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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

On verbosity and this whole blog thing

Posted on September 10, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Through activity on a LinkedIn discussion group (a more business-like Facebook, where people actually seem to go to discuss business ideas instead of describing the chunks of stuff found in their cat’s vomit or Justin Bieber’s hair), a marketing guy from New Jersey whom I’ll call Ted (mainly because his name is, in fact, Ted) found my story on the The Great Unfortunateness and decided to run his own post on it. (Here is a link to it: Getting Terminated) And while talking to me on the phone, even though he repeatedly said, “This story really isn’t anything about you, it is just germane to a story I’ve already been working on.” However his story ACTUALLY seems to be TOTALLY about me. I’ll let whoever wants to click the link make up their minds on that...


But one of the things that he wrote (besides “Like me, John is not a trained journalist”—Dude! What is it with people bashing me on the not being a journalist thing lately?! I guess I’m totally hazy on what actually makes one a journalist. I kind of thought it was writing, publishing and getting paid for my work. Check, check and (except for this little labor of lump) check. You know, for the past TEN years. But it’s OK. I told myself I’m not gonna cry. I’ll be the bigger man. That’s life. One minute you’re on top of the world, the next minute some secretary’s running you over with a lawn mower. I know that at least one of you loves me. ) he had this little comment:


“John works in the custom installation field in South Carolina, writes an oftentimes long-winded blog..."


So, I’m wondering, is the blog long-winded? (Dad: You are EXPRESSLY forbidden from answering this; I’m already fully squared-away on your opinion in this matter. Though I often think that the second line of a fortune cookie is pushing the boundaries of what you consider a quick, taut read.) Everyone else feel free to leave a comment. I’ll accept a yes/no or even a y/n or, if you’re more comfortable keeping it old-school nerd, in binary, with a 1/0 (where, just to be clear, 1 is a yes).


Honestly, it isn’t like I care. I’m going to write how and what I want. When it is time for a story to end, it ends. When it needs to go on for a bit, I let ‘er ramble away. If, on the other hand, you want to contract (ie- pay) me to write something, I’ll be more than happy to come in on deadline and at whatever word count you specify with no problem. Right, Jeremy G?


You know, I read other blogs out there, and, to be honest, many of them are, umm, I believe the description I’m looking for is regurgitated drivel. Many are just cut-and-pasted press releases that are generally pretty much stripped of an flavor and style in a “just the facts, ma’am” manner to begin with. Like eating a potato boiled in distilled water. These oh-so-clever bloggers try and add some uniqueness to the post by adding a whole sentence or two of intro and then tying it all together with quasi-clever title. If I wanted to just read a press release, I’d do that. Others just copy someone else’s cut-and-pasted release and link to it which is even more pathetic. I have to (well, I guess no one is forcing me, which is why I no longer visit so many of them) read their eye gougingly boring commentary then clink on a link to read the next guy’s sputum to then, ultimately, read the boring press release about Product X’s latest gee-whiz feature that I didn’t even really care about to begin with.


So, yes, compared to that, this is longwinded. But in creating this blog, I decided that it was going to be a space filled with entirely unique content, delivered in a (hopefully) unique and honest – sometimes, brutally so – way.  And if that takes a few extra words, then I can live with that. And to quote Don Draper, “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”  Or click on the next post.

Categories: September 2010, On Writing

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Reply Indypayne
8:23 AM on September 13, 2010 
John, in a world where 140 word Tweets are considered War and Peace, what do you expect...
Reply John Sciacca
11:52 AM on September 13, 2010 
Indypayne says...
John, in a world where 140 word Tweets are considered War and Peace, what do you expect...

Guess that makes me Tolstoy or Dostoevsky...either way, not bad company to keep!
Reply ted_g
1:08 PM on September 13, 2010 
John, as the "Ted" referenced in the above post...please allow me to respectfully clarify my comments.

1) The story was NOT about you. Although, I can see how...having just gone through what you went may feel that way - to you. The story was about how to avoid being terminated. That story was started initially as advice for my readers with a show (CEDIA) coming up. Then your story came to light and it dovetailed nicely with this article. I would not run the story until I spoke with you...and quoted you get your point-of-view your own words.

2) I find it interesting that you appear to be insulted about being identified as "not a trained journalist." I have no problem NOT being called a journalist. In your case, I believe my description is accurate. To my knowledge you do NOT hold a journalism degree from Columbia or some other prominent journalism school...therefore, you are not a "trained" journalist.

You may be a practicing journalist...but you are not a trained journalist. Anyway...if you take umbrage at this description...I meant no disrespect by making it.

3) Your style IS long-winded. Again, you seem to be taking this comment as some type of slight. It was not intended that way. Your style is quite verbose and I'm sure part of the appeal of your blog to your readers is this style. Own it and be proud of it.

Lighten up dude...these are NOT criticisms. These are descriptions. While I don't always agree with your comments and approaches...I have a lot of respect for what you do. Hopefully, my replay of your incident the risk of sounding like FOX News...fair and balanced...and accurate. THAT...was my goal.

And if your story, combined with my advice, can help some other specialty dealer from suffering the same fate...isn't Martha Stewart would say...'a good thing?'

Ted Green
The Stratecon Group
Reply John Sciacca
4:55 PM on September 13, 2010 
Ted... certainly no offense taken. My (longwinded) style can be a bit sarcastic. And I do own it and am proud of it. I certainly thought everything in your story was fair and -- more importantly -- honest. I DO make up close to 50% of your post which still does *kinda* make it seem about me, but certainly germane to the story you were trying to tell. The journalist bit was just funny timing...I had just gotten through having someone else describe me as not a journalist, but you did include the "trained" qualifier. I'm guessing that The Blueprint, Acalanes HS school paper, doesn't count as formal training... At the end of the day I totally agree....if someone else can pull something positive from this then mission accomplished. Now they just have to tell me (us) about it!