Social Media Consolidation

The only thing that doesn’t change is how often I seem to change things online. As a result of all those ongoing changes, my online presence is a fragmented mess. So, more changes are happening to consolidate my online life into a smaller and easier-to-manage presence.

A bit of background

Fortunately, that I am not all that fragmented in real life, where I am a fairly boring steady Eddie kind of guy and have a pretty good handle on who I am. However, since I started this social media experiment back in 2007, there have been too many blogs, Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, Google accounts, websites, or other social media sites. It is little wonder that I not so jokingly refer to myself as a social media butterfly, while others just scratch their heads and go mmmm?
Luckily, the niche and content of my blogging and online world have been pretty consistent since 2011.
  • Running and aging, or is that aging and how it affects my running — along with whining about the weather.
Unfortunately, since 20007, I have kept changing sites, site names, and social media handles all too frequently. It was like I always searched for that “perfect for me” site or handle that fit who I am or what I was interested in at the time professionally and personally, at least – until I retired in 2011 to improve my health. Since 2011, my health has improved considerably, but my social media presence has continued to suffer greatly.
I think this tweet sums up what I have done with my social media experience:

Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.

I enjoy experimenting with something new or different to see how it works for me, which tends to get me into trouble. Especially, with something as easily modified as a blog or my social media account.  Most of the changes were because I didn’t think things through and went into just do it mode to see what happens or how what I am experimenting with works now, not later. 
Over those years, I have learned a lot about blogging, social media, and the Internet since 2007, and while not all of it is great, I have had a great time learning.

This time

About six months ago (for a change), I sat down, reflected on where I have been, my goals for social media in the future, what sites to use, and what my niche will be. I attempted to answer the question:
  • Where do I want to go with my social media and online presence?

Then in September, I set an early January start date to make the majority of the changes, which also allowed me to do some experimenting. I also started actively planning, distilling, and seeing what works best for me in the world of social media. 
I went back to Blogger, and quite honestly, I prefer using it. It can be as complex as I want, and I don’t have to do a lot of the back-end work (which I tend to screw up royally).
However, it is January, and it is time to stop experimenting. It is now time to implement the changes that I have been looking at and planning for.

Harold being Harold

Over the past two to three years, I have named my blog Harold being Harold multiple times. It fits the path that I am going down better than any of the other names, and I can write just about anything I want — it doesn’t limit me to just writing about running. An essential consideration — if I decide to write about other stuff down the road. 
After all, almost everything I do is Harold being Harold.
This doesn’t mean that everything I do is a misadventure because I do an awful lot of stuff the way it needs to be done — correctly. I know that is why I stopped using Harold being Harold a couple of times – when I believed my blog with that title became more a negative thing – there to focus on the stuff I screwed up than a fun thing to write about. Last week, I stopped and reflected on using this as a title again, and based on the things I thought about, I began looking at Harold being Harold as how I do things. Which is usually not a negative.
However, every once in a while, I get to have fun or learn a lesson, from whatever that thing was.
It’s all a part of me being about a half-bubble off-center. 🤪
So, I will use http://www.haroldbeingharold.com as my only active blog going forward. Updating all the links and bringing over the posts that I want to have publicly accessible will be a pain, but I believe it is necessary.

The Changes

Below are some of the other changes that are happening during January (it will take time to get everything done):
  • All my WordPress blogs are moving to archive status and will be put into private mode when I change the links that I want to keep. That way, I can still go back and look at my RunLog posts, but they will not be publicly available. More than likely, they will all revert to @wordpress.com at some point in 2022.
  • My http://www.hshawjr207.com is retired and the content was moved to Harold being Harold. Quite simply, I decided not to use it. I will keep the site, but it will redirect everything to Harold being Harold at some point.
  • Twitter—While @hshawjr207 is my official handle, Harold being Harold, is the one that shows up as my name. I do like @hshawjr207 for Twitter, so I am delaying making any potential changes for now.
  • Facebook – I might eventually create a page for Harold being Harold, but I am not a huge fan of Facebook and don’t want to invest too heavily in time or effort there. Especially since I can see at some point it going away for me. If I do something more here, it won’t be until springtime.
  • I will not go down the Instagram, Tic Tok, or other social media routes. I am not out to become a massive social media star, influencer, or blogger. My YouTube stuff is mostly for me, and I will not be doing much there besides uploading videos of my running form, to post those glorious heel-striker images on my blog.
  • Go through all my referral links on social media or other websites and change them to haroldbeingharold.com, it might take a while to get it done, but I will get there.

Looking forward

No, I am not going pro or attempting to make money by blogging or other social media channels. I don’t see me turning on Adsense (although I might at some point in a year or two, just to see if I can ever reach Google’s $100 threshold for payout – I am halfway there), or worrying too much about the stats. Blogging and social media are more about enjoying the writing process and sharing what I write. Versus some feeble attempt to monetize them.
Back in September, when I finally figured how fragmented my social media presence was, and I knew it was time to make some big changes. However, back then, I also didn’t want these changes to be a “knee-jerk” reaction. I needed to give myself some time and space to play around with some different ideas (which I did). Do a lot more thinking about the direction I wanted to take my social media and where I share what I write (which I have).
Now, that I have done those things. 
This post is where I start to sink roots down to make Harold being Harold my blog going forward. While I can’t predict what the future hold for my online presence, I do know that I am tired of the constant flitting about from place to place and want this to be my last move.

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