Skip navigation

Blog Struggles: SOBCon, Idea Whelmed, and Tell It To the Telephone Pole

Blog Struggles Article SeriesA few people were concerned when I started my first Blog Struggles Diary recommending that I not blog every day thus changing the whole tone of my site. This confused me as I thought this was what my site was about. I had to take some time to think about that…then life and work interfered, and now I’m back again to give this another go. The journaling of my experiences has continued, but now I present them to you in collections rather than daily.

Chicago – Hours After SOBCon 2010 – May 5, 2010

Liz Strauss - Sunday, SOBCon 2010 by Lorelle VanFossenOne of the most powerful influencers in my life is one of my best friends, . I don’t know when she came into my life or how, but I know she has always been there. If you have friends like that in your life, consider them very precious and treasure them. They are rare.

Over the years of watching and helping Liz produce the most exciting event in the blog industry, Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference (SOBCon), I’ve watched her evolve into the best of mentors to thousands of SOBs (Successful and Outstanding Bloggers), and find myself proud, and a bit jealous, as she shares so much of herself and her vast wisdom, experience, and unique perspective on the world of online business with others. As proud as I am of her, with this year celebrating four years of SOBCon, I’m also pissed off at her again.

It’s not enough that I’m surrounded with 150 of the best of the best in the blogging, social media, and web publishing industry, once again because of HER I have too much to write about.

Through the three intense days of the event, I’ve been taking notes on everything, table cloths included (okay, it was an accident), on things to blog about on this site, on , , and the other blogs I now support and manage.

I’ve got stories to tell, thoughts to share, points to make, and folks to interview. I have ideas for our businesses, promotions, campaigns, marketing, financial strategies, content building, and new bloggers to add to our networks. I have a long list of books I want to read, blogs I have to follow and read, and people I have to track down, investigate, and learn more from.

Ideas are exploding out of my head. I’m overwhelmed. The list is long. Shit, the list is everywhere, stuffed in pockets, my laptop bag, purse, pants and jacket pockets, written on the back of business cards, scraps of paper, napkins, strips of paper – even one idea on the back of a fortune cookie slip of paper. As I pack my luggage for the trip home, I’m finding all these bits of paper and stuffing them into a plastic bag to sort through on the airplane and once I get home, making lists upon lists upon lists – yet it is all one big freakin’ list.

How am I going to write about all these things?

Sunday Brainstorming at SOBCon 2010 in Chicago - copyright Lorelle VanFossenI’ve tried all kinds of methods over the years and what works best is just adding them to my working drafts list for the various blogs, stored in my favorite text editor, . Okay, that stores them, but it doesn’t get me writing them. They’re just in storage waiting for me.

And it’s a long, long, long list waiting for me to consume and regurgitate it into something that might just make some sense to someone someday.

I don’t want them to wait. I want to work on them all now. I need to write. I need to express my thoughts – oh, there are so many – but I can’t. I’m just one person. I’ve got to respond to email, send out email thank yous and finalize some business from the event. I have to check in with all the blogs and the businesses to ensure they are taken care of and nothing has been skipped nor missed in the past few days. I’ve got an office and house to clean and care for, a garden, a husband, my cats, meetings to attend, people to talk to, tweet to twits, twits to follow, and faces to book…you think I have time to sit down and write out 200 articles in the next three days, one for every item on my list?

I haven’t even left my hotel in Chicago and already I’m in locked up panic mode. With too much to write, I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know which one to choose first. I can’t write. I can’t think! My art is constipated.

Liz, right now, I hate you for bringing this into my life. And you do it every freakin’ May. Oh, wait. Just heard that SOBCon 2010 Denver is September 17-18, 2010, so now I’m going to get whelmed with more ideas in the fall. Great. Just great. Thanks, Liz. Really appreciate it. Damn you!

Chicago – Two Days in the City Exploring – May 7, 2010

My day’s mental plans shifted when I saw the woman talking to the telephone pole.

I had a full day scheduled to explore on my own the wonders of Chicago. Usually, I rush in and rush out and never get a chance to wander around one of my favorite cities. So I planned carefully for a couple extra days before Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference (SOBCon) and after so I could relax and absorb all I learned and check out this amazing historical place.

I went through the list of things to do in the hotel magazines and online and charted my course for my final two days in Chicago. In the two days free before SOBCon, I’d walked the Magnificent Mile and did a three hour Segway Tour of Chicago and had the time of my life, bruises aside. I felt free and powerful flying along the waterfront of the city.

To begin these next two days, I first needed a metro pass to get me around for the next two days. I went everywhere, from the hotel to Starbucks, to two pharmacies…all sold out. Frustrated with all the time wasted, I was storming away from the last pharmacy towards the subway when I heard a woman ranting in the crowd ahead of me. She was carrying on with great lucidity about the lunacy of our government, calling upon the great names of commerce, security, and our welfare system sitting on high in the offices which dictate our lives. I have to admit I was impressed with her eloquence and agreed with her points, then the crowd ahead of me parted and I found the orator.

She was clean, fairly nicely dressed in casual clothes, dark colored tennis shoes on her feet next to a big overflowing shopping bag. Her dish water blond head was lifted high, hair dancing around her middle aged face as she threw her arms around with the fierce determination to punctuate her points – to a telephone pole.

telephone poleIt was a normal power pole found in the old parts of Chicago. Dark wood coated with centuries of creosote, wires running up its sides to connect with the real web that powers and connects our lives together. I wondered if she had some special powers to send her magnificent points through the wires, across the city to the power and communication centers, then branch out through other cities, across the country, up and down and across more poles, until it reached the offices of those who need to hear what she had to say. A part of me hoped they were listening.

Still, it isn’t every day you see someone conversing with such passion, determination, and classy style with a telephone pole. I was impressed.

Then I was terrified. This was me! This is what blogging feels like. It’s me talking to the telephone pole. I’m blathering on to the great virtual nothing, connected by wires both physical and virtual, hoping someone turns their head in my direction. Honestly, I might as well be talking to a telephone pole.

Every day I push out many articles and news bits on my passion, helping others to learn how to share their thoughts and feelings and skills with the masses, hoping to connect through the virtual power poles to their offices, homes, and mobile devices, to find some connection, to reach through the wires and say, “Hey, what I have to say matters. What I have to say counts. What I have to say is something…well, you might need to hear. I know it will help. I know it will make a difference. I know that you will learn and blog better…at least I think you will…” Really, why do I bother.

Frozen in place watching the woman continue her impassioned speech on the flaws in health care, social welfare, the inability to protect its citizens from the greed and control of corporations, the crowd swirling around me, feet cemented to the sidewalk, a rock in the river, my entire thinking process shifted off its axis.

She is the modern day Don Quixote, tilting at telephone poles. I’m the modern day version tilting at virtual telephone poles. Or am I? Seriously, I’m going to have to think about this some more, because somehow, this woman has changed how I think about what I do.

I spent the rest of the day semi-mindlessly going through all the activities I had planned, exploring the fascinating Chinatown, yarn stores, fabric shops, and other discoveries as I wandered, losing my path of intention to just allow the day to unfold.

It will take a while to process this, but I’m clear about what happened. That woman was not just talking to the telephone pole. She was talking to me. I might just have to find me a telephone pole of my own.

Coordinating the Lists – May 8, 2010 – Portland, Oregon

One-by-one, I’ve gone through the list of ideas from Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference (SOBCon) this past weekend. I’ve unlocked my overwhelmed brain and started prioritizing things. Moving all the items from their myriad scraps of anything-that-will-hold-ink to my idea files for the various blogs I write for helped a lot.

I’ve done a few blanket thank yous via Twitter and Facebook, and now the individual ones begin. Meetings are getting set for those who live close to me, and phone appointments made for those living within my Skype neighborhood.

I look at my list in a new way over the past year. I used to have a ton of freelance clients that kept me on my toes and bills paid, but with the shrinking economy and my slow return to full-time work after so long down, paying customers take priority over non-paid work. The bank isn’t very understanding about pro bono work and it doesn’t put food on the table, so paid and potential income earner ideas move up to the top of my list. I feel greedy, hate it, and ignore it.

Down the list I go, pushing topics I’d rather do first to the bottom of the list. While they bring me joy, bills first, I tell myself. The bank doesn’t understand putting your passion before their payments.

I turn to the list of interview subjects. I now work with the incredible Dave Moyer and Kym Huynh. The three of us are partners in which produces , Aimless Agenda, and the soon-to-be-launched network. I work with the three of them to produce WordCast Conversations hosted by Kym, a one hour interview with experts in blogging, social media, web publishing, coders and hackers, security, and all things within the blog industry. One-by-one I will contact those on my list, alone and in panels, discussing editorial plans with Kym and Dave and lining up interviews for the next few months. This takes an incredible amount of time, so I’m trying to figure out a solid system to make it easier to pursue, track, and maintain all the different people that have to be coordinated. I so long to delegate this, but my bank comes before I can share with others.

I have the many hours of video I took at SOBCon to put together for WordCast as well, editing dozens of interviews together into some form of coherent pattern. Then the photographs of the event to put together on this blog as well as into the video to download off the camera, sort, and edit. I love editing the video and preparing it for others. It’s one of my favorite things to do, but PAID work first, I remind myself.

As I go through the list, the joy begins to return. I’m one of the lucky ones. As I think of each person I will be calling and contacting, they restore my faith in the world with their passion for their lives and their businesses. They bring the sunshine into my life. I work with some of the best people in the world! I find myself anxious to talk to them, eager to get off the computer and get into their presence.

Want to Kill YouTube For 32 Seconds – May 9, 2010

I’ve just wasted four hours I didn’t have trying to get the SOBCon video footage uploaded to YouTube. It’s 32 seconds longer than their 10 minute limit. #%$#@!*%!

I’ve tried a variety of compression methods until I realized that my problem wasn’t the size of the file but the length. All 32 bloody seconds beyond their limit, and four hours of a day booked to the hilt with too many things to do out of control because I didn’t pay attention to crossing the 600 second limit by a fracking 32 seconds.

I pound my head against my desk and realize how much I want to hurt the person who proclaimed how much the computer would lighten our work load. As if I hadn’t wasted enough time already, on a whim I decided to see who made that stupid claim.

I didn’t find it, but I did find some computer quotes just as appropriate.

“To err is human- but to really foul things up requires a computer.”
-Farmers’ Almanac

“Computers can figure out all kinds of problems – except the things in the world that just don’t add up.”
-James Magary

“In a few minutes a computer can make a mistake so great that it would have taken many men many months to equal it.”

“Computers make it easier to do a lot of things – but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.”
-Andy Rooney

“Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions – including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog.”
-Doug Larson

“Applying computer technology is simply finding the right wrench to pound in the correct screw.”

“If the car industry behaved like the computer industry over the last 30 years, a Rolls-Royce would cost $5, get 300 miles per gallon, and blow up once a year killing all passengers inside.”

“The most overlooked advantage to owning a computer is that if they foul up there’s no law against wacking them around a little.”
-Joe Martin

“Artificial Intelligence is the study of how to make real computers act like the ones in movies.”

“To err is human – and to blame it on a computer is even more so.”
-Robert Orben

“Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users?”
-Clifford Stoll

Firefox sample crash report popupI swear, I spend more time wasting time on a computer than working some days. For over a year, Firefox crashes on me at least 5 times a day. The session saver doesn’t save the crashed session but restores me to the previous crashed session which was eight days ago when I exited normally from the program – as I’m now doing several times a day to ensure the session tabs are saved and will restore correctly after a crash – more time wasting, not to mention bandwidth wasting stupidity.

Hey! While Net Neutrality should be something we all fight fore, I think Comcast, Google, Verizon, et al., should be going after Firefox and Adobe for wasting bandwidth. I don’t choose to reload 150 tabs every 3 or 4 hours or less! If you corporates want to do some bandwidth controlling, let’s start at the source of many of our woes and not target our TV or YouTube watching.

Yeah, I know it’s an Adobe Flash issue, but come on, folks! Release an update that fixes this. I’m living with Flash turned off and it doesn’t turn off everything. Too much of the web relies on Flash in weird useless spots like on WordPress in the image upload and all around Gmail in the oddest places. Adobe, either fix Flash to play nice or FF fix your — I wish I was kidding but Firefox crashed in the middle of that sentence. AGAIN!!!

My graphics program suddenly started crashing and locking up. So I broke down and spent the money on the new version, only to find out a week later that Corel came out with a new version and I’d have to lay out another USD $70 for the upgrade I paid for a week ago. I couldn’t find a way to contact them or fill out some form to get a free upgrade accordingly, and spent two hours poking around looking for that. So I waited for two months, suffering more buggy performance, and then shelled out the money again…why, I’m just an idiot that way. More time wasting.

Two of my sites were hacked at the end of 2008. I won’t bore you with the whole story but my web host, one of the best and largest in the world, and I have been going round and round in circles ever since to get this issue resolved. It’s a server level hack, which did grow to infect my WordPress blog, which caused confusion for them as they don’t provide WordPress support (don’t get me started on THAT one) and would stop the conversation when they found out I had a WordPress blog. Huh? It’s a server level hack! The fact that it infected WordPress is a byproduct of the deeper infection!

So every few months I find a few hours in my schedule to start the process all over again, only to be interrupted with travel or work projects. There are only so many hours in a day and I’m just one person, which is why I choose that hosting company to do these things for me. They did in the beginning, but now it’s like pulling teeth – and no, I’m not switching. I tend to push servers to the hilt and go through them like toilet paper and I’m done. This is the best, they just need a little noodle slapping across the customer service faces and I’m the perfect slapper.

As usual, when things get busy, the old website is put on the back burner. This week was another round and included a two+ hour chat on the phone with a tech guy for the web host going through manually and removing infected files. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the key expert but only did what I told him to do – trusting my vast knowledge of WordPress and server hacks! Ha! I dug through Google and turned up article after article on what to look for on the server, in the database, and in the PHP. He wasn’t very familiar with MySQL so I did most of the digging. Found a lot of the criminals and hopefully deleted them all – but again, this has taken two years and too long to get this issue resolved. That’s just too long and too much time wasted over something that is THEIR problem, too.

I remember the day that my father came home from work announcing that his company had just authorized the purchase of Mac computers for his office. He was so excited to embrace this new technology and start learning all about it. Finally a chance to access boat blue prints and make changes to them, write up reports, and do all the things that would make his life easier.

The classes that came with the computers involved a lot of technical reading and writing, something he wasn’t very good at, especially the writing. He had to learn a new language in order to not just talk to the computers, but to ask for help. The company, foresighted as many are, didn’t think through the whole process and they had to wait for months to get a scanner to load all those existing blue prints into the computers and then come up with a way to gain access to them and make changes while protecting originals and tracking those changes from job to job as well as engineer to engineer.

My father, not a trained engineer but one given the rank as someone who climbed up out of the belly of the boats as a machinist into administration, was whelmed by the amount of knowledge and expertise demanded of him. As soon as the engineers were required to do their own reports and communication, secretaries were phased out, putting more burden on them to do simple administrative tasks that they just didn’t know how to do. Older men fled, getting an early retirement, and the guys left behind could barely cope and the younger engineers coming in had college degrees and pieces of paper that stated for the world to see: I’m a real engineer. The veterans sighed, rolled eyes and hit the books after work to catch up. Still my father struggled on, battling the computer and struggling to keep up with the changes in programming and technology.

I’ve grown up with computers, working on them (taking them apart and repairing them) from about 10 years old on, long before the personal computer arrived. In college, we had one of the early computer labs in Washington State with Apple IIs to accompany our big monster reel machines and make the transition to this new, smaller, and more powerful box machine. I speak geek, but I dream of the computer that would do everything including wash windows, making our lives so labor free and easy…what happened? Where did we go wrong? My windows are also among the back burner things I’m living with right now.

I whack away at the video trying to find 32 seconds to remove and it looks horrid and choppy. I get it down a little more and struggle with it, more time passing in the day. It’s suddenly 1:30 in the morning and I haven’t eaten nor taken a break since noon.

SOBCon folks, you’ll just have to be patient. I have six blogs to update, emails to return, clients to work for, and bills to be paid. I’m done with this for now. It’s just going to have to wait…YouTube, I got no more time to waste on you. I’m going to bed. Just one more unfinished project among many piling up around me.

Giving Without Expectation of Return – May 10, 2010

One of the most powerful events during Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference (SOBCon) every year is the Sunday put-everything-you-learned-into-action session. This year’s Sunday event was the “Non-profit Give Back Event”.

Four non-profits, Invisible, Anixter, Ashoka, and Vitamin Angels gave a summary of their goals and purpose and what they needed from their “social media and marketing teams” to help them reach out and promote their cause and support, increase fundraising, and expand their projects.

It was an amazing wake up call to many there, reminding us that we’ve been way too caught up in our bloggy fame to remember that there are others out there who need our skills, and that we need to learn from them as well. The morning session could have gone on for many more hours – even days – I don’t think one person walked out of the room untouched with new motivation and goals in their step.

Bitwire Media Team MapI was no different. Today I spent two hours on Skype talking to my team about how we can give back. Every year, Bitwire produces the Holiday Marathon, a 12 hour non-stop, live streamed audio and video podcast featuring our awesome team interviewing people about their holiday traditions and talking to non-profits about their work and how people can help during the holidays, a time in crisis for many groups, especially those who help families and the homeless.

We bought some domain names to help us flesh out some fundraising ideas for good causes and how to incorporate it into all of our blog networks, planning, thinking code, procedures, and loving every minute of it. We all realized how connected we are as a team, having worked so closely together for the past few years. We finish each other’s sentences, building ideas upon ideas, but also bringing us down to reality, always focused on how to make this happen.

I’m anxious to get moving forward with these, but I have to also look at the overall schedule and all the tasks we have ahead of us to accomplish in very short time. We have new blog networks to launch, the changes coming with WordPress 3.0 due any moment, and a lot of content to shove out the door on all of our sites, including this one.

As I sadly disconnect the Skype connection linking me to Denver and Melbourne, Australia, I’m back to where I was a few days ago. Great ideas, powerful things to write about, but it all has to boil down to time and money. How best to use my time to generate money again to pay the bank and the bills, and how to fit it all into the time I have every day in between sleeping for only a few hours every night – there is just so much to do.

I’ve got to do this all better. I must. This is all important stuff…it’s picking and choosing what is most important in the moment and what will give me the best return.

Matt Mullenweg's photograph of a safari viewing station binoculars - copyright Matt MullenwegThen I look up and see the amazingly simple and deceptive photograph sent me for Christmas. It’s a simple picture of stationary binoculars used for viewing wildlife, much like the kind you used to put a coin in to look out across a scenic view. It’s painted blue with the paint peeling off of it. The camera is pointing right through the binoculars, the grasslands in the background out of focus. When I look at it in the low light, it looks like Wall-E’s head and eyes, a favorite movie of mine. Like many of Matt’s pictures, there is a story here if you just look at it long enough. Over the months, I will look up over my monitors and just imagine I’m standing there, looking through the sun bleached lenses across the fields, glimpsing a bird or wild animal wondering through. I can see anything through those lenses, and often do. Today, I’m seeing Matt.

Like , Matt Mullenweg is another person who has changed my life in so many ways – I can’t even talk about it without choking up. Today, I look at these old binoculars and see how much Matt gave of himself freely to give others the chance to have their say for free. This man is the epitome of giving. Non-stop giving.

I’ve seen his faith when he fought so hard to make WordPress a possibility, growing against huge competition and ingrained thinking, and changing how we all communicate and share ourselves around the world. I’ve stood by and watched his courage when he fought off multiple bans by governments and courts in China, Turkey, Brazil and maybe others, shutting down access from their countries to just because of the actions or one or a few on the free hosting service. All because those agencies didn’t like what someone said on their blog. I’ve stood back as he confronted angry WordPress users, and bring them around to his point of view with a smile. He once told me the scariest moment of his life to date was trusting the “wisdom of the crowds” when it came to WordPress development and growth. I was staggered by his courage to give up that kind of control. I’ve been dumbfounded with his continual work to reward those who give so much to the WordPress Community while reaching out to those burned out or faded away from the community. He gives constantly and I wonder how much he really gets back, and if he is getting what he needs.

Then I stop and realize that’s my selfish way of thinking at work. I kick myself and see the scene shift beyond the binoculars to my own life. One of my favorite sayings that I have lived by since I was a teenager is to give freely without expectation of return.

The kick refocus me back to my current stage in my life. Blogging is about giving without expectation of return. Return helps pay the bills, but blogging for greed’s sake will not motivate me forward. It’s the totally wrong reason to be blogging. Seriously.

Just Do It! SOBCon’s Theme – May 10, 2010

Just do it! Release and iterate later. Go for it! Move now! Don’t wait! Get on with it! Good enough just needs editing later.

These were the words that sang out loudly at Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference (SOBCon) this year. In past years, it’s been about understanding how to work your business, understand the numbers, build content, SEO, design functionality and usability – but this year, the planned theme was “Where the Virtual Meets the Pavement” but what most people got out of this was get off your butt and do it!

Dahni, our Israeli cat, on the dashboard of our RV in Covadunga, Spain - on the road

Dahni, our Israeli cat, on the dashboard of our RV in Covadunga, Spain, on the road

While living in the Middle East, a “dumpster kitty” came into our lives. Dahni had no eyes, crawled out probably before his eyes were even open as a kitten, and we told everyone not to tell him he had no eyes because he didn’t know it, so why bother him with unnecessary details.

I learned a lot of lessons from this little black and blind cat, but as I sat in that beautiful meeting room of the Summit Chicago in Chicago, all I could think of was Dahni flying across my bed one evening.

One evening, I was startled to see a blur of black kitten flying across my wide bed, crashing to the floor on my side. Editing a book I was writing, I thought I’d imagined the shadow soaring past the white pages in my hand, and the kitten had disappeared like a ghost after the thud. Living with a rambunctious kitten, you tend to ignore sudden sights and sounds, yet I was stunned when once again the black shadow went flying across the bed – in a sitting position.

Dahni missed the edge of the bed, crashing to the floor. I realized he was trying to get feel for the width of the bed and the force involved in reaching the edge of the bed, or at least somewhere in the middle. On his third attempt he hit the edge, making contact, then sliding off to the hard floor.

Dahni, our blind cat, hanging out the motor home window traveling in Spain

Dahni hangs out the motor home window while we're traveling in Spain, a favorite position to watch the world go by.

For a blind cat this is expected behavior. What wasn’t was the fact that he violated all cat jumping rules. Most cats leap pushing off with their back legs, their front ones stretched out in front, ready to land. Dahni started out in that position but once in the air, assembled himself into an upright sitting position, back legs tucked under, front legs straight down, tail out straight, sitting tall as if gazing out the window admiring the view.

Three more attempts, with one more slip off a corner, and he had the lay of the bed.

For the next few days, the little blind kitten got braver and braver about exploring what lay above the ground, always leaping into the sitting position as he flew through the air. I had to admire his courage as well as his faith. See, landing is a fact of life. A fact of gravity. What he didn’t know was when.

I think of all the times we jump off our own mental cliffs, risking and trying new things, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone. What do we look like? I know you know. Flailing all over the place, arms and feet working over time, our heads back, screaming our lungs out.

The reality is that gravity works even in our imagination. It’s a law of physics is a reality we adhere to at all times. If we go up, we must land. So why do we have to look like we’re drowning as we leap? Why not have a little class and style and get ourselves into a landing position when we leap?

That little blind kitten changed my whole way of thinking about life. As I watched everyone talk about “release and fix it later,” I realized that they were really saying, “Jump off the cliff in a sitting position, cuz you know you’re going to land, so land well with style!”

Confused About My Purpose – May 18, 2010

A couple people have talked to me about this Blog Struggles Diary thing and have been very worried that I’m changing the tone and purpose of my blog. Huh. I guess I am. But am I? I don’t know?

When I started blog number 72 on in 2005, my assignment was basically to break it. In geek speak, beta test it. In order to break it, I needed typical content to test the Theme, all the posting elements, categories, everything. It was new ground to stomp around with and I needed something interesting to test.

is one of the oldest websites in the world in continuous operation and focuses on our life on the road, photography, travel, and related topics. As one of the earliest testers and adopters of websites in 1993, I have built a rich body of work on web design and development, and, beginning at the end of 2003, articles on using . I kept these apart from the rest of the blog with design elements to let people know they were entering a web-talk world of mine. Now I had a chance to move those articles off my blog and talk nothing but WordPress and blogging on a new platform. Weeee!

What great content to test with! Articles on WordPress tips and techniques, CSS, HTML, JavaScript, whatever I wanted to talk about in the codey hacky world I thrived in. I could now go beyond my work on the , the online manual for WordPress Users, and give people even more.

It’s hard to imagine but in 2004 and 2005, few were blogging exclusively about WordPress. Sure, some blogged about it now and then, but not as dedicated, solely WordPress-based content. It wasn’t that interesting and most of the content rested on geeky tech sites.

Without intention, my articles on WordPress and WordPress news attracted a huge following and a lot of attention, driving me on. However, within a year, I was a bit bored with all WordPress and shifted to include blogging topics just to spice things up. I figured my readership would drop, since I wasn’t focusing strictly on WordPress topics, but it soared even higher, encouraging me more. Soon, I wrote more on the topic of blogging than on WordPress as more and more people discovered blogging and, while they needed to understand WordPress, they needed to understand more about how to blog. Their requests and demand drove me on harder and further.

Flip to seven years later and I’m suddenly advised to not blog about blogging. You bet I’m confused.

I’m seriously going to have to think on that, and how I’m talking to telephone poles.

Feed on Lorelle on WordPress Subscribe Feedburner iconVia Feedburner Subscribe by Email

Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.


  1. Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Telephone poles generally don’t talk back.

    Blog what you want to blog. Otherwise you won’t enjoy it and you won’t do it. Blog about blogging, about servers, about painting your toenails. But ‘helping you learn about blogging’ includes blogging about how hard it can be. So keep on keeping on. 🙂 I look forward to your return in whatever shape and form it may be.

  2. Posted August 14, 2010 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Another wonderful, thought-provoking article Lorelle. I second the first commentor: write about the things that interest you. I’m sure I first discovered your blog through your WordPress stuff, but it’s your thoughts on blogging in general that keep me coming back. They resonate with all bloggers: veterans or newcomers. I’ve been blogging for a good six years or so, but I still find useful advice here. It’s an evolving process and it’s not just new bloggers who need guidance.

    Also, the web is big (You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is) and, while I read countless blogs, I spin in my own circles, oblivious to a lot that goes on in the world of blogging itself. I find it refreshing to hear about SOBCon and what other bloggers are going through, and for that I have you to thank.

    I will keep reading, no matter what direction you decide to take, because you are an interesting, entertaining, wonderful person and a pleasure to read. I wish you good luck with all the ideas you have. I know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed (albeit, not nearly on the same scale!) but look after yourself. The important ideas can wait until you’re ready to give them your full attention. I look forward to whatever you do next.

  3. Posted August 14, 2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    I’m sure getting turned upside down every May is no fun. At least now you know what to expect.

5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] I think about talking to the telephone poles out there and reassessing where I am, the urge to purge is overwhelming me. I want to go through […]

  2. […] Blog Struggles: SOBCon, Idea Whelmed, and Tell It To the Telephone Pole […]

  3. […] 2010, I didn’t meet a woman who changed my life by talking to a telephone pole. I urge you to read my […]

  4. […] Blog Struggles: SOBCon, Idea Whelmed, and Tell It To the Telephone Pole […]

  5. […] Blog Struggles: SOBCon, Idea Whelmed, and Tell It To the Telephone Pole […]

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: