Economics has another name "the dismal science" and it sure is a boring subject unless you bring it to life which you fail to do again and again.I try to read your articles because I am very interested in Turkiyes progress but you bore me to tears with your style of writing which is not lucid, being wrapped up in trivialities, simply unredeable.Sorry dont give up your daytime job as they say.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I had already done my first addendum before the column was actually published, so this is my second addendum:
A friend of mine once noted, after seeing a harsh review to one of my Hurriyet columns, that I should have a thick skin. After seeing the comment to my most recent column, she would have probably gone straight for an alligator skin:
I do have an alligator skin in fact, but I saw George Costanza sink to a new low at Seinfeld this morning (the fur hat, Kenny Rogers chicken episode), so I almost had a midlife confidence crisis (no, I am not fat and bald), if it were not for my friend Emi... But I do really appreciate all feedback, and in fact - comments, as long as they help me improve, are more useful than + ones. That's why I simply send a thank you note to + comments while I try to to address - ones in detail (this is actually the second serious - comment, apart from the political ones over at Forbes, so I am still a rookie in that respect). So as a token of my appreciation (after all, she seems to be a regular), I will respond to this unhappy customer:
I do a agree that I ramble a bit during my columns, although I am not sure if that's what the reader means by wrapped in trivialities. But many readers also note that they like the humor. Maybe, I need to try to adjust the dose of the rambling from one week to the next, as Emi was suggesting. As she notes, some can be short, brief, to the point and others pieces where I feel strongly about certain issues I can ramble to my heart's content. Makes sense, but more easily said than done...
Maybe, I really overdid with the hyperlinks this time around (I counted 36, including the signature files at the end). But the hyperlinks serve two purposes: Some, like the cheesy movie quotes, just provide humor. I could easily dispense with those. But others are crucial, as they make the column accessible to more people, and that brings me to the point on lucidity and readability.
It should have been obvious by now that I am not the people's economist, Turkey has Gungor Uras for that. Not that I would not want to be one, if the economics Ph.D. and Mr. Uras' Ayse Teyze, the equivalent of Japan's Mrs. Watanabe, the housewife who trades FX from home, equally enjoy your columns, then you are at the apex of your career as an Econ. columnist. I am not that good! Even if I were, I could never do that in my 650-word slot...
So I choose to do the following: While you'd need quite a bit of Econ. background to breeze through my articles, the hyperlinks are supposed to help mere mortals out. Let me illustrate with a few examples with yesterday's column: I did not have enough space to explain inflation targeting, so I just linked to the Wikipedia article on that. I would need at least a couple of paragraphs on how the IMF revamped its crisis prevention facility, so I just linked to my article from last year on that topic. The benefits of inflation targeting in Turkey would deserve a separate column, so I just linked to a recent Hurriyet column of mine, where I had taken on the issue. And so on and so forth....
This is all well, but I doubt the unhappy customer read my column in the hardcopy and then went to the web to specifically write me an answer: So I am wondering if she looked at the hyperlinks. I am not saying this to criticize her; maybe, the hyperlinks are not just working as I had hoped- maybe, people just don't like using them while reading the article, although those complimentary readings are one of those little things I just love about the FT. Or maybe, she had something else in mind when she noted that my columns are not lucid, and simply unreadable.
Maybe, I am making too much out of this. Many Turkish columnists get a lot of - comments and hate mail, even more than praises and + comments. But at the end of the day, my policy, even at Tripadvisor where I write reviews for our hotel, is to be polite enough to respond if someone has taken the time to write comments, even if those comments are not what I would have liked to see.
In that manner, if you have anything to say about my columns, please feel free to do so, either as a comment to this post (anonymous or not, both are fine) or an email to emre.deliveliATgmail.com. But please be as honest as you can; after all, I do have an alligator skin and I can definitely handle the truth!