New and Improving

Sometimes you need to take a step back.

Entering 2014 seemed a good time to make some changes to Circle of Ignorance.

First, a little history. When I started blogging in 2008, it was an experiment and learning experience. (That blog was written on Blogger under a pen name and has been deleted.) In particular, I planned to learn a little about blogging and help a writer friend start her own blog. She didn’t bite, and after a few months I realized that the only way to generate real conversation was to blog under my own name.

So after giving the matter some thought, I started Circle of Ignorance on WordPress in 2010. At the same time I joined Twitter. For almost a year I posted regularly twice a week; but in 2011 my Dad needed major surgery followed by a month of physical therapy that derailed my blogging. I was trying to resume in 2012 when hurricane Sandy derailed me again.

In July 2013 my writer friend finally tried her hand at blogging! Then she self-published an e-book. I was inspired to start blogging again, but after being away for so long needed to reevaluate. I dipped a toe in the waters with a couple of posts–one an experiment in making an infographic and the other a post for Blog Action Day.

Then I needed new business cards. What, you ask, does that have to do with blogging? Well, my blog’s URL is on my card, so before I had new 200 new cards printed I needed to decide if I was going for a custom URL or staying with I decided to go the custom route. Of course it looks better having my own URL. And WordPress had kindly hosted my bits and pixels for over three years; it was time I paid them something for their assistance.

Which brings me to 2014. Although I wasn’t posting, I was busy learning and making plans behind the scenes. Here are my goals for the new and improving Circle of Ignorance in 2015:

  • The blog has its own URL, Because it’s still hosted by WordPress any old links should still work, but I double-check at random–and if you find any dead links, please leave me a comment.
  • A while back I received a comment suggesting I use more photos and illustrations. Don’t expect any drastic change. I have a BA in English and consider myself a “words person.” (Hey, one of my best friends is a published author.) I did experiment with an infographic and I am finally starting to use my tablet’s built-in camera, so there will probably be a few more photos than before. But if you want photos, not words, I can recommend some photo bloggers I know.
  • Speaking of comments, they are now turned off a month after a post is published. I wish I could leave them open but even when my blog was on hiatus the volume of spam comments was outrageous. Akismet is an excellent spam filter, but it still took too much time weeding through them to make sure nothing worthwhile was accidentally caught.
  • Posting twice a week was an ambitious goal and, looking back, I’m surprised I was able to stick to it. Going forward, expect two to four posts a month. Not all of them will be here; I published my first long-form post on LinkedIn in July and plan to post there occasionally in the future.
  • Experimentation continues. “Playing around” with the form was my original purpose for blogging, and as technology continues to evolve I’ll keep on exploring. I’ve already created a Flipboard magazine with some old posts and new posts will be added as they’re published.
  • In conjunction with a social media workshop I co-facilitated early in 2014, I created another Flipboard and a SlideShare. More SlideShares are in the works.
  • I’m working on an e-book based on some old posts. My goal is to self-publish it in 2015.
  • In December I spent a couple of days reading some excellent posts on Medium. It prompted me to sign up and publish a post first shared on LinkedIn in order to compare the two platforms.
  • No end in sight! This post is titled “New and Improving.” By its nature, a blog goes on indefinitely. Technology keeps changing. My circle of ignorance keeps expanding. This is my personal playground and test kitchen to share thoughts and try out new things.

I am committing myself to doing more writing in 2015 than I have in recent years. Not all of it may be posted here, but some of it will and I look forward to being an active blogger again.

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