I have been thinking about a few things related to this blog and my social media/internet presence in general. And as you probably gathered from my last post, I have not always been happy with what I see.
Not that I never am. I have met some people, and far more of them have turned out to be nice, than have turned out to be asses. I have gotten some advice from some of the good ones as well. And some of the good ones have written comments here.
Just today I met someone over on Brazen Careerist who complimented me on this blog, and the things I say in it. That is always good to hear.
That being said, it is probably what I say, far more than where I say it that is most important. Being able to easily share my ideas as well as my talent to as many people as possible as fast as possible is the primary concern of my online activity. And to that end, I have been kicking around the idea of changing the nature of my online presence. This blog doesn't seem to be accomplishing all of the goals I had for it when I created it, and I have pondered if trying things a bit differently would increase my chances of accomplishing more of my personal online goals.
To me, I see five several options.
1) Tighten the focus of this blog even further.
I could make the content even more specific to some aspect of myself, what I do, or what I want. Examples include converting this to a strictly introvert oriented blog. (Which in a sense it is now.) Or perhaps to a blog that is only about my writing adventures, much like Always Off Book is dedicated to my theatre adventures. Or, instead of "Too XYZ" being a general beacon of content, I could revamp every post from now on to very specifically mention the concept. Make every post an exact exploration of a particular way in which I am in fact Too XYZ.
2) Fold this, as well as Always Off Book and other endeavors into a new Ty Unglebower supersite.
This is the more complicated and more expensive approach, but one I have given more consideration to in the last two months than I have previously over the years. Everything I do would be consolidated into one central location. The archives for both of my blogs would survive and be accessible from the supersite, but future posts on a blog would then be posted to the site itself, possibly with tags or separate pages pertaining to each category. (All acting posts together in one place, all Too XYZ type posts in a another.)
I have talked this over with a few people online, and the basic idea seems possible, and as with many things there are about a dozen ways in which the same goal could be accomplished. None of which I totally understand yet. But I have a vision in my head as to how it would work. With one go-to online identity that included pictures, writing samples, a resume, and of course the always evolving blog content, I would feel more free to promote me and all that comes with me as opposed to trying to niche down everything that comes to mind. Pointing to "me" would be easier than directing different people to different places.
I have my online business card for this purpose in theory. But the company has been slow to correct some major bugs in their software, and it has never quite done what it was supposed to do. And even if it did, a supersite may still be in order.
The downside is, I feel that if I combine all aspects of my personal media into one place, each component loses a bit of something. (And in the case of Always Off Book, a project I have been working on for almost six years.) Plus I run the risk of being seen as some kind of Jack of all trades/master of none.
3) Terminate Too XYZ.
Not an easy thing to consider. But I sometimes wonder based on my numbers lately if I am continuing to reach an audience at all. I know I reach specific individuals, because they tell me so. But given how much time I put into writing a post, storing ideas for posts, publishing them, marketing them via BC and Twitter over and over, and getting in most cases little to no feedback on the ideas or posts, I am beginning to wander how much of an impact this blog is really having.
Always Off Book has been my blogging labor of love for as I said six years. I have known for a while few people read that, and it too did not accomplish what I set out for it to accomplish. (Seeing a pattern?) But That is a part of my theatre life now. I won't be getting rid of that totally anytime soon. (Except in a way, with Number 2 above.) So I know how to persist and write for a blog because it is important to me. I just don't know if it is worth the time to do that for two blogs that are not having the impact I had hoped for.
I have to wonder if the overall mission for Too XYZ has been accomplished.
4) Move Too XYZ to WordPress
Despite the fact that I have considered it, this still seems like one of the sillier options. I do not understand the hype about WordPress. I don't understand why people take a blog more seriously by default of it is WordPress than they do if it is Blogger. I find what experimentation I have done with the WordPress template to be quite confusing and counter intuitive. I am a WYSIWYG sort of publisher, and WordPress is far from that.
Yet for some as yet unexplained reason, people seem to think that a WordPress blog, as much of a pain in the ass as it is, is a better blog. Such people make style more important than substance in my view, and I have always choked on the very idea of making my content less important than the box it is in. Yet if there is any chance to beef up my readership somewhat by migrating, it may be worth it.
5) Change Nothing. Continue to promote and build an audience for a while longer.
The whole point of this recent brainstorming is to correct what I have perceived to be some of the weaknesses with my online presence as of late. There are a huge number of suggested hoops out there through which I will never be able to jump. The vast majority of the promotion and image advice I find out there, even from my decent, well meaning allies is simply not for me. That is not going to change. Yet if there are some smaller hoops out there that I can simply step through slowly which will be of assistance to my online reputation, without forcing me to alter my precepts, I am willing to take a few such steps.
The point of being online afterall is to share ideas. My ideas. The ideas will not change. The direction will not change. But the ideas have to be visible if they are to impact anyone for the better. And lately I am not sure they are getting out there. That is the impetus for these considerations.
So what does everyone think? Which of the five make most sense to you? Or would you advice something totally different? Please let me know, if we have not already talked about it privately. You can leave comments here, or email me if you prefer that.