A lot of work went into the remodel a couple months back. It wasn’t necessarily expensive, unless you assign a dollar amount to the hours I spent customizing pieces and putting them all together. Sadly, though, I find myself less and less impressed with things by the day. GBXM 4.0 is coming. Here’s a sneak preview and how we’re going to change.
WHY CHANGE AGAIN?
A number of reasons. First, there are some bugs with the theme we’re using. If I want to update that cool slideshow deal on the home page, I have to turn off our SEO plugin. I’m also noticing that I have to refresh the page each time I “like” a story if I want it to take. These are minor annoyances, but they’re ghetto.
Second, configuring each story for the new design takes twice as long as it used to. True, the new stories tend to look more like a magazine than ever before, but the old stories look kinda wonky now, and working full time with a new baby at home (and this pretty much being a one-man-show again), I need this to be simple and efficient if it is to survive.
Finally, I think the site has gotten too complicated. You’re hear to check out cool rides and the people like you who built them. You don’t need gimmicks. You don’t need fluff. You don’t need distractions. Gearbox Magazine needs to do one thing and do it better than anyone else. That can’t happen if each story takes more time to layout than to write.
HOW WILL GBXM BE CHANGING?
The biggest thing you’ll notice is how the site looks. It’s gonna look a lot like this.
Again, why are you here? To read the latest stories of gearheads – real people doing real things with cars they actually own. I don’t want to publish crap. And since we don’t run eleventy-billion stories every single day like the other guys do, each story can spend a couple days on the front page. At least until we go subscription-only.
The dream is for Gearbox Magazine to evolve to be a real magazine, as in one of those printed, paper things you hold in your hands and ends up on the coffee table or within arm’s reach of the toilet. This blog format is a step in the right direction, but the product has eventually got to become something that looks good in print.
I’m still working on getting tooled-up to build monthly issues, but once I’m ready, I’ll put together a free sample. But wait! There’s more! I plan on making 100% free, lifetime subscriptions available to everyone for at least a whole month before I start asking for any money. (Probably more like three months, actually, but we’ll see how it plays out.) The final product should look something like this.
Now, you might be asking, “If Gearbox Magazine goes to a monthly subscription, why bother changing the website?” Good question. Once I’m ready to do regular, monthly issues (which means more editorial themes, by the way), this space will feature sneak peeks of what you can expect in the next issues; pictures, maybe videos. Subscribers will be able to discuss in-progress stories in the new TEAM forum, helping to make sure the right questions are asked and such. It’s gonna be fun.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU EXPECT FROM GEARBOX MAGAZINE?
I’m shutting down the Gearheads-United.com forum. Doesn’t seem like there was enough interest in the idea, and it’s been all but dead ever since those spammers got in and blew the place up. Besides, I always wondered when I would have to explain to the guys from UnitedGearheads.com that I honestly didn’t know they existed until after I built the place. Instead, there will be a far simpler, private forum for subscribers and GBXM staff only, where those of us who really care about the unification of the global gearhead community can network and work together.
I’m also in the process of migrating all the Penmanshift curriculum to this private forum, so people who want to write about cars and maybe become a partner in this thing – but maybe don’t know what it takes – will have the tools and support they need to blow the cookie cutter, press release bullshit all over the web out of the water when they get published here. All told, Penmanshift represents three full months of training, available to anyone who wants to do this with me, but isn’t sure how.
NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP.
Press on regardless. That’s what I’m thinking. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on this website, domain, hosting, travelling to events and interviewing people all over the world. And I haven’t asked for a dime yet. Those of you who get it and want to be part of it? THANK YOU. Everything I’m doing, here, I’m doing for you. I hope you’re as excited about these changes as I am. The website part is easy. The magazine isn’t. Let’s build something together.
Keep going fast with class.