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The Blog of the Future

June 10, 2010

I mentioned in a quick post on Monday that I would explain some of the changes I’m hoping to make over time around here (there’s a poll there, too, to gauge your thoughts on the appearance of the blog).  I’d added an RSS Feed to a secondary blog that I “started” a while ago in my own name as well as a feed of the Twitterfied version of this blog (along with a link to my Twitter account).  The problem I cited on Monday was that I suspect this tends to clutter up the appearance of my sidebar.

But let me explain what I’m trying to accomplish, here. In about a week, I will have packaged up that 12,000-ish word short story I’ve been working for the past six or seven months and submitted it to a publisher for consideration. From where I stand now, it’s very difficult to gauge what are my chances of making a positive impression on an editor. I’ve tried to make my cover letter very clean and professional. I polished this story until it was as good as I think I can make it in the absence of professional editing. I’ve done what I can with this story, and once it’s in the mail, it’s out of my hands, and I don’t know what will happen. But, keeping a long-term perspective, I’m very optimistic that over time my efforts at improving my writing will produce positive results. In time, then, I believe I will be a published author. But what then?

Well, then, if I do get published, the name and premise of this blog will be false. I won’t really be an “undiscovered” author. I’ll be a published one. (Although, relatively speaking, even then I may still be a tad “undiscovered”, but that’s mincing words.) When that day comes, and people actually start looking for me online, what do I want them to see? Do I want them to first see this blog, dedicated to the story of a guy who’s never been published? Or one with my name on it? One that tells about a guy who has been published?

But, if I only start to blog on a separate, eponymous blog after I’ve been published, it may be too late. (And after hearing so much positive feedback from you guys, I feel more comfortable about the idea of using my own name as my pen name, as well, so I feel that the title of my newer blog is, in fact, appropriate.) So, my long-term goal is to shift my blogging over to that secondary blog. But in the meantime, I don’t want to abandon the readership, such as it is, that I have over here on this “Undiscovered Author” blog. Nor, for that matter, do I want to phase this blog out altogether. Long after I’ve been published (assuming, for arguments’ sake, that this eventually does, in fact, come to pass) I can foresee potential uses for this blog. I think it will be a fun compliment to a more “Stephen Watkins”-focused platform. But that’s a problem for another day.

So, to get me started working toward that master-plan, I thought a good place to begin would be to link to that blog here. Right now, of course, there’s only the one post there. After a little wiggle-room in my schedule opens up (and I’m able to put an end to my hiatus days) I intend to start posting there at least once a week. In the closer term, I’m going to try to play house-keeping there and get it cleaned up and ready for presentation (you know: writing up my “About” page over there, setting up my “Categories”, adding a few additional pages, and possibly mirroring a few things that are currently here on “The Undiscovered Author”).

This is a process, and it won’t be done overnight. Admittedly, I picked a bad time to start work on this project: with life still being generally slammed for time, and feeling like I barely have breathing room to blog here, even with my self-imposed hiatus breaks at least twice a week. And that’s why you aren’t going to see changes and updates there overnight. Basically, the linking to that blog from here was just an opening salvo, but there won’t be an immediate follow-up salvo until I get a moment. In the short-term, I have a few other priorities to attend to. But I hope you all will bear with me as I map out these changes.

And, in the meantime, why don’t you drop me a line and let me know what you think about it all!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2010 2:42 pm

    There are options for transferring your blog over to another name or migrating it from wordpress.com to StephenWatkins.com if you ever decide on that route one day. (http://en.support.wordpress.com/moving-a-blog/)

    There’s always the chance you might lose some readership, but would it be better to do it while you don’t have as many followers and start building up numbers on the new blog? or later when you have a bigger following, and hazard losing a few? I don’t have a recommendation for which way is better than the other, but from experience, maintaining two blogs requires a lot of effort, unless one is very rarely updated.

    • June 10, 2010 3:02 pm

      That’s why I intend, in the near future, to make a slow but purposeful transition of updates from one to the other, but to keep the two tightly coupled so whatever happens on one will be known on the other.

      Whenever I’m ready to make the jump from “stephenwatkinswriter.wordpress.com” to “stephenwatkinswriter.com” I understand that wordpress has some automatic DNS forwarding thing that will send traffic looking for the blog.wordpress.com address over to the new .com address, so I’m not as worried about that transition as I could be.

      When (and if) that ever actually happens, “The Undiscovered Author” I hope to keep going in another life that’s truer to it’s name…

      Still, transitioning to a different blog address will be a matter of months, not days or weeks.

  2. June 10, 2010 9:49 pm

    First of all, I think there’s “No time like the present,” and if you’re doing this all while life is so hectic, “More power to ya.” (If anyone knows what that phrase is supposed to mean, feel free to tell me.) 🙂

    Secondly, I did find that I lost a LOT of traffic when I switched from the Fedwick Agency to my jpcabit.wordpress. That could quite possibly be a tag issue (I probably had…wow…over seven hundred tags on Fedwick’s). Could you maybe add the tag “Undiscovered Author,” to your Stephen Watkins site, so when people search for your Undiscoveredauthor blog (which will by then be dead…?), they will be directed to stephenwatkinswriter?

    Just a couple ideas.

    Definitely, like Tessa said, look into the redirecting option.

    And double-definitely, put somewhere on your site that it is the update to the Undiscovered Author. So people don’t get frustrated when they look for your undiscoveredauthor blog and come up with something else.

    -j.p.

    • June 10, 2010 10:29 pm

      Good thoughts.

      I’ll definitely keep the two linked so readers (hopefully) won’t be confused by the transition when it occurs. Like I said, this is one that will be occurring over months, not days or weeks.

      I like my “undiscovered author” name… I liked the alliteration in the title. So, no… I don’t plan to retire it… just repurpose it over time.

      Right now, though, I don’t get that awful many people searching for me by the name “undiscovered author”… or any other name, for that matter… so that’s why now’s a “strike while the iron’s hot” sort of moment – or more appropriately maybe switch which piece of iron I’m heating up before it gets hot…

      • June 11, 2010 3:59 pm

        …“strike while the iron’s hot” sort of moment – or more appropriately maybe switch which piece of iron I’m heating up before it gets hot…

        Yes. Very much so.

        j.p.

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