An Important Question

An Important Question

With the arrival of 2018 I am entering my second year of riding since beginning again.  And, I am also essentially enter my sophomore year of blogging.  If you’ve read my previous post, Reflecting Forward, you know that I have specific plans for working to improve what I produce.  In 2018 I also want to take steps to increase my reach.  To that end, and after noticing that BMW MOA requests reader submission to their website and magazine, I contacted them for a submission guide.  What I got back was information about a submission guide update and a question.  The question made me think – a lot – and will likely have a significant impact on this blog in the coming year.  It won’t totally change it, but it will certainly be a significant impetus of the improvement I seek.  Below is my response, which includes the question – my thoughts – and the impact.  Regardless of whether I ever successfully contribute to BMWON or BMW MOA, my approach to blogging will be changed.  Hopefully for the better.  For that I owe Wes a debt of gratitude.

Your response, while simple and direct, had a significant effect.  Your question, what you’d like to contribute”, really sent me down memory lane.  It caused me to reprocess all of the lessons from my internet marketing business of a decade ago.  Lessons learned as I watched the quality of professional video production be completely devalued, by an ocean of low quality cat videos and testicle impacts, as GoPro and YouTube lowered the cost of entry from tens of thousands to tens of dollars. 

That experience taught me that the question is really “what do you want to say”, which becomes “what do you want to say, that people would care to hear”, which in turn becomes “what do you want to say, that people would care to hear, that hasn’t already been said by 10,000 other people, regardless of quality”.

This – is an important question. 

My interests don’t lie in the mechanical, competitive, identity or new product areas.  You already have those covered quite nicely anyway.  My interest lies in the experiential.  In thinking about my plans for 2018, your question made me realize that all of the trips I’m scheduled to take this year are completely worthless as it relates to blogging.  Well – unless you count the value of developing quality and proficiency through experience, which as I said, doesn’t count for much on the internet.  I’ll be joining my local group on a ride to Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone, Devil’s Tower, etc., etc.  Posts about these places are currently available on your site – and – in stories and video, produced from every conceivable angle, all over the internet.  So, while I will certainly enjoy the comradery and seeing these places first hand, blogging about the trip would really only serve as practice.

So – as I leave my freshman year of blogging and contemplate how to “say something”, rather than just talk.  My experience tells me that it has to be something that you won’t find, at least not easily, elsewhere.  I understand that is no guarantee that it will break through the noise.  But, at least for those who find it, it will be something different.  And for that, maybe they will return.

In reviewing the blogs and features currently available on the website, I noticed that the bulk of the contributions are made in spring and early summer.  Since I live in north Florida, I would be able to produce new content every month of the year.  My destinations could move north and south with the weather.

If you happened to read the about page of my personal blog (changinggears.bike) you know that my objective is to – after decades in dark rooms full of computers – seek out beauty and positivity by experiencing places and people with renewed curiosity.  Your question has reminded me that this can’t be national parks, historical battlefields, or anything of that sort.  I can go there, but they have little value for blogging.  I need to try to find interesting and beautiful “out of the way” places, which are accessed via interesting and beautiful routes.

So that is what I would like to contribute.

One other thing I would like to attempt is to make it interactive.  As much as possible, have the readers suggest the destinations.  It would let people promote places they know about, while being a revelation to others, and possibly a scouting resource for people who are considering a visit.

Hopefully you still feel there is an opportunity for me. 

Time will tell.  I’ll keep you posted.

Now if it would warm up just a little bit.  Cold is one thing – but snow in Tallahassee????