With a heavy heart, I heard yesterday that the Santa Fe Complex is closing its doors. The Complex was the first home and nurturing space for Blogshop.
When I started Blogshop in September, 2010, the Complex was the perfect place to hold a complicated, technical, 2-day workshop for artists and entrepreneurs to set up and launch their own blog. Blogshop Weekend saw over a hundred blogs created since that first workshop in September.
As the months went by, I also created Blogshop Q&A—a free weekly collaboration for bloggers—and Blogshop Brain Trust, for WordPress designers. In each endeavor, Executive Director Roy Wroth, and the other Complex inhabitants helped me find cords, wrangle with projectors, and basically supported my ideas and classes. The space was both welcoming and open, and encouraged the groups of people I was teaching—some not completely comfortable with technology—to trust themselves and each other as they took their first steps into a new world.
It has been a fun, working, changing, inspiring time, and I hope I have helped everyone who came to Blogshop in some small way to start and continue blogging.
It’s actually a good time for me to transform as well. Since I started Blogshop twenty-one months ago, the blogging world—already hitting its peak—has become a congested and crazy space. I find most of my work these days is less about teaching blogging, and more about custom blog design, private consulting in social media, Internet audience development, and small business branding.
Blogshop was special in that I met my students in classes, workshops and presentations face-to-face—a rare occurrence in the blogging world. We formed a bond of trust, and I learned to listen. Not just to what someone was asking, but to the hopes and dreams behind the questions. I also learned that not everyone can or wants to blog, even though I can always see the blog in each person.
In truth, I have been ready for this day, when I rely on Skype more than my truck; when a small workshop turns into a large presentation; when BlogshopSantaFe.com becomes BlogshopWorld.com.
I’m not leaving Santa Fe, and I’m not changing how I work, really. It’s more of a paradigm shift. It’s time to branch out and take what has been a good living for me for a couple years, and grow it into a more reliable and structured form of employment. It’s time to take blogging to a whole ‘nother level.
Here is what BlogshopWorld will look like now:
- Custom Blog Design on the WordPress CMS platform (See recent samples here.)
- Presentations on Blogging and Social Media for Entrepreneurs (My heart is still with small businesses.)
- Private Blogging Consultations. One-on-one blog development.
- Minibranding. Writing your way to a brand promise.
- The Blogshop Blog, where I will continue to give valuable advice for beginners based on how I learned to blog. (Use the search box and type in Blogging Step-by-Step for a series of blogging basics.)
- Blogshop Subscription: A monthly way to keep yourself inspired to blog for business or pleasure. Join here.
I know Blogshop wasn’t a highly visible attraction at the Complex; it’s a less sexy image to see a bunch of folks hunched over laptops than it is to see moving art in the digital dome, or dueling tractors in the parking lot, or a computerized simulation of a bat in flight on a flat screen.
But Blogshop and the Complex fulfilled a very important mission: that of teaching individuals that they can interact with technology—with something as simple as words and pictures—and create something of their own. Emphasis on create.
~ Many thanks to the Santa Fe Complex: Roy Wroth, Stephen Guerin, Irene Lee, Talaya White, and Susan; to Blogshop Interns: Arlo and Asher; to Blogshop IT support: Phil; and to my regular Blogshop students including: Lynn, Leah, Jaye, and Margaret; and to all those who have come through Blogshop for their shining moment.
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