|February 2000 Column||www.virtualindian.org|
|Home / Features / Editorial|
A number of things, actually.
1) The old site was somewhat uncomfortably spread out over 3 free with email hosting deals, and was getting a little hard to manage. There was a limit on traffic, so if it grew any bigger we'd run a real risk of everything going down just as we were having the most fun. The new VI is on a commercial server now (meaning I pay for it -gladly) and I intend to step up the promotion, so even more people get to know about the VI. A monthly deadline will also be a little easier for me to cope with in the long run; as it were, I was really spending too much time on it and neglecting other things in my life.
2) I felt we needed more exposure for our projects, and a magazine seemed a good idea for roping in a few more Indian enthusiasts. We have a good thing going with our projects, and there's no limit to how far we can take them if we get some more people in on it. A magazine with a broader focus (more non-tech feature stories) will hopefully make the VI a household name in the worldwide Indian community. A monthly must-read. That would be fun in itself, but it would also mean that our projects would gain a much broader base of collaborators, as well as potential customers for the outcome.
3) Since the demise of Indian Illustrated we haven't really had a full-size magazine (although there are many great club magazines well worth a read!), and that was another thing in favor of the present format. Paper magazines are costly to produce, but the web is a great equalizer: Little Guys can play here as well as Big Guys...
4) I am constantly delighted with the quality of writing on our mailing list, and I felt there was a need for a more permanent forum for the writing and photography of us "regular" guys & gals. A People's Indian Magazine sort of thing.
5) I've always wanted to edit a bike magazine, and this was my chance! :-)
So here we are with the first issue of the new VI Magazine. I was happily surprised that so many of the people, I asked to contribute, accepted, and I hope many more of you will consider writing a story for future issues. It can really be about anything, as long as it is related to Indians in some way. A story on your Indian, a multi-part restoration story, a how-to article, a trip you made on your Indian, coverage of an Indian event -there really is no limit here. Just get in touch with me and let me know what you want to do, and I'll do anything I can to help. And you don't have to consider yourself a great writer to be published here. An astounding number of the contributors to this issue started their first letter to me with: "I'm no writer, but...". I think they did pretty well for non-writers!
It is my hope and ambition that our magazine will evolve into a truly cooperative effort, with a bunch of people having fun putting each issue together, but for now, while we are just snicking into first gear, I will do all I can to help anyone with something Indian on their minds and hearts get it out to a wider audience.
Of course this goes for manufacturers of Indian parts too. If you tell us more about what you're up to, the magazine gets better, more people read it, and everybody comes out a winner.
To pick up on the People's Indian Magazine notion briefly again, this is your magazine. I'm only here to keep the motor running: You decide where we go.
Your humble VI editor,
or coordinator or whatever;
An astounding number of the contributors to this issue started their first letter to me with: "I'm no writer, but..." I think they did pretty well for non-writers!
A People's Indian Magazine sort of thing.