Why I Stopped Blogging and Why I’m Coming Back to It Again

  • Comments: 2
  • Written on: February 25th, 2015

It’s been months and months since my last blog post.  Last week on my radio show, Compute This, I mentioned that I hadn’t posted in a while and if people wanted to know what I thought about certain topics they could email me and I would start up again.

I received a few phone calls and many emails asking me to do some writing and I gave my word that this week I would post something new.

I thought it would be fitting for me to post a bit about why I stopped blogging in the first place and why I am thinking about starting up again.

The Usual Reasons

This blog was originally designed to be a place where I shared thoughts and information that were loosely related to my businesses, money making ideas and general business advice.  I wish I would have had a business mentor when I started out, so I thought maybe my tips could help some others who were getting started themselves.  Then life hit.

In the past 2 years we had another child, bought another business, launched a bunch of new products at Schrock Innovations, created a new web development division called Schrock Interactive, became a cub scout den leader in my son’s homeschool pack, and on and on.

It’s been a busy couple of years and writing was just not a priority for me.

The Business Reasons

I am an opinionated guy and sometimes my opinions offend people.  I run a company and I do a lot of TV and radio media.  My objective in that role is to communicate my company’s message to as many people as possible and bring in new customers through amazing customer service.  It is hard to deliver amazing service when your customer is focused on the fact that you strongly disagree with President Obama’s policies.  In fact, some people might never become customers because of my personal views.

As I am getting older my views on issues are trending more Libertarian than Conservative or Liberal.  I don’t really care about gay marriage, I think our government is way too involved in our lives, I think FDR’s New Deal was a massive mistake, and if we are not careful I think we are in the beginning stages of a third global war.  As you might imagine, there is no way to talk about these things without alienating someone.

I genuinely believe that people with different views can get along and work together in areas of agreement.  If my computer repair shops have great service and you have a broken computer that’s covered in Obama Care stickers, I will fix it, charge you the same fair price I charge everyone else and I am just as concerned with your satisfaction as any other customer.

However, in today’s business environment why would I risk turning off a potential customer so I can satisfy my online ego by spouting off on my blog?

The Paranoid Reasons

Given everything we have learned about government surveillance, domestic law enforcement black sites (in Chicago!), and a business environment that almost requires you to do business with public sector organizations to stay in business, the incentives to sit down, shut up and to go along to get along are intense.

Posting videos about Obama being the personification of the Great Pumpkin in the classic Charlie Brown Halloween Special will probably not move the debate in any real way, will draw undue attention to myself from various official sources, and put the livelihoods of my family and employees at risk.

It’s easier to keep my opinions to myself and focus on delivering great products and services.  We all make money, we all get what we need, my employees get to keep their jobs and we all go home to our family at night.

So Why Start Blogging Again???

That’s a great question.  There are a lot of reasons I want to start blogging again and I am working to find the time to do it.  The bottom line is that I believe that the risks posed by staying silent now outweigh the risks posed by sharing these thoughts.

For My Children

I want to write to leave information for my kids to look back on when they are adults and learn who their dad was and why he believed the things he did.  I always love hearing stories about my parents when they were younger and how my grandparents survived the Great Depression.

Now that my grandparents have passed and my father’s health deteriorates, I find myself thinking more and more about who will share those stories with my kids – and their kids.

Aside from those personal reasons I believe we are moving into a period of history that will be looked back on 100 years from now as a pivotal time.  Everything about our world is changing from the way we communicate to the way we think about risk and opportunity.  The decisions we make today as a country – and as individuals – might not make any sense to my grandchildren without some context about how things were “in the old days.”  I hope I can provide some of that in my small sphere of influence.

For My Customers

Sometimes computer and technology problems are so big they require more explanation than I can provide in a quick radio tip or a 6-minute TV segment.

My post about how to fix an Asus Laptop that won’t power on and my post about how to get a refund from Symantec when you are stuck in anti-virus auto-renew hell are both hugely popular.

These posts solve problems for real people and that is what I started Schrock Innovations to do.  Granted, some of these people will never set foot in one of my Service Centers, but they are still people, they could use some help, and I can give it in a very efficient why.  That’s enough reason for me.

For Myself

I read a LOT of news.  I listen to a LOT of audiobooks (I’m in the car a lot), and I have time to think about how things have worked in the past.  While history may not exactly repeat, it certainly does rhyme.

I have some hopes, ideas and concerns that I share with my wife, my family and my coworkers at times.  Some of these things sound absolutely crazy if they are said simply and left to stand without context.

However, with context and supporting documentation some of my crazier ideas and fears sound a LOT more plausible.  My ideas keep me working and feed Schrock’s need for continuous innovation.  My fears are about things that I can’t control but I can attempt to prepare for.

Sometimes writing helps me hone ideas and at other times writing just allows me to get something off my chest so I can fall asleep that night.  A man can lose his mind worrying about things that he can’t control.  I always feel better about things when I believe I know what I am up against, have an idea of what is going to happen, and can plan accordingly.

A New Direction Moving Forward

I know that some aspects of this blog are not working properly.  I am aware that my theme is not responsive, it has no mobile version and that I am prone to spelling errors.  Schrock Interactive is wrapping up a ton of development work for a number of local and national clients right now so maybe these things will get fixed over the course of 2015 – and maybe not.

In previous years this blog has been about the business aspect of what I deal with on a daily basis.  It has offered my customers a glimpse behind the curtain at Schrock, shared my thoughts on online marketing and trends, and has served as an incubator for ideas that may or may not have come to pass.

I will still be writing about some of those same things moving forward, but the overall direction of this blog will no longer be about making money online or going from “Peanuts to Profits.”  There are far more important things happening all around us right now every day.

I gave up Twitter years ago and I use my personal Facebook page VERY sparingly.  I feel like I have gone through the worst of the “ego years” of my life and now I am not so concerned about what some people might think about me based on what I write.

My hope is that you will find the things I write entertaining, informative, hopeful, scary, and above all interesting.  If not, you can always leave a comment telling me I am full of crap.

 

  1. Bill McCamley said on February 27th, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Thor, politically you are full of crap. I a 73 years old and was a Republican most of my life (albeit a Rockefeller Republican which is a far cry from the GOP today. More and more I think we need to be more progressive and more concerned with people’s lives than corporate domination. However, I have spent a lot of money at Schrock Innovations over the years and just today took a laptop in for a new screen and a tower to have Endpoint and Secure Updater installed on it. I had them both back in an hour (Lincoln shop). So I will express my new political viewpoint and suggest that you take a little bit of your profit and pass it on the the guys in your shop. They keep cusses like me coming back, no matter what you think about about FDR, health care and government regulations that try to keep the 0.01% from tromping all over the rest of us. The big boys have been winning for too long now! I can withstand your views and still benefit from your service.

  2. Thor said on March 19th, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks for your comment. I hear where you are coming from and thanks for the kind words about my Lincoln Service Center. According to CNN to be in the 1% in NE I need to make a little over $1,000,000 a year. Let’s just say I have some work to do 😉 I agree 100% that we need to be more concerned about people’s lives but I don’t think the way to accomplish that is to change the definition of the American Dream from the “opportunity to succeed” to “equality of success”. The technological changes coming to the world over the next 10-15 years will turn so many of the models we take for granted today on their heads. For example what happens when cab companies replace drivers with self driving cars? What happens when Burger King doesn’t need employees to take orders in the drive through because artificial intelligence can simulate a vocal human interaction so well you wouldn’t know the difference? Low skill jobs are going to be replaced by technology whether we like it or not. The idea that 99% of us are on the losing end of that equation is a choice, isn’t it? The Internet and the technology we have right now allows regular people to learn trades and skills without the pedigree of a college degree, so why do many parents consider their kids a failure if they don’t attend a 4-year university? It’s up to the people in the 99% to decide to build a skill set that allows them to better their lives and the world around them. I don’t think government or corporations can do that for anyone who is not willing, and thankfully they can not stop a willing person either anymore.

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