Usedcarsalesman knows that if you are a white-collar professional who makes his living providing services to clients in financial services, law, accounting, lobbying, insurance, or consulting, that moving your "business" (client-list) to a competitor can often times be a real bitch.
Let's say you are a financial adviser (modern parlance for "stock broker"). You currently work under the Morgan Stanley umbrella, but you want to move your operation to Smith Barney because the payout there is better, management is more responsive, or they have better taste in commercial office space for sales purposes or other reasons. Great. But, of course, this means that you have to corral your, say, 39 Morgan Stanley clients, sell them in writing on the move, get each of them to complete transfer paperwork and hope with enough phone encouragement that they all decide to land with you at Smith Barney. No mean feat. As a matter of fact, when a "professional" - broker or otherwise - changes companies, client casualties can often be pretty high if you can't make the case for them to stick with you - "...for the last 4 years you've averaged 25% appreciation a year with me," "Joe, you and I are fraternity brothers," or “Trust me, I'll always tell you that your wife's not a dog" - or you don’t have some help.
What happens if you doing something “New School” and not nearly as established – say "Blogging" - and you want to transfer your operation (archive of editorials) to another web publishing service? Sure, with Blogging, you think you’ve removed the inefficiencies of the human equation that you might find in the account executive/client relationship in financial services or insurance - no clients to move, no paper forms to fill, etc. But, you can find yourself unearthing a whole load of new operational problems.
Usedcarsalesman recently transferred this self-titled blog, Usedcarsalesman.com, from Google’s Blogger service to the TypePad (He rightly believed that Typepad offered better customer service than the larger Blogger, had more diverse publishing tools, and was utilized by a more professional, world-wide cadre of writers). What was supposed to take 2 weeks grew in to 6 weeks and is still not finished. Let’s run the list of new and creative travails that the uninitiated blogger, Usedcarsalesman encountered with this transfer:
- A domain registration transfer which demanded that Usedcarsalesman jump through no fewer than four security “hoops”(a characteristic of domain transfers in 2007, unfortunately). Continued use of the domain name, Usedcarsalesman.com, required him to use a specific list of registrars proved compatible with the TypePad.com publishing service (If you don’t transfer domains on a daily basis, you will find yourself getting a lot of these types of emails from the transfer destination registrar: “we cannot complete the transfer because we don’t have this…”, “however, we cannot complete the transfer because we still don’t have this either).” Dust in the wind - 2 Weeks
- It required a transfer of content from a service generally incompatible with TypePad - Blogger. 100 single-spaced pages of articles had to be pasted over, one article at a time. No hitting a button and everything transferring easily and instantaneously from Blogger to TypePad. The time/date stamp had to be manually adjusted for each article – what a pain in the ass!
- It required learning the functions of the new TypePad service to achieve the same look as with the old service and keep your modest readership friendly. (Frankly, Usedcarsalesman still hasn’t entirely pinned this one down yet).
Casualties involved in the transfer thus far:
- Most all of the Usedcarsalesman links you find on Google are now DEAD. Being more an editorialist than a page designer, Usedcarsalesman is still struggling to explain this one (you stop publishing at Blogger, you republish at TypePad and submit to the search engines, you should be back on the map, right? Nah!?)
- Usedcarsalesman’s listing on Blogebrity is deceased also (However, this may have been a dubious “distinction” anyway).
- Knowledge of readership, daily view counts, etc. Nah. Have to pay more money to TypePad, install the necessary counters, etc
- General Blogging orientation - Usedcarsalesman had grown accustomed to the format of Blogger. The change, though ultimately beneficial, has bogged him down a bit for the last few months, content-creation-wise. He is struggling with whether he should iron-out his issues with the TypePad service while at the same time publishing each week or whether he should just publish and cross the TypePad format bridge when he gets around to it – this taking a year or more?
If anything, Usedcarsalesman has once-again learned again that new fields, though eliminating some old problems, can create ample new problems. And, he has learned that there is probably room in the world for a new type of service provider – the Blog Transfer Specialist. You pay he or she a fee to advise and manage the smooth transfer of your writing from one publishing platform to another (I wouldn’t be surprised if such similar professionals exist to assist financial adviser's, lawyers, or consultants seeking to change their corporate affiliations). Frankly, Usedcarsalesman doesn’t think most mere web designers (though occasionally knowledgeable) adequately fit the bill of "Blog Transfer Specialist" and decent customer service and FAQ pages at a web publishing platform are, at best, of fractional assistance in a smooth transfer.