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June 05, 2005

Blog the Bikes

Heather Green

A couple of emails popped into my inbox recently from Jonathan Maus and Tim Jackson, giving me an update on a discussion we had here last month about how the bicycle industry would be a natural for blogging.

It appears there were more people in the room than we knew...It seems that, after following the thread, a trade magazine is doing a story on the subject. What's more, Jackson, a blogger who works at Masi, and Maus, who kicked off our discussion with a post at his Just Riding Along blog, are "working together to create an open forum and resource center for the bike industry" at Maus' blog, Jackson wrote.

The power of words, indeed!

10:14 AM

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Tracked on June 8, 2005 05:40 PM

Hi Steven and Heather,

I just thought I would post a comment to your site. Not too long ago I was reading, with great interest, your piece in Business Week on Blogging.

To make a long story short, I have a "Baby Blog" up and running. I haven't even learned to stand yet really, but I clearly see the potential power of the Blog.

My wife and I own a mortgage company in Michigan and I plan to get the basic site up and running and then figure out how to serve clients in Scottsdale and Asheville, where we have second homes.

Once I accomplish that task, I have all sorts of ideas floating around in my head. I believe that this medium, if successful, could be the answer for many of the Baby Boomers who are looking to be "consultants" in "retirement".

I have been exploring Blogs like crazy and have seem many fine examples. Yours, by the way, falls into that catagory. The only complaint I have is the annoying pop up when I enter your site.

Continued success with your site. I will be back often to learn from you as you both grow your site.

Posted by: David Porter at June 5, 2005 02:55 PM

David,

Thanks for the kind words on the blog. From where I sit, it sounds like you're having fun with your blog and that it really is serving as an inspiration. Good luck with that and enjoy!

Believe me, I hate our pop ups as well. At the very least you would think they could have different pop ups...

Posted by: Heather Green at June 6, 2005 09:10 AM

Heather,

I think the larger issue is the response to blogging by trade magazines and industry websites. In my opinion, they should be leading the charge in leveraging new communications tools. After all, isn't one of the main purposes of a trade journal to communicate with their industry?

In the case of the bike industry, the main U.S. trade magazine, Bicycle Retailer & Industry News is run by a huge corporation, VNU, that owns several other trade titles. Unfortunately they've got cold feet when it comes to doing a blog. It's too bad because the magazine is very good and is staffed with a team of solid journalists that I'm sure would love start blogging.

The good news is that the June 15th issue will include a story on blogging. Should be interesting to see how it comes out.

Posted by: Jonathan Maus at June 6, 2005 11:29 AM

The stars must be aligned! I'm the "ex-bike store owner" who commented on your original bike post. As luck would have it, I'm working on a series of articles describing how blogging can help various different businesses. Since specialty retail is quite close to my heart, I started with that sector.

That article is now up at www.theblogstudio.com/blogarticle/who-should-be-blogging---part-1-specialty-retailers

It's got some tips and ideas that might just be of interest to the bike store owner who's ready to make the leap.

Thanks

Posted by: Peter Flaschner at June 6, 2005 04:51 PM

I enjoyed this post. I have a friend who has a bike & ski shop in Sun Valley, ID who knows all the inside scoop on local trails, gear, etc. for biking & skiing. The problem is you have to stop by his store and get some of his time to find it out. I'm convinced he'd expand his business with a blog as the word would spread that he's the most knowledgeable guy in town even if his shop isn't the biggest & most advertised. I'm printing this out and using it as additional fodder to what I've been saying to him. Thanks

Speaking of printing, I've had some funky issues trying to print your blog. With Firefox, it will only print page 1 and then the rest of the pages are blank. It's only slightly better with IE. I'm wondering if it's a problem on my end or yours. Thought you should know in case others have had similar issues.

Posted by: Dave Chase at June 6, 2005 04:55 PM

Dave, I'll send the question about printing to our tech people. Thanks for pointing it out. (I just tried it on IE and it worked fine.)

Posted by: steve baker at June 6, 2005 04:58 PM

Heather,

Thank you again for shining a little spotlight on the bike industry. As I've said before, it tends to suffer from a slight inferiority complex. Getting a little mainstream attention will only serve it well.

As you mentioned in the follow-up, Jonathan and I are hoping to create a space that will serve to draw attention to blogging in the bike industry and help folks think "outside the parts box", so to speak. Since we aren't divulging trade secrets and making people nervous, maybe competitive biases can be set aside long enough to use the forum as a way to do some smarter business.

The first steps have been taken at least. Now it's time to see if it will continue rolling.

Tim Jackson

Brand Manager

Masi Bicycles

Posted by: Tim Jackson at June 6, 2005 06:10 PM

Just found you via the Inquirer blog, actually; and this topic is also personally relevant as at least two readers over on my site have blogs dedicated to riding. Never considered the larger community, so I read this and the linked article with great interest.

Also, exciting to see what our local paper down in Philly is doing not only in the new media, but how it's covering it as well. Nice work here, too.

Posted by: PLD at June 6, 2005 10:10 PM

I'm planning on including Davidson Handbuilt Bicycles as a mini case-study in the blog book I'm writing. It's an absolute fit. The only problem is who's going to write the posts. These guys build bikes, not post. I'm hoping one of the young guys will take up the cause. Another natural is the ski industry. I spoke to Colorado Ski Country about business blogging last month and they were really excited. They're going to roll out their new blog this year, that'll focus on blogging from the different resorts.

Posted by: DL Byron at July 6, 2005 06:56 PM


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