During the summer months the quantity of articles I write and publish are often minimal. I enjoy my summer activities of bicycling, motorcycling, camping, and other family activities too much to sit in front of a computer all summer long. Not being much of a winter outdoorsman and living in South Dakota, the winter months have always been my time for focusing on my personal blog as well as writing some articles for socPub.
Summer is a distraction. While promises of consistent blogging are easy to make here in South Dakota when temperatures are below freezing, the true test of a blogger is spending time in front of the computer when the warm sunny skies of summer are on us. The successful blogger is one that posts consistently and routinely throughout the year. The ideal blogger puts the readers first before himself or herself. Regular readers of my blog already know this but for the record let me state it anyway, I'm not that blogger.
My blog posts were far and few between this past summer. With no regrets, I traded that blogging time for probably the busiest and greatest summer of my lifetime. Weeks of experiences that wouldn't have been seen if I spent the same time with keyboard under my hands instead of a walking stick in my hand.
After nearly eight years of being a Google+ user, the time to say goodbye to the social network is almost here. For those of you that never saw the value of Google+, I don't expect you to fully understand what hardcore users (I'm one of them) will be missing when the platform is no more. I think Mike Elgan's article probably describes Google+ best when he explains it as a place "where smart people gather for long, detailed and interesting conversations" without the streams being "algorithmically filtered" like most social networks.
Following the footsteps of people bigger than me, like Mike Elgen and Dries Buytaert, I've decided to focus this year on my personal blog and spend less time on my other websites and social media networks. This has been a long time coming but probably the straw that broke the camel's back was Google's decision to shutdown my favorite social network, Google+.
Earlier this year, I started a new blog in hopes of me getting back to dedicating more time for my writing. The goal was to write one article a week as I had finally broken free of my burnout from blogging. In the first few months of the blog, I wrote about half a dozen posts but by Spring new articles were no longer being published at Fifty-Two Posts a Year. I once again found the demands of work, family, outdoor hobbies, and managing my other websites were of higher importance. So, time marched on and I now find myself with one more website that started with good intentions but now resembles a ghost town with too few visitors and too little new content.
I'm late, so you think. I promised you a weekly post this year and I've already neglected to provide you last week's story. Last weekend was a busy traveling hockey weekend for my son and me, but nevertheless you think that's no excuse for having failed you. The old me would have agreed with you. The new me says, that's bull.
I don't think I want to do this anymore...
After three or four decades of being immersed in the digital lifestyle and blogging on a continual basis for 15 years, I found myself puking at the idea of spending more time in front of the computer outside of work. It's not that I don't still like technology and content management, but I didn't recognize until it was too late that the lack of topic diversity would eventually lead me to digital burnout. To fix this, I seriously tried not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. In the end that's exactly what I did.
A few months ago, I had a problem. After eight years of non-stop writing, I found myself exhausted of all enthusiasm to blog. Let me tell you, it's a sad day in Web City when an advocate for content management systems has no real desire to author new content. I was also questioning in this age of "always on" social media whether the traditional blog had lost value not only to me but my readers. If content is no longer king, why should I spend so much effort creating new content? So as summer approached, I decided to take a break from blogging.
At the beginning of my sabbatical I made a secret promise to myself. If at the end of three months I found no value in blogging, I would call Agility to say it's time to shutdown CMS Report. I was prepared to resign myself to writing only an occasional post on Google+ (which "experts" claim no one reads) or on my personal blog (which I know nobody reads). If I did this, would I really miss CMS Report? Would the readers miss me if I was no longer blogging? On more practical terms, do I really need to blog in an era where Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter is available to me?
Honestly, three months ago I had hoped to find that blogging no longer has value. It would have been a revolutionary moment and raise the eyebrows of my peers. I was hoping to shock the world on my "discovery" that blogging didn't matter. Alas, after three months of not blogging, I've found that I will be given absolutely no opportunity to shock and awe. To my surprise, I've found that blogging still matters. Here is what I discovered...