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Preview: Just Riding Along

Just Riding Along

...through the intersection of the Internet, media, marketing and the bicycle industry.

Published: 2006-07-25T22:34:19-07:00


This site has been retired


Howdy, Just want everyone to know that I have retired this site. Even though my last post (before this one) was over 7 months ago I am still getting pitches by PR companies (if you can call them that). It was a good run and I wish I could have kept it going. If you want to see what I've been up to, check out Cheers, --Jonathan Maus

Some gems from the archive


I thought I'd list a few of the memorable posts and discussions that have happened here over the past few months. Bike Shops Must Start Blogging RSS for cycling junkies The truth about bike reviews Bike ads go too far Kerkove suspended for forum comments The Interbike Question Michael Browne on blogs

What's going on around here?


Been about a month since my last post so I figure I've got some explaining to do. There are a variety of things that made me step back and take some time away from this space. I won't go into them here, but in case you're wondering I don't see myself coming back and getting into a regular posting rhythm here on Just Riding Along. I wish I could have kept it going, but it just wasn't meant to be. I hope people will still find something of value in my archives (which I wish were more accessible) because there is a ton of interesting dialogue and information to be found here. If I get back into blogging about the bike biz, I plan on starting fresh; new name, new blogging platform, new focus. You can get your bike industry blogging fix from Tim Jackson's new blog and Donna Tocci's new blog, just to name a few. Keep in touch.

Is the Piton on the way back?


The Piton was an anonymous, multi-authored blog on the outdoor industry. It was one of the first blogs I ever read on a daily basis. The authors are very bright, uber-insiders that weren't afraid to bring up the meaty topics. It was very good. Then, a few months ago they stopped doing it. I think it got to be too much time and brain energy for them to keep it going (hmmm...sounds familiar). Well, just going through my Bloglines subscriptions and saw this post over on the Wicked Outdoorsy Blog. The funny thing is, the Piton was supposed to be anonymous, yet by that post it's obvious that the guys behind Wicked Outdoorsy are also behind the Piton. Was it an "oops" post or are they going to reveal their identities this time around? Either way, I hope they make another run at it.

Cannondale webmaster quoted in eWeek article


Janet Maurice, frequent commenter here on JRA and web/blogmaster for Cannondale Corp. attended the recent BlogOn event in NYC. She was featured in an article which also mentioned McDonald's upcoming move into employee blogging. Here is her quote: "Like in the IT world, 'geek' is a good term in cycling. A lot of people take pride in their 'geekdom,' and this fact plays right into blogs," said Maurice. "Blogging allows us to communicate to our community in an authentic, real, passionate way. We can do that whenever and however we choose to do it." Good to see Cannondale sending someone to this conference. They've always positioned themselves as the most innovative bicycle company so I guess it makes sense that they're the most innovative marketers in the industry too.

MB Action goes digital


(thanks to Tim at Blue Collar MTB for this tip!) Venerable cycling publication Mountain Bike Action has just gone completely digital by teaming up with a company called Zinio. MBA offers a digital subscription for the same price as regular old print. The benefits of this format are immediate delivery, a personal archive and more robust and precise search capabilities. It looks super sharp and I'm curious how many folks will sign up. I also wonder if their advertisers will mind that their horizontal ads can't be viewed correctly. I think it's sort of ironic that MBA is the first to do something like this because I was just talking at Interbike about the fact that their format and design hasn't changed forever and that they were sort of the "old school" mag. The interesting thing about services like Zinio is that this is sort of a compromise between two worlds; the experience of a magazine and the experience of the web. While I'm psyched to see MBA try this, I think it's pretty interesting to see how publishers are still clinging on to the magazine experience and being reluctant to offer the content free on the web. While I give them props for trying something new, I don't quite understand why they don't just take a cue from Dirt Rag and release most of the content free as real web pages instead charging for this "digital magazine" format. Or, if they're not into the totally free model, why not do something like the (and others) where most of the content is available free and certain articles require a subscription? By using Zinio, MBA will drive absolutely no traffic to their own online property, the pages do nothing for search engine placement, and the content cannot be linked to...

Touching base


Howdy folks, I know it seems like I've dropped off the face of the earth since right before Interbike. I haven't. I've just lost a little juice for this space and I've put my energy and thoughts into other things. My other blog/site demands a lot of my time and energy...not to mention that I live and breathe the content every day as I ride around Portland, attend local bike events and meetings, and get to know the amazing folks in our vibrant bike scene. And, as of today, I've confirmed my first advertising partnership so things are getting interesting. I'm not sure if my life has room for two blogs, at least not two blogs that I think can remain on-topic and high-quality. Obviously I've still got bike industry stuff to share so thanks for bearing with me and hopefully you'll not erase my feed and my URL completely from your thoughts. And I'm still checking all of your blogs so keep up the great work. Regards, --Jonathan

From My Ride with Lance


On Sunday, I hung out with Lance at the LiveStrong Ride at Nike World Headquarters. Read the full report over at

Getting press, getting customers


Rocking Danica to sleep and I started to think about how the keys to getting media exposure are the same as winning over your customers. Here's a list of things that could be the guts of a Powerpoint presentation on either topic: Make it easy to "buy" Establish a friendly, authentic relationship Become a trusted source of information, guidance, expertise Help them out, even when it doesn't benefit you directly Know as much as possible about who you're dealing with The customer/media is always usually right (but honest and direct communication is essential). You always have time for the customer/media Customer service is the same as good media relations Stay in touch after the "sale" That's it for now, maybe I'll expand on these a bit more down the road.

Focus shifting to other projects...


You may have noticed I've been posting less than usual here at JRA. I've been spending more time with the family (Danica is already 1 month old!) and I've been focusing on my clients and other projects. Also, my blog/site that covers the Portland bike scene has really taken off and is taking more and more of my time. But stay tuned, because there are some cool things ahead (most notably Interbike and a new contributor).