‘Invisible’ in 2013 – outside looking in

The big revelation

Online social has survived without me; albeit barely I assume, but last time I looked it seems to still be here. Amazingly however, when I pulled the plug there was no hangover, no withdrawals; I certainly missed the banter and repertoire, but  didn’t miss the hamster wheel. Also, no one was clamoring for the next great piece of fiction I had threatened to write either…imagine that…

Secondly, it was way too easy to revert back to my extremely busy and ultra-exciting life I had before online social. If you don’t believe me, just check my Facebook posts…edge of the seat kinda stuff, huh?

Thirdly (is that a word Josh?), business-wise I am better off right now than I was at this point last year; but not by as much as I expected. I thought the distraction of social could have been holding me back; apparently, I have to now come up with a different excuse.

Please forgive me

I thought being frivolous and doing a blog for the fun of it was sustainable. It might be for some and probably could still be for me as long as I’m willing to set the bar so low anything is acceptable. If somebody had been paying me for my time then maybe a different story, but then again I guess that is what everybody is trying to figure out so welcome to the club pal.

If I tricked you into signing up or hanging out, I hope you felt enriched in some way by our acquaintance while you were here; I know I sure enjoyed having you around.

But what can I say, these times are a changin‘…..

The landscape has changed

I still see some of my original friends slugging it out, but quite a few have dropped back like me. Is it because the economy is better and people have gone back to traditional jobs or was it too much of an effort in futility?

Also, I don’t know if the new wave that is now jumping in are flocking to the blogs like my group of peeps used to but my guess is the numbers appear to be down. That’s just a Billy assumption however, no statistical data or Google research to back up that statement. I guess if I’m not around then that must mean nobody else is either…:).

What I did learn

You can pretty much go as high as you want and felt like even I was able to crack the code a little bit and rub elbows with some of the elite goober smoochers in here at one time.

Just like most jobs, you have the two-percenters who have figured it out and are very successful by all outward appearances. Then you have the majority that do well enough to hang around but never quite getting to the quit the day job status. We all want to be at the top of the rung, but the reality is at this point pretty much what you see is what you are going to get. Therefore, you better start buying lottery tickets ’cause this is as good as it’s going to get…just kidding; anybody who is in here is still willing to still learn and try to make something of this in some form or fashion. Congrats to those who are still making the effort.

Oh, and by the way it will also require getting out of your comfort zone…and some elbow grease if you want sustainable success.

For most, getting out of your comfort zone is akin to public speaking. Did you know the fear of public speaking ranks higher than the fear of death for most people? I just fear missing my next meal…

What I really learned

In the beginning…it was new, fresh and exciting. Even though we were all different ages, there was a certain neutrality because of the relative anonymity of social and it felt we were all somewhat the same age. Even a creepy old guy like myself felt like I belonged and could act as silly as I wanted.

Now that I’ve been away it’s making me feel my years and question if this is really a younger person’s game after all. It’s much easier to be a spectator at this point than an actual participant. Where is that Easy button anyway?

It looks like the social platforms are here to stay so I’m thankful I at least took the time to master social 101 I suppose. It is still a tremendous networking opportunity and you can even do it sitting around your living room in your skivvies while turning your fingers orange by eating Cheetos; how cool is that?

I coulda been a contendah….

Yep, suppose I coulda, huh; couldn’t we all?

Blowin’, goin’, and growin’…if anything it feels more like a holding pattern now and doesn’t feel like I’ve lost any ground. How about you, do you feel you are much farther along than you were at this time last year? What’s your one big thing for 2014?

Who’s going to make the cut?

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35 thoughts on “‘Invisible’ in 2013 – outside looking in

  1. Hey Bill, Always great to read a post from you, even if it’s a post about you not posting. I’m always glad to be an excuse for you becoming distracted from work.

    You’re right, quite a few of our blogging buddies have dropped out, but plenty of us are still chugging along, enjoying the ride.

    What are my goals for 2014? My goal is to make a goal. I’m still working on attaining that…

    • Hey Carolyn, always good to see you as well. I do like the networking part of social and that is why I picked up that part of it relatively easy. Once it became a non-paying job I had to re-evaluate my purpose. I already have a handful of non-paying jobs so the plate was getting kind of full…:).

      I’m glad you are one of the ones still putting in the time.

  2. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude! Where is my blog?!!!! Geez woke up in Vegas….again! Forgetting how I got here. Oh wait yes…now I remember….someone named Soulati? Is that a car make or a new fangled social network.

    I have you RSSed but I never check my reader. And I seem to think over the last year even if you dropped blogging you became bigger faster stronger. Though not your hand. Not sure why. Did you check the package of the growth hormones A-Rod sent you? Did it state ‘May not grow hands just feet’?

    Anyway welcome back. I got conned into a new site on word press and my traffic is down 90% from 10 readers to 1. It is a long haul.

    Anyhoo. Hoping tomorrow might be the first time the ‘Noles win a title in my life that I am not regretful and bitter about. See that is what friendship is about. Oh and the Bowdens not being around. ;-)

    Cheers Mr. Bill. Or is that OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Mr. Bill is back 8)

    • Like you, I am very slack in checking Feedly now that the Google Reader has gone away.

      I like the Avatar; how long did you have to rent the suit to get your pics done?

      Bobby B was one of the honorary captains which I thought was classy since none of his teams got to play in the Rose Bowl.

      Crazy game, but the Noles found a way to win.

  3. Yes, the times they are a changin’. It always makes me happy to see some of the “old gang”…the ones that liked to #TeamBlogJack, joke around and actually have conversations. And look who’s here: Mr Manwich himself! And Carolyn…always great to see you.

    Who knows what 2014 will hold in store, but as I commented over on Mark Schaefer’s blog: I’m purging, I’m becoming more selective as to where I’ll show up (WAY too much chasing something that couldn’t be caught, because there’s just way too much “stuff”…so much so that it’s all becoming white noise…except, of course, your “stuff” ;) and I’ll have to reconfigure my online presence. Cheers! Snowshoes

    • A lot of ‘white’ noise and a lot of ‘sameness’ to it and I’m just as guilty as the next guy/girl. But I still like the networking part even though I’m more of a lurker these days…

      It looks like you typed pretty well with those mittens on; my cast is like a big mitten….stay warm.

  4. Hey there mysterious man!
    Just don’t vanish. That’s really all I can or could ask.
    I dunno… there are some I miss, but the majority of those I was so drawn to when I began this online journey in 2011 ~ are still here. Doing what they do, doing what I do. Writing, helping and running a business. (Even you, you big goob!)
    My one BIG thing for 2014?
    Funny you should word it like that ~
    My ONE WORD for 2014 (which by the way is the Year of the Horse!! AND our 90th Anniversary)
    is FEARLESS… and yes, for me it means a major push outside of my own comfort zones. But what is more is that I have made it such that Fearless is our entire Team’s focus for 2014. (Just wait- I have a Campfire Chat about this coming up!)
    I miss your sweet face some days, Bill…but I also know you are there, doing what it is you do, being what and who you are…And you always seem to show up with a shit-eating-grin on your face and ready to have a good time, when we least expect it.
    Take care and Be Fearless!

    • Does fearless mean wrestling a grizzly in your Speedo? Once I get out to see you, maybe I can give that a try…

      You are definitely a survivor, but that’s your lifestyle so this part should be a walk in the park, huh?

      Best of luck in 2014.

  5. This is NOT an excuse: I just didn’t want to jinx Florida State by commenting again until AFTER they finished their season undefeated and won the national championship. And now that they have I can comment all I want and not feel guilty. Hey, wait, didn’t they beat the Packers yesterday? OH DANG… Uh… sorry dude…

    (Hi everyone! Happy new year!!)

    • Whew, undefeated all the way; go ACC…:). Of course, both of my boys went to Auburn so I knew that team very well.

      How are things with you; are you ready to be the next BIG thing in 2014?

      • 20 comments? Wow, you still get it done!

        What a game, huh? I was actually cheering. And I don’t give a heck.

        I hope this is a great year for you. Keep showing up. My problem is I don’t know where to show up. Shoulda got into insurance when I had the chance. :)

        • It was a game for the ages, that’s for sure.

          Yeah, I guess I’ll keep hanging around for a while until somebody kicked me out. Maybe I can figure out how somebody will start paying me for my time, huh?

  6. Of course it is a word. :) Sometimes the fun is in just moving along at half speed to see what happens. Keep on doing that and one day you realize you have become a big shot.

    • Big shot indeed; my gig was always the networking side and that I could do pretty well. I just need to find my comfort zone, and maybe this is it for now.

      Hope all is well with you.

  7. Hi Bill

    Hey, surfacing once in awhile is cool! Always like your posts, a guarantee for a laugh.

    I like Cheetos!

    I am still here, but sometimes wondering why. It is a great place to evoke some kind of message/self-therapy. Never did master the social bit, keep forgetting that I am supposed to interact and share.
    Keep dropping sites, but will stick with the one until it no longer makes sense for the fees or the time.

    You say the 2% are making it, maybe .0001%. I have seen so many fall off the charts and soon followed by the hopeful. I have heard so many talk up a good story about making it and then little things come out and the truth is they don’t make enough to even get minimum wage for their efforts. I am sure the web would not be so crowded if they only knew!

    Getting out of your comfort zone…probably do that where my efforts would be more certain (offline).

    Great to see you.

    Mary

    • Some look very successful on the surface but aren’t really making any money at it. To me, and maybe because I’m brick and mortar old school, as a business model it appears the sustainability, predictable income would be very hard to maintain. It appears most are always chasing very hard just to keep up, so maybe your .0001% is right.

      The networking part I can do; because I’ve been somewhat remiss in that area lately I don’t know how long these ‘sporadic’ posts will attract any readers.

      Hope all is well Mary, so good to see you too.

  8. Great to see you back Bill, I have noticed you over at Twitter (probably via Triberr) I’m always fascinated by those that pull back from social and blogging. I often wonder “do we do it to escape reality at times? ” I no longer sweat it out if I miss a place online for a day or so. Not like many would even notice…I hope your 2014 is great and very productive for you and that you never miss a meal!

    • Ah yes, Triberr; the lazy man’s way to stay plugged in and share posts….

      I like the networking part and some of it is escaping reality. Whether it’s true or not I don’t know but feel I can express myself better through the written word.

      One thing you can count on w/ me is not missing many meals…:).

      So good to see you.

  9. Since I’m one of those who pulled back, I really enjoyed this post (as I do all your posts, even if I don’t always comment). I imagine there are a number of factors at play; the “shiny new” wears off after a while and it can begin to feel like drudgery. That’s one of the things that happened with me. The other thing that happens, I think, is that as we get more focused on business and how we’re using our time, we realize just how inefficient we can be when it comes to blogging and SM.

    I just read Mark Schaefer’s brilliant post on Content Shock – amazing – and it’s really true, we are paying people to consume our content. When you look at it that way, we reach the point of diminishing returns very quickly UNLESS we can figure out how to offset that “loss” with business. And only if we have some smart tracking mechanisms in place can we even begin to identify the true “value” of our social media activity.

    I just realized I haven’t answered your question, but since I pretty much wrote a blog post in reply, I will leave that for next time. Happy New Year, Bill, and thank you for all the help you’ve given me, and for being my friend. I truly value you.

    • The networking/socializing was easy for me because it was somewhat effortless. Once I determined that alone was not going to make me money and there were more steps involved I had to question my motives.

      At least we can still see a lot af our friends online and reach out to them when needed, right.

      It looks like you had a great time in India; welcome back.

      I value your friendship very much as well; thanks for sticking around.

  10. Hey Bill,
    Totally agree. I dunno, is it because we’re old? Or we want to cling to “real life” rather than the on-line or social media aspect? Besides a little Twitter involvement, I have done next to nothing on social media. I find myself getting bored easily with it.

    And blogging? Never prolific in the first place, it looks like I’m writing for myself and a handful of people who really like what I post. That may have to be good enough. I post twice a month, maximum, and am thinking about cutting back to once a month.

    And why not? Probably leads to a higher quality post, and gives me more free time to do other things.

    The best thing about blogging and social is the people I have met through those outlets that I wouldn’t know otherwise. I guess in the end, it all comes back to the relationship.

    Entertaining post! Nice to see ya.

    • Good to see you Joe, hope all is well.

      Yeah maybe age has something to do with it; all I know is that I like the networking part of it and sometimes that can be just a waste of time or sometimes it can be beneficial.

      Let’s just keep doing what we’re doing and maybe one of these days somebody will pay as for our time.

      Hope you have a great 2014.

  11. You and invisible? Whom are you kidding, Bill?

    As always a highly enjoyable post and maybe even voicing what lots of us are thinking?

    I do not now, like Carolyn I am still looking around for my 2014 goal, how’s that?

    • When you find your goal Barbara, please let me know because maybe I’ll use the same one.

      There are times when I feel inspired to write but sometimes the moment is fleeting. Maybe I’ll be more consistent in 2014 and incorporate that into my goal.

      Hope all is well, we’re having a little chilly weather, but still haven’t worn a jacket…:).

  12. I certainly feel like I have done much in the past year (not in terms of blogging, but in terms of life). The second half of 2013 was a tremendous learning experience (I didn’t take any classes for half a semester, so I had plenty of time to experiment on new habits and routines). And, it was an enjoyable experience.

    In terms of blogging, well, I’ve launched my new blog (is that an achievement? Launching is perhaps the hard part..or maybe not).

    My general goal for ’14 is to make this year even more enjoyable (how about that?). I am going to try and apply the things I learned in 2013 in 2014 (especially, with routines…would be helpful, as I am back to college).

    Nice to see you, Bill. I’ve always admired your writing style (but, I don’t need to tell you that, do I? :D).

    And, what else?

    Oh, yeah. Good luck with 2014 ;)

    • If we are always learning, then we are always ‘growing,’ right?

      Best of luck in your endeavors for 2014 and look forward to a progress report.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by sir.

  13. I’m still plugging away over at my blog. It isn’t growing or anything, but it is still serving it’s one purpose…to motivate me to write everyday. To that end, it’s working.

    It was nice to see a post from you again. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so.

    I hope your hand heals quickly. :-)

    • Hey Brian, good to see you.

      Yes, if your blog is your motivator keep it up; you write well and I expect you to be the next ‘big’ thing.

      I go to the doc on Monday so hopefully she’ll have some good news for me.

  14. Hey Bill,

    Last year was a crazy year for me and I feel like I’m in the same place right now as I was at the beginning of last year although I know that’s not entirely true.

    I had some things not pan out as I had hoped and then I had my best friend pass away which really knocked the breath out of me and it’s been really hard catching it again.

    This year I intend to get that darn product of mine knocked out because I know this is going to help me take that step further that I was hoping to accomplish last year. I mean I’m doing alright but of course it could be way better.

    Oh and I’m still blogging but you’re right, a lot of people have dropped that too. To each his own I suppose and as you very well know, it can be very time consuming. I still love it though.

    Have a fabulous year Bill, I have no doubt you will.

    ~Adrienne

    • Life has a way of getting in the way sometimes, huh?

      I saw the pic of you and Carolyn together; that was cool, I didn’t know the two of you had met on real life.

      Good luck in getting back on track in ’14 and thanks so much for dropping by.

  15. Hi Bill,
    I never knew you left . :-) don’t get upset now, I can’t know everybody. I saw your comment on Adrienne’s blog. I liked your answer so I had to come and check you out. I love meeting new people and so here I am. Good luck with your comeback and sorry you had to leave in the first place.

    Geri Richmond

    • Hey Geri, thanks for dropping by. The main reason I slowed down was I didn’t want to just write w/out being able to reciprocate for the people who stopped by.

      I hope you are enjoying your journey; Adrienne is good people.

  16. Ah poor Bill, having to find yet another excuse why you’re not doing as well as expected. Gosh do I ever know the feeling. It’s always something isn’t it but I’m just glad you’re happy right where you are.

    Blogging is great because of all the cool people you can meet but it’s like anything else I’ve found. People come and they go. Those here eager to build a business don’t have time for fun bantering anymore because they’re too busy kicking butt and taking names. Here I am still trying to “find my place” after having had a pretty rough year last year. I think some of those things happen just to test me to see if I’m really that serious about continuing to move forward. Well all I know if I got to pay the bills so I’ll just keep on keeping on for now.

    Social media is still fun but it’s ever changing too. I’ll keep up with it as long as I possibly can and I’m just glad you haven’t totally disappeared. Always good to hear from you Bill and hope you’ll stop by from time to time still. Love to know how you are.

    Happy Valentine’s Day by the way and hope you’re doing something special tonight. ;-)

    ~Adrienne

    • I really enjoy the blogging and networking but I didn’t have the energy to keep up w/ the reciprocating side, and that’s where you are able to ‘go deep’ in here.

      Who knows, I might make a comeback; I did renew my domain name.

      Good to see you; thx for stopping by.

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