After being away from The Ben Franklin Follies for months and months and months, I decided there’s no better time for revival than now.
If you’re a regular blogger and/or social media enthusiast you may have seen some reference to the #NaBloWriMo project. The aim is to promote the practice of writing through a 30-day “blog every day” commitment.
Here in Birmingham, the cause is led by the wonderful Javacia Harris Bowser who coaches aspiring (and professional) writers. Javacia puts her own spin on the daily writing commitment through her #BlogLikeCrazy campaign.
I think Ben Franklin would have loved Javacia and the way she created the SeeJaneWrite community in Birmingham.
Last year, I participated in #BlogLikeCrazy, mainly over at shereemartin.com. This year, I though it would be fun to mix it up a bit more and spread my blogging energy across my blogging “empire.”
Which leads me to the actual point of this post:
Where Have I Been?
I confess……Over the past 2 years I’ve been busy blogging on other sites and working on other writing projects. So, the good news is that I’ve been writing. Just not here.
Here’s the thing: I’m interested in so many topics and issues. Just like Benjamin Franklin. That’s how this blog began. That’s why I included “Follies” in the name of the blog to indicate it’s something of a variety show.
The reality is that it’s not good blogging practice to have a site that’s about everything under the sun. So even though the Benjamin Franklin “brand” is suitable for multiple topics, even Ben Franklin had his limits.
As I paused to figure out what I wanted to do with The Ben Franklin Follies, I also set about creating what I not-quite-jokingly call my media empire.
I say “not quite jokingly” because I realized about 18 months ago that my vision really IS to create a media empire. So, I’ve kinda been working to make that a reality.
Some of my projects include:
The Teach Social Business Blog
At first, I was just sometimes dabbling with a site called Teach Social Business, where I’ve been documenting some of my efforts to create and teach a course for college students on social media marketing. I’ve never publicized the site, outside of a couple of presentations, because I was haphazard about posting there, too. I’m mentioning it here, because it is starting to come together now. I’ve been writing a lot over at Teach Social Business this semester.
When I started my adventures in beekeeping in May 2013 I knew that I wanted to blog about it. So I launched a separate blog, Beekeeping Journal, where I could focus strictly on beekeeping. I’ve been a bit slack over there, so I have a lot of updating to do. I’ve actually journaled a lot about my beekeeping activities, just not online.
In October 2013 I decided to create a site that would serve as more of a professional portfolio site and allow me to write about more personal topics. In the past, I was writing about personal stuff here, like the Zoom Vivace Jazz posts and having to say goodbye to my beloved dog, Bama.
Those weren’t really appropriate for the vision I had for The Ben Franklin Follies, so now they have a home at my personal site.
Save Our Shoals
In March 2014, I launched Save Our Shoals, a grassroots movement of concerned citizens working to raise awareness about plans to bring oil sands mining into northwest Alabama and do what we can to stop it. It’s hard to fight the mining industry in Alabama, but we’re doing what we can.
When I have time to undertake research on various issues related to oil sands mining and the efforts underway in Alabama, I publish the posts over at Save Our Shoals.
The Happy Life Manifesto
This is a book project I started in February 2013 and it’s almost finished now. I thought I might finish it this past summer, but got sidetracked with the tar sands fight.
7 Days of Real Food: A Shinecast™ Guide
This is my first cookbook. It’s a beginner’s guide to cooking real food at home, mostly from scratch. I’m reviewing the final proof now and it should be ready to release online within a week. It’s an ebook. The first edition will be available digitally as a numbered PDF and, shortly thereafter, on CreateSpace for anyone who wants to buy a tangible book, rather than printing a PDF.
Due to the number of photos in the book, I’ll have to rework it a bit for Kindle. Hope to have that finished by December 1.
This is related to the 7 Days book, in that the Shinecast is the overall brand for what I envision as a movement to help others Discover. [Be]Insire[d]. Grow. Shine.™ This is what the Shinecast is all about.
Those aren’t all the projects I’ve been working on. Just the big ones. Like anyone who has a full-time professional job, I have to juggle my own projects during the few hours I can squeeze in each morning (before work), occasional evenings and weekends.
I’ve tried to do some farming, too, but it’s been challenging. This year, I got a late start planting and didn’t get the yields I’d hoped for–nothing comparable to 2013.
What’s Next for The Ben Franklin Follies?
Yes, I’ve been awol from The Ben Franklin Follies for too long. To be honest, I haven’t been sure whether I wanted to continue updating the site or just let it continue in dormancy while I pursue new projects. I’m still not absolutely certain what I want to do with The Ben Franklin Follies, but I’m fairly certain I’m not going to kill it off.
I know that any food-related blogging will soon be done through the Shinecast, where 7 Days of Real Food will have its home. If/when I revive the Shine Springs Farm Shinecast, it will be part of the overall Shinecast media enterprise and I’ll publish shownotes and episodes somewhere other than The Ben Franklin Follies.
I might actually use The Ben Franklin Follies as the place where I write about politics and public policy. That was the original, original focus I envisioned when I bought the domain name in 2006-07. As politics became so hate-filled and partisan, I just lost interest in trying to discuss political issues. But I might get on my soapbox here. We’ll see.
In any event, I’ll be a bit more active here during #BlogLikeCrazy so I hope you’ll check in during November and see what’s new!