When I click on the About or “About Us” link on various websites and blogs, there are two things that – depending on my mood of the moment – alternately amuse or irritate me: one is when the About Us talks about everything under the sun except the “Us” (my brain is saying, but who ARE you?), the other is when all that comes up is a WordPress placeholder – you know, the one that says “This is an About page”.
My friend Ivan Walsh (no relation) has an excellent post on why the About page on our blog is very important, with some very practical advice on what should be on that page – and what should not be.
Of course, to be able to complete an About page we need to have a reasonable idea of what, indeed, our site is about. As that can change over time, we need to be sure our statement is up to date.
That’s certainly the case with this blog. In this post I track, as much as I sensibly can, my various attempts over the past six and a half years from when the blog was launched, to state what it was or is about, and share some thoughts about the future development of the site.
The process of checking back on earlier attempts to explain the site’s purpose has been made possible largely by the wonderful Wayback Machine at Archive.org. The Wayback Machine allows me to see many versions of the blog going back to when it started in 2004.
I can’t really recall precisely at this point in time why I chose the name “Thinking Home Business”. My recollection is that I wanted to make an implicit statement along the lines of this being a site where I would share thoughts about home based business – as distinct from many sites that promote various ways to make money from home in your jammies. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
So in my first post, in August 2004, I wrote:
This blog is my workspace and public journal for recording and organising my ideas, impressions, learnings and observations about home based business.
Then at some point early on, presumably reflecting the fact that a lot of what I was blogging about was in fact blogging, I added the sub-title
Des Walsh blogs on practical business blogging, networking and home based business
It appears that for a while I gave up on having a sub-title. Then some time in 2008, a new sub-title appeared: “Working from home in a networked world”. That lasted till at least April 2009.
The Wayback Machine does not provide any snapshots since 2009, but I recall that at some time more recently the sub-title became something like “For professionals working from home and those who would like to”.
There is currently no sub-title, more because of a change in design than deliberate decision. The statement now which leads the About page is:
The Thinking Home Business blog shares ideas, experience and tips for men and women professionals already working from home and those who are interested in the possibility of doing so.
The rest of the About page is still about me as well as about the blog’s purpose, still promoting my services as well as explaining the site’s purpose, but I believe in a more relaxed and readable way than the somewhat eye-watering resume-style version I had back in January 2005.
So basically the site’s purpose is now being described pretty much as it was at the beginning, without specific reference to the highways and by-ways of blogging or networking.
Where to now?
Given the increasing number of people who, from choice or circumstance, are now working from home, I see a continuing need for sites like this, where those of us who have some experience in this field can share that experience to hopefully be of help to others. Sharing also what we know, in our non-technical way, about how to make technology work for us and not the other way around, will continue to be part of what people will find here.
And of course, given my daily professional interest in social media and social networking, they will still be very much part of the mix.
There will be more bloggers posting here. One will continue to be my partner Suzie Cheel, when she can spare some time from her own blogs such as her Suzie Cheel dot Com. We need to update the About page to reflect that.
We are also considering inviting some other bloggers to guest post here, people we know will provide interesting, helpful content for us folks who have businesses and professional practices from home and those who are considering it.