Power to the people and the responsibility that goes with it.

It’s been a hell of a week for me and my head is crammed with so many thoughts that they’re jumbling up in a giant, twisted spaghetti knot that I need to untangle and separate.

Like all roads to hell, this one started with good intentions.  As a car guy, I am a member of a few automobile based forums.  Well one of these forums has been around for a long time, but has been declining for over a year now.  All the “old-timers” noticed it and had complained to the management for the past year.  Nothing ever happened.

The moderators, all two of them for a site that has over 1050 pages of listed members, are frustrated as well.  They don’t have the manpower or the abilities to really make a difference.

Sunday was the last straw.  This site posted a big pat on the back to itself for “doing so well” without addressing any of the problems brought to them or addressing the members who asked to have these issues fixed.

Wanting to help, I told the guys that if they wanted, I could set up a new forum site for them.  It would be their site and they would run it.  There also would be many moderators and administrators so that there would always be someone there to keep things running smooth.

They did so I did.

It took me a few hours Tuesday to set up the majority of it, and a couple hours yesterday and today to get some bugs out.  (I also had a good amount of help today from one of the fellow administrators.)

Members from the other site were already jumping over to the new one.  Before I knew it, all the “elders” had moved over; including one of the moderators.

I’m not bothered by the move, but I am bothered by the circumstance.  That old site was once a good site.  It was the administrator over there that let it slide.  People had complained for a year about problems and nothing happened.  It took a post on the guy’s facebook page to even get a response about the frustration of the members and his solution was to have a chat with the moderators.

That chat probably won’t happen and it should’ve been with the members. We might have learned what his point of view was coming into this and what limits were placed on him by his bosses.

We’ll never know that now.

So I’m upset about this missed opportunity.

But I’m angry too.  I’m angry at the fact that this administrator is an experienced editor who ran a magazine for many years and yet did not realize the importance of his membership!  Web hosts, bloggers, writers, anyone who is in the information/entertainment field knows how important your core members are!  You don’t ignore or dismiss them!  He has far too much experience to make such a bone-headed mistake.

Hell, I run a tiny blog and I whole heartily appreciate everyone that takes the time to read my post, reply to it, or check out my Facebook page.  It means a hell of a lot to me.

How can you be so stupid as to forget the people who make the place what it is?

But then I looked at the list of new members at the new site and got sad and angry at the same time.

All those collective years of experience.  All the knowledge.  All the passion, commitment, and heart these people have was lost from that old site.  These people could’ve done so much to make that old site a better place.  They considered it their home for so many years.  They were part of the community but felt left out on the front porch of an empty house.

They could’ve done so much if only they were given the chance.

What a waste for the old place.

I’m glad I helped build them a new one.

For the love of music

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They roam from town to town across the nation or set in the local taverns as much a fixture as the bourbon bottles behind the bar.  They are the romantics of our time and are called musicians.

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These dedicated bards decided long ago to eschew the familiarity and financial safety of our average blue and white collar jobs, risking it all for the cheer of the crowd and the adrenaline of the stage.

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Deep inside the hope of making it big springs eternal, but the odds play against them.  Instead they produce some CDs, upload a rough cut video on You Tube, and post on Facebook about their next gig.

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Some might think them lazy but they would be wrong.  These modern bards sweat through their performance, smile with every thank you, pose for every picture, listen to every comment, pack their own equipment, drive to their next destination, and sleep in their car when there is no room to be found or afforded.

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CD sales, donations, and personal performances comprise the bulk of their earnings, but ebb and flow at the whim of the economy.

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Romances start with a dreamy look of a fan, but can soon fade under the harsh light of the spot and the long grind of the road.  True love is something tested and tested again.  Family and children are hard thought before acted upon.

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Age; age and retirement are ghosts of futures yet to come.  Sometimes cold and chilly, other times as calm and serene as a sunset over the ocean.

No matter.  The music and the memories are eternal.

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(Thanks to Albannach for inspiring this.)

Thoughts of: A Pickup Truck Podcast

Podcast:  An audio recording that is played, downloaded, or streamed on a computer, smartphone, or other mobile media device.  The recording is loosely based on a talk radio format and is created variously from the hobbyist to fully funded industries.

How many of you listen to them?  I started when I won an i-pod in a contest.  I’d download scads of them and listen through the day as I did my mundane and tedious chores at work.

Podcasts are wonderful things because, like blogs or the internet, they allow you to find a topic you enjoy and bring fellow enablers to strengthen your biases.  I’ve seen podcast sites for gardening, cars, books, sailing, comedy, motorcycles, firearms, Star Trek, farming, bicycling, hiking, horse riding, news, music, business, video games, religion, and even old radio shows from the era before television.  There’s even a small section that focuses on dating and relationships if you’re so inclined.  It doesn’t seem to be that popular though given how hard it is to find anything on that topic.

Like the web, there is a podcast for anything.  Well, almost.

Perusing through various podcast sites and search engines, I have found one glaring omission.  The pickup truck podcast.

That’s right.  In the great streaming digital universe there is no podcast that focuses solely on the pickup truck.

Why is that?

It makes no sense to me.  Given that the pickup is still number one and two selling vehicle in the country and that 60% of GM’s profit comes from the pickup platform, you’d think a market savvy entertainment company would jump on this.

Let’s look at another auto based entertainment sector for a moment.  Printed magazines.  When it comes to motorized vehicle based magazines, every corner of the market is covered.

You like motorcycles?  Take your pick according to style, age, and market.

Cars?  Enthusiast or fact seeker?  Amateur racer or vintage restorer?  Big block engine or four cylinder hybrid?

Pickup Trucks?  You can focus on small trucks or big diesels.  Low ride street machines or off road trail riders.  You can find restoration magazines or wild customizations.  Anything and everything.

Scooters?  Yes there are magazine for scooters of all sorts and character.

But when it comes to podcasts I’d bet money that you will have an easier time finding a ‘cast about scooters than you would about pickups.

So then the obvious question becomes:

“How would you do it?”

That parts easy.

Since the pickup is made by car companies, you go the same route as a car based podcast.

News:  You report about the new vehicle coming out, the new regulations affecting future products, the way the market meets the challenges of the times, economy, safety, recalls, new technologies, and other newsworthy items.

Reviews:  Tests of the various trucks both on and off the road.

Interviews:  One on one with the designers, engineers, marketing, sports people, and spokesperson for the vehicles.  You could even record “live shows” where listeners could call in and ask questions.

Sporting and events:  From the Baja 1000 to auto shows to truck pulls, reports of what’s happening along with interviews of the stars of the event will always be wanted.

The Personal Angle:  A “This old truck” segment where an average person talks about why they chose the truck they did and how they use it; or a general discussion about the truck and how it fits psychologically into society.

Aftermarket products:  The pickup truck is the most personalized and accessorized vehicle on the planet.  There are so many companies out there that would love to come on the air and tell their story about how their product fits into the pickup world.  Plus all the above topics can fit into this section as well.

So, as you can see there are tons of topics to build a podcast around.  The “how to do it” is easy.

I can hear your next question already:  “If it’s so easy, why don’t you do it?”

To be honest, I have thought about it, but I believe that having a voice for sign language is a hindrance in this endeavor.  The time conundrum is another.

So for now I will keep searching for this elusive podcast, but I also would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.  I know I have some pickup fans here.  Tell me what you think and what truck topics you’d like to hear about.

Until then, keep on truckin’.