|A blogger without a computer is #VirtualDeath.|
#SaveTheBlog and #VirtualDeath were Twitter hashtags created by one of my followers. I thought it was cool that he came up with them because they fit the bill.
I'm blogging because it consumes me. It is my passion - writing, telling stories, sharing things I've learned and making people laugh. I also blog as a business. It's a tough economy, jobs are hard to find. My situation is especially bad. It boils down to this: I have no degree. Eighteen of the last twenty years, I've been the boss - running my own show. No one wants to hire the boss. Yet, people in marketing, advertising (my background as an ad agency owner in Las Vegas), bloggers, writers and comedians (stand-up comic for 9 years and a regular in Vegas) are all asking me for advice. I can't get their job, but they want me to tell them how to do it. I love irony.
About 30 years ago, I had a vision that someday I'd be able to sit with a computer, poolside, sipping on one of those cheesy umbrella drinks, talking on a hand-held phone and running a business. At the time "mobile phones" were a suitcase with a receiver and a coiled cord. Laptops weighed about 15 pounds and there was no Internet, WiFi or email. But I had this vision and that was going to be my lifestyle.
What upped the game as far as making a living from a laptop was when I got sick and had to be shipped to Cleveland, OH so that my sister could care for me. I had to leave my daughter behind in Las Vegas. She's 10, now.
I knew that getting a conventional job and trying to work my way up the corporate down escalator would mean I may never see my daughter again. I had to make this Internet thing work.
When I started blogging again on March 7th, I had no idea what it would lead to. I just started writing like a maniac - day and night. Lots of my posts were funny, some absolutely hilarious, others very insightful, and the rest covered serious situations that people everywhere have to deal with in life.
Fans shows up and kept coming back. There is a company called Alexa. It ranks websites by traffic. Google is #1. I think Yahoo is #2. Facebook is in the top 10. Blogger, the platform I use for this blog is 5th in the world.
Alexa will show how your site ranks globally and in the U.S. I have no idea where I started back on March 7th, but I had to be ranked somewhere around 10 millionth on Alexa. In 90 days, I took this site to within the top 450,000 sites in the U.S. Life was great. Then, my screen went dark.
I couldn't write about the shows that bring me traffic. I couldn't write the posts that people share with all of their friends. I couldn't market my blog. I couldn't use Tweetdeck to program tweets 24/7. I struggled using library computers for two hours a day. It sucked.
When my screen first went dark, I didn't know what to do. I'm broke, living on food stamps and charity until this site takes off and I had no way to buy a new computer. I put a donation button on this site.
I did get about $120 in donations - and I want to thank the dozens of you that contributed the dollar, two dollars, etc. That money paid for the service repair that saved my laptop and got me an inexpensive webcam so I can chat with my daughter in Las Vegas. Thank you.
You can still make donations... much like people do with street musicians and mimes... I have a Tip Jar in the right column. I can use the money.
Besides paying the bills, this laptop will need to be replaced within the next six months to a year. I'm starting to find programs that are no longer supporting my operating system; and I cannot upgrade the operating system. The processor bogs down when I use Tweetdeck and a few other programs and I sit here watching the little Apple beach ball spin away for several minutes at a time. Plus, I have gotten feedback that a number of people want me to teach blogging and web writing classes. The programs that I would use to have multiple students online at a single time do not run on this processor or with this outdated operating system. Hey, it's part of business. You need to stay current with your tools. As a blogger, the latest, greatest computer can make a world of difference in terms of productivity and functionality.
I'll get there. I won't pull a LeBron James and disappear in the fourth quarter. I'm in it until the final bell rings.
Anyway... I'm back blogging again. Thanks to #SaveTheBlog. It kept me from #VirtualDeath.
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