A few people have asked me what finally inspired me to buy my domain name and migrate over here from WordPress.com. Well, to tell that story correctly, what I really need to do is tell you the story of how a handful of people completely ruined my life.
A little ditty ’bout Chris, Stan, Maya ‘n Suzanne (and countless others – I just liked the sound of that 🙂 )
When I started lightly tweeting late last year, my attitude was rather skeptical, I’d say. I saw all of these people who could get retweeted talking about how their shoes were untied. I saw people who had hundreds of thousands of followers. When I started blogging, I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of people were getting an average of approximately 5 million comments a post.
“Well,” I thought. “There is nothing new I have to say. There is nothing I can offer here. I can’t make this work.”
As it turns out, I think that attitude is probably pretty common to newcomers. Anyway, I was pretty content existing as a non-entity in a world that seemed overrun with entities. I still had my television shows to watch, my crafts to do. Everything was just fine and dandy. The angst I felt about how there was no way to break in was good news for all of the black clothes I still have in my wardrobe.
Then the problems started. I started connecting with really good people. I met Lisa Alexander. I met Danny Garcia. I met Stanford Smith. I met Maya Paveza. I met Suzanne Vara. I met folks like Tom Moradpour and Cristian Gonzales. I met some dude named Chris Brogan.
The really annoying thing about these people, and others…well, no, there are lots of annoying things about these people. For example:
1. They are endlessly giving, in all kinds of different ways.
2. They are all smart beyond belief.
3. They’re nice. So irritatingly nice.
4. They are willing to share their knowledge, expertise, and experiences
5. They are incurable optimists (most of the time)
And worst of all, they don’t really like words like “cant.”
I mean, you can see how I’m headed for a downward spiral now, right?
How does this lead to my domain name decision?
So, I’d love to tell you that I created a spreadsheet, made charts outlining the pros and cons of WordPress.com versus self-hosting. I’d love to tell you that I researched every aspect of my new blog home to see how I could customize it. But in truth, none of that really played into it. Actually, this move is a symbol for my own optimism and hope, both of which were nourished by these people and more. When you connect with the kinds of folks I’ve connected with, you no longer think just in terms of the now. You think about the best possible scenario. And that’s not where it ends. You actually start working to get there!
I have folks who have supported me and who have made me believe that one day I might need a self-hosted site and domain because my name will be worth something to other people, not just me. I mean, I love my name, but it doesn’t really stand for much beyond my own person right now. But people believe, and they made me believe, that some day there might come a time when someone thinks of my name and thinks of something great. And for that occasion, having my own self-hosted site will be great. I have folks who have helped me believe that at some point, the bandwith that WordPress.com gives everyone might have been over-stretched by what I’d be asking it to do. So, this site, this domain name – they represent the big blooming flower that these people helped me grow. It represents my hope and optimism regarding the future. It represents an investment in helping you access information that could help YOU in the best way possible.
Sitting back content, assuming that things won’t work out, is easy. Trying to grow a daisy through a crack in a driveway is hard, and that’s kind of what carving your own niche in Social Media is like. These folks convinced me, and convince me still, that I can do it and that it’s worth it. What a lot of work. What a shambles my life is now!
So now I want to ruin your life
If you are sitting back feeling like there’s really no point in working your tail off, it’s only fair that I play it forward and ruin your life. Yes, you should invest in a domain, just like you should invest in nice clothes and a good diet. Yes, you should take yourself seriously and assume that you are just as important to your community as everyone else is. Yes, I will bug you, just like I have been bugged, to try new things, to plow ahead, to keep on learning. It hasn’t all been said because YOU haven’t said it all yet, nor have I.
But as I sit and make you work your tail off…as I sit and ruin your life, I will also be one of your top cheer leaders. I will actually click to your blog when you post something you’re proud of because my friends do that for me. If you say something great, I will retweet it because that has been done for me. With those gifts comes a responsibility to not rest on your laurels. The journey is never done. You’re never going to be finished learning, nor will the journey of giving back end. Ruination lies ahead of you — a ton of work, sore hands from too much typing — these things are in your future. It’s the best kind of ruination going.
Image by torun basu. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/torun