Did anyone else feel that?

Most will agree if you are not moving forward you are either standing still or falling behind. It is healthy to always be learning and growing so you don’t become irrelevant. However, do you feel this hamster wheel we are on in here does not allow for us to ‘stop and smell the roses’ at times?

I didn’t expect it to change like this

Everybody seems to have their own life cycle in social media, but for me things started to tilt right before the beginning of the summer. I was still fairly new and everything was fresh and fun; I had free reign to just be a knucklehead. It’s when I got the reputation for being ‘everywhere’.

A group of my ‘friends’ at the time attend BWENY, the Blog World event in NY. One friend in particular was so disappointed in the event he was the first to fire a salvo expressing his displeasure. This stirred quite the debate and instead of everybody coming back to their social media routines; a fair amount of time and energy was devoted to the debate on this.

I did not attend so didn’t have quite the same passion or enough information to weigh in; I remained on the sidelines.

That is just not possible

Also about this time, everyone’s best friend aka Superwoman Gini Dietrich launched Spin Sucks Pro. It turned out SSP still had some ‘issues’ to deal with and she had to bring it back in for more development. I mean really, what are the chances of something like that happening?

To me, I detected a subtle change in her demeanor but certainly not unexpected given the circumstances. However, it was enough of a bump to give everything a slightly different ‘social’ feel for me.

Summer in the Hampton’s

Summer arrives and now the kids are home, everyone has vacations scheduled, routines are changed, etc. What used to be predictable engagement has now become a hit or miss proposition.

On top of that everyone started talking about a social media malaise; people were getting burnt out. I couldn’t tell if it was just the ‘dog days’ of summer, or not.

Finally, at least 3 people I know that were very active, just went away. I still see their automated tweets from Triberr, but it’s like looking at a ghost ship. The lights are on but nobody is home.

Wait, there is more

In social media it can still seem like a virtual love fest at times. Everybody is writing about their passion, living life fully, their love and happiness, etc.

For whatever reason in the month of September, I have read more tails of woe and challenges my friends are dealing with in their lives right now. Some are health related, some financial and some deal with loved ones. It saddens me to hear this, but I’m hearing it over and over.

This didn’t just start in September; what in the heck is going on?

Where do we go from here?

I expected change but never expected it to happen all at once. Is this just the nature of social media because you know so many?

I want a show of hands, who is really genuinely happy with their life right now? If not, what is it going to take to make you happy? Is it something you can control or do you feel it is out of reach for you?

What does blogging and engaging do for you in this pursuit?

I will go on record, I am genuinely happy and totally content with my station in life right now. Could parts of it be better? Absolutely, but I will tell you it’s good enough and I’m thankful for what I do have.

Until I walk a mile in your shoes I have no idea of what challenges you face so I can’t say ‘just find a way to get happy’; but I certainly hope you can.

Does anybody else feel like there is a ‘different’ feel to this right now; that there has been a ‘shift’?

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114 thoughts on “Did anyone else feel that?

  1. First in! Yes! Touchdown!

    Hi Bill,
    There is a different feel because nothing stays the same, change is unavoidable.

    We change, others change. Not every change is progress though and this is what matters.
    How can we make sure it’s progress? We can’t but we can come here everyday, do the work and connect with others in the process.

    You’re a perfect example of this progress, from Bill Dorman 6 months ago to now, UNRECOGNIZABLE!

    Forget passion, stick to purpose my friend 🙂

    • Extra point. 😉 Yes, Bill has definitely grown as a blogger, but he is still the same warm, wonderful, real person whose magnetic personality makes every post seem like an invitation to a party. He has retained his best features while he has developed as a blogger. How great is that?

      • It’s great that you said all those nice things about me; it put a big smile on my face.

        I’m trying to grow as a blogger but I wonder at times about my progress. The more I ‘practice’ the more I will learn and hopefully get better too.

      • Oh geez now you are encouraging him Carolyn. Warm? He lives in Tampa? He sweats 24/7 when not inside in the A/C. Wonderful? Well Lindsay Lohan did blog she has a crush on him because he is sweet and pays her bail. Magnetic? He does have that metal plate in his back from that time he was dragged behind a harley saying that girl from a gang of hells angels. It does set off the airport detectors. Features? You mean his rugged jaw? Where I won;t tease is the party. Bill can boogie and beer bong with the best.

        and because he is everywhere he knows all the places he can get me back 8)

      • Hi SPM, Did I say warm? You’re right, he’s hot! Nothing warm about Tampa in the summer, it’s as hot as Bill’s awesome blog.

        I wasn’t going to mention the metal plate in Bill’s head. You know I’ve suspected for a long time that he’s bionic, about $6,000,000.00 worth, but I didn’t want to say anything.

        I thought Bill shared a cell with Lindsay, though I might be mistaken on that one.

        Thanks for clearing things up for us, SPM.

    • Good point indeed as far as sticking to ‘purpose’. I know change is inevitable, it just seemed a lot of my friends were going through significant change and not all of it was good.

      It is funny to look a back at my earlier posts and involvement and see that I have grown somewhat. Older and wiser, but still haven’t grown up which my wife is still waiting for me to do………….:).

      Joe lunch bucket, just show up every day and do the best we can. I will continue to reach out and hopefully connect with others along the way and keep this a fun and interesting journey.

      Good to see you and thanks for stopping by with your comments sir.

  2. Yes, Bill, I agree. There does seem to be change afoot, but I’m not certain whether it’s a growth phase or a permanent shift. This summer people seemed to be riding high on the #NicheAmnesty tide, but as September rolls around, the elation of the summer seems to have worn off and there are more people who seem discontent.

    I am happy. I love writing my blog, interacting with others, learning about new tech every morning and looking ahead to exciting times. A year ago we were just settling in from moving back from England and struggling with the adjustment.

    Now my husband has a new job that keeps him local instead of flying around the world and my oldest daughter is at a new school with new possibilities. And I am excited to get up in the morning to see what the day holds.

    Okay, you caught me on a great day. It’s the first day that all my kids are back in school after a long summer break. Hold on….I’ve paused my happy dance.

    Glad to hear you are doing well, too, Bill. I hope our contentment with life is contagious. 🙂

    • Sounds like a great day and I’m pretty sure I heard the distinct clicking of the heals.

      I think part of what I’m noticing is the change with the people who have been on this journey with me so far; which is inevitable. It’s kind of like my ‘class’ and now people have graduated and are starting to move off in different directions.

      The good thing about this is you are always meeting new people and I really enjoy that as well.

      I guess I could only be a knucklehead so long, but it sure was nice to have a total ‘hall pass’ back in the day.

      The journey continues and I’m excited about the continued adventures it will bring.

      So good to see you and thanks for stopping by today.

    • BTW – I did share a cell w/ Lindsay but had to shave my legs to get in there. Unfortunately, she likes girls so I didn’t get to stay too long…….

      The metal plate was the result of falling from the bleachers at a Rays baseball game trying to catch a $2.25 foul ball. I did get a settlement however, that is why I have all the free time in the world to be such an awesome blogger. If the weather is just right, my head starts humming and I really get some creative thoughts going………..

  3. My friend, you have a hall pass to be exactly what you are for the rest of your life, and ours! I have a feeling I am one of those you were referring to because of my Mom’s health issues, and my spending so much time at the hospital with her. I’ve tried to remain active in my digital communities, but some days are easier than others.

    I have seen this same shift a few times in Social. When I started this journey, which I still love, the people I interacted with regularly are not all there today. Some have new jobs that don’t allow them as much time to interact. Some have inevitably broadened their own networks, thus discovering new people with whom to interact. I have broadened my networks in all of these spaces, and am spread a bit thinner in terms of making sure I spend time in each. Some have left the euphoric phase of Social Networking, when we simply can not believe we have hit the gold rush of quick and easy connection, education and information around the world in a nano-second. There’s nothing like it, and it causes many of us to spend time here we never thought possible 10 years ago. There is connection…real connection…with people like you, and that’s easy to become addicted to.

    When people exit this initial euphoric phase, they begin to wonder what they are really doing here, how it fits in to their business and marketing plans, if they can continue to invest time, energy and passion in to this level of interaction, and if they have the drive to keep up with all the change, which is rapid.

    I think all of these things, and a whole lot more, cause the change you are seeing. The pendulum might swing back from time to time, when your initial tribe seems to resurface, and your heart leaps for joy. What’s important is finding your comfort level, not changing the way you are to suit the tide, but to suit your purpose (which is, ultimately, based on the needs of those with which you interact…same as any other business practice), and staying the course…if you have decided this is the course you wish to take.

    I think you’re wonderful, and your presence here adds real value to many of us, trust me. In the mean time, keep building your tribe, your community, and spread your personality and knowledge to even more people!

      • I LOVED your answer, Nancy! What a smart, on point response to the questions posed by Bill today. I agree 110% and have experienced all of those phases for sure. It’s an evolution and a pendulum swing all at the same time and it’s a matter of finding your balance, your footing and your purpose that makes it all “right.”

        I think so many of us, myself included, are going through incredible changes at this time in our lives…much of it is our age (aging parents, friends, etc), the economic situation that has hit us on a global level (not just the US), and a general feeling of “wow, how did we get HERE?” Staying the “expected” course can be difficult. I think a more comfortable option for me is to stay the course as best I can and in a way that works best for me, my family and my business. My friends that I’ve made online will indeed understand and be there for me when I resurface if I need to take breaks from time to time.

      • I agree Erica, we just have to go out and do what needs to be done and if that changes our online activity then so be it. The more we ‘mature’ in this arena, the more understanding we become when people have to come and go.

        Having said that however, you do miss the connections and engagement so it can be a little sad at times.

        Good to see you today.

    • You touch on a good point about leaving the euphoric phase, the honeymoon period if you will, and maybe that more than anything was my shift. I alluded to it in another reply but this core group I engaged with were like my classmates. It’s not much different than when the school year changes or you graduate and eventually move on. It just seems to happen a lot quicker than I would like it to.

      You said some might nice words about me, and it’s comments like that, that not only put a smile on my face but make me feel like what I’m doing has some value to it.

      Yes, you were in my thoughts and to me it just seemed like all at once everybody was going through personal challenges. I was thinking ‘enough already’, but that’s just life, isn’t it?

      Tough skin and flexibility if you want to survive in social, huh?

      It was truly a pleasure to see you today; you know I’m thinking about you.

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  4. I attributed what was going on to school starting and my new morning routine. But in the past two days I’ve been thinking about this “shift”. I can only speak for myself but I think when there’s a focus inward on how “we’re” feeling, contentment is a difficult state to maintain. I’ve watched groups of people in social and organizational settings for years and have seen a pattern emerge inevitably over time: complaining starts because it is common ground. If we don’t find a project outside of ourselves we can become a bit narcissistic before long.

    That’s why I love @Nisha360 . She has a clean water campaign and needs help.

    And Elana Patrice’s (WGB2U) “Help Portrait” Project: http://youtu.be/I3BFwgf1f2I

    That gets me outside of me and my life, but also lets me think about how I can contribute what I do and have to something worthwhile. I love being a part of something that is bigger than me that can refocus my thoughts and energy.

    Excellent insights Bill(y)!

    • I think if you can get outside of ourselves and have a worthy project it allows you to gain better perspective. You know what they say about idle hands………..

      My outward focus is volunteerism with the Guardian ad Litem program. I’m the voice in court for kids who are in the ‘system’, typically foster care because bad things have gone on in their lives through no fault of their own. It certainly makes you very thankful for the things you do have and a lot less complaining.

      Thanks for sharing those projects; the clean water campaign is one where so little can mean so much.

      At the end of the day I hope somebody will feel better off because of something I did or said to them during our encounter. I would like to feel like I made a difference somewhere.

      Good to see you Betsy and thanks for sharing today.

  5. The way I use Twitter now is nothing like it was in 2009.

    This change has been gradual for me though. I’m still very aware of what’s going on via Twitter, I don’t socialize nearly as much. I prefer putting that time and energy into people that I know or in building more strategic relationships.

    I miss the “good ole days” – but since then we have also learned what social media is good for, and where it hasn’t quite lived up to its expectations. Random Twitter interactions are still unlikely to lead to major business development opportunities. It happens, but not often.

    Good post, made me think.

    • Hey Adrian, you make a good point. I don’t hold much stock in any business opportunities being created for me through a random tweet. More times than not because of the congested twitter streams you might as well be talking to yourself. Hey, that’s an idea, can you respond to your own tweet?

      Strategic relationship are a good idea; it also allows for more effective use of your time. There are a few people I chase around without much in return, but I’m going in with open eyes and no expectations. At some point if I just move on I don’t think I will be missed.

      It was kind of fun for me when I was pretty much clueless about everything. I truly could be the knucklehead and it was ok. Oh well, somebody moved my cheese I guess…..:).

      I do appreciate you taking the time to stop by and leave your thoughts. I hope you are having a great day.

    • “Random Twitter interactions are still unlikely to lead to major business development opportunities. It happens, but not often.”

      When do focused Twitter interactions lead to exciting, successful business collaborations?

      I’m in search of 10 examples. Any help you can give me on this Adrian would be greatly appreciated.

      • I would like to see one really good one………..of course my site is hooked up my HeyPal account and every time you comment I get a nickel. Now if you got here through twitter, maybe we could count that, huh?

  6. Thanks Bill. Interesting and unexpected post from you, today. I feel the change, but it is here, every day. Most days i am all about The CARE Movement and how I can be of service. Other days (some very recent) I just need a hug. Seriously.

    We all go through struggles and life can be cruel at times, but i will stay strong in the belief that Gratitude is the answer. Helping others and getting out of ourselves (thanks Betsy) is the best way to lift yourself up.

    I am a genuinely happy person. I love what I am doing. The engagement on line and the wondrful people I have met. When I start monetizing and get out of debt, I am sure it will raise my happiness level even more. Ha ! In the mean time, I will continue to CARE and share the hope, humor, motivation and inspiration. Just like you, Bill.

    And don’t forget the Gratitide.

    Al

  7. Hi Bill,
    Like you, I’m still fairly new to the blogging scene. (It will be a year for me in November.) But I do see changes in our world both online and off. Here online, yes, I’m surprised when someone disappears or reappears! I think we can’t separate our blogging life from our offline one. Changes in one place affect the other place too.
    Also, since so many of us started at the same time, we do seem to be going through similar phases i,e, burnout, at the same time. And summer vacation does and should impact us! We need to balance it all and summer helps with that!
    Life is all about change and if blogging is going to be a reflection of life, we can expect to see changes here too! I think ;o
    Lori

    • Maybe because change seems to happen quicker online or so it seems.

      I went into a new community about 8-9 years ago to run our office. It was close enough to the main office so I didn’t move, but I did immerse myself in the new community. Like social, everything was new and fresh and I had a blast meeting and making new relationships. After about 3-4 years, people started moving away, changing jobs, etc. It made me miss the early days but I knew change would be inevitable. It just seemed like it didn’t happen as quickly………….

      It is a very fluid dynamic that is for sure; hopefully we can hold onto our ‘core’ friends as long as possible, huh?

  8. I will tag onto Carolyn’s comment: I believe that we are, online and off, experiencing both growth and a permanent shift.

    There is much agitation, challenge, difficulty, pain and turbulence right now, and that’s where growth occurs. We grow from the things that challenge us, not from the things that we can do and experience easily.

    But I also think there is a permanent shift happening as well. As Erica says, the pendulum is swinging and, although I don’t believe in balance (but you already know that, right?), I do agree that people are trying to find their footing. There are slippery slopes, challenging hills, boring flatlands and changing scenery as we come to grips with our ever-changing world.

    I believe to everything there is both a season and a reason. It’s not surprising to me that so many of us are being challenged in so many ways. It’s giving rise to lots of introspection, and that’s good. If we don’t pause occasionally to reevaluate what we’re doing and where we’re going, we’re really just existing: not living.

    At the core, I am happy. I lead a blessed life. But the curve balls that have been thrown my (and many others’) way have caused difficulties, pain, frustration and on some days, apathy.

    But it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down. It matters that you get up each time.

    I agree with Al: counting our blessings and expressing gratitude are so key to remembering what’s really important.

    Will it matter 5 years, 5 days, 4 minutes from now? It’s a question I ask myself when I get immersed in worry or frustration: it grounds me. But we are all human, and even if/when we try to put on a “brave face”, sometimes that falters…and sometimes, people who are seen to be strong, coping and capable aren’t “supposed to” show that vulnerability.

    I’m happy to say: I’m happy, I’m human, I’m strong but I’m vulnerable. And I do believe, as the song says…”There’s something happening here…what it is ain’t exactly clear…” Cheers! Kaarina

    • To everything – turn, turn, turn
      There is a season – turn, turn, turn
      And a time for every purpose under heaven

      A time to be born, a time to die
      A time to plant, a time to reap
      A time to kill, a time to heal
      A time to laugh, a time to weep

      Lyrics from the Byrds, another great song!

      I don’t mind change, I don’t mind training and feeling emotional and physical pain; and growing from these experiences. I know there will be bad with the good, but if I had my preference my life experiences would not be the ones that knock me to my knees. Unfortunately, we don’t always get to make those choices, do we?

      You also make a good point with your comment: ‘But it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down. It matters that you get up each time’. Let’s just hope we are not always taking body shots that keep knocking us down.

      Do I detect a new line I can use now because the broad shoulders, thin skin has run it’s course? I’m strong but I’m vulnerable; I don’t know, I’m thinking I can run with this…..

      Good to see you runnin’ gal and thanks so much for stopping by with you thoughtful comments.

      • I.LOVE.THAT.SONG. And Howie and I must have been at the same Grateful Dead show:)

        I, too, hope that there aren’t too many knock-downs in anyone’s life. But they do happen, and they seem to have happened frequently as of late. I trust we’re all getting up and dusting ourselves off.

        “I’m strong but I’m vulnerable”, “I don’t have thick skin but I have broad shoulders”…I think I’ll write a song. Run with it: we can collaborate on the lyrics. Cheers! Kaarina

  9. There’s battle lines being drawn…………..:)

    I knew you’d like that; I have to run to a meeting and will be back but thanks for your comment. It has some depth so I need to appropriate reflect on it before I get back.

  10. I have noticed that some of the people I interacted with a lot when I started commenting has either stopped posting or have disappeared altogether. I know that life gets in the way at times and they may also have been someone with good intentions coming into this but either found it harder than originally planned or their life took a different direction. Who knows.

    As for me, I’m still very happy with my life. Oh sure, it could always be better but I’m certainly not complaining with what I have and the direction I’m headed. I just handle things as they come along and move on.

    Glad to hear that you feel the same way Bill.

    • I know commenting at other places is half of the fun but I wonder if time constraints limited you to posting and commenting only at your own site if it would still be worthwhile. I would be hard to drive traffic that way I suppose.

      My ‘say what’ level is way down now; things that used to get under my skin are barely a blip now. I’m more focused on what I’m trying to do and not worry about anything outside of my control, which is what I always should do, huh?

      I just handle things as they come along and move on, is my motto too. Drives my wife crazy at times because she thinks I should worry more, but no thanks.

      Good to see you and thanks for coming by; I hope your day has gone well.

  11. Hi Bill,

    I don’t see/hear/feel any changes that are different from any other time in blogging but I view this based upon a longer time frame than most. That statistic that I throw out about most bloggers not lasting beyond 90 days isn’t made up. I believe that it comes from a Technorati study.

    I cast a pretty wide net for the blogs that I follow. I would guess that I am a part of more communities than most ( I am not the wandering Jewish kid for nothing) and I see the same sort of posts in most places and agree with Erica.

    The economy is bad, we are fighting two wars and we have a leadership that can’t get along. Obviously that is US centric, my apologies to our Canadian friends for focusing here. Those of us with kids at home are fighting battles that most parents remember and it has a certain impact.

    The saddest post I read was about a family who lost their young son to a flash flood (http://aninchofgray.blogspot.com/). The picture of this boy haunts me- because that is my worst nightmare.

    But keep blogging and you’ll see lots of positive posts and stories about people who exude joy from their very being and they’ll make you smile. Keep blogging and you’ll see some of the people who are struggling move from the bottom to the top. That is the beauty of the blogosphere you get to see that whole circle of life thing.

    And now I am off to work on part two of the story I wrote last night. Good to see you all.

    • Is that the second part of what I read this morning? If so, somewhat more revealing of Mr Jack, but I liked it.

      You would have a different perspective due to your longevity and if you say it looks, feels, and smells the same then I tend to go with you. Maybe because I’m so new is why it feels like a change to me.

      I will check out the post you mention, but not just yet. I’m walking out the door to play tennis and I don’t want to be sad right now.

      Thanks for your thoughts my friend, I did make it past the 90 day window somehow. I wonder if I would have survived if I had tried to blog first before I reached out w/ engagement.

      Good to see you today my wandering friend, hope your day has been well.

  12. Just tired, Bill.

    Lots of fingers moving on the keyboard, but the results are just kind of average now.

    is the SM Bubble upon us?

    Maybe. Probably not.

    If you’re not “killing it” right now all day SM stuff IS kind o a bummer.

    Now, about Gini….

    The Franchise King®

    • SM bubble, I haven’t thought of it that way but I think probably not as well. It might continue to evolve into something else until we don’t like it anymore, but I think it will only get bigger and more commercial.

      I hear you about the fingers just moving at times; I wonder where all of this is taking me, if anywhere and the big question is, does it really matter?

      Thanks for weighing in Joel, good to see you today.

  13. Hey Bill,

    Very interesting and thought-provoking observations. Here’s my take:

    1. When something is new, it’s exciting and fun. For me that’s how Twitter was for the first 3 months. Everyone was communicating and sharing and having a great time. But as time went on, I noticed that more and more of the tweets in my stream were automated. If I responded to a random tweet to someone, the likelihood of getting a response was very low. Today, if I look at my primary stream, at least 50%, if not more of the tweets are automated. If I look at my stream that consists of all the people I know, 75% of the tweets are automated. The luster is fading.

    2. More and more of our communications are taking place on our blogs, instead of on other social networking platforms. Over time, you figure out that the shelf-life of a tweet or a status update is short. But a blog comment lasts, and stands out among the “noise.”

    3. Marketers (myself included) have discovered social media and are using it–often. When I don’t have my marketing hat on, I don’t want to receive a bunch of marketing messages. I want to talk to people and learn new things. (I’m quite a hypocrite though, because I just received my Sharpie Klout perk and I must say, it is awesome!)

    4. When I started, I was building a foundation. That took a lot of time and effort. Now, I’ve moved to the next stage of the process–building the actual structure. I’m still at the point where my business is very sporadic. I’ll have a deluge followed by a few drips. Sometimes I have to give up my social media activities just to get projects done. But that’s OK with me.

    5. Even though I don’t always have time to comment, I always read my friends’ blog posts. If I’m busy, I set aside enough time to read because I enjoy it. And writing is rewarding too.

    Overall, I’m a very optimist and generally happy person. I have good days and bad days. And like many other people, I am experiencing some financial troubles, but they’re just temporary. I get tired, but I’m not tired of social media, I’m tired of struggling. But I’ll persevere and get beyond this period. Plus, I’ll be on my first vacation in more than 2 years in just a few days, so I’m pretty darned happy right now! 😉

    • Wow Marianne, what a great response. I too think there are too many automated tweets; when someone pops in a real tweet, it’s hard to notice at times. I was wondering how much traffic triberr is bringing to me and being in 3 tribes with a reach of over 150,000 ‘followers’ you would think it should be a big number, right? On a good day I will have about 225 visitors to my site which isn’t bad, but tells me most of those 150,000 could care less, much less see what I am sending out in the blogosphere.

      I’m almost exclusively on the blogs, not twitter or Google +. I have limited time so the blogs are where I feel I get my most value from engagement.

      My commenting has dropped quite a bit as I have had to pick and choose. I came to the realization that the only person I need to impress is myself. If someone wants to come by I’m not that hard to find. If they don’t, then I don’t think I can just morph into something else and all of a sudden be more appealing now. It’s reality and I’m just going to work on building my community and shut out the rest of the noise.

      It’s always great to see you and yay on your vacation; didn’t you tell me you were going someplace really fun?

  14. Bill,

    I wasn’t even reading blogs regularly until a few short months ago, so this digital baby hasn’t seen so many changes, but the general malaise taking place in the “real world” has certainly seeped into the blogosphere, but that’s no surprise, with the world-wide economic mess we are in, the wars, you name it. In general though I find many blogs a very positive place to be.

    And, boy am I new, I had no idea there was a Blog World controversy.

    I would say, yes I am a happy person. I used to be much more cynical, but I’ve changed quite a bit over the years. There are a few sad and challenging things going on in my life right now, but we deal and persevere. I try to be thankful for the great things I do have in my life, and deal as best I can with the bad. Push through, throw it back, keep on movin’.

    About progress. Your blog was one of the first I visited back in May. I can’t remember where I found that first link to “The Invisible Blogger” but I am sure glad I did. I like that fact that you write about your experiences in this blog world; your surprises, your letdowns, your wondering where the hell that particular somebody went. It’s great stuff and add to that, the fact that you are speeding abound the neighborhood commenting just about everywhere, and reaching out to many, makes this blog of yours that much better.

    • Yes, you are still in the euphoric stage where you can go anywhere and commenting is fun and you are just starting to blog. When I was naive and just a knucklehead and had a total hall pass, every day was an adventure. Not that I am the grizzled veteran yet, but there will come to pass hard realities that will make you pick and choose where you spend your time. I miss some of my early friends, but I will always wish them well.

      I think the economy more than anything has given everybody a pretty good beat down and I’m just about ready to have something else to talk about.

      Sorry to hear about your challenges, but hopefully like the rest of us you are able to keep putting one foot in front of the other and just keep moving forward. Unfortunately, I think I blew my knee playing tennis last night so I’m kind of dragging on of those feet….:).

      Let’s just plow ahead and do the best we can, huh? Good to see you today.

      • I am beyond naive right now, so I have an excuse, but not for long, eh? I’ve heard Gini mention “thick skin” and social media in the same sentence more than a few times. I guess I’ll need to grow up (or grow a pair) and try not to be a sissy 🙂 Also, after reading Marcus’ latest post I guess I’m a bit more up-to-speed on Blog World and controversies.

        Yes, to moving forward, but sorry to hear about YOUR challenge. I’m still recovering from my Marathon experience in June.

        Yes to forging ahead.

    • I used to have a pair; I think I lost them when I said ‘I do’, but don’t tell my friends because they think I am the man…………..

      I will tell you I have been dinged and bruised but at the end of the day none of it really mattered. At some point I figured I needed to find my own way and that is what I have been trying to do. Of course, by doing so is what has caused some of the shift I am experiencing.

      It certainly has been a learning experience but I’m still having fun.

  15. Okay Bill, the problem with getting here late is everyone has already said all the good stuff. These are some of the most thoughtful comments I have seen in awhile. And that is a tribute to the blogger, the community, and the post.

    I’ll try a few points… 🙂

    There is definitely an initial “euphoria” in the early stages — that word’s a bit strong — but it’s simply that blogging and SM gives instant feedback — usually positive. We’re basically all hard-wired to respond well to that.

    I’ve definitely seen the ebb and flow you’ve spoken about. I feel fortunate a lot of days when I see the “burn out” posts to have a business purpose. It makes questioning the value of the time suck not as relevant. Hopefully, I’m building something. And just like in the offline world, I know it takes time and that the reward does not come at the beginning.

    This one was really a cut above Bill. Great job!

    • Maybe not euphoria, but fun and new. Once I figured out twitter and commenting it was like a light had been flipped on and it was like ‘oh, so now I get it’. The early days I was such a rook and really clueless on so many things but it was ok; I got in with the right crowd and had free reign to be a total knucklehead. I guess maybe because I have moved past that to a certain degree is caused the shift more than anything.

      Like you, hopefully I am building something as well. I enjoy the interaction and I’m really appreciative of my community and I hope I will be able to give back as well.

      Thanks for the nice comments and now that summer season is over, what is it now in Cen Fla; love bug season?

      Hope all is well.

    • I see I need to train everyone. The problem Adam is if everyone gives only positive feedback to Bill he will get lazy and sit on his laurels. I mean if anyone can be the next Brogan or Godin or even Art Linkletter it is Bill…but we must push him to be his best.

      So lets reword your ending.

      ‘This one was really a cut above Bill. Great job!’

      Maybe – I liked your post Bill one of your better ones. Though brush up with your grammar and maybe add some alliteration next time’

      or ‘Not bad for a rookie but you are towards the end of your rookie season and we expected a bit more growth in your output. This would of been A+ in June definitely but back then we expected you to hit more to the opposite field with more power by now’

      See how easy that is.

      • First and foremost, I can be very lazy with certain things so you have definitely cut right to the chase on that one. If I can be famous by just showing up, then I’m all in; if heavy lifting is required then I might end up being ‘that guy sure had potential, whatever happened to him’?

        I know you are making a funny, but you are not far from the truth with your grammar (I’m a Fla cracker remember) and growth. I want to be more than an Ichiro because chicks dig the long ball.

        The good thing about you Howie is my IRL friends would give me the same kind of reality check and I would expect no less.

        Once a knucklehead always a knucklehead.

  16. Hey Bill,

    I see more honesty. I see more people starting to let loose of the “so-called” blogging structure and write from a more personal space. I think people are realizing that readers want personality, not regurgitated content. And some are starting to realize that there’s not right or wrong method in blogging. Just do what you want to do and do it with a purpose in mind.

    Life is good for me. I can say that it’s so good that I’ve made a very important move to lower some of the time I spent on blogging to other things. I’m still blogging and connecting with folks online – but I’m also taking on new things in life, which require my time and focus.

    This was a good post. Made me realize how much things have changed since last spring. And I guarantee you’ll be able to write this post again in the winder.

    • I like when you say to do it with a purpose in mind. I want to think my purpose is continuing to develop a community and hopefully bring value to the relationship. If it starts to lead me down other roads with other opportunities then I will embrace it; right now I don’t want to try to force anything.

      Things have changed a lot since last spring but I see us all growing and still finding our own way; online and off.

      I do think there is a lot more ‘honesty’ and maybe because the people we hang with feel more comfortable or something but I’ve seen some really personal stuff; especially when some are hurting. It saddens me at times and I hope by them writing about it, it provides some help.

      Good to see you JK and hope all is well. Sounds like you have things going in the right direction and I’m happy for you.

    • I agree with you JK. We also just came off a very testy period where for like 30 days there was a revolution from the trenches against the elitists in one huge push for whatever reason. I think it was a bit draining. It kind of changed some things a bit because obviously people have to walk the walk right?

      And there is always that cycle in the fall when the euphoria of summer gives a bit of burnout for all. I mean how many weekends can people like Bill party all day and night on yachts with dancing girls and disco balls before a bit of sleep is needed right?

      BTW great seeing ya here! (I am Bill greeter bad economy couldn’t turn the job down)

      • I was on Judge Judy’s yacht in Monaco and would have never guessed she would be able to out party me. Yes, you can only take so much so I had to shut it down and come back stateside.

        There did seem to be an uprising; in fact it was so profound it carried over to Libya. It never ceases to amaze me how much power social media has………

        Thanks for watching the door for me Howie………..

  17. I was just going to write a post about lament and malaise. I’ve been incognito of late; had hit quite the low and needed to come out. Not a low person at all, but when you are, everything is affected and mostly the tone of what you write.

    I also have been seeing way too much bickering and finger pointing at people for their content and tone and not living up to someone else’s standards. I think we all need a break. At the end of the day, peeps come and go, and it’s hard to feel that emptiness when you’ve created a cool banterrific network.

    Peeps are struggling more now than ever before with expenses, family obligations, jobs gone, and so much more. Day in and day out, you need to question why.

    Then, you need change; change comes bearing gifts.

    • I thought you had been MIA to a certain degree and sorry to hear of the lowness……social media because you can be so plugged in has the ability to surprise and lift at times; it also has the ability to be cold and indifferent. To echo your tweet, I too miss the #FF days when tweets meant something and everything wasn’t automated.

      According to our company’s revenues we have leveled off and our business is a direct reflection of the economy. However, it seems just recently I have seen or heard of more sad and challenging situations. Enough already, ok?

      Gifts are cool; let’s be the bearer of glad tidings……………

      Good to see you, thanks for taking the time to stop by.

    • You were on tour with Metallica Jayme of course you would need to recover! I mentioned in my comment above to JK there was kind of a testy insurgency. I think when some of the top tier bloggers at once (and it is still going on) realized they could be running out of time on top became very opportunist and there was a revolt…or maybe a bearing of people’s souls about authenticity and does it matter when maybe money matters.

      Social media enabled a lot of money generating personal brands for the first time in history and now I think that has peaked. So excited to use Lindsay Lohan twice in the same day on the same blog but when you are at the top and flush with money and you see it is possible maybe next year you are in decline it is hard to handle. People get desperate to keep their fame. They forget their friends and what got them there. They run with the bad crowds. Who said bloggers or Social Media stars are immune to the Holywood Disease?

      • Easy with the bad crowds analogy, just because my wife doesn’t want to do anything socially with my friends doesn’t make them a bad crowd per se. Is fun and bad synonymous?

        Disregarding the one-hit wonders I think in social everything can change so quickly. One day you are the ‘man’ and the next everybody just disappeared.

        I have seen and felt a desperation in some and it is not very endearing. Kind of like the captain of the Titanic dressing up like a lady so he could get on a lifeboat; did you see how hairy his legs were?

  18. Finally here at the bottom where I belong. Feeding off everyone’s leftovers like a crab or sucker fish. I’m exhausted from the trip down. My O2 supply is running low and now my reserves of commenting brilliance are getting toward empty.

    As I grab for one last incredible dose of enlightenment to share…..and I feel it rushing from my soul to these fingers…well two since I type with thumb and forefinger….it is electric….and I can’t hold back. I know it will be the one comment everyone focuses on. The one everyone will quote for a week…..and it erupts…the noise deafening….like a million thunderbolts streaming to the ground and up to the sky….

    btw how is the weather? Was a nice day today. almost 80 got to get some rays while working. Good day for you?

    • Still pretty much freaking hot and humid here, but a great day indeed. We were going through the summer rain season and it was raining just about every night. I started playing tennis with a friend on Wednesday nights and the last two weeks we had to kick it back to Thursdays but we got it in. This week it has been clear skies.

      I knew the Rays were in trouble when they loaded the bases in the 2nd inning and got zero runs. However, when the back end of your lineup is averaging about .210 that is never a good thing no matter how good your pitching is.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment bomb; must have been a slow night for you. Always good to see you my friend.

    • Hey Howie, have an invite to go to Rays game next weekend whether they are in it or not. Miranda Lambert is playing after the game and we have the wrist bands to get us front row. I’m not a country fan, but that might be cool. I have a ‘hall pass’ so it’s a guy’s night out and my friend has a beach house in St Pete so we will stay overnight. Might be a good night to take a taxi.

  19. Hey Bill,

    We have “grown” definitely! I see more of the personal touch to posts… people learn from experiences and talk more about whats happening in “their own” lives and then bang… a lesson from that!

    So yes, there is a different feel; or did we just make it here too late?

    • Is it too late or does it keep cycling as new people arrive? I would hope for the latter but I’m afraid it has been a change for all. If you look at Howie’s comments above, I think there has been a since of desperation for the people trying to hold on.

      The one thing I can fall back on is my focus hasn’t really changed so if I can get out there and engage, meet some new people, and grow as a ‘blogger’ then everything else just becomes noise and I can block that out.

      Sorry you had such a busy week………..unless they started paying you a lot more…..:)

      Good to see you today.

  20. OK, I’m not AS late to the party! 😉 This is an excellent post and one I “feel”. It’s funny, by “my story” has just been waiting to be written and weirdly I felt it was time to share more of it. I think whatever you draw strength from is important and writing is where I get some of mine.

    I am, despite huge setback and hurdles still challenging me, very happy. I am always hopeful and positive and will remain so. I take time to look around and it really is a beautiful life; and what a gift that we’re here still living it! I go through spurts in my blogging and sometimes think I just need to zero in on our niche to get our name out there more; however, I’m such a sucker for inspiration and stories of struggle and victory that I’m drawn to write about it and express it (though I still waiting on the victory part. 😉 ). You know I think when you weed through all the “content” driven material and all the savvy ways to get your name, business or services out there, it all comes down to this … everyone has a story and we all want to be heard in some form. It’s just who we are as humans I think. Boy sir, I could really get in a deep discussion here so at the risk of pontificating and boring you, I’m going to bow out and just say great post and thank you for your thoughtful and thought-provoking writing … you’re the bestest! 😉

    Abundant kindness,

    Elena

    • The important thing is if we can stay happy thru all this. Yes, there will be challenges and struggles but that’s life, right? Even the people experiencing the worst of conditions are able to find brief spots of joy.

      I have thought about the niche sites and if all they talk about is product, placement, branding, blah, blah, blah; I don’t care how good of a writer you are, you won’t keep me around. But then again, maybe I’m not your audience anyway………

      I struggle with my growth and where I think I should be at this point given the time and effort I have put in; but then I just take a step back and ask ‘what does any of this mean anyway’? Is it really important, are we just talking to ourselves in here anyway, should we not put so much emphasis on what we consider our validation points are (# of comments, who comes by, who mentions your name)?

      For now, I plan on staying the course and will just have to see where it takes me. It has given me the opportunity to meet great people like you and to me that’s a win all by itself.

      Thanks for stopping by, and you are never late to one of my parties.

  21. There is definitely some nonsense going on, but to be honest, I never lack for people or posts to inspire me. There are plenty of bad eggs out there, plenty of sad sacks, but thankfully there are some pretty awesome folk and I am damn happy to know them. Things are hard, harder than they’ve ever been, but as my father is want to say, if it was easy, everyone would do it. Bottom line, I’m happy, but I like that I still leave a little bit of discontent to ensure I keep improving.

    • Hey Michael, your father is very wise. My day job is outside sales in commercial insurance; at times, it can look very easy. However, we all know you can’t just sit around waiting for the phone the ring. There will have to be some heavy lifting done and I can’t tell you how many people I know who have tried to do this and just don’t make it. Moral of the story, if it was easy, everyone would do it.

      I will concur there are some very awesome people out there and we are associated with our share of them. Those are my beacons and whereas my involvement with them might be intermittent at times, I know the welcome mat will always be out.

      Yes, there is plenty of fodder to write about just within the confines of social and you my friend do a great job. I wish I had an ounce of your creativity.

      I guess my big question is, if I was brand new and just starting out like I did 6 months ago, would it still seem fresh, new and exciting? Or, would you be able to detect a subtle hint on tension in the air?

      I’m glad you are happy as I am as well. Last time I looked it was still good to be me.

      Have a good one and thanks for dropping by.

  22. Hey Bill,

    Great thoughts. Blogging is fun no doubt. But because of the blogging I am learning a lot of other things about wordpress and originally being a programmer , enjoying a lot.

    I have just finished writing a plugin for which I got permission from wordpress that they will host it. It is a lot of fun because I was working in totally different area than blogging. But I think I love writing and I will be long around here to enjoy much much more and interact with people like you.

    Thanks for great piece of writing 🙂

  23. Bill, if I’d have known that you were going to write about change, I would have you shown you a picture of me when I started Unlock The Door, and a picture of me now, and asked you to compare the two.

    I say this because you’d see that the change is immense. On October 1st, I would have been blogging for a year. It feels surreal to say that because it doesn’t feel like a year. It feels like less than a year because I’ve only been ‘seriously blogging’ for a couple of months, but it feels like more than a year because I can’t quite imagine life without blogging.

    Change has indeed found me in more ways than blogging – just this week I’ve uncovered a couple of deep hidden feelings inside me that I’ve brought to my awareness. Now that I’ve worked through them, I feel liberated. Like a new individual. Again, I can’t quite imagine life without these new understandings. I might even write a blog post about them 😉

    As for where do we go from here? Anywhere we damn well please.

    The joy of life lies in our freedom. If we don’t go somewhere because we freely choose to, then we’re being constricted in some way by our limiting beliefs. And that isn’t a ‘true’ way to live.

    So let’s go where we please, do what we wish, and embrace the change. And embrace life while we’re at it 🙂

    • Very well said my friend, we can go anywhere we damn please. There is no reason to put up any barriers whatsoever and we can even be part of the change and not necessarily just go with the flow.

      Sounds like you are in Lori’s arena now with uncovering the feelings and making a positive change going forward. Good for you because I think it will help with your purpose and your direction.

      Onward and upward from here, right? We’ll just work on getting better each and every day.

      Glad to hear you and Sam had a great trip and it’s certainly good to see you back. I hope you have a great weekend.

  24. I’m inclined to side with John and Jack on this one, Bill! I’m a relatively new blogger too, but I imagined these changes to be a natural part of the process. The way Jack says it, I imagine that what feels intense now will feel more like tranquil waves in the long run. To me, what’s important is to keep in contact with all the friends I’ve made online, whether or not they continue blogging. =)

    And thanks for having me reflect on my happiness level these days! I’ve been feeling the slight pressure to look for or work on more sources of income when I don’t particularly need to. Things are pretty smooth right now. =) I have my moments when I disappear from the blogosphere when I travel or get backed up with work for whatever reason, but then I fall into the rhythm again. Huancayo always seems to pull me out of my workaholic-ness with random events happening all the time. =) I love the spontaneity and unpredictability of the city. It really does me good! =)

    • And I guess we all have a certain rhythm and I do notice yours is not as predictable as most and glad you offered an explanation. Sometimes you do wonder what is going on.

      I expected change, there just seems to be a jagged edge feel to it for me right now. I see some people not playing nice and wonder if it’s all the woe I read about that is causing this.

      Smooth can be good and enjoy it while it is; it is always a pleasure to have you stop by and glad to hear things are well. I have no real complaints here and look forward to what lies ahead.

  25. Bill, interesting observation. I hadn’t thought much about it until now, but it does kind of seem like when it rains, it pours. Most of the bloggers I know are pretty positive people. I would imagine everyone feels things like the draining economy. We know better, but it’s hard to not pay attention to it when it hits. Maybe there’s something to be said for our need to recharge and be grateful again. Thanks for the wake-up call.

    • Hey Bryan, thanks for stopping by. It does seem like most are positive but I always wondered if it was a true positive type happiness; or just a way to try and talk yourself above this malaise. It just seemed I had a large group of my community struggling all at the same time.

      I do think you need some recharge time and one of the things I do is try to discover new blogs and see what they have going on. I have to say, I’ve made some pretty nice discoveries.

      The key is to keep it fun but keep it purposeful and moving forward. It’s a great opportunity to meet so many new and interesting people.

      Hope you have had a great journey and best of luck going forward.

  26. Hey Bill,

    I’m finally back. I’ve been two weeks without social media, it’s been all about pizza. I haven’t discovered what you’ve talking about during September. That’s because I’ve been completely offline (I’ve just been on Twitter a few times via my Kindle). But, I’ve seen some of the trends.

    Some of the very passionate people on social media seems to have vanished from the face of the earth. And, many people are more or less pushing their own content or making everything automated. That’s a trend I’m a little worried about (although I’m doing it myself as well).

    My challenge with social media, and blogging as well, is that there are so many things happening at once. And we’re trying to be part of everything, and we’re not focusing enough on the important stuff. For instance, social media… should we be everywhere, or is Twitter enough? Blogging, should we blog about a tiny niche, or everything we care about and everything that’s happening in our lives at one blog? I love the thought of everything I’m doing is about me, and that I don’t need many blogs or many different social media accounts. If you want to talk to me, and about me and the things I care about, we’ll do it my way 🙂

    To me, it seems that a lot of people are testing and trying to adopt to a system (a system we really don’t quite understand yet – because it’s all very new).

    Jens

    • Hey, I like that thought because everything I am doing is about me too………..:)

      It does appear there is some scrambling to ‘know all’ about each social platform and how can it be used. I’m ok w/ coming in at a later date and waiting to see which ones are the ‘it’ ones of the day.

      I just sense a feeling of desperation or despair and it seems to be surfacing all at once (at least with many in my community). It saddens me because you want it to be fun even if it is your business.

      I’m still in the ‘basics’ stage and that is the engagement part. I am making more of an effort to get outside of regular haunts and check out some new sites. I have been pleasantly surprised. It might mean others will have to go but it will be easy to make that choice because they haven’t been hanging around much here lately anyway. It’s all part of the growing process……….

      Glad you had a great trip and some ‘recharge’ time, but good to see you back.

  27. Bill,

    I didn’t realize until just now that you’re in commercial insurance. I am in South FL and did the same thing for a long time (until, cue sad story!).

    I started blogging around the same time you did, and I did notice the shift, but I didn’t take it the same way. Maybe I didn’t see all of the things that you did.

    They way I look at it is, I’m here to be me, to do my thing. Yes, it’s great to connect and make friends, but as far as where my blog stands or optimizing or marketing to many – meh. People always have come and gone, but the few true ones always stand with you. In the end, you have yourself, and that is absolutely enough.

    • And of course I love myself plenty so I should be able to keep good company, huh?….:)

      Maybe it was just within my community, but it just seemed like the bottom dropped out for so many all at once. Most of the posts had been upbeat and optimistic and then all of a sudden I was hearing so much distress I could hardly handle it all. I guess it’s just life and will always run in these cycles.

      Yes, commercial insurance (sales) and we’ve certainly had our challenges these last 3 years but I think we are on the backside of it now. It feels like I’m starting over at times, but at least I’m still standing…………

      I will definitely have to stop by and check your site out. I don’t know how you found me but certainly glad you did. I also appreciate you taking the time to comment.

      I hope you have a great weekend.

  28. Hey Bill, I know I’m the last one to the party here, but I really, really appreciated what you wrote here. In fact, it goes in line with a subject you and I have talked about before, and that is the progression of a blogger.

    Here is the thing: At some point we have to clearly be able to answer the question: WHY am I doing this? Why am I working this hard? Why do I spend so much time on other blogs, writing more content, making comments here and there, etc.

    And while we try to answer those questions, then we are confronted ‘real life’ issues.

    I just mentioned to John F the other day how I’ve seen so very many bloggers in the last year ‘turn out the lights’. Well, for many, the ‘blogging honeymoon’ is over quicker than they realize…and that’s what is the great divider.

    Great thoughts here Bill. Well done bud.

    Marcus

    • Thanks my friend, so you are saying if we are the last ones standing ‘we win’?……:). I too have seen some lights turned out and it saddens me because the ones I knew were very engaging and certainly enjoyed what they had to say. However, sometimes ‘real life’ does force certain decisions and we have to respect people’s choices.

      It’s good to see you on a clear path you have charted for yourself. Right now my ‘why’ is still to learn, connect with others, and keep moving forward as I further define my brand on this side of the fence. I’m not in any particular hurry, but I do want to keep growing.

      Hope all is well with you sir.

  29. There is absolutely a shift happening. You are absolutely right. It has been happening for awhile and it is getting stronger, darker and colder.

    I am thankful for so many things, every day Bill, that it humbles and shames me at the same time for the incredible amount of time I have wasted, not seeing all the good and wonderful in the world.

    There were steps, as you know from visiting my blog, but most recent (this last February) was not only finding the strength and courage to go online, but to have the Boss put all that faith in ME. I am so much a better person than I was without you all. I am stronger and smarter than I was.

    Honestly? I am very happy. I am learning (wow!) and I am making such …COOL friends and acquaintances! Oh, the wonderful people I have met! (Bill.) Seriously, do you, YOU, Bill Dorman, do you know how YOU have added to and touched MY life? I am one human. How many more lives have you touched?

    I want to succeed. I want this (and I know if I work hard enough and learn enough) to take Pioneer Outfitters to the TOP. I know it CAN. But do you know what else? I want Alaska Chick, I want ME to help Her or Him. Make their world a better place. A smile. A word. I know, this to be true…. can change EVERYTHING.

    What does blogging do for me? I can share the love for Alaska, the Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Pioneer Outfitters and Master Guide Terry Overly, my children, the horses… I can share my life with you. Maybe I can share it well enough to teach you something, or someone else, through you. It’s cool.

    What does engagement do for me? It gives me a deeper feeling, more of an intimacy of friendship… I like it.

    I’m staying. Only time will prove it to some… been there, done that. I will not quit. I am happy.

    ~Amber-Lee

    • Happy is good and so is having enough passion for what you do you want to be able to share it with others. You are in a unique place and not many people will experience the wilderness of Alaska; and you are living it.

      The connections are incredible and the talented and fascinating people you meet along the way is a wonder to behold. We all have something to share and we all can learn from each other, right?

      Sometimes I feel I’m just uniquely average when I see what some of these other people are doing or have experienced; but the key is, it is unique to me.

      You have certainly been a treasure and glad we have had the opportunity to connect and get to know each other. I do know you will type your fingers to the nub if you are going to go this far back trying to catch up on all these posts…………..:). It can seem like an avalanche at times…………

      So very good to see you and thanks so much for stopping by. So glad to have you back.

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