UPDATE: Almost as soon as I posted this, I received an email from a Typepad staffer saying he had just visited the site to see if I wanted to be featured in their beta program. Said he wanted to talk to me today to see if there is anything he can do to keep me in the fold. I'm willing to talk about it certainly. I don't dislike Typepad by any means. Just trying to find the platform that best suits my needs.
To be honest, Thesis is proving to be more than I bargained for. It's not a WordPress "theme," but a WordPress "framework." Think of it as an added layer between the WP platform and the theme. Trouble is, there is currently only one theme designed specifically for Thesis that I know of (these are referred to as "child" themes btw).
While I think it's imperative that I learn the in's and out's of Thesis, I'm concerned that it may not be right for my purposes. Jury is still out of course. And it didn't hurt to hear the staffer say, "We’re coming out with an incredibly great new TypePad and I’d really hate to lose you. You’re exactly the type of thoughtful, helpful blogger we are building the new TypePad for." (What can I say? I'm easily influenced by flattery. :->)
I may know a few things about social media marketing (enough to write a book anyway), but I'm a neophyte when it comes to branding. That's why I enlisted the expertise of Cherie Hebert, principal with BBR, a local branding agency.
After some thorough Q&A, Cherie convinced me of the need to bring my brand under one banner, that being "Paul Chaney, the Social Media Handyman." So, that's what I'm doing.
One of the things Cherie said was there were two Paul Chaneys, the, uh-hum, "serious" pundit at Conversational Media Marketing and the more kitschy character, the handyman. (I've always told you I was a bit schizophrenic.)
At first, she wasn't sure the two could be married, but the more we talked the more it became apparent that the predominant brand, the one that would truly set me apart from other "serious pundits," was the handyman.
Lest Cherie get all the credit, another person who deserves equal billing is longtime friend Debbie Weil.
Debbie is someone I've admired and deeply respected for years. I've always thought she had the branding thing down, which is why I contacted her to consult with me about mine.
Like Cherie, Debbie suggested I bring everything under one roof. In fact, it was at her suggestion that I contacted Cherie in the first place.
Let me also pay homage to one other lady, Ann Handley. She's the one who got this whole handyman brand going in the first place, back when she said she needed a "handyman" to work on her blog. I volunteered and the rest is history.
And my thanks to a gentleman, John Moore, who has helped me shape the identity of the brand. The first time I met John, he was dressed in a lab coat, adorned with a stethoscope around his neck and handed me a toe tag as a business card! If anyone knows branding, it's John.
Proverbs 24:6 says, "In a multitude of counsel there is safety." I have to tell you, I'm feeling pretty safe right now. I've been the grateful beneficiary of much counsel from some very sharp people. I want to thank each and every one, including many I'm sure that should be named here and are not.
In keeping with this branding fruit-basket-turnover, I'm also doing something that I did once before years ago (and said I'd never do again), that's move from Typepad to WordPress. It pains me to do so, but TP does not provide the quite the level of flexibility to create a look/feel that I want. (And that's no disrespect to the folks at Typepad. It's just that my needs are different now.)
So, I've set up a new WordPress theme, Thesis, that I'm going to, over time, turn into something nice looking and highly functional. At the same time, I'm building a separate site for my book, The Digital Handshake, which should be ready shortly.
Long story short, this blog will have its posts 301-redirected so as to not lose too much Google Juice and I am putting it to rest. (You can see I've already dumbed it down to a basic Typepad theme.) It will still live, just won't be updated. I'm also going to update my RSS feeds at places where the blog content is syndicated to reflect the new site. Just keep in mind, for the next few weeks this will be a work in progress.
I'm hopeful that this might be the last change I make for some time to come. But, I've said that before. As difficult a choice as it was, I know in my heart it's the right one.
So, is this adieu and farewell? I'm guessing so. From now on you can find me over at the handyman's shop. I hope to see you there.