Reaching a new year of marriage is certainly an occasion worth celebrating with a memorable gift, and the traditional gift for the first year has always been paper. As a writer, how fitting then, that I’m celebrating a paper anniversary this month along with my readers; so, hey Mandy — happy first anniversary as a writer for Counterman! It’s still a long way to get to the silver and gold gift milestones, but low and behold, I’ve got one year under my belt.
To celebrate the occasion, here is my paper gift to you, my readers.
The most rewarding aspect of being writer for this magazine has been the interactions I have gotten with readers. I sincerely appreciate every one of you who has reached out, reacting to my columns. It’s no wonder these interactions are, more frequently than not, e-interactions.
Most of you reached out to me, not only via phone calls and face-to-face meetings, but more so via emails, text messages, Facebook postings, Twitter replies, RSS feedback responses on my blog and by comments left you at Counterman.com.
My very first column for the magazine a year ago triggered the most comments from users at Counterman.com. Most users were nostalgic about my story on how I used a telex machine as a teen to order auto parts from Italy; it surely resonated with readers who were around back when telexes were the tech in vogue.
At the same time, readers were quick to recognize how newer technologies like fax, email and Skype killed the telex forever. In my follow-up column focusing on Skype, a reader shared the following: “Skype helps the sales force’s communication with the client and the company’s help desk improving customer relations, not to mention sales follow-ups.”
I could not have said it better myself.
So the year rolled on and I needed to write more columns. Along with the pride of being a writer, came the fear of writer’s block. I needed a literally crutch and I came up with the idea that every few months I’ll will write about the apps I regularly use in my business that help me sell more parts. Turns out these “fill-in” columns have gotten some of the most favorable comments and reactions from the readers.
My column reviewing the backup application Dropbox got a lot of comments from friends in Facebook. In the new tech world order documents do share residency on many websites and as such, a column from Counterman.com eventually goes into Facebook, Twitter and my blog thus exposing even more readers to it. My Facebook buddies were eager to point out how cool Dropbox was and I know of a several readers who actually started using the free version of the app just because they read my article. Other columns about apps like eFax, Nudgemail and Evernote also got few readers to become users, a most gratifying e-transformation for the writer.
My column dealing with the website and movement known as The Declaration of Innovation also got a lot of comments. One user in particular left a great comment that I actually copied and used in a seminar presentation I made later in the year to a large group of Latin American Auto Parts Business owners in Panama. The user wrote – “With technology, the old adage about a tide lifting all boats rings true. Our early adopter customers push us, as a wholesale parts distributor to become better with technology.” This was perhaps the most rewarding interaction for me this whole year; I wrote something that caused this reader to react and share his view, and in turn, I shared the reader’s view with others. Viral, just viral!
The one story that perhaps struck a chord a bit more profoundly was my column on the last flight of the Space Shuttle program. A couple readers went on to share their views on this issue on the magazine’s website. Their comments expressed a lot of concern about our government’s decision to discontinue the manned flights under our space program. One reader captured the concern very eloquently: “How much of the technology that has fueled our economy in the past 40 years has come out of the space program, either directly or indirectly? Where would we be now if all of that technology had never been invented, and where will we be in 20 years when the Chinese and Indians and Brazilians are enjoying the benefits of their investment in space, and the as yet unthought-of technologies that will fuel their economic future.” Now this is the right stuff, and I couldn’t agree more, dear reader.
So as my next year as a writer begins, I look forward to even more e-actions and e-reactions with all of you. Again, my deepest gratitude to all of you for, not only reading what I write; but, reacting to it and sharing your comments. I will keep trying my best to get even more reactions from you; I might even make a mistake or two but even those could be interesting. Just like the notorious newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst once said: “Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, your readers might like it.”