It is Kind of Nice Here Under My Rock

7:59 PM

By Dan Pimentel,
Airplanista Blog Editor

For anyone that has read this blog for a long time, you probably already know that I follow the ebb and flow of all blog writers in regards to production of content. And as a frequent visitor, you may have noticed there hasn’t been much fresh stuff on here lately. Yes, friends, I have gone dark, but it may only be temporary.
Please allow me to explain…
I started this site as the World of Flying Aviation Blog in 2005, and it morphed into Airplanista somewhere along the way. In those 12 years, I have had periods where I went crazy with a ton of content, and other times when real life and other paid writing commitments dictated that the blog simmer on the back burner.
This is one of those times.
When I started this blog, “blogging” was a thing, a craze, a fad that everyone was doing. It was cool to be a “blogger” and everyone had a blog. You could find a blog on every conceivable subject – I am sure there was one entitled I Am A closet Underwater Basket Weaver out there somewhere. Short for “web log,” these blogs were mostly daily gibberish from someone with great recipes, new ways to clean the underside of your Buick, or even Three Top Ways to Achieve Best Glide Performance in an Aeronca.
Of course, today we have almost endless ways to post our daily blather, that useless content some people still find readable. Want to know what everyone in your circle had for breakfast? Log into Instagram. Funny cat videos? There’s a Facebook for that. And with the invention of the, you can use Twitter to monitor the check-ins of all your pals when they stop off at Piggly Wiggly for a quart of milk and some eggs. All this used to go on blogs, but today – with an app for literally everything and with the collective attention span of .00005 seconds – readers just do not value blogs the way they once did.
I have pounded away at Airplanista for these 12 years both on the website and also on Twitter, and have made some amazing contacts and a ton of new digital friends. I look forward to seeing these #avgeeks each summer in Oshkosh, and that will be something I will strive to do annually regardless of whether I am publishing Airplanista on a regular basis or not.
There is, however, one tiny piece of my life that is missing, and it is the reason my enthusiasm for pushing hard to publish new work on Airplanista is dwindling:
Everyone reading this knows that I sold my beloved Katy – our Piper Cherokee 235 – in May, 2016. Since then, I have not flown one minute. I still read every aviation magazine that arrives in the mailbox, and still crane my neck skyward each time anything flies overhead. But my desire to chime in on the daily news of the aviation world is gone. Do I miss flying? Absolutely. Do I miss the bills that came from that? Uh, no. I am still a strong advocate for general and business aviation, but it just became too expensive at this stage of my life as I start to zero in on retirement.
Don’t get me wrong, I still am VERY active as an aviation writer. I am doing several articles a month for the biggest business aviation association in the world, and this work is immensely gratifying. But the magazine work I had been doing for decades has disappeared, because like anyone who prints their content on paper, all magazines are finding it hard to make ends meet in a day when digital media rules the world. When magazines start seeing red on their bottom line, the first thing to go is the freelancers…replaced with whatever paid staffer is available. That's the sad reality of a freelance magazine writer in today’s digital environment.
I am also doing some personal reflection as to what I was getting out of Airplanista. As some of you know, I tried to make it into a legit magazine in 2010-11 by publishing it as a digital magazine. While the content was highly readable and my readers loved it, I was too far ahead of the curve in digital magazine publishing and it failed miserably from a financial standpoint.
For the last year, even with 11,400 Twitter followers, nothing I posted on and then promoted on Twitter got any traction. And when I say no traction, I mean that some blog posts received traffic in the single digits. That just sucks. And the same goes for Twitter…I have lots of fun on there, but it is rare that I get any mentions, re-tweets or shares. It feels like I'm just wasting time pounding away at the keyboard for my own yucks.
This is all the result of two things:

First, in the 12 years that I have been flogging Airplanista, we have witnessed a literal explosion of web and mobile content available. We are pummeled daily with stuff to read, ideas to consider, tweets to share. Most of us cannot live without our mobile devices, because not knowing what someone posted on Pinterest would apparently be quite devastating. Everyone is chasing their tails just to keep up with life in this digital typhoon, and no matter how hard I tried, anything I published on Airplanista or Twitter in the last year simply got lost in the noise. I can only presume that trend will continue.
And secondly, our society and culture in America has shifted into crazy mode since November 8, 2016. The daily barrage of scandals, lies, conspiracy theories, race-based attacks, fake news, disasters and mass shootings are taking its toll on everyone, regardless of the side of the aisle you are on. The people on the left are insane over having a reality TV star as our President, while those on the right are losing it every day over the lack of action from the “GOP establishment” in Washington, DC since they control all three branches of our government and being able to get things done should be cake. No matter where anyone’s ideologies reside…people are absolutely buried with this stuff now all day every day. The “crazy” cannot be avoided and I believe it is literally making many Americans sick in the head. Just take a look at your Facebook feed and you’ll see what I mean. The vitriol is off the charts, and when everyone is this crazy, they seem to have no time for a fun little aviation blog like Airplanista.
So I am taking a breather to see where this all heads. I will probably post again before, during and after Oshkosh as I always do, as this is the high point of my year as an #avgeek. I am also studying for a new career opportunity to supplement my writing and retirement income, and this is taking up any available personal bandwidth. Between learning that new occupation and banging out a LOT of assignments for my largest aviation writing client, there is just no time or energy to keep Airplanista fresh, new and exciting. I am not killing it off, just parking it in the hangar for a while.
I am still 1,000% an aviator, and that will never change. If you need me, I’ll be under my rock, and as always, you can email me here.   

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