Thursday, September 27, 2007

In trying to be heard, do we forget to listen?

As a salesman for many years, I learned to appreciate the ability to be quiet when you needed to be quiet.

Sometimes you get to a logical point where whoever speaks next loses the verbal sparring.

That may sound strange unless you have been in one of those moments but it does happen.

Sometimes I wonder if all our efforts to be heard among the onslaught of Internet media have dulled our senses of listening.

There is so much on the Internet now, the effort to be heard take a lot of work.

I am surprised at people, who have what seems like critical questions that I get by email, rarely find the time to say thanks when I provide a timely answer.

I had someone write me in panic on Monday that he just had to have a reservation at a particular restaurant that I had written about the previous year. His special occasion included his wife.

He thought the phone number had changed. I calmly sent an email informing him that the place was closed on Mondays.

Of course he could have figured that out himself had he taken the time.

He didn't, and there was no surprise that he also forgot to say thanks.

He yelled for an answer, but apparently was too busy to hear it delivered.


Friday, September 21, 2007

The need for an audience

If you are blogging, you probably enjoy having an audience. If you make comments on a blog to a certain extent, you also want an audience.

Many blogging services are free, so it is pretty easy to make the transition to writing a blog from making comments.

Of course it helps if you have something to say, and you can find some people willing to listen.

It will be three years this November when I did my first post. In those days I felt lucky if a few people would read them in a week. It is not unusual these days to have over three thousand visitors in a day.

I have had a day or two after writing something particularly popular like my Guardian article on Steve Jobs and the iPhone when twenty thousand people have visited in a day.

There is lots of stuff on the web these days, the challenge is creating interesting content that is worth reading and connecting with the people who might enjoy it.

It is easy to get lost in the forest of blogs. I have my own Southern Outer Banks website where I do new content once or twice a week when time permits.

My original View from the Mountain blog gets the most regular attention, but I also have a Coastal NC Blog, and I have started one on WordPress and a Carteret County blog on .Mac just to try out some new forums.

I find many of those who post harsh opinions aren't willing to expose themselves to public opinion by having their own blogs. It is not easy work and most of these folks would rather be snipers.

I find topics are easy to come by, but the time to do quality writing is at a premium. If I could just write and take pictures, I would be a happy camper. Unfortunately these things don't pay the bills.

My real estate efforts at blogging are actually work, but I still enjoy the writing. Having a ready audience make it a lot easier.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Gabrielle brushes by us

As noon eastern time slides by, Gabrielle continues to amble towards the coast.

I have been watching the storm forecasts with great interest most of the week.

Though the picture to the right might look like we have a lot of water. The levels are normal and about what we would expect to see based on the tides.

Friday evening I wrote a post, Quiet Waters before the Storm. I was impressed with the peaceful waters of the White Oak River near our home which is on the water near the Silver Creek Golf course on the linked map.

Then I wrote a post, Storm Watch. At the time my favored weather service, Accuweather, up in State College, PA was making the prediction that Gabrielle was going to turn into a Category 1 hurricane before coming inland.

I think they might be better at football up in Happy Valley than they are at hurricane forecasting. Their most recent 11 am Sunday synopsis says this.
The Hurricane Center expects landfall along the North Carolina coast between Jacksonville and Cape Hatteras by early Sunday afternoon.
Jacksonville, NC happens to be almost twenty miles inland. This morning I was pretty convinced that all the weathermen (especially the Weather Channel ones) were trying to wish Gabrielle into a hurricane.

As you can hopefully see from this Weather Underground image, now it looks most of the rain will miss western Carteret County where I live.

For two days prior to the storm, predictions were that we would get three inches or more of rain with isolated areas getting over five inches. Finally the forecasters are acknowledging what I can already deduce from my slightly damp driveway.
...rainfall will range from an inch or less inland to up to three
inches on the Outer Banks and with isolated amounts of 5 inches possible.
I know that figuring out storms is incredibly difficult, but you would think someone would have been close on Gabrielle. It seems like everyone just has a slightly different version of wrong.

I guess this is just a really good example of how complex weather can be. We certainly don't know enough to predict what is going to happen a few hours from now. I wonder how good we can possibly be at predicting what is going to happen years from now.

All summer those of us on the coast have labored under the double whammy of a poor real estate market and a much hyped report that said Carteret County was the top target in the country for a hurricane this season. I just hope whoever paid for the report didn't pay very much.

Even as I finish this post the sky seems to be getting lighter. Today isn't even turning out to be a good rainy day.

Maybe it is time to point out that I have a new travel guide for the Emerald Isle Beaches which aren't far from us and are still open for business.

I suspect all that is happening from Gabrielle over on the beach is that the surfers are getting some nice waves. It is probably really nice time to take a walk on the beach since the temperatures are very moderate and there is a nice breeze.

We will have to wander over a little later in the day and take a few pictures of the waves. I wonder if the Weather Channel would like me to send them a copy?

It is nice to know that the Southern Outer Banks can get so much attention based on such a minor storm. Our first year here has been really nice. I was hoping that we could make it through our anniversary date without a bad storm. That date was yesterday.

It is nice to have a wish come true.

Maybe we will be as lucky next year.