Re-evaluating this blog

I enjoy blogging, but lately I’ve been thinking about what I’m doing here.  I’d like to ask for your help, dear readers, in re-evaluating this blog and finding a better way forward.

My initial idea back in 2008 was to share ideas, articles and items that I found interesting, intriguing or funny, in the hope that others would enjoy them as well.  Clearly that’s worked pretty well, as several thousand page views each day illustrate;  but page views alone aren’t everything.  For example, I used to produce a lot more in-depth articles on subjects that interested me (see my Weekend Wings and Weekend Warships series listed in the sidebar, and my articles on firearms and self-defense).  As other activities have grown (including writing in other forms), those have become much less frequent – and that’s less fun for me.  Furthermore, I’d like to share some of my other writing with you, both in fiction and in non-fiction.  As I get closer to publishing a few books, I’d like to share them with my readers here and ask for your feedback.  In due course, as the books come out, I’ll ask you to help me publicize them to other potential readers.

As an initial step, I’m thinking of cutting back on the number of blog articles that merely reference other news sources.  I won’t eliminate them altogether – I enjoy the Doofus of the Day series, for example, and I think many of you do too.  However, it’s clear that some topics of abiding interest to me, such as economics, aren’t necessarily what many readers enjoy.

Here’s what I have in mind.  I’ll cut back to two blog articles each day, perhaps three.  One might reference another news article or source;  one might discuss something I’m doing, or that those important to me are doing;  and one might look at an issue or topic in more-than-passing depth, or embed a video clip just for the fun of it.  In addition, I’ll try to work on a longer article for half an hour to an hour each day as well.  That will allow me to produce one or two of them each month, which I hope will be more interesting for all of us.  I’ll also scale back on subjects that have demonstrably led to less reader interaction, such as economics, because it seems many people simply don’t want to read a constant diet of bad news in that area (or any other, for that matter).  Finally, I’ll work towards producing more articles about writing and publishing (both my own work, and in general), with a view to helping readers interested in those areas.  If I can emulate John Scalzi and parlay an existing Web presence into publishing success, I’ll be a very happy man!  (All I have to do now is match the quality of his work, which is far more easily said than done . . . )

What say you, friends?  Any thoughts from your side on how this blog can be further improved?  I’d love to hear your reactions and suggestions in Comments, please – the more, the merrier!  (If you want to write at greater length, my e-mail address is in my blog profile – click the link in the sidebar.)  Tell me what you think about this blog in its present form, and about my proposals above.  I haven’t finalized my ideas yet, and I won’t until I’ve heard from as many of you as possible and taken your views into account.  (After all, in one sense this blog is as much yours as mine!  It wouldn’t exist without its readers.)

Thanks in advance for your input.



  1. Peter,

    I was soo impressed with your blog when I started blogging several years later, I modeled my blog on yours with stuff that interested me and things that I found neat or just plain funny. I also put serious stuff on my blog, it is whatever catches my interest. I also try to be informative as well. You must do what you enjoy but for what it is worth, a lot of people enjoy your blog…including the economic stuff..That information needs to get out especially since the lamestream media will not since they take their marching orders from the DNC.

  2. Not sure I have much advice for you, Peter. I've been feeling somewhat stale myself, and I'm not sure what to do about it.

  3. I really like the current format. But, your ideas sound great. I do miss the in depth Wings and Warships. Please keep putting your thoughts out here. I enjoy your viewpoint, and I really have benefited from the advanced economics degree you have put out here for me. New motto is "Keep It Simple."

    We are selling our house, and buying a smaller one outright. I figure I might be able to do enough to pay the taxes on this new shoe box if the Obama economy continues on course.

    I don't say this enough, but thank you. You have really taught me a lot and inspired my study on tougher subjects like our economy. It's been a great ride so far. I look forward to our "friendship" continuing.

    Your welcome by my fire anytime.


  4. Well I'm very happy with how it is presently and have been reading it for about 2 years. I agree about the financial stuff and although I have learned a lot from it and do enjoy reading about it I think yr efforts could be better used writing about military stuff and history which I really enjoy. When I read get to work each morning I usually read this blog,and another favourite, Sixpacktech and Google news with my first coffee before starting work and I enjoy it's thought provoking qualities and honesty.
    Ken W. from Brisbane Australia

  5. I'll happily follow wherever your writing leads. I'm very happy with how and what you post now, but I'm just as happy to follow whatever changes you like.

  6. First thing is, I *like* the economics posts. Not enough people are paying attention to that stuff. We are WAY past the point where we can "leave it up to the experts" because they've severely blown it and are threatening to blow up the world.

    Second…right now you are the ONLY "generalist" blog I read. Take that as a complement. All of the others are specialists, mostly in the area of civil rights and/or law such as Radley Balko's Agitator, Carlos Miller's "Photography Is Not A Crime", Popehat, Loweringthebar and The Volokh Conspiracy. Plus Massad Ayoob :).

    So…you have to ask yourself, do you want to "go specialist" to some degree, or stay a "generalist"?

  7. I'm just not sufficiently conversant on "global economics" to comprehend/comment on your articles – I know that the dollar is worth one he##uva lot less than it was 4 years ago, but as to the whys/wherefores of how "they" cause this, I kinda get lost …………

    I LOVE the Doofus reports, and the videos you post – AND the stories about South Africa, and your work in prisons {something I could NOT do}.

    I understand the "stale" feeling – could it be a collective lethargy, because, 2008 to the contrary, we're all little low on "hope" ……………… note to self, read the fable, Pandora's Box again …………………

    Semper Fi'

  8. I love this site, and it's a daily education. Especially enjoy the vintage military articles and the art and animation.

    shoot, I love the whole thing. Whatever you do, I'm sure I'll still be a daily reader

  9. I can get a little overwhelmed by the economics articles, but yours still make more sense than most, so I like them. I love the whole blog, and I can't imagine not liking whatever you write or link. You have vastly broadened my perspective.

  10. This is my first stop with the morning coffee. Love the economic news, but rarely comment, as I visit Mish 's blog, Denninger's blog, and several other financial sites to watch the slo mo train wreck.
    We are behind the power curve for sure, nose high and taking every bit of power to maintain altitude as we fly slower and slower.
    The way I got here was through THR, via Kim Dutoit's old site. (I miss that guy!)
    This is a great place, and I thank you.

  11. Echoing Jim… You're the only generalist in my feed and I always come away having learned something. Sounds like your idea would keep it somewhat general though. I look forward to whatever you do!

  12. Peter,

    As selfish as this sounds, I wouldn't change anything. That said, compose what you enjoy composing for the blog; I doubt we'll find fault with whatever content you choose. We like reading it, you should like writing it and putting it together.

    The economics pieces, while certainly a bit of a wet blanket, are very valuable information, and the included links in those posts offer the opportunity to gain more information.

    I think we as blog readers out here on AlGore's Intertubes don't say "Thanks" often enough to the bloggers we read and appreciate; because I have the mixed blessing of being in front of several monitors most of the day I get to cruise the blogosphere a few minutes at a time, and I always look forward to whatever you, and your blogging-comrades-in-arms, post.

  13. Bring on the fiction.

    That being said, I blog for me, not my readers. I enjoy having regular readers stop by, and I like to poke fun at them and other bloggers. But when it comes down to it, I do what I want with my blog.

    So, don't take my advice. Make your decision based on what you would enjoy the most.

    And share some fiction writing.

  14. Peter, someone close to me once said "I thought you said you blogged to suit yourself?", and that made me realize…. I blog in part to throw myself out there. It's not a solo event for me, and obviously not for you. I'd also say that neither of us blog solely to please others, with a created character and writings designed to interest readers.

    Friend… do with this blog what will make you happiest, and I'll say thank you no matter how you keep your hand in.

    As for me, you have become part of my daily routine. I don't read your posts in the Google Reader. The first one there I see each morning, I click on it to open your blog in a new window…. which I save till I am finished doing all those little things I consider chores. Yours I save till I can sip coffee and read for my enjoyment and interest.

  15. My first stop in the morning, with coffee in hand. Don't change it except to suit yourself. People who don't want to read bad economic news can ignore those parts and revert to the pronouncements of their elected leaders. Lots of sugar pills there.

  16. I think first of all you need to blog about what interests you, in my experience quality suffers if you don't enjoy doing it.

    I've been reading this blog for years, and it's one of the few in my rss feed.
    I think the current format is great, and I dont mind the economics posts at all. Partly because I'm interested, but also because they explain it in a clear and basic way to give readers a good background.

    But I think it really comes down to what interests you, and what you like to write about. And if you think another format would be better for you, I think you should try it out and see.

  17. Peter, I only got addicted to your blog as a result of your economics analysis. I enjoy the history lessons as well. Can you recommend another site for clear, concise analysis of our impending economic challenges, please?

  18. You already have a proven format that is far and away different from other's and also draw's viewer's. Yet it is evident you yearn to branch out and try to share your fiction work. Given this I can only suggest you follow your own heart and do what you feel is best for you.

  19. Came from the LawDog, stayed for the stories and information, even when I don't exactly disagree. I follow a writer's blog and she has a set rotation of industry news on Friday, fiction on Monday, and general musings Tuesday through Thursday. That may be too rigid for your interests, but it works for her and her readers.


  20. Peter,
    Like others have said: blog about what interests you. That interest will carry through to your readers.
    On the generally low response to your economics posts, I think many of us recognize the insight and study you provide, agree with your views at least generally, but recognize a certain degree of powerlessness to do anything about the stupid and evil policies and practices you cite. I never post or reply unless I think I can add to the discussion.


  21. I don't have my own blog but I guess you could call me a "Blog Groupie". I follow selective Conservative, military & political bogs on a daily basis.

    Since discovering Bayou Renaissance Man I've added it to my favorite list. It's easy to read, interesting and I can relate to your political take on things.

    I really can't offer much advice as far as altering it, except keep doing what you have been doing and if the stress of compiling articles starts to wear you down just slow down and chill. I've see too many good bloggers quit totally because they tried to grind out too much too fast.

  22. I have nothing to add, but to say that I agree with pretty much everybody else. I love the place as it is, especially the aviation and economics stuff. Do what makes you happy, but don't think that we don't enjoy what it's been so far.

  23. Just be yourself. I enjoy it like it is. Seems like something for everyone.

    You make sense when others fall short.

  24. I like the econ posts, too.

    But it's your blog, and you should do what makes you happy. You're certainly under no obligation to entertain us! 😀

  25. If you write it, I will read it. I appreciate all the research you put into your work. Complete with footnotes and attributions.

  26. I'm with jaybear – I save your blog for last, every day, because I spend more time with yours. Others' are funny, or informative; yours are frequently both, but also call for thought – and that pushes me out of my insular morning 'bubble'.

    Write whatever you please, sir, and I'll read it.

  27. Peter, please write whatever you want. You are a great writer with a unique combination of life experiences. I check your blog several times a day to see what you have added. I don't do that for any other blog. I can't tell you how often I have forwarded links to your blog to my friends and family. Whatever you write, I will read.

  28. Only been reading your blog since the first of the year. Enjoy it. But reading economics is too depressing (besides I hit Mish's blog on that before yours and watch Stuart Varney and Neil Cavuto on FBN) so it's a bit of an overload.

  29. I read your blog daily. I like your economic situation articles and aviation articles. I sometimes skip the Doofus or entertainment videos.

    I realize that this is a free ice cream to me from you. I appreciate your time and effort. I value your perspective as a former Catholic Priest on issues you write on.


  30. I like your blog, but your almost daily posting of economic doom and gloom is off-putting. There's plenty of other media out there if people want to read that type of material.

    Stick with what you know from personal experience on aviation and the military. I learn a lot from you about the history of both. Things I never read anywhere else.

  31. I am going to add my vote to 'I like your economics articles'. I don't comment because I don't know enough to comment. Life is too short not to write about what interests you.

  32. I'm pretty happy with whatever you'd like to do. So far I enjoy all your posts, particularly the in-deptth aviation history lessons and economic breakdowns.

    That said… If you are going to emulate John Scalzi… I demand at least one book in the style of "The Shadow War of the Night Dragons: Book One: The Dead City: Prologue."

    Here is a link to a person doing a dramatic reading of said book and totally unprepared.. for it's… umm… awesomeness…

  33. I have no problem with anything that has been written here. I enjoy most of it and just skip what doesn't interest me. If you continue to just write whatever you choose at any given moment, you will continue to have a large following. Let it drift as it will. Issues come and go, but thoughtful insight is always welcome, no matter the subject.

  34. I read your blog nearly every day, more than most other blogs I check. I've always been impressed by the number of posts you manage, I can't do that!
    I particularly like your posts on history, philosophy, religion, your own experiences.
    As for writing about the bad news, well; on one hand: it needs to be out there…on the other hand: I know that Hell is here on earth, I know Heaven is too…I'd like a bit more publicity for the latter. And the accomplishments of man, be they airplanes or music, are surely the latter.

  35. Well, you've recently become my go-to guy for the economic articles, and I'd be dissapointed to see them disappear entirely. About writing and publishing, I'm very interested.

    Though I'm a gun guy and a former soldier, I've got almost zero interest in airplanes and warships, but I never found the presence of those articles "off-putting"; just didn't read em.

    Wish you the best with whatever you decide. I expect I'll keep poking around and checking it out for a long while to come.

  36. Bayou Renaissance Man is one of must-stop features/blogs/amusements for me. I have learned about warbirds, loved your political common sense, and read with great interest on Church and the like. I may disagree with you on certain things; but it wouldn't stop me from buying you an adult beverage or seven. What ever you decide, as long as it is published, is fine.

    Best wishes my cyber friend!

  37. I also am a faithful reader, although I rarely comment. I've worked my way through most of your old posts and enjoyed them all.

    Please keep writing whatever appeals to you. As the comments above show, we'll keep reading.

  38. Sorry, Preach, but you made an unwritten agreement with us readers when you started. Don't make us sue you…

    Seriously, Peter, do what you need to. I like your blog, though I admit I don't always have time to read it every day. Your blog has always been quality vs quantity; if you need to refocus, pare down, just do it.


  39. Peter, I think when I asked that you said something like "write what you want to write about because if you enjoy it, it shows, and we enjoy it".

    I've tried.

    I also have to say yours is one of only a handful that I check almost religiously or obsessive-compulsively. It is no exaggeration to say I'd like mine to be as good as yours.

  40. I like what you're doing. I enjoy posts that comment on economic news; I don't really follow links to economics articles as I've generally already read them (or similar). I could care less about airplanes or ships but I like the rest of your sidebar series. I'd be interested to hear more life stories. I don't know why, but I hate reading fiction on the internet. When you publish (even if it is self-published) I'll happily buy it for my Kindle, but I don't even read Brigid's stuff, and I think she's quite good. These are just my random thoughts; at the end of the day, I look forward to seeing what direction you take the blog.

  41. You do what keeps you together, I am sure most of us will stick around.

    Re economics, I think those posts are just too long to easily digest. I certainly don't have the time. I skim them and go on. I suggest continuing with economics posts, but with a much tighter focus.

  42. I actually came here originally and follow the blog primarily for the posts you have been doing on economic issues. I also greatly enjoy many of your articles. However, do what you like and I will probably keep reading regardless of what that is. Thanks for the effort you have put into the blog. I'll also enjoy reading your books, both fiction and non-fiction. Military sci-fi is a favorite genre of mine.

  43. It's a great blog you have here. Keep writing as far as it's interesting for you. Sometimes it's taken a smile from me, that makes it all worthy for a simple reader as i am.

    All the best,


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