starting over. That might be the biggest hassle I would assume.

      Glad you liked the vlog and would love to see you guys come up w/ something. Hopefully I was about what you expected.

      Good to see you on this Monday and hope you had a great weekend.

      • Well, I’ve already had the advantage of talking to you on the phone, so the voice wasn’t a total surprise this time around, but it’s super fun none-the-less. Being from the west coast, any kind of different accent is great to hear!

        I’ve never done anything other than self-hosting, so I’m not sure about the pros & cons, but obviously I’m a fan of being in control of the whole thing.

        I keep thinking that some of my impassioned ideas might scare people away if they got to see & hear them live rather than the edited down text. I need to practice calm and even like Erica does on her videos!

    • It’s funny, because my vlog was more controlled; almost like I am writing a post.

      If you see any of my comments to posts I can get pretty silly, maybe one of these days I will break that out on a vlog. However, I think there is a certain amount of novelty the first time out so we certainly don’t want to over-do it, huh?

      Upper West Coast, right? And I’m lower East Coast…

  9. Hi Bill,
    Thought your debut was great; came across as I guy I would like to know. As to the self hosting question, just do it. Don’t agonize and waste energy on the decision. Chalk it up to R&D and if after 3-6 months you don’t see the the advantages go back to the free site.

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence and I would like to meet you as well. It’s a shame you were in NY when BWENY was going on and you didn’t have the opportunity to bump into some of our community. I would have gone just to do that.

      I think you are right Riley; just do it because if you see Mimi’s comment, you might get in too deep and it could be like you are starting over.

      Good to see you on this Monday and hope your day is going well.

  10. I started my blog on After I decided that I wanted to continue blogging for the long term, I moved over to self-hosted WP. Here are my top 3 reasons for moving:
    1. More flexibility in design
    2. More control over functionality
    3. Future need to transform my blog in a website for my freelance business

    As you can see, none of these reasons is related to community building. You have proven that it doesn’t matter where your blog lives–your community is created by what you say, not where you say it.

    I visit and read blogs based on their content, not the platform. If the content is good, I will overlook a design I don’t like. We all have different design tastes, right? One person’s “clean” is another person’s “boring.” You can’t please everyone.

    What it comes down to is this: Is your blog able to fulfill your current and future blogging goals? If not, then you should consider moving. It’s not as difficult as you might think, and you have lots of online friends who would help you with the process, including me.

    Loved the video Bill! You look just as I expected. The only thing that threw me was the voice. We Californians think we’re the only people on Earth who don’t have an accent! Great job. πŸ™‚

    • I still am not sure how I’m going to grow this, but if I plan on growing it at all I probably should go ahead and get the proper platform in place. I believe that is what you are telling me, and I think you have shared this with me before as well.

      Thanks so much for the advice and the kind words. I appreciate you taking the time to not only watch the video but leaving your comments as well. Your support is very much appreciated.

      Good to see you this fine Monday and I know I’ll be by your place later. Take care.

  11. Hey, look me in the eyes when you’re talking to me!

    I see you Bill; taking the lazy route to blogging, eh? Just point, click, talk in the camera and upload – hmmm…

    As for your tech savviness – you can actually upload the video in your blog post instead of just having a link!

    Man, you certainly move those pictures fast… “Quick, hit pause if you want to see them!”

    Ah, so your wife wears the pants, eh?

    A John Falchetto wannabe as well??? too sexy, too sexy

    What? Replace Bernardo? Maybe, but you’ll have to shave your head and smile more in your videos.

    This is my review of your first vlog post.

    Don’t worry, I’m still a die hard fan, but you’re going to step it up a bit!

    (My wife where’s the pants too – haha!)

    Cheers my friend and looking forward to more video’s. Teach me please : )

    • Hey, don’t be making fun of my wandering eye….didn’t your mama teach you any better than that. Also, I believe you stole Mark Harai’s Avatar; I see you were shopping around in the discount barrel just like I had to do.

      I didn’t smile too much, did I? I’m usually a smilin’ fool. As I commented to Wendy above, it was more like my blog post instead of my witty banter on comments.

      Step it up? That’s all I got brother and it was a stretch to get there………..:).

      Erica did offer to ‘teach’ me how to embed instead of dragging a link, but when have I done anything to make it easy for my visitors. It’s amazing I have any friends at all.

      The wife; I lost control the moment I said “I do”…..just sayin’……..:). She’s a good woman and excellent mother but she’s also the CFO at Dorman, Inc and there is very little that gets by her.

      We got each other’s back, right? I figured since I Skyped you w/out a camera I would give you the opportunity to get me back.

      Good to see you buddy; I’m back at the office and I will come by to see you later. Take care and hope your day is going well.

  12. Hey Bill,

    Always nice to have a voice to go with the words. I spent the majority of my blogging career on Blogger. I didn’t move over to WP until January of this year.

    I did it for both personal and professional reasons. I have made a semi-active effort to monetize my blog and WP made that easier for me.

    I’d sum it up by saying it provided more tools, resources and control.

    I don’t regret the move but I took a significant hit on my traffic. Slowly but surely I am making up for what I lost and I am ok with that.

    If you compare blogging to sales this is no different than taking time to build your territory. Takes time to get out there, introduce yourself products/services and convince people to give you a try.

    But if you sustain your effort over time it evolves into something that requires maintenance and care but is easier to grow.

    I guess before I’d tell you to switch over I’d ask you what your goal is because it might not be necessary to spend any money at all.

    The two most important parts of blogging are content and community and you have that now.

    • Thanks for the words of encouragement.

      For the most part I’m just trying to get my name out there and get known. As some point in time I want people to know me for something and whether that is thru what I do in the insurance world, social media, etc, etc, etc, then I can figure out how I can be of benefit to people.

      From what I’m reading, I am probably leaning toward self-hosted just because of the options and don’t necessarily want to get 2-3 years into this and have to essentially start over.

      Good to see you buddy and my wife doesn’t like Papa Johns either so I rarely get it anyway.

  13. Hey Bill, great video my friend. Really enjoyed seeing and hearing the man behind the blog.

    Looks like a lot of people already shared with you some of the reasons for moving your blog. I believe though that you are here for more personal reasons where others are here to build a business. So being able to add more plug-ins and widgets is important, being able to change the way your blog looks is important and many more sharing options would be available as well.

    Another important issue for those trying to make a business from this is that you don’t actually own your content so if someday decides to delete your blog, it’s just gone. All those posts and hard work will just vanish. Ouch!

    You’ve already got the great community and people behind you so it’s a personal decision for you. If you are here to build a business then you are just viewed as being more serious about this and not always eager to take the easy route. It’s hard to invest in someone when that’s the only direction they are willing to take.

    That’s why some people will leave those types of comments. As for you my friend, you do whatever you want to do and I hope we’ll see more videos from you in the future as well. That was fun!

    Thanks Bill! Have a fabulous evening.


    • Thanks so much for your straight forward comments. I think what I am taking from all the posts is it does allow ownership and flexibility. I think I will start exploring the next step.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the vid, I did give a little thought to it and probably left out a couple of things because I wanted some humor; but I got through it w/out looking too goofy.

      I appreciate you taking the time to come by and certainly enjoyed your ‘organization’ post.

      I hope you have a great week.

  14. Bill, the video was a very nice introduction. You do learn a lot from video that you don’t get from print. Considering your volume of comments, I assume you write pretty fast, but it’s nice to hear you still speak at Southern pace. πŸ™‚

    As for I am no expert, but here are my 2 cents anyway. Adding to the many fine arguments above what I think is the most important reason for switching: ownership. I’m not sure where your headed with all of this, but one thing is for sure, you’ve started to develop something of value (in many senses of the word) in a short period of time. While I would concede that the risk of doing something that is truly disastrous to your blog is low, it is still their URL and their platform. Once you move to your own domain; you own it. Assuming you backup your blog (which is as easy as installing a plugin) then you can take it wherever you want. Being down for a few days is about the extent of your risk.

    Once again, not sure where you want to go with all of this, but I will say that from the standpoint of professional appearance having or blogger account is the blog equivalent of having an aol account as your business email. Most people don’t care, but depending on your future audience, some might.

    Also, to Jacks’ point, if you’re going to do it, the sooner the better, as you will inevitably lose google love and traffic when you move domains.

    • I knew you would understand what I was saying….:). BTW, I grew up in Apopka and still have family there.

      If I plan on doing anything whatsoever with this I think it would be wise to go ahead and switch over before I get too deep. Especially if subscribers will have to switch.

      Yeah, we don’t want the aol business e-mail; looks a little cheesy, huh?

      I appreciate you stopping by and it was good to see you at Gini’s place. I’m guessing you probably have a Gini story as well as she was the one who had the patience to introduce me to commenting and blogging and the rest is history as they say.

      I look forward to getting to know you better and best of luck on your journey. I hope you have a great week.

  15. Bill, On the not self-hosted… IF it is a deal breaker for some, it is THEIR loss. Period. Some very talented and smart people out here have multiple blogs and some use Tumblr or a site like this, so to NOT read a blog just because it’s not self hosted… I don’t get that either. (Now a big brand, corporate blog it’s different IMO, more of a control and image thing.)

    Marianne gave you some good tips on the tech stuff but like Mimi and others have said, it’s the content and community that matter more. Which YOU have in spades. And FWIW.. there is something to be said for SIMPLICITY. So there. If and when you do opt to self-host, don’t feel compelled to change things and make them un-Bill-like. Seriously, you are so far ahead of the game on this tech stuff.

    On the video, love meeting you this way. I did something a little similar one night – sadly noting as creative or funny as our friend Jayme’s – for the same reasons: to let people hear my voice, see my face and give folks an ‘in person HELLO’ and see what happened. And dude, I am SURE you totally have John running scared with your ‘cracker accent.’ FWIW.

    • Wha? You have a video out there; has it been published yet and I missed it? If so, please tell where I can go view it.

      I really liked Jayme and almost copied hers as a spoof.

      I do think simplicity is better; the main thing for me though is I do want to be able to promote my friends. If this site is not allowing me to do that, then this would be a reason I would consider changing as well.

      I certainly appreciate your kind words and even though you can appreciate my accent, it’s nothing like the southern charm you can hear in the A T L. I actually lived in Columbus my 3 yrs in the Army so I picked it up pretty well.

      Thanks for the info and I especially appreciate the Livefyre info so now I can cut down on my e-mail traffic. I turned on my phone this am and had 53 e-mail from 11 pm last night. Yikes……

      So good to see you and I’m sure we will cross paths again this week. I do hope you have a lovely day.

  16. Bill, you did an outstanding job! It was lots of fun to actually see and hear you. That’s the power of video! It peels back yet another “layer of unfamiliarity” as I like to call it, opening people up to yet another side of you. You should feel great about what you did. You serve as inspiration…thanks!

    • Thanks for kind words and it was kind of fun for the first time out. I did pick up some pointers on how to fix it up and embed it instead of a link. Of course, I seem to make it seem like a minefield to get to my house at times anyway so why should this have been different, huh?

      It’s one of those things when you hear your own voice or see a vid of yourself you seem to be much more critical than an outsider would be. But all in all, that was pretty much me so it was a wrap.

      So good to see you and now we are FB friends as well; yay. I hope you have a great day today.

  17. Hey Bill,

    I don’t think that you need a self-hosted domain, but that’s mostly because you’ve already created a community and you’re doing a great job. With a self-hosted domain, I believe that you get more traffic from search engines and it’s easier to get people who are new to your site and that don’t know anything about you, to stay longer and to subscribe. So, this is a way to grow larger without doing as much “work” as you are doing right now.

    I have a self-hosted site, and it doesn’t cost a lot. I just don’t tell my wife πŸ™‚

    Great video. I am not sure about, but I would have embedded the video to your blog post instead of using a link to YouTube. But anyway, people will still see it on YouTube and it was awesome.


    • Hey Jens, I thought it would have been automatically embedded but after I fooled around with it for about 2 hours I just went with the link. Erica Allison did send me info on how to embed it so if an when I get the urge to do another, I should be good to go.

      I hope the good weather is holding up for you. Of course in Fla we are just the opposite; there might be 2-3 days total in a year it is uncomfortable to go outside. Granted, we have some pretty hot and humid days but if I have my water I actually kind of like it.

      I think from the comments the advice is it depends on what I am trying to accomplish. I do think I want to take this to the next level, whatever that might look like and it appears a self-hosted site is the way to go before I get too deep in this one.

      Good to see you buddy and look forward to running into you more often.

  18. Hi, Bill.

    Cool vlog! Now, you are literally no longer invisible. The voice fits the face and I love that you were wearing the blue t-shirt because it lets us see the more casual side of you. I am used to seeing your suited Gravatar. πŸ˜€

    As to the self-hosting issue, for me, doesn’t really matter which way, Bill. I will still follow your blog no matter what. Of course, there are advantages to having a self-hosted blog like the ones mentioned by a number of people here, first of whom is Tony, but really most of us are here because we like you. It is not where the blog is hosted but who is running the blog that matters. πŸ™‚

    Looking forward to more vlogs from you. πŸ™‚

    • Well, that was very nice of you to say Kim. Actually, I do wear a tie to work every day but Fri. However, my pic in the Avatar is not my pic of choice but it was the only one formatted in the right size where you could see my face. I’m sure most people at first sight think “who is this stiff”?

      I think the self hosted will give me a few more options and ownership of my ‘stuff’. If I’m going to do it, probably sooner rather than later would be best. I will probably check it out this week.

      So good to see you and I’m working on making sure I have subscribed to all my friends and then figuring out Google Reader so I don’t miss stuff. I get so caught up in commenting and replying half the people I don’t know if I’ve followed, subscribed, liked, etc. I do want to promote my friends as much as I can and whatever I haven’t done it certainly hasn’t been intentional.

      So good to see you and your support means the world to me. I hope you have a great day and I will be by to see you later.

      • Google Reader really helps, Bill. It is what keeps me on track on who and what to read. I am glad to know that you will be looking into self-hosting this week. I am sure you will like what you will find.

        Awfully grateful for all the support you have extended to me as well. Won’t forget how you helped even when I was a virtual unknown when I first commented on your blog.

        You enjoy the rest of your week. πŸ™‚

    • I have the Google Reader now but haven’t done anything with it yet. I see where you put the URL address in for all the blogs but I’m wondering if I’m able to ‘tab’ particular posts w/in a blog to come back to?

      Also, I think I had trouble subscribing to yours but I will have to go back and check.

      Regardless of my station in life or in this crazy blogosphere, I will always be willing to lend a helping hand.

      Good to see you this Wednesday.

  19. Bill, first I need to say that your accent sounds AWESOME. Seriously, if I were a woman I would be all over you haha.

    About the free site, I don’t mind at all but I can see how it could ‘hurt your brand’ a bit. Your own domain name, maybe a customized header on the page, could help to shape your online identity. Of course it all depends on where you want to take this blogging adventure. It’s just a reality that there are very few blogs that grow big without an easy to remember domain name and custom design (or at least header).

    However, I don’t think that’s stuff you need to be worrying about right now. You’re growing this place into a beautiful community and that should be your number one priority. I’m sure the rest will follow from that.

    Thanks for sharing man!

    Btw I subscribed to your youtube channel, so keep ’em coming!


    • Ok, the pressure is on now to crank out some quality vids, huh? I wish I had the women swooning over that voice; I’m at the age I truly have become ‘invisible’ to them………:)

      I hear what you are saying and the community building part I am very comfortable with and if there is another level for me I probably should think about a self-hosted site before I get too deep with this one. In fact, I will probably explore it this week. There is a person in our IT Dept who has one so I can see what he is doing.

      I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and offering an ego boosting comment. I’ll be seeing you around and will make sure to stop by your place later. Take care…..

  20. Hey Bill!

    Nice to see you on video!

    “Florida Cracker Accent”! That had me dying! No one can be a suave as the great John F. He’s a the smooth criminal (without being a criminal) that Michael Jackson was speaking about in “Annie are you Okay” (My kids won’t allow me to listen to anything else other than Michael).

    Honestly, I will come to your site regardless if it’s hosted on or if you host it yourself. The costs are honestly very little…pennies compared to the support that your sons needed with out-of-state tuition (CONGRATS by the way).

    I can’t tell you the limitations or any of the draw backs for being on besides you truly don’t have a full arm around your content and your ability to make changes to your site. You are the only site I visit; that’s not on purpose, but I’ve literally only ran by one other (and it didn’t keep my interest).

    I say if it’s something you’re not interested in changing right now – don’t. You’ll always have the opportunity – and a guy like you will continue to build a brand no matter what. Some people need to the view of their own domain for credibility and a show of commitment, but your personality alone keeps people coming!

    If you need help making the change – hit me up – I got your back.


    • My brother from another mother; so what did you think of the fat, pasty one? Unfortunately, it was more like one of my written blogs and you didn’t get to see the witty banter like you would on my comments. In fact, I hardly smiled at all and that is very unusual for me. I’ll work on that…..

      I understand what you are saying about flexibility and ownership and the other thing is I want to make sure I can promote my friends as much as possible. If a self-hosted site makes this easier then I’m all for it.

      I’m trying to get caught up from my week at the beach (isn’t that a common refrain in this world; get caught up?). I’ll be by to see you later.

      I hope all is well and you are having a great week.

  21. Bill,

    I am proud of you for doing a video. I am at work so I can’t watch it now but I will check it out asap. I also have been considering doing a vlog but I am afraid I will lose readers when they realize how ugly I am. Does you tube have a Mpaa rating system because my vlog would be rated r for extreme ugliness which may cause vomitting. lol! πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to check it out.

    • Trust me my man; wait ’til you see my mug, you have nothing to worry about.

      Actually it was kind of fun; I did script it out a little bit so I wouldn’t ramble too much, but once I started talking it got off track a little bit.

      I did find out how to embed it in the post instead of just attaching a link, so if and when I decide to do another one maybe it will be a little cleaner.

      Good to see you and I stopped by your guest post; it was a good one.

      Talk to you soon.

  22. I LOVED the video! And the “Florida cracker accent,” LOL. I’m tempted to do a video response to you.

    Everyone’s pretty much told you why you should switch (if that’s their opinion). I don’t think it will make a difference to your engagement, you already have a fabulous community. But I will say that IMHO, if you are planning (hoping) to take TIB really big, then a self-hosted blog with your own domain name will be much more professional.

    Funnily enough, I just received an email offer (email-only) from my hosting provider (about whom I can’t say enough good things) for a great rate on hosting – so let me know if you’d like me to send it along to you!

    • That’s right TIB going big time; I’ll make Casper pale in comparison. Oh wait, he already is the pale one.

      From what I’ve read I do think it’s probably time to consider the hosted site if I plan on doing anything whatsoever with this. I don’t want to get too deep and then start over.

      Also, I have heard about the professional angle. Adam said it would be like having an aol business e-mail. Perception is reality.

      Please do send me the hosting information if you will. I need to start somewhere and this will give me an idea of what it entails.

      I say Florida Cracker because it’s not quite Southern like Georgia or Alabama, but there is something definitely there and I’m prone to drop a y’all in every once in awhile. Some of our more rural areas around here it is much more pronounced.

      Ok, now that we are in the same tribe (it only took me 3 days to figure out how to sign up…..I forgot my original password) leave some good material for me……..:).

      So good to see you and thanks so much for the kind words.

  23. Loved it “Billy boy”!

    I think a lot of critics of social media and the evolution of communication in general bemoan the “fact” that it has become too impersonal. You are offering clear examples of how social media can produce just the opposite effect – a closer, more personal connection with people with whom you have never met.

    Your comfortable, humble, and vulnerable approach along with your insightful discussions generate a connection as well as a level of trust and confidence in your audience. Well done!

    • Thanks for the kind words Kevin; ultimately it comes down to people and can they relate to you? You can have all the gadgets, gimmicks, etc but at some point there has to be human interaction; especially with what we are trying to do.

      My network is far reaching and that’s a good thing because it doesn’t limit my boundaries. However, I will work on doing the same network building w/in what I consider my territory and see if we can maximize the exposure the community allows.

      The video was fun; I thought it was going to be a one-take but when I had trouble putting it on my site (yeah, real tech whiz) I recorded the second version straight to YouTube. My eyes seemed to be moving around a lot and typically I don’t do that (I hope) as I try to maintain pretty good eye contact, but essentially that was me; warts and all.

      Thanks for stopping by and I’ll probably have a new post tomorrow as I think the shelf life on this bad boy has run its course. I’ve actually talked w/ a few people who saw it but no comments. And that’s ok; their only suggestion was not to give up the day job………:).

      Good to see you buddy, thanks for the support.

  24. Here’s the “late to the party” friend…is there any wine left?

    First off: will you dance with me Bill? You’ve got me swooning. Seriously: good stuff! Love the accent. Love your self-deprecating, genuine style, in both your writing and your vlog. Your sense of humour always brightens my day.

    I agree with Davina: it’s the content and community that matter most, and you’ve got both. Moving to another platform is probably a good idea for the long run, but I’d follow you regardless. Like Kim said: “I’ll follow you no matter what”.

    I’m now waiting for the next vlog: cue music, bring in the mood lighting. Cheers! Kaarina

    • With the lights low I’ll have my robe on sitting in my plush leather chair w/ a glass of fine brandy as I wax poetic……………………yikes……………..

      I will always save a dance for you; just make sure you come get me out of the corner and ask me.

      Two things I noticed and hopefully I don’t do it as much in person were the ‘uhhs’ and the wandering eyes. I think because I was not in conversation w/ someone and just speaking off the cuff it caused me to say it more and the fact I’m trying to make eye contact w/ a little camera sitting on my computer.

      I’m pretty sure I will be moving forward w/ a hosted site for several reasons. I just don’t want to get too deep into this and have to pull everyone back out and start over. I have talked w/ a few who did this and they lost a lot of the momentum they had built.

      Maybe the next vlog I will do the happy dance or something. That actually was way more serious than I normally am. It’s hard to be funny w/out an audience, huh?

      I can’t wait to hear about your Olympic experiences. There are probably so many parts to that you can fill up several posts. BTW – I did see your vid on FB (awesome) and your Olympic pic (awesome) and thought it was all pretty cool.

      I do have one bottle of Cabernet left, let me open it so it can breath for awhile……….:)

      I hope you have a great day.

      • I’m going to keep coming back to this response anytime I’m having a down day: Cabernet and kind comments…how much better can it get?

        It’s funny…I’ve never talked about my Olympic experiences in these 35 years, despite encouragement from some of my “offline” friends. I don’t know why. It just seemed like “bragging”.

        But you, my online community…people like you, Mark Harai, Gini Dietrich, Jayme Soulati, Brankica and others have encouraged me in a way that was different. You showed genuine interest in hearing about the experience, as opposed to saying to me, “tell your story”. That’s made all the difference in the world, my friends. I’m excited, and a little bit nervous: I hope memory will serve me correctly. What it has done also: it’s allowed me to revisit some very special times that I’ve kept locked away in photo albums and my (perhaps imperfect) memory.
        How liberating!

        So…cue music…the dance is on! Cheers! Kaarina

    • It ain’t braggin’ if ya did it. Of course, if it was me I would have to embellish it and talk about the 7 golds I won and how I trained 97 other gold medalists and turned down millions in sponsorship money because I wanted to stay true to the amateur Olympic spirit……………

      I think the beauty of our community is everyone has a story; some much more interesting than others like you, Griddy and John Falchetto but I love hearing about that stuff. You don’t care if I go to Starbucks every Tuesday…………..just sayin’…………..:)

      • Oh my gosh I’m laughing so hard my sides are splitting! I just need a dose of Bill’isms every day to keep the doctor away:)

        EVERYONE’S story is interesting because it’s THEIR story, and there’s only one “them”. I agree: “the beauty of our community is everyone has a story”.

        Can you pick me up a Starbucks on Tuesday? Cheers! Kaarina

    • Fame, like relatives visiting and staying at your house definitely have a shelf life. It’s nice a first…….

      I do appreciate the support and the witty banter; it is what makes community building fun and everybody needs some ‘fun’ in their lives.

      I’ll be by next Tues at 8 am and we’ll go get that Venti Redeye (lg coffee w/ a shot of espresso) at Starbucks…….and then I can blog about it………….

  25. Bill, I loved the blog. Your Florida accent took me back to my years as a Floridian. You’re much younger than I thought. Your wisdom is not borne of age apparently.

    I loved the part where you discussed how few gadgets you have. You are just like my husband, or at least you were until my husband got an iPad. Now he’s hooked. Maybe when your kids graduate and get awesome jobs, they will get you a gadget or two?

    I switched to self-hosted pretty early and left a blog post on my site with a link to my self-hosted blog site. Every so often I get a link from them.

    You’re spot on with the 1/10 ratio of hits vs. comments, so I don’t think that you should switch to self-hosted for more comments. (Besides, you get so many, do you really want more?) But I agree with the commenters’ other reasons for moving. I especially liked the analogy to running a business with an email address.

    When I used, I bumped up against their data limit pretty quickly. After 3 posts I had used up 1/6 of my data limit. Since I post 5 days a week and use a lot of images, I quickly was heading towards exceeding their free cap. So using would not have been cheaper for me.

    A great reason to switch is CommentLuv. There are other fantastic plugins too. I liken plugins to apps in that they provide added usefulness, but you might not be a fan of apps since you aren’t a gadget junkie (a/k/a polygadgetist) like me.

    No worries, if you switch to a self-hosted site, I will find you as will your other loyal readers. But I agree with the many who advise you to switch sooner rather than later.

    • Did you say MUCH younger? You are definitely my new best friend……:). Not only Florida accent, but 5 generations so it’s pretty ingrained.

      I’m on board with the self-hosting; my main problem is getting it by the finance committee (my wife) because she already thinks I spend way too much time doing this. Ha, once I show her the big bucks I will be her hero again.

      My IT guy help me set up the account and we had like one button. He said don’t worry about it as many people won’t be stopping by anyway. Huh? That part of it did take me by surprise; I guess I was somewhat naive and had no idea. It’s been fun though and you are right, do I really want many more?

      The next question would be do I go to a twice a wk posting schedule because I do see the shelf life of these posts. However, it does free me up to visit others.

      Thanks so much for stopping by with the kind words and advice; much appreciated.

      I hope your weekend is going well.

  26. First visit here… Nice… But you definitely need to self host.
    1) You have a following. That following should be yours, not WP’s
    2) at about $10 a month, why not control your own destiny? You don’t lose anything when moving yet you gain everything. Skip a trip to Starbucks one day a month, if that’s what it takes to make the CFO happy.
    3) The ability to monetize. Yes, you should be able to make money from your hobby. Nothing wrong with that!
    4) you can keep the blog here for search engine indexing, some odd posts or notes with a link to the new site…
    5) Its all yours. the name, the website and everything that goes with it… is yours… Use it…

    • That has been pretty much the consensus; even before I started getting the replies to this post I was thinking it might be a silly question (which just shows how naive I still am with a lot of this).

      I only did the blog because I thought that was part of the game; I had no mission or agenda. However, people did start showing up (which surprised me) so I thought I better pick up my game.

      It has been fun and I am definitely looking into it. The trade-off is I might have to give up Starbucks altogether, but would be willing to do so at this point.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment. It’s amazing how many people actually see this stuff and you just never know.

  27. Bill, this was so dang fun man. I know I’m wayyyyyyy late to the party, but huge props to you for doing this man. Little by little, all this stuff will take shape, as will your niche and identity, even further than what it is right now. I love your uniqueness and sense of humor, and your ability to add to the community is magical.

    Have a great weekend my friend.


    • See, you don’t have the corner on goofy………..I’m tellin’ ya, we could have been a great duo w/ my mug and yours on your header.

      I do feel like I’m gaining some traction and as I told Bran on her post today I’m going to miss being able to use the social media ‘dummy’ tag. Granted, I’m still prone to do something amateurish, but it doesn’t take you long to ‘grow up’ in this world, does it?

      It’s really great to see the strides you have made and I’m just happy to have had the opportunity to get to know you. Maybe one of these days we will be on the same stage together.

      I do appreciate your support and kind words and thanks for dropping by today.

  28. I thought you Were self-hosted, Bill; I put in and then, and thought, huh! Had to google since i was too lazy to open Tweetdeck. Um. You have people googling your name=you should be self-hosted. FWIW!

    • Interesting………………I’m working on it; might as well go ahead and get it done, huh?

      Good to see you and thanks for the RT on my latest post; hope all is well.

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