It was about a year ago when I started to think about rebranding my online presence. The biggest problem was my blog's Twitter account @OfficialMKL, which was just a bad choice for a name. For a few years I could not get more than a hundred followers, and among them were several spam accounts (it just didn't go anywhere). I love Twitter, and I believe it's a great way to share your blog posts with the world and attract new readers, so I begun to think about changing the handle to something related to Taiwan, since that's what my blog is mostly about. I came up with several ideas for a name, and googled them to see whether there were any other bloggers with that name, or if there were any odd results. The name @TaiwanExplorer was surprisingly not taken by anyone (there's a series of You Tube videos named "Taiwan Explorer", but the author has a different user name). That was good enough for me, and so my new online presence was born. And a year later I have nearly 8 times more followers, which is pretty good considering that I don't tweet that much.
It takes time to change
It took me several months before I had the courage to rename my blog (and subsequently my other social media accounts). Every change has its risks, but it also brings about new opportunities, and I was hoping for the latter. This year is probably the busiest year of my life, so my blog updates have been less frequent compared to the past, but I was still active on social media. I think it's the right timing to shift into a new direction. I'm definitely committed to blogging, and I have lots of ideas for the future, but before that I wanted to make sure that I make this identity shift from My Kafkaesque life (MKL) to Taiwan Explorer. After Twitter and my blog, I renamed my Instagram account from @InstagramTaiwan to @TaiwanExplorer, which was quite a risk, because Instagram is where I had most followers (close to 3000). But surprisingly, after the name change the followers went up very quickly, a hundred more in a week. I think it's because of the improved searchability.
The last frontier: Facebook
While I love Instagram and Twitter, it's actually Facebook that brings most of the traffic to my blog from any social media. I wanted to rename my page to Taiwan Explorer, too, but they have an odd rule, that if you have over 200 followers, you're not allowed to rename it for some reason. I have close to 900 followers right now, so there is no chance to do anything with that. I'm either stuck with the name My Kafkaesque life, or I have to create a new page with the name Taiwan Explorer and start from zero. I know that every such transition takes time before most of your followers decide to switch from your old page to the new one, so at first I wasn't really into it. But today I can announce that I decided to do the switch: I created my new Facebook Page named Taiwan Explorer. I thought it was now or never, I followed my gut feeling, and made the change. I will still keep the old page for a while, but I hope that by the end of this year most of my real fans will be transitioning to the new page. If not, it's also fine, because I'm sure I will attract new followers very quickly. There will be no change in what and how I share content, the page will continue to focus on Taiwan and the Far East, and try to be interesting, serious, fun, and sometimes trivial and light. It might take a while before I reach the same number of followers like I have now on my old page, but I have a feeling that it won't be too long before I exceed that number. So in case you're a loyal reader of this blog, or if you follow me on any other social network, click like on my new page and share it, and recommend it, I'd appreciate it. Here's the URL:
What I won't do is change my blog's URL, because it would be too much work to fix all the links, and the great Google SEO that this blog accumulated through the years might be gone, too. Frankly, I don't place that much importance on a blog's URL, what matters is the content. And I hope I'll come to write more often now that my identity switch is finally finished. And holidays are just around the corner. Good times!