And now for something completely different…

I have had a blog for about a year and a half now, and I’ve often wondered exactly what my readers (you) are interested in hearing and seeing from me.  I know that I have roughly 60 or so consistent readers on any given day, courtesy of my clustrmap, and I’m very thankful.  I often read the blogherald and a topic caught my eye today – "Blog Relationships: Are You Listening To Your Readers?"

Some bullet points that Lorelle points out are quite interesting, and I’ve got some comments to each:

  • Do you tend to stay focused and on topic or does your conversation style jump around leaving incomplete thoughts and sentences dangling?

    I think I stay pretty focused and on topic.  I know my writing style is not the best in the world, which probably is attributed to my disposition of English classes in high school and college – I just did what I had to do to get by most of the time.  If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have payed more attention.

  • We tend to love the sound of our own voice, so are you talking just to make noise or do you have a point to your story?

    It can be difficult to bring something new and innovative to the audience of simmers and aviation enthusiasts, when there is generally a limited amount of info worthy of speaking of on these topics.  Writing for such a niché audience is a challenge.

  • Do you feel like you just “have” to share a story for the sake of talking or is the story really important enough to be heard?

    I am generally a pretty quiet person, just ask my mother-in-law.  I don’t generally talk for the sake of talking, as that seems just too much of a waste of time to me.  When I write, I generally take the same approach – is it worth putting time and effort into publishing?  Do I need to be a bit more care-free in this stance?

  • What is the purpose and deeper meaning behind your story? What emotions are you expressing through your story?

    First, I don’t write much that you would consider a "story."  I like to be an informed person, so I generally write in an informative style, so I can pass along things I find interesting to know, such as useful tips for Flight Sim as an example.  My life isn’t very interesting in a sense of story telling.  Believe me, I’m horrible at that.  They say good story tellers are also good joke tellers – I’m horrible at both.  I’m much more comfortable behind the keyboard, where I can make revisions at will.  Let’s see, I’m on revsion #5 of this article already. 🙂

  • Just because you had trouble catching the bus doesn’t mean we have to hear the whole story of how much trouble it was to catch the bus. Do you have to tell this story? Why?

    Nope.  I don’t ride the bus, thus I wouldn’t look for me writing about that.  But I catch the drift of this question.

  • Consider the importance of what you have to say to other people. Do they need to hear this? Is it appropriate for the time and place and the emotional state you both are in? Can it wait?

    This is where I need some help.  Am I writing on topics that are interesting to you?  I know it is bad form to ask (no, beg) for comments, but I could really use the input.  What would you like me to write about more? Less? What am I doing that you like or not like?  Be as candid as you like – I’m a man, I can take it. 

  • Is your mind racing ahead of your words so you can be ready to speak when there is a pause, not even listening to the responses? Conversation can be challenging when you are focused on what you are going to say rather than on what is being said.

    I try to think out what I’m writing ahead of time, but I often find myself just changing that midstream – hence revision #6 of this article.

  • Do you talk to make yourself feel good or look good? Do you talk the way you do to make yourself look more important to the listener? Do you tend to put others down when you talk? Do you tend to use a lot of “I” statements?

    Okay – so "I" am guilty of using a lot of "I" statements.  "I" apologize. "I" will try to do better. 🙂  Yes – I am an MS FS MVP and I am very proud of that, but don’t look for me to use that for a vehicle to say that I’m better than Mr. X or Mrs. Y, life’s waaay too short to belittle others.  I’m here to build bridges, not tear them down.

  • Do you play the game of one-upmanship? If someone tells a story, do you have to tell a better story? Does the competitive spirit goad you to tell an even bigger story, because whatever happened to you must be better or worse than what happened to them?

    There’s nothing that unnerves me more than someone trying to one-up someone.  So, you’ll not find that here.  A lot of the time I’ll make mention of someone else’s article simply to get the word out to a larger audience (an audience of 60 – who am I kidding?).  Well, at least my 60 readers may not read Mr. X’s blog – again, who am I kidding, simmers are a tight-knit group. All jokes aside, I post what I "think" my audience will find interesting to read and see.  

    Speaking of "seeing," if you cannot already tell, I’m a graphics junkie.  Aside from this article, I typically include at least one relevent graphic – something that catches the eye.  Yes, when I was growing up, I "read" books just looking at the pictures.  Guilty as charged. Hence my English class comments above. Oh if Ms. Lindler could see me now…



Filed under Misc

3 responses to “And now for something completely different…

  1. Bill Womack

    Okay, I\’ll bite. I enjoy the fact that you take the time to blog, Owen. You\’re much better than I at consistently posting relevant and interesting topics, and pretty often, too! Since we\’ve met in person, I can honestly say that I think your blog is an excellent indication of your personality, and I for one enjoy getting to know the blogger, seeing how they think, and what interests them. I\’d love to know anything you can share about what\’s happening regarding Eaglesoft projects (since I\’m a big fan), and any other FS-related thoughts you might have. And of course, anything real-world aviation related is always welcome. Keep it up! I think you\’re on the right track. Geez, even my comment is rife with "I" statements… 🙂

  2. Ron

    Owen, if you feel you need to make minor tweaks to your style that is fine with all of us. Wouldn\’t change much if it was my call, simply because the rich variety of each persons blog style is one of the most interesting aspects of web logs.

  3. J

    Well, having recently jumped in on the blogwagon, I am begining to understand such questions and comments.  You for one thing Owen are one of the reasons I decided to even start a blog.  Funny enough my family really thought it was a good idea, my wife too ($10 goes a long way).  I am sitting here right now wondering myself what to write next.
    I decided when I started I was just going to be myself. strange humor and all.  Even if my readership is nill (I would love to have 60 readers in one year…lol).  I look forward to your blogs and enjoy them.  The entire FS community is starving for more and more info, bout time a few put themselves out there to give some indepth insight.
    If you ever get stuck, just write something silly, makes it more fun to read.  I for one will be here every day, well except when I take the bus, sheesh, I could tell yah some stories.

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