My little company supplies and stocks various magazines into the local grocery stores. I don't deliver Ride Now, Full Throttle or Go Far magazines. These are delivered by the publisher and each of these magazines in geared to the "Motorcycle Lifestyle" and are free publications. I'll pick them up and often just browse through the pages. With the exception of Go Far (the magazine withe the Map) most of these fine publications end up in my trash can.
They just don't apply to me.
Maybe if I had a Harley, maybe if I wore a lot of leather, maybe if I had a beard...OK, I do have a beard.
|The blogger in his natural state.|
Go Far at least provides you with a map of a route (which is how I learned about the Green Swamp) which is great for riding, but even that magazine is mostly advertisements. Still though, they offer content. Perhaps not content directly related to me, but some content.
Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not knocking one magazine or another. The point I'm trying to make is that if you want a review of a particular bike, a particular jacket or helmet...your not going to find it in the pages of a magazine anymore. Your going to find it in the hands of a blogger.
Magazines and websites count on there advertising dollars to keep publishing. In order not to upset this "gravy train" you often get reviews that rave about a product or gloss over the rough points. Don't believe me? When was the last time Rolling Stone gave any piece of music a rating under 3 stars? Go and look, you'll be shocked.
This lack of content is self feeding. A publication needs to advertise to pay it's costs. Advertisements then become the majority of the magazine, pushing original content into a smaller and smaller space. No one buys the publication since it lacks content. To pay for the magazine you have to have more advertisements. What little content may be in the magazine is supplied by giant companies that often provide bland or superficial material that provides no in depth analysis. I am looking at you Associated Press!
|Self feeding circles|
So here I am, a (relatively young) scooterist. I want to learn about the newest bikes, the newest farkles and get a honest opinion on them. The only place I can turn is the internet. The only place I can read something honest is the internet. One of the original goals, which I believe I've failed in. is to answer questions I had about riding, about the products, about the farkles. I've learned a lot, but have I passed that knowledge on to other new riders?
I've been considering adding advertising to this blog. Not that I expect to make much, but as a business man it only makes sense. I've used Amazon with little success and I've considered adding a link to Bike Bandit or similar site. What I worry about is writing a good review of a product because I want to deliver you to one of the websites that advertise with me. So they will pay me.
I enjoy writing, I like having you, the gentle reader, provide feedback and support and even a slap upside the head when it's deserved. It's been said that a writers job is to write. I disagree, a writers job is to get you to think. If I do that then this is successful. I have written for soccer publications and websites. I've written about relationships and politics. One year, I actually made $3000 from my writing for a now defunct soccer site (and have not got paid for my writing since). That writing stopped being fun because I was getting pressure from the editors to stop being critical of the (then) new MLS as well as a well established minor league. Who ever tells you advertising dollars don't matter is lying to you.
So yea, this blog is going to take a slightly different tack and offer product reviews in the future. I'm still not sure if I'll accept advertising. Time will tell.