Thursday, January 1, 2015

Surfeit of excellence

Seeking ever to improve my blog's readability, quality, and customer satisfaction rating I have taken this New Year as an opportunity to take a good look at how things are going here at clerkmanifesto. Most significantly I have reached out to readers like you. I have been asking what works for you and what doesn't work for you, and I have carefully listened to your answers.

One complaint has recurred in such a way as to dwarf all of the other concerns I have heard about this blog. Over and over people have gently complained to me that clerkmanifesto is too good. That's the phrase people use. "Too good." As in, "If I had to say any consistent problem I have with your blog, I guess it's that it's just too good."

"What do you mean?" I ask. "How is it "too good"?"

"The quality level of your blog is too high. Clerkmanifesto suffers from a surfeit of excellence."

"A surfeit of excellence?"

"Yes, look. I love the blog, don't get me wrong, but, here, it's like this: Not every Beatles song can be Hey Jude."

"Hey Jude?"

"Yeah, like each one can't be the most powerful, amazing thing you ever heard. You need duds like You Know My Name (Look Up the Number), or weird experiments like Revolution 9. Each day your blog post is a perfect masterpiece. I laugh, I think about things, I question my assumptions, I learn something new, I grow. It's stressing me out. I'm a nervous wreck!"

"Hey Jude is hardly the Beatles best..."

"Stay with me here! I'm trying to help you out, man!"


"You need to fail sometimes. You need to throw an absurd, pointless blog post up occasionally, something that leaves me scratching my head, something that makes me stretch hopefully towards tomorrow."

"Something like this one?"

"Er, I guess, maybe, it's a start..."

"It's still too good, isn't it?"

"Frankly, well, yes, it's awesome. This is an awesome blog post"

"I think you bring an awful lot to it. It wouldn't be nearly this good without you."

"You're too kind."

"Okay, I'll see what I can do."

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If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

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