I’ve been kicked out of my house

It sure was nice having my laundry done, home cooked meals and only needing beer money. I was pretty comfortable with it; why is it suddenly time to find a job and my own place? Why the sense of urgency?

What really is going on?

Many places I visit are talking about the current malaise in social media and people wishing for days of yore when #FF meant something and there were real tweets sent by real people you could reach out and touch. There have been several posts talking about culling their followers and FB friends and getting it back to a personable, manageable level again. Did everyone have the same thought at once or is it just the herd mentality of social?

I have certainly felt it and even posted about it, but remember how fresh, fun and exciting it was when I first ‘got in the game’. I kind of stumbled my way in but made it with full access and all the privileges that come along with it.

People come and people go

As I read the reasons being used to cull reader lists, the most common theme is average or poor content; no stickiness. I know it is a big ‘duh’, and I still see you everywhere but if you have quit coming by my place then it’s only me to blame. And not blame in a bad way, but just in ‘I gave it my best shot and it didn’t work out for you’ kind of way I suppose.

I truly am trying to grow as a writer and you have my pledge that I will keep working on it. I also know it’s not content alone and it might be ‘what’ I’m writing about as well. I guess this is part of community building and some will like you (as a writer) and some won’t.

Three posts I read recently (Nancy Davis’ GP at Danny’s, Shakirah Dawud @Deliberateink and Deb Ng at Kommein) touched on this very topic and struck home with me; I hear you loud and clear.

It is not much different from real life as people continuously move in and out of your ‘circle’. I am really trying to give you more reasons to stay than to go.

Maybe it is time for me too

I am always looking for new and interesting posts to check out and happen to stumble upon some great ones. In fact, I was surprised Mr Everywhere didn’t even know some of these people and part of the reason was I had blinders on chasing I don’t know what exactly.

I want to share what I thought was a truly incredible post that made me think, made me laugh (out loud) and made me realize how myopic I had been. Take the time to check out Lisa Barone’s post at BlogWorld; she did good.

It was refreshing to say the least and made me realize it’s ok to chart my own course. In fact, it’s probably about time anyway and quit chasing that elusive ‘validation’, whatever level of measurement I thought that might be.

Which do you prefer, popular or good?

It certainly is nice to be both because it is challenging to be ‘good’ each and every time. However, it appears the ‘popular’ I can do but still have my doubts about the ‘good’ when I see people voting with their feet; either showing up or not.

Who else is on this bandwagon?

Have any of you cleaned house? Has anyone else been kicked out of their comfortable abode and ventured into new and uncharted waters? Have you been culled? If you can’t be good, is shorter better?

Too many questions, but I still have too many ‘whys’. The only thing I know to do is to keep moving forward and growing the best I can. For those along with me for the ride, you are very much appreciated; I just hope I can give some value back to you as well. And maybe when I move out I will find something interesting to write about, huh?

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95 thoughts on “I’ve been kicked out of my house

  1. Hi Bill, I think the malaise is getting to you. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Your blog is fantastic, people do speak with their feet and are coming to your blog in droves. You are a bright ray of sunshine as the clouds are gathering. Your writing is engaging, insightful and inspirational. Just keep up the good work, my friend! Your amazing success will continue, I promise. Be yourself and don’t worry about the others.

    Have a great day! 🙂

    • Good advice and kind words indeed. I just know when I’m reading other people’s posts I use it as a measuring stick at times and think ‘I wish I could write like that’. As I sit down to actually write a post and want to write something compelling and interesting, I struggle with trying to make sure there is enough meat on the bone.

      Quit worrying and just do it, right? As opposed to being a worrier, hopefully I can use it as a challenge to keep growing.

      If I take care of me first and what what I’m supposed to be doing then everything else should fall into place, right?

      So good to see you this fine Monday; hope all is well in the city of brotherly love.

  2. Hey! Bill,
    What are you talking about. You know the rules. Don’t ever give up, but don’t be a misoneist. I’ve been blogging consistently for about a year, and my traffic is stuck at 40-100 and it refuses to budge. And I’m looking at 70 years of age not far down the road. But, screw that aging stuff. I enjoy writing and right now i don’t depend on it for money, but I will. So! What am I doing – taking a writing course, reading stuff like yours, thinking, following the Tao, and watching my budget (termination puts a crimp in your cash flow but it does leave time to explore a new life). I am also learning about internet marketing, taking The Challenge (which seems more and more about marketing certain software, but it is educational and entertaining). Plus I have people around me wanting support, so I breath a sigh, gird my loins, workout (part of my nascent business now), and just get on with it.
    I like your stuff.
    More please!
    -k @FitOldDog http://athletewithstent http:olddogsintraining.com (under busy construction)
    PS Did you read The Four Hour Workweek. Great for encouragement and ideas.

    • Gird your loins; I like that. I’m not afraid of change but I would prefer to ease into it instead of having it thrust upon me. However, like you I always want to be growing regardless of my age because that is just a number anyway, right?

      I do appreciate your kind words and sometimes I hesitate to write posts like this because it might appear I am fishing for validation. However, I truly believe I have a ways to go but I like the fact I still have room to grow and willing to work on it.

      I’ll have to come by and check your place out; thanks for taking the time to pay a visit here today sir. I hope you have a good one.

  3. Hi Bill,
    I like this question: Which do you prefer, popular or good? It’s a good question [translation: I don’t have an answer just yet]

    I don’t know how you know when someone has culled you LOL Maybe I’ll keep it that way!

    I think in blogging, like anything, there are phases, like yin and yang. Too many of us start out with too much ambition, not realizing the time commitment (like I did with 3 posts per week) and we have to find our balance.

    The thing I keep returning to, my personal blogging mantra, is this: give it all I’ve got. If I give it all I’ve got then I feel good when I click “Publish”. I can’t control what comes after that. But I feel good about it, move to the next post and don’t look back (too much – I have to tend to the post, you know what I mean 🙂

    For what it’s worth, I think you’re doing a phenomenal job because you realize the party moves around. You don’t just stay on your porch waiting for people to arrive. You crash the other parties which makes it more fun for everyone (and seriously adds to the time commitment!) It’s fun but it is a commitment and maybe too many people don’t realize how MUCH of a commitment it is when they begin. I don’t know. You’ve gotta love it!
    Lori

    • I don’t know for sure, but I do think I have been culled from a few lists in a passive kind of way. Which is ok, because we are still friends and I’m sure they would say hi to me if we passed each other; but it does make me a little sad I didn’t have enough stickiness to keep them around. The lesson of this story is, you can’t be all things to all people. Everybody will have their own tastes and whatever you choose to write about might not be something that is interesting to them.

      I too want to give it all I’ve got. I tried the twice a wk schedule and felt like that was even a little much for me. I think I will stick to Monday and when the inspiration strikes, maybe drop a Thursday post in at times.

      I think if you are popular and people like hanging around it’s already a fun place so you don’t necessarily have to be epic every time. Kind of like the question do you prefer your customers to be loyal or satisfied. Loyal is similar to popular, maybe that would be the best choice, huh?

      Time commitment; absolutely. However, just like running; you can walk anytime you want to, right?

      So good to see you today; thanks for your thoughts and advice to help me keep it in perspective.

  4. I’m along for the ride, Bill, and enjoying each and every one of your posts.

    My favourite line: “I am really trying to give you more reasons to stay than to go.” Probably the most perfect line to sum up what we should all be doing: providing value, creating something that compels people to return.

    I guess I got lucky when I started this journey. I built all of my “lists” one person at a time, did not automatically follow-back, and so, although my “followers” are few, they are, for the most part, known to me. My google reader is now ridiculous, so I really must cull that. But in terms of friends/followers, I’m at a good place…socially, that is.

    But on a business level…not. I’ve engaged with and attracted friends and colleagues, but I am not generating sufficient interest, engagement or business from my target market. That’s OK: it took me seven months to find my online legs (and running legs, for that matter, haha!). It’s only now that I feel I have enough under my belt to do some site redesign, and target more specifically.

    Does that mean I want to “lose” my friends and colleagues? Absolutely not! But if the content, tone or positioning of my posts no longer resonates with them, they will make the decision to engage or not. Even now I find I cannot/do not spend the same amount of time “chasing” down blog posts, frantically trying to read everything, comment on everything, tweet everything, be everywhere. That was dizzying, frustrating and overwhelming.

    Some of my friends/colleagues have noticed and noted that I’m not around as much. I laid a guilt trip on myself, started back at it frantically then thought: what am I doing? What am I accomplishing? Is this advancing my goals? Is it building my business?

    I don’t want to “chase” any more: it’s too exhausting. Like you, I need to confidently move in the direction of my goals and dreams, do what is best and right for me, and let the chips fall where they may. With you and your blog, I’m along for the ride….just sayin’. Cheers! Kaarina

    • And of course, we are joined at the hip and we can’t break up the dynamic duo http://ow.ly/6ylFZ can we?

      That was a good way to put it, I don’t want to ‘chase’ anymore either and sometimes it feels like I am doing just that. If we can get comfortable just doing our own thing and letting the chips fall where they may, then that is all we should be doing anyway, right?

      I think as we grow our direction comes into focus a little bit more each week. At some point, it might mean we move away from the ‘social’ crowd and just have to take our chances or minimize our involvement with them.

      I am getting better and more of my ‘whys’ just go unsaid these days because it’s really not worth the time and effort to even give them a second thought.

      I do appreciate you and your support; let’s just keep putting one foot in front of the other and see where it takes us, ok?

      I hope you have a great day, and bet you are getting some good running weather.

      • Now would that be the foot with or without the shoe phone? OMG, I LOVE the photo of “us”…Agent 86 and 99. I think I’m going to create some type of blog post with that photo! We will remain joined at the hip, and never break up our dynamic duo;)

        I found that, now that I’ve started the monthly column at ahopefulsign, I feel a flood of relief. I wrote that first piece with clarity and abandon, and although that’s what I do on my own blog, it gave me an additional boost and “kick in the arse” (to use your words:) to stop the “chasing”, and let the chips fall where they may.

        I’m ready to continue the journey with you, my friend, putting one non-shoe-phone-foot and one-shoe-phone-foot in front of the other. Cheers! Kaarina

    • It’s only healthy to chart your own course and let the chips fall where they may. Otherwise, you are always chasin’…….

      This stuff can just be way too fickle at times and it is really not worth the worry over 99% of it. I know we keep saying this, but I’m truly ready to live it too………

      No more cone of silence; we are going to be talking out loud now…………:)

    • Very well said and if you can just help me ‘Start My Novel’ with that, I will be good to go. I agree, there has to be some kind of stickiness to make it good because it would be very hard to be popular without it I’m afraid. Of course, there are different levels of good too, right?

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts today. I did look at some of your
      Start Your Novel intros and they were very interesting indeed.

  5. A lot depends on what you value most, Bill.

    Do you value being popular over all else? If you do, then by all means invest yourself in making your blog the most popular blog you can possibly grow it to be. The circle of influence will ripple out into your followers’ worlds and you’ll cultivate a massive following. There’s nothing wrong or bad about that.

    Do you value content over all else? If you do, then by all means invest yourself in making your blog as informative as you possibly can make it and then seek out others who are interested in the same subjects as you. The circle of influence will ripple out into their online worlds and you’ll cultivate a different sort of following. There’s nothing wrong or bad about that.

    Only you know what feeds your spirit and your soul.

    As I mentioned to Adriel Hampton a few weeks back, when you write, write for yourself so that what you write resonates with you; it’s all about you at that point. When others read what you have written, what you have written will resonate with them; it’s no longer about you at that point and it’s all about your readers. When they share what you have written with their online connections, what you have written will resonate with others; it’s no longer about you or your followers at that point and it’s all about the next ripple of readers.

    And ask yourself if one blog is really enough for you. In my case, I have 3 blogs: 1 for disability issues and disability politics; 1 for more personal reflections; and 1 that’s all about researching the histories of idioms, phrases, expressions, et al. Each blog is very different and has its own readership and subscribers.

    No one is ever just a 2-dimensional being. Sometimes spreading your wings to encompass a few more facets means more work but in the end, greater satisfaction.

    In the end, though, only you know where you want to journey in life, both in real life and online in the blogosphere.

    • when you write, write for yourself so that what you write resonates with you; it’s all about you at that point. When others read what you have written, what you have written will resonate with them; it’s no longer about you at that point and it’s all about your readers. ……I really like this thought.

      Popular, good; I think I just want to bring some value and enjoyment and if it qualifies me for either of those then it’s a bonus.

      Spreading your wings is something certainly to not be afraid of and I like the fact you take the time to segregate your blogs and not try to use the one size fits all approach, which I might be more prone to do this.

      Sometimes my ‘whys’ end up sounding like whining and kind of silly after I write them, but I have been known to be silly at times so I guess it’s just par for the course.

      Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom and certainly something I will take to heart. So good to see you and hope you and your son are doing well today.

  6. As much as I hate to admit it, and I do an awful lot of that, I’m very sensitive. I’m not easily swayed. That’s different. I truly “feel” people and immediately feel connected. I’m not here or anywhere to get information. I thought I was when I first got on Twitter. But I quickly felt the rich opportunity for relationship-building. And along the way I’ve been blessed because everyone is so generous with tips about blogging, etc. that I didn’t even know I needed. I think you’re a gem Bill. Maybe it’s because you care. Everyone feels that. In the beginning, middle and end, that’s all we really want (whether we want to admit it or not!).
    This morning I sat in a funk, wondering about “where to go”. It’s rare for me to feel that way. I realized I wasn’t doing as much family history as I wanted to do. I can get sort of ADD with different projects and interests which leaves me wondering which way to go. I was trying to feed the need to be noticed (?). I’m not sure that that’s true…Family history is sort of off the beaten track so it can be rather lonely (think how THEY feel!!LOL!) and I’m tempted to do more popular things that don’t really feed my soul in the same way. But I’ve recommitted to my love regardless of the outcome. I’m at peace now.
    Too long. I think you know what I mean! Thanks Bill. Love you! Don’t move!!

    • I loved your comment on how lonely our long passed relatives must be. I would like to think their spirits are above ground and they are having the time of their lives….or souls….or whatever it would be……….:).

      I sometimes selfishly ‘want to be noticed’ but then I just need a reality check and keep focused on doing what I’m supposed to be doing, the things I can control; and everything else should take care of itself, right.

      I guess the reason I do ask the silly ‘whys’ when I see people leave is because to me it’s all about the relationship. That’s the other thing if I take care of everything else will fall into place. I know it’s not the same for everyone and if the people that leave feel they are better served chasing the ‘A’ listers then I certainly can’t fault them for that. I am certainly not one to be their judge.

      When I write these posts, it usually creates an ‘ah ha’ moment and mine for the day is ‘just keep doing what you are supposed to be doing and quit worrying about things that really don’t matter’.

      Thanks for your comments, always a pleasure to see you.

  7. I appreciated this post, Bill, and Lisa’s was very close to what I was trying to point out with my post about Trey Pennington and personal branding. I’m so glad she wrote it.

    I really could copy and paste much of Kaarina’s comment. I’m spread paper thin over all the blogs I try to visit regularly, but I’m not ready to start cutting them out because of that. I just mean to go at my own pace so I can be meaningful wherever I go.

    • I try to be meaningful wherever I go and because of that, it does take time. Pace is a good thing and if we go out there and just do the best we can do, then you can’t ask much more than that, can we?

      It’s always good to see you and I appreciate you taking the time to comment as well.

      I hope you are having a fantastic day.

  8. If I’m culled, I’m culled. I cull too. If I have to work too hard to read someone’s post I cull. Reading blogs is fun, but if it isn’t, there is usually a good reason. I cull when my conversation with someone is one sided. That is like talking to an acquaintance who just stares ahead into the distance when I meet them on the street and ask them how they are.

    But…as some other folks have said…if you just continue you will get past this doubtful time. If you just continue you will know what to tweak to keep people around who SHOULD stick around, or who you would like to stick around, or you will discover with practice and experience how to do your best writing.
    I believe that the people that matter will stay. You will make real relationships and who knows maybe plentiful ones. But it does require ‘stick-at-it-ness’ from all of us if we have a strong enough desire for results.
    Hello I’m Pea BTW!

    • Stares ahead or always looking over your shoulder as you are trying to make eye contact. I have a few of those and slowly but surely they are being passively culled from my active blogs. I don’t understand at times, because some of these same people complain they would like to have more traffic but they are hanging out at places just to be seen and not really interested in developing a relationship. Oh well………..

      You make a good point in the people that matter will stay and I agree. All those that are chasing something else, then I hope they find it. I’m just afraid they will always be chasing, but maybe it’s required for the path they have chosen.

      I promise you I will keep practicing and maybe one of these days you can say ‘I knew him when’………………..:)

      Good to see you and thanks so much for taking the time to leave your thoughts.

      • I shall hold you to that promise! And frankly by the amount of people who have responded to your brief(?) moment of doubt I feel l should be saying “I knew him when…” already. 🙂

  9. Bill,
    You are starting to worry me here. First a post about how things have changed and the ‘good old days’ were better. Now you feel that you have been evicted…

    I only know one thing, change is a constant. Nothing stays the same we all change all the time. Sometimes the change is good, sometimes it isn’t so great.
    And sometimes when we think it sucks well it’s actually for the better in the long run.

    I guess it always comes back to the question: why am I online for?

    I do hope this sudden wave of nostalgia will stop and we can start looking forward 🙂

    • Talk about living in the past, huh? Unfortunately, that was only 3 months ago…….

      If you’ve only learned one thing about me, it’s probably that I can whine. I will say I am a very forward thinking person however and treat the past as a learning experience but try not to live in it.

      As I stated above, the relationships do mean something to me, probably more than anything else I would get out of this; so that is why my measuring stick can be the people who stick and who do not. I’m going to take the glass half full approach, and think they are gone because I didn’t fit in their model; their course and leave it at that.

      I am online to learn, help with my communications skills, and look for opportunities to help further me professionally and personally. For now, that is about as specific as I can get; I am not laser focused on any particular mission.

      I know it’s hard to drag me around and maybe that is why people are hauling ass out of here…………….man up, right?

      Your insights are always appreciated and the dose of reality never hurts. Thanks for taking the time to stop by, much appreciated.

  10. Hey Bill,

    I understand what you’re saying, but I have a different approach.

    I believe in not comparing almost anything. This is especially important to me as an author of my first novel. When reading popular authors, I know that I can never write like them, and that I probably never will be able to earn enough money as to live from writing alone, but it doesn’t stop me from doing it.

    I want to understand what they’re doing, but I still don’t compare myself to the quality of what they’re doing.

    The same goes for blogging. I don’t want to compare myself to Chris, Gary, or whatever their names are. Not when it comes to writing, and not when it comes to comments. I’m happy if I get one decent comment, and especially if it’s one that’s funny and personal. To me, blogging is more like having a one-to-one conversation while watching the latest Steven Seagal movie. It’s not about the quantity or the quality, but showing up, talking and not leaving until the movie ends (or we run out of beer) 🙂

    Jens

    • I want to be unique but I still fall into the trap of comparing myself as a measuring stick which can be a dangerous thing to do however. If you are always comparing there will always be someone bigger or better (at least in your own mind) out there and you will always be chasing.

      I too treat blogging as a one to one conversation and yes, I am interested in you as a person. If you are not online for this type of interaction and that is why you moved on then I can certainly respect that. One size does not definitely fit all, right?

      Glad to see you back in the swing of things and it is always a pleasure to see you at my place. Remember when we used to hang out at Mark Harai’s place? I hope he is doing well.

      I hope your day is going well.

    • Success online can be very nebulous. If your sole purpose is monetization then that is very easy to define; just pull out you wallet and see what it looks like.

      Another measure of success might be comments. Is getting 10 successful? If not, then 50? What if it’s number of hits or mentions.

      There are just too many moving pieces to try and label success to me; if we are all still standing and communicating and being ‘seen’ enough, then that certainly sounds like success to me.

      I certainly think you have been successful; I feel successful; I just don’t want to get complacent however.

      That’s my story today and I’m sticking to it.

      The only thing I will say about Mark is, he must have won the lottery and he doesn’t want all his ‘friends’ to start tracking him down………..:)

  11. Hey Bill,

    You had a lot of really good comments so far on this topic but I’m going to add my two cents in.

    Quit being so hard on yourself, we love your blog Bill. I love coming over here and seeing what you will be sharing with us. I love your point of view and your take on certain subjects.

    I learned early on that you can’t compare or compete with others. You have to remain true to yourself and stop worrying about everything else. People are going to come and go. I’m sure you’ve already run across this yourself, there are a lot of blogs to keep up with when commenting. Some people are just straying off to the ones they believe can benefit them the most, that’s all. There aren’t enough hours in the day or week to comment on every single blog we would like to.

    You just do what feels right to you and those of us that still enjoy stopping by your house will. You’ll also continue to get new visitors who’ll stop by to check you out and they may hang around awhile too! Just don’t stop being you Bill.

    Now, enjoy your Monday and I’ll be back again later this week! 🙂

    Adrienne

    • I’m good at self flagellation at times, thinking I can always do better. I don’t want to be satisfied with just ‘good enough’, but if I am making the effort to be better then that is the only thing I need to judge.

      Your statement about people straying off to find others who think they can benefit them the most is pretty common in this arena and that is fine; it is what it is, right?

      I really do just need to keep my head down and be the best I can be. If I stick with the basics, then everything else should fall into place. You have done a really great job of that philosophy and have developed quite the community at your place. I just need to take a page out of your book and take it to heart.

      Thanks for coming by, it’s always a pleasure to see Ms Texas 1989………..:)

  12. Bill,

    You know my motto. If people read what I write and don’t like it, then it wasn’t for them. I don’t chase bloggers. I am on a desperate search for readers. I think you should do the same. Find people who want to be a part of your community becuase they enjoy you and everything that you do. If they don’t care for how you run YOUR blog let them go elsewhere. Don’t change for anyone, unless it’s your mother. 🙂 If you don’t listen to her you might get in a lot of trouble.

    I firmly beleive in life that change is necessary but only if it is going to make you better. You haven’t done anything wrong but be yourself. Your site to me is the chronicles of blogging and proof the social media can quickly build a community if you invest the right amount of time to it. Keep at it. I got yo back! lol!

    • I loved the ‘don’t change for anyone except your mother’; so true.

      You are exactly right, if they read it and don’t like it then it wasn’t for them. I would not be true to myself if I changed my style just to suit ‘them’. I can get better at what I do but will probably be best served writing for myself and let the chips fall where they may.

      I’m glad you have my back because I certainly need it at times; and just remember, we are joined at the hip so we at least have each other, right?

      Have a good on my friend, always a pleasure to see you.

    • Hey Bryce, thanks for the kind words; much appreciated. I have seen you around at some of my haunts, I will have to come check you out if you have a blog going.

      Hope all is well and you have had a rewarding journey in this crazy blogosphere too.

  13. Bill,

    I write whatever I want to write whenever I want to write without regard for who likes it. The net result is that I get fewer comments on my posts than I could. Some of that is because people can’t keep up and some of that is because I am far too intense for many people.

    I don’t have time to worry about it. I could game the system and play the way most reindeer like to play but it would suck the life out of me. That doesn’t mean that I never wonder why I am not more popular or wish that more people followed me.

    Those things happen and sometimes they happen more frequently than I like. But most of the time I don’t notice or pay attention. Write for you. Be Bill and your community will form itself around you.

    People who don’t like blogging don’t last and that is ok. Why do something that you dislike.

    And while I foam at the mouth let me throw something else out, the more posts you write the more likely you are to strike gold.

    Always good to see you around here. Keep writing.

    • Jack, you write whatever you want AND you can be too intense; is that from your other blog? That’s certainly not the pussycat I know at @TheJackB……………:)

      But see, you are a manly man and people break their hands on your head, you’ve earned the ‘I can write anything I want’ card. I really do need to take a page from your book and quit worrying about things I can’t control. Yes, it’s ok to ‘wonder why’ at times, but certainly don’t dwell on it. Just do the best you can possibly do and have no regrets, right?

      I do like blogging mainly for the interaction it brings so I definitely want to grow and get better. I will be disappointed in myself if I have peaked and this is as good as it gets, however. I know I have more game than this……………….

      Always good to see you my friend; hope things are well for you today.

      • Bill,

        You don’t have to earn the right to write what you want- just do it. It takes time to build community and to find your voice.

        I do like blogging mainly for the interaction it brings so I definitely want to grow and get better. I will be disappointed in myself if I have peaked and this is as good as it gets, however. I know I have more game than this……………….

        What makes a blog successful? What metrics are you going to use to determine if you have hit that mark?

        if you can answer those questions you are on your way to getting to where you want to be. OTOH, if you can’t I would suggest thinking about it.

        Besides, if you can answer those questions and want help from your community you can always ask us and we’ll do the best we can to help you.

    • You give the 90 day timetable as a make or break point for many bloggers. I think it would be healthy for me to quit worrying about metrics and audience, good or bad, and start writing for myself and see where it takes me.

      I will still be me, and will probably have my share of an audience but if I’m going to put any more time in to this then I should think about getting better.

      • FWIW, I dislike most of my writing. I look at my words and wonder why I keep falling short of the mark. I read my stories and think that I ought to be embarrassed by how poorly written they are.

        The point is that I know most of my stuff isn’t as bad as I think it is but I am willing to punish/push myself to do better.

        I suspect that you are no different. There is nothing wrong with trying to get better. Keep fighting, you’ll get there.

  14. Bill,

    I’ve been reading your blog since May. I always enjoy coming here and reading what you have to say, and I think you know how to get the conversation started better than just about anyone out there. Look at the detailed comments responding to this post. I think I may have been the very first one to comment on one of your past posts, not sure, but the point is, it’s difficult to be the first to log a comment at your place. So, you are definitely popular and I only see this blog gaining in popularity.

    I enjoyed Lisa’s post, and it’s certainly true that we are never 100% authentic online. I don’t think we want that anyway. And we all look for some validation, it’s only human nature, but I do think that chasing after it is a very tough battle in this realm, and frankly it sounds so tiring and a good way to burn out and sour on blogging and social media. You know me, I’m trying to give advice, but I’ll probably be phoning you soon and asking you to expand on this. I am a rookie after all 🙂

    You have a rich, engaging, friendly place here. Look how far you’ve come in such a short period of time. Anyway, it’s fall and it’s time to get to work, right? So I’m putting my nose to the grindstone and moving forward. I am certainly finding out that blogging is a HUGE commitment. Loving it so far.

    As usual, great to stop in and have a good one! Let’s get out of this malaise 🙂

    • Hey rook, thanks for the advice. And the moral of the story is, you roll out two posts and you are already beyond me in in quality so I have to keep paying my peeps just to stay around………….:).

      I really did enjoy Lisa’s post because I had seen so many about being 100% authentic and even though some let it all hang out, I still think there is a curtain there for everyone. It just seems nobody really writes about that part of it, so Lisa’s article put some ‘real’ into my thought process and it just made a lot of sense.

      Yes, it’s fall; time to roll up the sleeves and get to work, right. I’m renewed, refreshed and the responses from this post have been a good kick in the pants to man up, and get back to work.

      Good to see you and thanks for your support.

      • Beyond in quality … 🙂 🙂 IDK. Bill, you are too nice, dude! And I think your peeps will keep coming, and tell more peeps.

        Glad you see you’re ready to go. Hope the speaking gig went well too.

        Now to get this Triberr thing figured out. Egads!

    • The speaking gig went well, the newspaper got my fingers of one hand and my other arm in the photo as I’m presenting the award………..at least they spelled my name right….:).

      I think we can all learn from each other and I’m trying real hard to get away from the stuff I can’t control or really doesn’t even matter.

      I think I’m a lot farther along than I was; maybe I can quit these types of post altogether, huh?

  15. Interesting Mr. Dorman … very interesting … I know I’ve been “culled” whatever that means, but it sounds like something I’m sure has happened along my journey. 😉 If anyone has stumbled and fallen on their face, heaven knows I have and really, I don’t care because as I say, “It’s my blog and I’ll suck if I want to.” See I have this habit of talking to myself, so instead I write to myself and nothing bothers me. Kidding!! Have you ever noticed, I don’t have a lot of comments … at all? I take it personally, but I “keep on keepin’ on” and know that if anything, it’s a great exercise in my writing. I also keep thinking that there’s truth to Marcus’ words about sticking to it. I’m waiting … 😉

    As well, I choose not to torture myself with lousy writing even if it they’re popular, I don’t have the time. I’ve tested many waters and love swimming in few. I very particular and you win me simply because you’re funny and real and a foodie!!

    I’m going to bed with this post on my mind and to think about the word “culled. I’ll laugh when someone does this to me because I think it’s a funny word. OK, I’m tired and my brain can only handle so much. I did tell you that you were on my list of 5 dinner guests right?! Well, it’s because you’re wonderful you and I wouldn’t change a thing!!

    Goodnight!!

    Elena 🙂

    • Cull, I don’t know if that’s a southern word or not, but probably. @TheJackB had a good definition below.

      I think bloggers can say ‘they don’t care’ but part of them have to; especially when you see these people every where else. I will go on record as saying ‘I don’t care as much and I’m ready to move on and not give it a second thought’. However, that doesn’t mean I still don’t see them for whatever that’s worth…………

      I’m probably competitive enough that I do have the fire to try and move up the ladder and want to be the best writer I can; but on the other hand, it might be like golf and I gave it my best effort and I was still a low 80’s golfer at best.

      I admire you in many ways and glad you are sticking with it; I would be honored to be one of your 5 dinner guests.

  16. Hey Bill, I’m going to agree with Adrienne. Cut yourself some slack. I mean if you think about it, if everyone’s talking about cutting back and being overwhelmed then you should sort of expect their frequency here to drop off. They’re dropping off everywhere.

    In some cases, I know you might see people elsewhere and not here — but we all have that. I think you have just been so supportive of others that it might sting more. I’ve always been so infrequent everywhere that I can’t really take it personally when I get crickets in return. I almost always make it here, but you make it easy by not posting every day.

    I agree with John about getting past the malaise. Because I do believe in the idea that “you are what you focus on.” I think the more everyone talks about the social media/blogging funk, the more we stay in it. FWIW

    • Kind of like the economy, huh? The more we keep talking about it…..

      I don’t think you were supposed to comment with something that actually made sense. But I do hear you and I really, really have no business keeping a tally on anything. If I do what I’m supposed to do then everything else will take care of itself.

      This really was more a post about me trying to get better and if you left because I wasn’t compelling enough then I apologize. I might not be all the way past looking at where others are, but I truly don’t think about it as much other than to wonder why?

      Ok, no more malaise talk and only about how we are going to kick ass going forward.

      Good to see you and I hope we can all find a way to get together when @Shonali comes to Orlando in October.

    • Easy now, they will all be wanting to stay at our house instead of getting a hotel…..:). I do hope we can find a way to meet some of our peeps face to face; that would be a lot of fun.

  17. Bill,

    Why are you doubting yourself? Tell me, did you do this when you started out those hundreds of years ago in the insurance business? When you really started getting some good clients and made a good living did you think that you weren’t good enough or your product wasn’t? Were you worried they would see you were a newbie when people came to you for help? Did you you doubt yourself then? (Wait, that is me right now, eek!)

    I don’t know you offline. But I am guessing you can work a room or an office of clients and peers. Why do I think this? Because it shows here, online. When I say “work” I mean shine. People come to you. People like your sense of humor mixed with intelligence (I said it, now you can gloat). At least that is why I come back. Did I not tell you that you have helped me loosen up and just be myself more online? You have helped me see that relationships are important online. That people are not just their gravatar or their icon. And they certainly aren’t just numbers. Sure I would love to make a living online but people come first. I have read many, many posts on many blogging topics but it took you to help me realize what I need to do. (Well, their are a few others, but you help me relax.)

    Anyway, what was the question? It’s like 6am and I think my brain isn’t working yet.

    This is the last time I am inflating your ego. I gave you a car and welcomed you to my blog, didn’t I? (Not that I had a choice, you kinda took over my comments. LOL.)

    Anyhow, yes, I am “culling” back. Actually, I am making efforts to not have to cull back. I am not at superstar stage; people don’t flock to my blog to comment. I started blogging because I love blogging and meeting people online. I do hope to make some money doing it. I’m not fond of my day job and really want out. The problem lies with the fact that to make a good income online, with an authority blog, one needs to be there for everyone that needs you. At that point it is very hard to cut back. If you do you loose money.

    It’s a tough one.

    Thanks for letting me write a mini post. I should just copy and paste it to my blog. LOL

    ~Allie

    P.S. Don’t go anywhere.

    • I won’t gloat, but it did put a smile on my face. If I tried to change too much then I would get too far away from being myself. You have been very kind with your words and your support and it is much appreciated; I will keep trying to be the best I can and just let the chips fall where they may. That seems to be the common theme of the responses…..

      I’m glad if whatever I’m doing offered some kind of support or learning and has helped you on your journey. That probably means more to me than anything…….

      I think I will copy and past your reply and maybe even use it as my post next week, ok?

      So good to see you and hope all is well; the car is running fine.

  18. Ok. I looked up cull. What a great word. I like what JackB said. Just be yourself, be genuine and write what you feel. You are a natural, Bill. very likeable and readable (Now thats a word). Just keep doing your thing.

    I am still a rookie (you keep reminding me) so i am trying to find my way. I have to write what I feel and hope it appeals to someone. If not, it was a good experience, anyway. It’s just a blessing to bbe able to write and connect with people like you. thanks brother.

    I am culling you as “Special” Ha !

    Al

    • Look at big Al being nice to me especially after you got Gini calling me DorkMan. Of course, we both know how close to the truth that is, but we won’t share that with anybody………….

      Ok, this wasn’t supposed to be a whining post or a look for validation, but I have rec’d some very sage words of advice and I will stay the course.

      If I dwindle down to me and my mother and her friend Mabel, then that’s who it will have to be. My mom really does like my stuff………….

      Thanks for coming by and the comments; always appreciated and so good to see you. Talk to you soon……

  19. Bill, be you and keep doing what you’re doing. I am amazed at the consistency of your blog posts and your community. Often, I read them in my email, share them, but don’t necessarily comment. It doesn’t mean I don’t like what you wrote, it just means I’m a one person shop with too much work and not enough time! Or, that I’ve gotten waylaid by other items or ventured into other posts more closely related to my field. I am working on revisiting folks and commenting; I’m also working on branching out to expand my knowledge and network. None of that means you’ve been culled from my list; you’re ever present, Bill.

    I am also on the receiving end of certain folks that started out with me not sticking around, so I know what you’re referring to. However, it’s NOT something to take personally. I’ll give you an example: I know for a fact that Gini D reads all of my posts. She rarely stops by to comment. I don’t take that personally; I understand that people do what they can and what they’re led to do. I’m good with that. I want you to be as well and write me something funny!!
    E

      • She reads mine only because she made the mistake of putting me in one of her tribes and has her settings on manual. No way she is going to let my stuff go out under her name sight unseen………she’s way too experienced for that……….:). She did offer cash for me to drop out but I’m holding out to see if she ups the anty…..I think I can wait her out………

    • Me, write something funny? This is a serious site, like insurance, and there will be no laughing or smiling allowed.

      I know you are around and you have been a tremendous support. I also know you have to hang with the PR/Marketing crowd for business reasons and that is all good. I would just be sad if I started losing people because they were not getting any value from stopping by.

      Even though I try not to measure against others as much it’s not like we don’t see the people who have left us still hanging around. So then you question, ‘well what are they writing about that is so different than my stuff’? However, that is keeping up w/ the Jones’ mentality and never a good thing. Then you are always chasing……

      Good to see you and appreciate you propping me up when needed but also telling it like it is when needed as well. You are the best……

  20. Bill, snap out of this self-imposed malaise. Please?

    The world needs a Bill Dorman, just as the world needs a Stuart Mills. Without you being authentically ‘you’, there will be a gap in the world.

    Keep doing what you love Bill – other people love it too 🙂

    • Ok, since you and Adam have knocked some sense into me, no more malaise talk. We’ve had it around our office too and it’s my responsibility to be the example, set the pace out of this and that is exactly what I’m going to do online as well.

      You might be surprised, but some people call my Mr Happy among many other nicknames I seem to accumulate.

      Yes, the world needs up both so let’s just keep bringing our goodness to share with others along as these people will have us, ok?

      Good to see you today my friend; thanks for stopping by.

  21. Time for some “deep”?

    You are good. You have some popularity. Validation is fueling you for the moment. But where does it all lead?

    My GF asked me the same question a few weeks back. She laid it out like this:

    “Maybe, you inspire someone out there. Maybe, you don’t. Does anyone tell you years later that your blog post changed their life?

    If you inspire someone, you’ll never really know for sure. They may feel inspired for a moment, but does it go beyond that hour, day. or week? Are you creating a sustainable kind of good. Is the difference that you make, lasting? Can you measure it? Can you build on it?

    Or are you building beautiful sand castles at the sea shore?

    I’m not talking about money. But I am asking you if you are really making a difference. Because half of that time you put into blogging is my time. And I want to see results.”

    I still haven’t recovered from that talk, Bill. Especially that part about her time. [sigh]

    • Would it be too bold to tell you that ‘yes, I am making a difference’. It might not be the deep change your life kind of inspiration, but if you look at Allie’s response above I have made a difference for her. To me, that means a lot……….

      Validation, or always chasing it is a slippery slope indeed. The theme of the responses is that I just need to take care of my own stuff and everything else will probably work out.

      It just seems this whole world is made up of measurements, influence, hits, etc that sometimes you lose focus on what got you in here in the first place. I don’t want to lose that focus.

      Thanks for giving me something to think about my friend; you are a great chief.

      I hope all has been well with you, sir.

  22. Bill, I so identified with you when you said: “I was surprised Mr Everywhere didn’t even know some of these people and part of the reason was I had blinders on chasing I don’t know what exactly.” I had no idea what I was doing when I started seriously blogging earlier this year and I know I got swept into the popularity trends. But then, I soon realized that the people who are more real to me, who I could develop true relationships with were those that didn’t fall into the “popular group” at all. I guess I could say the same of real life and I should have known. =)

    When you talk of the “days of yore” when the online community was more “real,” it has me wondering whether we can *make* that happen on our own based on who we attract and connect with. I’d like to believe that it’s still possible and I’d like to continue believing that the people I’ve been connecting with online are true friends. =)

    • I do think it’s possible, but I also think you have to be selective in who you are choosing to run with. I’m not saying the popular ones are not good, but if you are hanging there just to be seen or are always looking for validation from them; then you are probably just going to be disappointed eventually. I like the idea of charting your own way and creating your own network, that is when you have much more control of your direction and your satisfaction in this fickle world of social.

      So here’s to keeping the engagement part real and developing relationships that actually mean something.

      So good to see you; sounds like you have been busy. I do appreciate your thoughts.

  23. Whew! I hate getting here so late and finding all these comments already! But, I love getting here late and reading all the great conversations in the comments;) Sorry for the delay–I was on a much needed work-free mini vaca. I like your question: “Would you rather be popular or good?” I think everyone should strive for good. However, when you’re that good you will eventually become popular here in this world because everyone will be talking about you and telling their friends to stop by and check you out. Hmmm…isn’t that exactly what happened to you, Bill? See–you’re both:)

    • That might be a stretch, but thanks for the compliment. A mini-vacation, huh? That sounds great; I could use one of those……..

      There were some good comments up there and basically they have been supportive but also telling me to get over myself. All I know is I do want to get better and I just need to take a chill pill and enjoy the journey along the say. I can preach it, and now I just really need to do it.

      Good to see you and thanks so much for coming by; very much appreciated.

  24. I’m not on board with the big shots culling, as I think their reasons are disingenuous. It’s easy to eliminate spam without dumping everyone who helped put you where you are.

    As for me, I’ve always tried to keep my network pure. Meaning, manually following back real people who seem to “get” Twitter. As such, I’m pretty pleased with my few, but real, Twitter connections.

    • You make a good point about culling the people who got you there; probably not a good strategy and they certainly need to be careful. As fickle as social can be your community can disappear pretty quickly; on to the next big thing.

      I haven’t pro-actively tried to grow my twitter network per se but that is not necessarily a good thing either. Ultimately, it means if I do a cursory check and you seem to be real, then I will probably follow back. I get a lot of people who I will probably never interact with. I like your approach because it keeps it ‘meaningful’.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to come by and weigh in. Always a pleasure to see you. I hope your week has been going well for you.

  25. Bill, aloha. Weighty post with meaty responses. If depth of caring, passion and positivity are metrics, you are well validated, Bill.

    Dr. Seuss wisely said:

    “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

    He also said, “there is no one youer than YOU.” Bill you are unique, original, one of a kind.

    People interact with you here, there and everywhere because they care about you and what you have to say. Will you resonate with all people? Of course not.

    Neither do Seth Godin or Chris Brogan. They deliver the messages that are important to them to deliver. They don’t worry about whether or not the public wants that message..

    Does Steve Jobs pander to what he thinks people might want and create variations on what others have done? A resounding no. He creates what he wants, what’s important to him. He says his market is people who want what he wants. That market, 10% of the total, has made Apple the highest valued publicly traded company.

    In my recent post on attitude, I included this quote by James Truslow Adams:

    “Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me,’ and when you have found that attitude, follow it. ”

    Bill your writings and interactions with people have to be “the real you” if you are to feel good about what you are doing.

    As you grow and evolve as a writer, so too will your posts, your blog. No doubt your audience will change as well. Bill, I think we bloggers use our blogs to think through issues or reflect on topics. If the people who read our posts aren’t ready to hear our message, they will stop visiting or visit infrequently. It’s not that what we were writing was “bad” or “poor quality” rather its that our reader is in a space different from ours.

    In terms of who reads us or culls us from lists, it’s their choice. Sometimes people stop reading simply because they break the inadvertently break the pattern and then get out of the habit. Sometimes people delete us from lists by mistake or they make a poor decision.

    What I do know, Bill, is that “what you think of me is none of my business” and it has to be that way or we will drive ourselves nuts second guessing why people did what they did.

    Bill, #YouMatter to me and to lots of people in the blogosphere and no doubt twitter as well.

    So, Bill, get up, dust yourself off and start into the glorious future that awaits you; we’re here with you. Until next time, aloha. Janet

    • Aloha Janet, what a great response; especially the Dr Seuss quotes, so appropriate.

      Even though I do care what others think, as long as I am true to myself and just be me then I should be comfortable in just letting the chips fall where they may. The challenge is as you try to ‘grow’ you do see what others are doing and there is some emulation going on; what you don’t want to do though is always be chasing.

      For the most part I am content and don’t want for much and just need to keep the same mindset within these walls as well.

      I do appreciate you stopping by with like the best response ever……….much appreciated. I hope you have a fantastic week ahead.

  26. I guess today is the day that I stand up and shout, “Hey, Bill, I’m still here! I had to turn the lights off for a bit, but I’m getting powered up again.”

    I just took a little sabbatical. You know the saying: Life happens. I just started culling (seems like a popular word) the blogs in Google Reader yesterday, and I noticed a few things immediately.

    1. If you don’t open your Reader for 2 weeks, don’t be shocked that there are 1,000+ unread posts. (That’s as high as it goes–once you pass 1,000, you have no idea how many are in there.)
    2. If you don’t read blogs for a few weeks, you might miss a few things, but nothing critical. I guess Facebook made some changes while I was offline. 🙂 I estimate that at least 50% of the 1,000+ blogs I culled were about that subject.
    3. Even if you don’t write a blog post for a few weeks, you can jump right back into the conversation. (Ooops, I guess I should work on the post I’ve been drafting….)

    But enough about me, back to your topic. Like you, I have wondered about the recent changes in the social media sphere, with the unfollowing and whatnot. I’ve also noticed that my social media focus group (my 20-yr-old brother and 22-yr-old sister) has soured on Facebook quite a bit, and is communicating mostly through text messaging. I don’t know if this is a growing trend, but they did the same thing when MySpace got too commercial for their tastes.

    As John says, social media will always be in a hyper-state of change. We just need to be able to adapt and keep finding benefits from our activities. As long as we keep learning, sharing, and growing, it’s all good.

    • I thought it was somewhat uncanny for me personally to see so many of the people I have been hanging with just all drop off at the same time. I knew where you were, but I have a few who are dealing with some pretty serious issues. I can see why ‘social’ took a back seat.

      I would panic if I got to 1000 unread; I try to keep cleaning as much as I can and some just get cut time after time. It’s not that I don’t want to stop by, but I have to take care of my peeps first. If they were coming to see me too, then it would be a different story. I know you can’t always be tit for tat, but I will try to do that as much as I can.

      I don’t know if you follow Howie at @Skypulsemedia http://spaceagencynotes.blogspot.com/2011/09/social-tuesday-why-chief-alien-left.html but he just posted a great article about FB and how he was getting off of it. He also mentioned how more people are doing the ‘private’ communications as well. You might want to check it out.

      There tends to be a lot of sameness in here and I’m probably just as guilty as most. Let’s just keep doing the best we can and hopefully at the end of the day we are in the group that is still standing, huh?

      Good to see you and welcome back.

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