Coming soon to a screen near you…

United Inkdom has been going for just over a year, and now we’ve got through our initial publication schedule we’re having a little pause for breath, taking stock and figuring out what to do next.  Which is where you come in, dear reader – we’d like your thoughts and ideas!

The right stuff  Are we featuring or reviewing the products, companies or events which interest you, as well as us?  Is there anything ‘stellar’ that we’re missing?

Join our club Obviously we welcome all readers, but perhaps we should be welcoming more contributors too!  We’ve got this far with a core of three, plus some friendly ‘guest stars’ who we’re hoping will stay on board for longer.  But real life intervenes, so we need to expand the team.  Who should we recruit?  Is it you?

6 thoughts on “Coming soon to a screen near you…

  1. Erm, basically keep up the good work! It’s great to see a UK perspective and the breadth of topics you cover. Thanks for all the posts.

  2. I really enjoy the site and I think you have a great mix of content. I’ve been reading since you started I think! It’s absolutely brilliant to have a UK perspective on things – many of the other blogs I read are from the US, which is fantastic, but it doesn’t always represent what’s available over here. That works both ways – the US sites might rave over something hard to get over here, which is frustrating, but on the other hand you have the opportunity to showcase stuff that’s less available over there. Huzzah!

    The meta-reviews are really helpful – it’s interesting that you tend to review things you’re very positive about. That could simply represent the high quality pens that are being produced these days, of course. But I wonder if half the benefit of reviewing is not only to encourage us where to spend our money (by showing us great pens) but also to help us save money (by showing us stuff you think we’d best avoid). I’m not in a position to buy pens very often, so limiting my options is as helpful (if not more) than widening my horizons…!

    You’re very generous with your giveaways. I appreciate that a lot, even though I haven’t won one yet 😉

    One thing I’m always looking for from the community is people taking a step back and thinking deeply about why we love this wee hobby of ours, and perhaps reflecting on the things that aren’t as helpful.

    Examples of the former – what is gained by fountain pen use? What factors are at play? Is it the pleasure of the writing experience, the joy of quality engineering and manufacture, a sense of nostalgia, a commitment to slowing down and enjoying the good gifts of life? Why are we drawn to this? How can we answer folk who say – “why not use a 10p Bic Cristal?” That’s a perfectly fair question, of course.

    Examples of the latter – is the proliferation of pen manufacturers and the recent explosion in production an unqualified good thing? Is it of any concern that many fountain pen blogs seem to spend much of their time giving people reasons to use their fountain pens, planners etc. – is there a whiff of desperately trying to justify an expensive purchase by convincing ourselves we need it, rather than enjoying the best tool for an existing job? And is that a problem or not? What do we make of the fact that so many of the pen community use the language of addiction or unwanted abundance in describing the hobby (think of Addict, Habit, Cult, or even Too Many ;))? Are we advocating contentment, or relentlessly pushing acquisition for acquisition’s sake?

    I ask these questions of myself as well, of course. I’d love to see some thoughtful reflection on those topics. I enjoyed reading the book “The Missing Ink” by Philip Hensher recently – he had some helpful things to say in an irreverent style. Maybe try and get a chat with him? Or a book review?

    You guys are great. Power to your elbows! (Or your wrists, if like me you fail to use Proper Fountain Pen Technique…)

    1. Thank you for that very helpful contribution Nathan. I have ordered a copy of that book right away – and the idea of some book reviews sounds like a really worthwhile one. We do try to be balanced in our pen reviewing, and the benefit of the meta-review is perhaps that you get a mid-point between personal perspectives (see the Platinum PTL article for an example of how very different those individual reviews can be), but keeping objectivity is a healthy challenge. There are indeed lots of healthy and positive reasons to use ‘proper’ pens still, and maybe we don’t talk about those enough just yet – but of course that could change!

  3. Please do keep going folks – I have been looking for a UK based site of pen reviews for a short time now. I am relatively new to the pen scene and the info that you have on your site after only one year is brilliant!

    Thanks 🙂

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