Building Peace has always been intended for a broad audience, but I mostly move within military circles and suspect that much of my humble audience does as well. The blog’s mission is “to multiply the impact of my education, as someone who cares about building a better world.” I have never claimed to be an expert in much of anything, but I have been blessed with a very unusual education and have tried to take my readers along for the journey. I hope I’ve succeeded in some small way in doing that, and plan to keep it up as best I can.
At the same time, I am now trying to take my writing career to the next level. My novel is finally out, and I’m hard at work on another–which hopefully won’t take me nearly as long to complete. I’m at a point where I need an online presence as a writer; I need a platform from which I can connect with readers and other writers, and can discuss my fiction and its inspiration. For now, Building Peace is that platform.
My new challenge is maintaining an online presence that is engaging and relevant for what are, in theory, two very different audiences. All the literature says this shouldn’t be done; a blog and its brand should be sharply focused. Trying to target both audiences could alienate both. I actually considered creating a totally separate website and Twitter account for my fiction writer personae–splitting myself into two online identities–but ultimately chose not to do for that, for one very simple reason: all of my work and all of my interests, fiction and nonfiction, flying and officership, foreign languages and foreign affairs, theology and philosophy, are so deeply intertwined that I can’t tear them apart. My master’s thesis on Discourse About Islam and my novel are both products of the same mind; both draw on my passion for the world and its people.
So I’m throwing away the rulebook about effective blog management and online branding. I’m just going to be me; to write about the things I care about and am thinking about, whether that’s an airpower essay or ideas for my next novel. I will do my best to make every post engaging for my readers, whether they are staff officers working 14 hour days at the Pentagon, or Science Fiction enthusiasts who simply liked my novel.
With all that said, I am always interested in feedback. I honestly have no idea how many regular readers I have, or who you are. If you enjoy Building Peace, I would be grateful for a quick e-mail telling me who you are and why you follow the blog, and sharing any suggestions for the blog’s future. Even a single sentence would be awesome.