When I first proposed doing this tribe many months ago, I centred it around the marketing of cars. Since 2008, fed up with the BS on Wikipedia (whose fictions, sadly, get repeated all over the internet), I set up an automotive wiki called Autocade (autocade.net). If any of you are old enough to remember the late Michael Sedgwick’s guides to cars made between 1945 and 1970 that ran in the original Classic and Sportscar (sportscar was one word in those days), I wanted to create something that reflected my own lifetime (from the early 1970s on) and be far more global in scope.
Interestingly, when I asked the publisher of C&SC (after contributing to his wealth for three decades) if his people ever wanted to contribute, he said that they would never have the time and I received a strongly worded warning from him about the copyright of the original guides. Now, I’ve had nearly 30 years in the publishing game and thought it odd (not to mention rude) that a colleague would get so up tight. A brief visit to the site, which had a handful of entries, would have indicated there was no reason for concern. I found it stranger still that C&SC wound up putting those Sedgwick guides on the internet and asked the public for help years later. Pecksniffery isn’t my cup of tea, and here I could go on about the state of the Empah, but I won’t.
Of course Autocade had 100 per cent original content—you don’t survive decades in the business being a pirate—and 3,000-plus entries later, it gets a healthy amount of visitors per week. (Maybe that’s why C&SC did theirs?) Eventually, I succumbed to modern marketing trends and very lately started a tiny Facebook page on it, at least to post some behind-the-scenes thinking and publicity photos. While it proved all right, my blog posts were on my personal blog (which has been going since 2006) and things were all over the place.
Drivetribe, meanwhile, afforded the chance to put it all in one place and have it appreciated by other motorheads. In a week and a half it’s grown to about a quarter of the following of the Facebook page, so the question must be asked: why on earth would I bother continuing with Facebook? At least here the content is not going to the NSA (believe me, I’d rather Rupert Murdoch got it), and I’ve known of Cate Sevilla, who is one of the people running things behind the scenes, for nearly a decade when we both blogged and followed each other on a now-defunct site called Vox (as opposed to the current site at the same URL called Vox). Drivetribe is not faceless. The support crew respond, and there are humans working here.
The scope of the Global Motorshow (originally without the definite article, but when I saw the GM initials in the icon with a Volkswagen in the background, I rethought it) is a bit wider than Autocade, which is more an anorak’s encyclopædia, written from the country of origin’s point-of-view. And while I appreciate there is a demand for an anorak’s tribe here, I thought it might be fun to post some of the marketing materials we come across as well. There are some industry analyses, too, written from a marketing perspective (having a marketing degree specializing in branding helps. Yes, I was at university for a long time). When I spot something neat that might be relevant or simply interesting (e.g. commercial vehicles, which aren’t part of Autocade), I’ll post that, too. Indeed, I’d encourage you all to: some of Autocade was helped along by feedback from readers, and this tribe can only get better through posts and comments from you.
Therefore, here at the Global Motorshow, I welcome relevant posts from all over the world so we can share and indulge our motoring passions. I realize the irony of a guy who set up a website focused on brevity to be writing such a long intro. But I do look forward to being your host.
Top photo by Stuart Cowley, for Lucire (lucire.com). I am doing all of 30 km/h in a BMW X4, but in my defence it was through the woods, on terrain soft-roaders are not really meant to go on.