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A little patch of land somewhere that’s green

Wow, what a nice feeling.

I want to thank everyone for their very kind feedback on my musings yesterday. It gave me a welcome opportunity to sit back and look fondly at a large-ish group of people I genuinely like and admire, whether or not they are front-and-center in my world today. As far as connection, or engagement, or validation – whatever it is we are supposed to be doing in this environment – it was a gift, and I thank you for that.

Next: It occurred to me, as I was basking in the glow and contemplating making time to actually write things that people may actually want to read, that I can’t really use Linked In as my vehicle. For the last 20-plus years I have represented Reliance Standard, its leaders, stakeholders and customers, either full-time or part time, as a communications professional. Scribe, oracle, spokesperson, Jiminy Cricket…pick your favorite image. Linked In is a great platform, and it has gotten greater, but the architecture is based on the individual: My official role as administrator and communicator on behalf of Reliance Standard and Matrix Absence Management is embedded as permissions applied to my own personal Linked In account and profile.

Which means, on Linked In I do not have the option of separating my work voice from my own voice. And this is a problem. I have built my professional brand painstakingly through rules devised and motivated by lessons learned (mistakes) and sustained by discipline. The oldest rule in business is not to, ahem, excrete where one eats; and I like my employers and colleagues far too much to place my trusted position in jeopardy, just to explore what it’s like to exercise some long-ignored muscles.

Considering my bearish attitude toward social media in general, I don’t really want to stake a plot of land on another platform like Facebook (only old people, according to my kids) or Instagram (???) or, God forbid, Twitter. That would be tantamount to opening a kiosk at King of Prussia Mall: good exposure and foot traffic, but I’m afraid the environment would drive me places I don’t want to go.

So now, 24 hours into the grand experiment, I landed instead on starting a blog. Having a blog will allow me to have a voice, and to give others access to that voice should they be interested. I can promote the blog, at various points, with discretion, on other platforms including Linked In. But it’s separate real estate, independent, removed from “work me” enough to give me a comfort level that I am not going to unintentionally reflect poorly on those I choose to serve. It’s a little wiggle room.

Making the decision to do this took far longer than actually standing the thing up. Did you know you can just click your face on your Google home page and scroll down and click something called Blogger (that was easy!) and literally in minutes you can be online? How scary is that! I feel like I should have known that. Moreover, I anticipate a flood of feedback from friends and others about how many more tools, techniques, best practices, approaches, etc. exist and how lame my freshman attempt at self-publishing is.

I welcome this.

I accept that I have picked the absolute lowest common denominator – what my IT friends call the Minimum Viable Product – to get my mental feet wet. If polishing my delivery and refining my ability to communicate more effectively in this Brave New media environment is the outcome I am happy to stumble through growing pains and skinned knees like anyone else would. I have nothing to prove.

I also feel strongly there should be some governance to my new venture; a set of rules, even if they are only my own rules for me. Even if they are unwritten and open to change. I guess that’s the next chapter.

Meanwhile, visit me on https://www.thewritewayout.com/ if and when you feel like it. It was a little wordplay I took from my original post and it got caught in my brain. I was fairly amazed the domain was available – it seems too easy and common.

You can subscribe – I think I did that right! I’ve posted both this and my post from yesterday on there, capturing the origins of whatever this is or becomes. Maybe it will grow into something, and maybe it won’t. I’m trying to take a “who cares” attitude while at the same time agonizing over the fact that it took me longer to pick a photo of myself than it took to write BOTH posts so far. And my profile is empty; what do I even want to say about me?

Interesting times. Could be fun.

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