Close up of the face of my great grandmother's sock monkey

Everything is Under Construction

It’s been a long time

It’s been a long time since I was active on any of my websites or blogs. A variety of things caused this: I have been too busy working on everyone else’s stuff to do anything on mine; I got used to not publishing anything on my sites; I convinced myself that I needed everything to be perfect before I could blog again (I know, it’s ridiculous to try to be perfect. Yes, I fail at being perfect). Moving on.

I also let things go because posting to social media has been quicker and easier than writing a whole post for a blog. The trouble with that is when you post on someone else’s site, you are tied to that site. Sometimes those sites change or go out of business. You also don’t really own or control your content despite what the TOS may say. I decided I needed to move back toward publishing on my own space so that at the very least, I’m not beholden to the whims of others.

Tackling the mess

Neglecting my sites created a mess. My personal site had been in an “under construction” mode for years; my blog, I’m From Worcester was inactive and forwarding to an archive of old posts; my Worcester Turtle Boy site became a dumping ground for the occasions when I decided to blog about random things; I took this site offline too. The result is that the only site that was live, Worcester Turtle Boy, lacks focus and isn’t what it was intended to be when I started it in 2008.

Where I’m at now

For me, the hardest part of rebuilding everything is getting back into posting things that are longer than a Tweet, in public, and on my own site. I’ve been publishing things on behalf of others for 18 years. It’s different.

It’s going to take awhile to get to a place where blogging feels good again but it will come in time. The way I’m dealing with that issue is I’ve pushed my sites live again with minimal content for now and will be working through getting the rest of my stuff into the right place over the coming weeks.

I’ve taken the Worcester Turtle Boy site and broken it out into 3 more focused blogs: Turtle Boy Urban Gardening (TBUG); Worcester Turtle Boy and I’m From Worcester. This is the original set up and it made sense to put it back. The TBUG site was the site of a group of volunteer gardeners and promoted community involvement opportunities in Worcester, MA. Worcester Turtle Boy started as a joke about our Burnside Fountain and other quirky things in Worcester. I’m from Worcester was my personal blog. Each are good on their own but make for a confusing site when they’re all on one.

I put my site and non Worcester-centric blog back online and am working on retrieving, cleaning up, and republishing things I took offline. There wasn’t a good reason for taking it all down so now I’m putting it back as it should be.

The practical work involves looking at all the content I’ve made and deciding if I should keep, revise/move or throw it away. I’m also looking at the relationship between my sites and my social media. I’m essentially doing a content audit.

What’s with that monkey?

That was my great-grandmother’s toy monkey that she made long before I was born. It was always in her work area (she did a lot of sewing, knitting and crocheting). I was lucky enough to have her in my life throughout my childhood and learned a lot from her. Now the monkey is mine and I keep it  in my home office to remind me of her determination, resilience, and work ethic. She was an amazing woman.