Sunday, October 31, 2010


This whole blog is an experiment.

When I first started it I had no idea what I was doing or where I was heading. I just wrote whatever random thoughts about sailing came into my head such as Sailing Hurts, or recounted recent sailing experiences such as Run Rabbit Run.

In the first few weeks I did try a few oddball things and was occasionally surprised at the response. For example, I wrote a post about Bumper Stickers and provoked some angry rants from folk who disagreed or agreed with some of the sentiments in the stickers I described. Wow!

So I learned that pretty much anything goes. I can write whatever the hell I want and sometimes people will like it and sometimes they will get angry with me about it and sometimes they will be merely indifferent. Whatever!

I did write a lot about sailing. My disastrous racing experiences. My continual deluded thoughts about how to become a better Laser sailor. Personal angles on interesting boating stories I had found on other blogs or elsewhere.

But I also experimented with other subjects. I wrote about Running and Grandchildren. Nobody seemed to mind.

I experimented with types of blog posts and activities that I had found in other niche blog areas. Such things as Top Ten Blogs of the year and Group Writing Projects.

I experimented with different writing styles, different styles of post. I did zany humor, list posts and even lists of lists, a few rants on controversial sailing topics, and a lot of Utter Nonsense.

I think that if I ran out of ideas on different things to do with the blog, different things to experiment with, I would pack it in.

This month I tried two experiments...

Usually I ignore those annoying emails from businesses trying to get me to promote their products or services on my blog. But this month I was tempted by an opportunity to give away a $75 gift certificate to one of my readers in exchange for one simple link in a post on the blog. I was intrigued by how to link the subject of the link "drop leaf tables" to the main subject of this blog, sailing. So I blogged for a few days about "furniture and sailing" which seemed to strike some readers as amusing enough for them to contribute ideas on that topic too. And then I told readers how to win the $75 gift certificate. The response so far, I have to say, has been positively underwhelming. The deadline is 10pm tonight. Maybe this experiment has taught me that all my readers are so rich they don't need 75 bucks. Maybe you are telling me not to run any more giveaway contests. Or maybe I learned that "drop leaf tables" just don't turn you on. (Seriously, you don't have to spend the $75 on a table. Really.)

The other experiment I tried this week was a few days of wordless blogging. Pictures and videos only. Some blogs like The Horse's Mouth do this pretty much all the time; some like Messing About in Sailboats post a lot more photos and fewer words than they used to; and bonnie of frogma, who has been on vacation this week on Cape Cod, has just been posting one photo a day of her vacation activities. So I thought I would join the trend. It seemed to confuse some readers. They wondered what I was up to. Was there a secret code in the choice of picture subjects? It was fun watching the reaction. But don't worry I'm not going totally wordless. Although I may do Wordless Wednesdays or Wordless Weekends. That might be a good experiment...

Scientists say there is no such thing as a failed experiment. Even an experiment which produces different results from what you expected teaches you something. Michelson and Morley "failed" to measure the motion of the earth with respect to the aether. Then Einstein said let "c" be constant and lo in the fullness of time he brought forth Special Relativity... and there was light. The rest is history.

I will continue to experiment.

Get over it.


JP said...

Experimentation is good, all in favour of that.

How else can you be sure that "it's alive I tell you alive!!"

Very appropriate for Halloween

my2fish said...

variety is the spice of life - I like what you are doing. it's funny for me as a reader to see how different people react, I imagine for you it's even funnier.

keep it up.

Baydog said...

I had a bong like that in college. But I didn't inhale.

bonnie said...

Your pictures were great! Did you take the Beavertail one? Gorgeous.

Tillerman said...

Thanks bonnie, but I didn't take any of the pictures posted in the last few days. The Beavertail one was from the same source as the Ocean Drive one - a local TV station website.

Frankie said...

Sure, you've tried all sorts of topics and styles. But you don't write with your guts. We still don't know who you are, Tillerman! What do you really care for?

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