S5-EP2: Shel Israel on Reinvention, Writing, and Moving Across Country at 78

Nov 4, 2022


Debbie chats with friend and veteran blogger Shel Israel about his move from CA to FL at age 78, how he uses Facebook as a blogging platform, and about his work as a writer. 



Today’s episode was a chance for Debbie to reconnect with an old friend, Shel Israel, whom she met about 20 years ago…  in the blogosphere. Yes, there really was a blogosphere in the early 2000’s. Shel and Debbie and a bunch of others were pioneers and they all knew each other. They’d meet at conferences and promote each other’s blogs AND explain blogging to everyone else.

In early 2006, Shel co-authored perhaps the first serious book about business blogging. And Debbie wrote the second one, published later that same year. Shel’s book has a much sexier title, Naked Conversations. Debbie’s is The Corporate Blogging Book.

Debbie and Shel talk about his decision to leave California after 50 years and move across country to Florida, just in time for Hurricane Ian. Debbie asks how he fared and how he plans to make friends and become part of his new community in St. Petersburg. He’s got some surprising answers.

As a tech pioneer and an optimist, he considers everyone he meets on social media to be a friend. He’s using Facebook to connect and to create a new network. And he’s even got a spreadsheet with 13 prospects on it… 13 prospective friends, that is.

This is an open and honest conversation which, not coincidentally, is the hallmark of good blogging. They talk about how important writing is to Shel, why he left a lucrative career in PR. and how he approaches tech-business ghostwriting and other projects.  


Mentioned in this episode or useful:


Get the inside skinny on every episode of [B]OLDER:

Subscribe to Debbie’s newsletter for the inside story about every episode. You will also get her 34-page writing guide: https://bitly.com/debbie-free-guide.


Request from Debbie:

If you’ve been enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to leave a short review on Apple Podcasts. It really makes a difference in attracting new listeners.


Connect with Debbie:


Our Media Partners:

  • CoGenerate (formerly Encore.org)
  • MEA and with thanks to Chip Conley
  • Next For Me (former media partner and in memory of Jeff Tidwell)

Support this podcast:


Connect with us:

Thanks to our media partners

Encore.org, our newest media partner, is an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Founder and CEO Marc Freedman is an award-winning social entrepreneur and author, most recently, of How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations. Looking for a great gap-year transition program? Check out Encore Fellowships, which match skilled, seasoned professionals with social-sector organizations in high-impact, paid assignments.


Modern Elder Academy is a program dedicated to navigating mid-life transitions. MEA, based in Baja California, Mexico, provides the place and the tools to start reframing your lifetime of experience. Grow whole, not old. Founder Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning hospitality entrepreneur and a rock star of the mid-life transition movement. His newest book is Wisdom @ Work: the Making of a Modern Elder.


Next For Me is an important new resource for the 50+ crowd focused on rewriting life. Taking a gap year or timeout may be the best way to figure out "what's next" when you're in this stage of life. Founder Jeff Tidwell explains, Next For Me "connects and inspires our generation to evolve our post-50 lives through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution."