Saturday, July 07, 2007

Rethinking

Sandy and I were able to make it out to Lovells Island today. We took the ferry from Boston to Georges Island, then took a boat from Georges to Lovells arriving in the early afternoon. Lovells island is covered in much denser vegetation that I had expected. There are some tall trees near the camp sites, tall enough to hang a dipole should I be ambitious enough.
The IOTA contest is still three weeks away so I have some time to do additional planning. The current thinking is to bring the 33-foot mast to hang a vertical for 40/15m, bring the "big" Buddipole system for 20m, and then use either the 40-foot mast as the basis for an 80m inverted-L antenna, or use the Buddipole with the big coils for 80m. That is still a lot of stuff to get on (and off) the islands. Since I am staying overnight, I'll need a tent, sleeping bag, food, water (there is no fresh water on Lovells Island), and other supplies in addition to the radio equipment. Even with Sandy's help, I'll still need to plan this carefully.

I have been thinking a great deal about the future of this blog of late. Though there are a few of you who appear to be frequent readers, the truth is there are only a few. Web traffic numbers identifying visitors, return visits, search strings, and other measurements have not been sufficient to justify the amount of effort I am investing in this outlet. Don't get me wrong! I love to write. I love to write about what I've learned and even mistakes I've made. But, it is no longer clear to me if this is the best forum for expressing these ideas. Perhaps the topic is too narrow to attract a significant web audience, and a blog format is too unfocused to provide a meaningful organization for a single topic.
I am considering writing magazine articles or even a book. In many ways, it would be far less pressure than keeping a daily blog, especially since many of my blog entries are the length of a short magazine article! (Imagine writing a magazine article each day. I become exhausted just thinking about it!) While the output in those other forms may not have the personal and intimate feel my blog entries (hopefully) have, there may actually be more information conveyed within a more sensible organization.
No final decision has been made. And, even if I decide to refocus most of my energy elsewhere, I will still use this outlet when it makes sense to do so.

For the other bloggers out there, I would like to thank you for your work and inspiration. My list of blogs checked each day keeps getting longer but here is my list: K9JY, K9ZW, KE9V, The DX World of Amateur Radio, KA3DRR, 99 Hobbies, K3OQ, ADXO, K2DBK, KB6NU, K0NR, N9PUZ, SolderSmoke, NE1OB, VK4VCC, W2IJ, W4TMN, WA1LOU, WA5ZNU, and I probably forgot a couple. As my post rate decreases, I hope all who visit my blog will check out these others. There is some good stuff out there.

-- Scott

5 Comments:

Blogger Scot said...

I, for one, would miss your contribution to the amateur radio conversation. Your blog continues to inspire me, gives new perspective, and showcases both the joy and fun of operating. I wonder like yourself about who reads my blog and if my effort has return value as a service to our great hobby. My perspective? I see my blog as a message in a bottle thrown into the ocean on a journey to a far and distant shore. The destination is unbeknownst to this author. Please continue blogging in some shape and form!

From a 100 Pound DXpedition Groupie -- Scot, KA3DRR

July 08, 2007 9:10 AM  
Blogger Steve Weinert said...

Scott as long as you keep putting your muse to task writing Amateur Radio is better for it. There are some limitations in the Blog Format that are unkind to technical subjects.

I always look for your new posts, but can understand what you are saying about reader count issues.

I have some ideas that I will privately email you on a meta-blog that might be a way to support a higher readership in a writers-team format.

You have me thinking again on this idea, which had been set aside!

73

Steve
K9ZW

http://k9zw.wordpress.com/

July 08, 2007 10:14 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Scott:
I look at your post everyday no matter where I am. As long as I have access to the internet, I don't log of without looking at what you have to say!

I find today's post an oxymoron. You inspired me to buy a Pelican case, jump the Belize hurdle to get a Belize license, and convince the bride that the 706 and Buddipole were worth taking on the 10th anniversary in the spirit of 100lb. dxpedition. When you and the buddipolers went to Montserrat, I had the neighborhood huddled around my portable setup on the back patio excited to make contact with you guys! I was on Cape Cod last week vacationing with the in laws (never again) dreading that I didn't bring the gear with me for some portable ops a la NE1RD! You are out scoping a portable op in your own neighborhood and inspiring the likes of me to do the same and, in the same breath, telling us you're going to pack in the blog!! I understand the pressure and this is, after all, a hobby. Regardless, I want to meet you sometime and share the inspiration I hear from other hams who you inspire!

July 08, 2007 9:45 PM  
Blogger David said...

I basically just want to say "Yeah, what they said". I've been inspired and have learned from a few of your projects, and in fact my posting for this week is going to be about my experience building and testing the extra radials for my Buddistick.

Personally, I don't think that I could ever keep up with a daily blog, I just don't have all that much to post about that's interesting (even to me!) However, I do try to post about once a week, mostly in a "here's what I did that I think was interesting" format. Perhaps you could reduce the pressure on yourself by posting a bit less frequently.

While a blog that's updated daily is relatively easy to remember to visit, I rely on the RSS feed for pretty much every blog that I read to let me know that there's been an update. I read a number of sites that might only get updated monthly, or even less frequently, but I let my RSS reader "remember to check" the sites for me.

Please don't give up, what you're doing is valued.

July 09, 2007 12:00 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

Hi Scott, here's yet another vote in support of your blog. I only just discovered it a few weeks ago, but I went back through and read the entire archive from start to finish over the course of a few days and really enjoyed it. You inspired me to buy a Buddipole system for my portable and apartment operations, and I'm loving it. As an engineer myself, I enjoy your methodical approach to problem-solving and idea formulation.

And it turns out I'm not too far away from you, either. I am in Massachusetts for a summer internship. I had been planning to visit Boston Harbor during my time here, so maybe I'll make a point to stop by Lovells Island and say hi during the IOTA contest. :)

By the way, do you have any more video clips from the Montserrat trip? I know you put together a DVD for the group members, but I was hoping there might be a few more clips that you'd be willing to share on YouTube. :)

July 10, 2007 10:54 AM  

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