Cre8pc Blog: Tank Not Empty Yet (Just Busy)

When I started the Cre8pc blog, in 2002, blogging was nowhere as popular as it is today. Back then, blogging was still related to diaries and journals and often of a personal nature. Mine has evolved as trends change.

Today, it’s the leading communication device that allows me to stay in touch with readers and friends. I used to post here every day and then a few days a week and now, if I’m lucky, a few times a month. In some ways, I’ve just run out of things to write about. Often, someone else has just done a better job of writing about something I find interesting and I leave it at that.

Blogs come and go. We’ve all witnessed this as the years go by. Some thrive by adding guest writers. In my mind, this blog was “Kim’s Place” and for my voice only. I do have another blog, Akesana, that has several writers. I’ve been too busy to nurture it. In fact, I’ve been writing for other publications, both online and print, and this has interfered with my own blogging schedule.

As a blogger, I’m out there learning along with everybody else. Last year was rough. A series of events created a bit of confusion and I lost the will to be so public. I learned, first hand, what it’s like to be the target of someone’s online wrath. Fortunately none of the bad experiences hurt my ability to do my work and I continued to thrive.

So where have I been lately? What is keeping me away from the Cre8pc so much this year?

Work. As the economy tanked, many people with online businesses wanted to go to the next step beyond search engine marketing. Suddenly companies wanted usability audits. Software developers wanted someone on their team to act as the voice of the end user, from the planning stage on through to roll out. Instead of writing articles, I gather and write requirements documents that specialize in usability and seo, in addition to more traditional business and functional requirements. I not only test applications, but write the user manuals too.

I’m also on the road. It’s getting expensive to outsource search engine optimization services, which has forced many companies to want to train in-house SEO’s. I visit 4 cities in November, spending 50% of the month training employees for a large firm. It’s been incredibly rewarding to teach techniques that empower them to help their company’s web sites perform better for both search engines and searchers.

One of the most common complaints I’ve heard this year is that SEO’s are charging far too much for their services. I’ve been contacted several times a month by people who have contracted big SEO firms, only to be frustrated and upset at the lack of attention or worse, broken contractual agreements. They don’t know who to trust in the industry. And, they don’t want to pay someone who has no expertise in user experience, information architecture, accessibility, mobile use and usability. For the money they pay out, they want better skills. For that reason, I expect to be doing more training in the months to come. If there are no multi-skilled people for hire, some companies are willing to invest in their own existing employees.

I write today from a hotel in Tampa. It’s my son’s 16th birthday and I’m not with him. It’s something I, a very “mom” oriented mom, has had to work through. Working away from home was something I put off for years because I had no desire to be a working mom who was never home to be with her kids. Now that they’re older, I’m learning that it’s okay to leave the house. It’s good for them. Good for me. I get the remote all to myself. I can hog the entire bed. And housekeeping makes the bed. What mom doesn’t dream of such things?

The year wraps up with me speaking in Chicago. Shari Thurow and I are creating a fresh approach to the topic of usability and its relationship to SEO. Our research and work experiences indicate that search engine conference attendees are ready for some new ideas and even advanced practices in search usability. These developments are because of you, the people we support.

So don’t let the lack of posts fool you.

I’m still here.

Hear Me Speak in Chicago