I'm dipping my toe in the waters here and saying hello. Thanks to Jen for bestowing the "Expert Blogger" badge on me and I hope to live up to the title and hope that my contributions here are informative and entertaining. I have been blogging and heavily involved in social networking back before the term was coined...back to the days of Pentium I's, dial up connections and Juno & Earthlink, BBS lines and Usnet groups. Do I see some balding or gray heads nodding out there?? (Yes, despite my boyish good looks I am old folks, really old).
I've experimented with every known software platform that has come along like CSS style forums, Joomla, Drupal, Dolphin, Wordpress, BuddyPress, SocialGo, Ning, Blogger, LiveJournal and on and on. Have I found one that had everything I wanted? No, no I haven't. Is it the platforms? Am I picky? Probably a little of both; however, this whacky social highway we're now on is just getting upgraded to a two lane, blacktop country road from what began as a trail some of us old geezers bushwhacked through the jungle back before there were university's offering social media degree programs. I also have a fairly extensive background in PPS affiliate marketing (performance marketing now). I didn't ever really stray into the black hat PPC crowd and don't know how to create 1,000 dummy social network profiles and only use Craigslist to look at the hooker ads to check for ex-girlfriends or future ones but I digress.
So...I see I have many friends (that I've never met) here from other Ning communities. How are ya? Some of you I've seen around the schoolyard for years now and we've been "friends" on different sites yet never so much as exchanged a Facebook "poke". Kooky huh? If you fall into this category send me a note or better yet leave a comment to this post and say hello and if you can think of some one of my many "mistakes" you've seen me make over the years...that should add a few (dozen) pages to this site. If there's been one thing I've been consistent with it's been my inconsistency. I totally disenfranchised my 8 year established "super niche" social network of bass guitar players which at it's peak had about 5,400 registered, DUES PAYING (yes they paid to join) members and we were getting over 3 million paged views per month and were under a 100.000 Alexa ranking. I lost even the most loyal members through a series of format/platform changes I made when all they wanted was the original vBulletin forum. I tried to drag them kicking and screaming into Web 2,0land and the rubber band snapped when a co-founder, friend and #2 man under me splintered off and created a renegade PHPbb forum and they left one by one. The current Ning http://thedudepit.ning.com/http://thedudepit.ning.com/
has less than 500 registered members,m of which 'd say 80-90% haven't returned after initial registration.
That's my biggest mistake and there are many lessons to be learned from recanting and reexamining the many mistakes I made with that one and I will be using The Dude Pit as an example in future blog posts as a case study that hopefully we can all learn from. That's it for now...let's hear from you longtime "friends" I've never actually met...I see you out there!!