Here are the top 5 surprises that I found from your responses:
We are irritated by flow issues.
Some of the obvious findings are frustration with ink flow in pens, and a want to adjust them yourself but fear of voiding the warranty. Some other irritants were having too many pens in rotation, nib dry out, messy ink filling, and not being able to choose which fountain pen in a collection to use on a given day. (I, too, have this problem now.)
We are more experienced with fountain pens than I was writing for.
I need to segregate content.
There were FAR more self-identified intermediate and advanced fountain pen users than the 13% of newbies I was writing for. I’ll definitely continue to write for newbies, so if you’re in that 13%, now worries! There’s no better way to grow the fountain pen community than helping newbies with things like vocabulary, pen parts, and understanding nib selection (all concerns to be addressed from the survey.)
I just need to step up my game and dive deeper into other articles as well in the upcoming year and label the content better for Newbies, Intermediate and Advanced fountain pen users.
We are male, hear me roar.
Okay, that was a joke; I’m a woman. But 84.8% of survey readers and 75% of my website readers (per Google Analytics) are men. It shouldn’t surprise me, my interests tend to skew male.
Why aren’t as many women interested in fountain pens? They don’t seem inherently “male” to me. Status symbols? More men appreciate the engineering that went into developing a great feed? More men enjoy taking pens apart and re-assembling them? I really can’t pin that down. Anyway, if you’re reading this, there’s an 85% chance you’re a man and want me to move on… so…
Your absolutely dreamy fountain pen? That was an even wider gamut of response. There were a lot of, “I’m still looking for it” or “I splurged this year” and “I own it” responses.
I will do my best to obtain these for review this year to share my enthusiasm for your grail pens if I can get my hands on them. Brands that dominated were:
- Montblanc (Hemingway and Meisterstuck were standouts)
- Pelikan (M800 and M1000 were most often mentioned, specifically in tortoiseshell brown.)
- Visconti was another often-mentioned brand, whose models were never mentioned twice! A long list of different models from Visconti topped people’s grail lists. I now know more about Visconti models than ever before just from reading responses.
Most newsletters you read are complementary to BFP.
While there were quite a few political newsletters and MANY mentions of New York Times and the New Yorker (with several explanations that it’s not as elitist as it sounds, which cracked me up!) The top 5 pen-related newsletters, in order of volume of mentions:
- Goulet Communique – A beautifully designed blog and newsletter selling and reviewing fountain pens and accessories.
- Fountain Pen Network – A forum for fountain pen lovers. You can post by Brand, by Region and learn about accessories etc. You can learn a lot here, but like every forum, there are some incendiary/arrogant comments that can scare off newbies. Thick skin = you win!
- SBRE Brown – YouTube fountain pen reviewer who started a website to feature his videos. Ironically, I’d never heard of him until someone emailed me. I did it in reverse, I started my YouTube channel to help explain my pen reviews by better showcasing the pens on video in my website. His channel is better because you get to see his face talking about the pens and mine are all hands. I haven’t braved video editing software just yet, it’s on my to-do list to tie in introductions to new videos to try to improve your experience.
- Pen Habit – Matt Armstrong writes about everything pen related. I like his style, he doesn’t say he’s an expert, he says he’s still learning. I resemble that remark. 🙂
- Fountain Pen Hospital – Pen dealer, sells new and vintage; also repairs pens. They’re a huge, well-established retailer in New York.
Does this sound like you? Is there anything I missed? As I continue to delve into the world of fountain pens and build a model of what of what the bestfountainpen.com user finds useful, I hope to hear from you.