Never leave beta.
THINGS GOT TO CHANGE
All last year, we published 60+ page digital and print editions of the magazine every month. In the end, it proved unsustainable. With a full time day job and a toddler at home, there was just no way I could find an additional 18-20 hours a month to build them. In fact, I was spending so much time building the issues, things were starting to fall apart here on the website.
Six months have passed, and not only have we stopped publishing those monthly issues, but shelved the idea of quarterlies as well. There’s just no time for it and producing quality content for the website. What’s more, despite having a grip of really good stories currently in the works, I’m finding it harder and harder to find time to even put these together here on the site.
When you factor in how badly I want to make a living doing this – and don’t even have anything for sale yet – you can see how things were starting to look pretty bleak. It was so bad, the other day I was giving serious thought to just shutting it all down and seeing if I could land a gig writing for some other site. The thrill is gone.
Do you get Banovsky’s Car of the Day? Every day – Every. Single. Day. – he sends out an email introducing us to some obscure, long since forgotten machine. It’s light reading and it’s brilliant. He and I have been emailing back and forth over the years, car stuff, automotive “journalism,” etc.. He’s been a sounding board, a mentor, a friend. Unfortunately for him, he asked how I was doing the other day.
Long story short, he reminded that, if GBXM is going to be successful, it’s got to be easy; not easy like paraphrasing press releases or re-posting yesterday’s Reddit memes easy, but the process has to be easy. Always the perfectionist, I spend way too much time primping and polishing stories before they go live on the site. Banovsky reminded me that I’m not in this to have the prettiest stories, but effective ones.
TUMBLING INTO SOMETHING NEW
Which brings me to Tumblr. This week, I managed to launch a(nother) Tumblr blog, completely re-design the GBXM home page, and integrate the two. I’m loving the relative simplicity of the new process and backend functionality, despite my inner perfectionist losing his shit at how things are formatted here on this site. It all looks brilliant on the GBXM Tumblr site, but I’m still not quite happy with how things look when they come across the wire on this end.
That said, I’m very excited about this. Not only does Tumblr make it easy for people to share content across the web, it looks like I’m going to be able to do a lot more for this site from the palm of my hand (ie; with my phone) than ever before, which means more content more often here on Gearbox Magazine. It’s going to be smaller, but that just makes it easier to read in a single sitting, right? Right. Easier for me. Easier for you. Easier for all of us.
HOW THE FORMAT IS CHANGING
Used to be, I’d email back and forth with someone over a few weeks, get some pictures, then assemble all those pieces into a single featured story for the website. That’s why I currently have about eight really good pieces sitting in limbo right now. I’ll be damned if I can find the time to build them. With this new system in place, I can publish something in 15 minutes or less, often right from my phone. Booyah. The thrill is back.
Now what I’m going to do is publish as soon as I have a couple questions back. Each interview will be broken up into 3, 4, 5, or more parts. Did you catch the first two parts of my interview with Mirza Mehmeti? Like I said, I’m still working on polishing things up to look the way I want, but this is a glimpse into how we’re going to be moving forward.
My publishing schedule is likely to change as well. It’s going to be tied to my email traffic. Some days might see nothing at all, while others might see a dozen or more posts. All depends on what I get from whom on which days – and when I have 15-20 minutes to publish it. This weekend will be a true test of the new format, as I’m headed to Mitsubishi Owner Day in Cypress, California, right after work. We’ll see how briefs from the field play out on the site.
I’D LOVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK
Leave me a comment and let me know? Grab a free subscription if you’ve not already? As always, keep going fast with class and press on regardless.