June/July 2000 Soapbox
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 Our Magazine
By Moen

Well, maybe this is one of those things that seem more important to those involved in putting it together than to those reading it, but this month I'd like to throw a few loose thoughts on this magazine - our magazine, actually - at ya.

Obviously, we've come a long way since the start, a mere 4 issues ago, and it seems my worries about not being able to fill out a monthly format, well, sort of monthly anyway, was unfounded. As you can see for yourself, our dedicated group of contributors is growing fast, and shows no sign of running out of Indian stories any time soon.

This brings me to the "our" part. 

I am pretty sure that every one of the people who reads the mag has a story to tell. Be it how they found and resurrected their Indian, how they tackled some problem during the rebuild, or even how they don't have an Indian yet, but some thoughts or questions on how to go about getting one, perhaps on a tight budget. Another group of readers have stories from another angle to tell. They are the manufacturers and dealers of Indian parts. For obvious reasons, it would be nice to hear more from them, too.

But you, dear silent reader, only just got a computer, right? And you can't spell or type worth a damn, right?

That doesn't matter. My job here is to help you get the best out of your notes and snapshots. So, drop me a line if you have an idea for a story, and we'll figure it out. My email address will pop up if you click on the blue name up on top of the page or, if you prefer, here it is again moen@get2net.dk.

One particular area of Indian stuff, it would be nice to have more of is, wait for it, more tech? No, Indian/Harley jokes! We had this neat picture on the "Indian Humor" page last month, but what I (and Tim, who fostered the idea) would really like to see is the Humor page growing into a collection of the old sayings, proverbs, jokes and jabs that Indian riders took at hapless souls, stuck with nothing but a Harley for transport, and what they got back. "Harley Davidson, made of tin. Ride 'em out and push 'em in". Right? I wonder what the replies from the other camp were. If you know, tell us! Besides conserving a piece of Indian history, there still seems to be a lot of Harleys out there, and we've got to keep them in their place :-)

Jokes aside, we are on a mission here. Sounds serious, doesn't it? Well, it kinda is.

The Internet is by now pervading most areas of our lives -or at least the lives of a large portion of us. In Denmark, where I live, 54% of the population now has www access, and in neighboring Sweden it's 65%. I'm not up to date on US numbers, but they've got to be similar. That 's all very well, this high and growing state of "wired-ness", but what do we do with it? Chat and play games? I don't think that's all there is. Not even looking at websites and reading online Indian magazines. The real revolution is that, for the first time in history, we have the means to really work together across the world. Not just look at things but change them.

The VI Network is an attempt to create a framework for our working together towards a number of goals, which all have to do with more, better and more affordable Indians, and I don't have the slightest doubt that we will reach most of these goals when the message sinks in, so to speak, and we really start to put an effort into it.

Compared to that, it wouldn't seem like putting out a web-magazine about Indians in general was very important. But it is.

The VI Magazine is both our face towards the world, and our "interface". Presenting our stuff, enlightening Indian riders and other nice folks, as well as staying up to date ourselves to see where our work is leading. That's why the magazine is important. The whole VI thing is all about cooperation, and that should reflect in the way the magazine is put together. That's why I call it Our Magazine and that's why I'm asking you to become an active part of it.

But if you should feel that all my talk of revolution is a bit too much, and you only came here to read a magazine and not to get preached at, that's fine. After all, it's your magazine too, so just send your Indian story anyway. 

 Your humble VI editor, 
or coordinator or whatever;
executive janitor?
Nice shirt, huh?

And what do I do, besides wearing colorful shirts? In "real life" I live in Denmark, work on bikes and build websites (for your business, too?), but my "job" on the VI is to put together Our Magazine.

Note that I didn't say "write" Our Magazine. Ideally, I should just be the guy who types your story, makes it into a web page and sends it out into cyber space. 

Of course I find it hard to shut up over extended periods of time, so I'll probably write some too, anyhow, but the bottom line is that this is not My Magazine it's Our Magazine. It is only possible to do this sort of thing when a bunch of people work together, so why not think of a way for yourself to join the fun? You, too, can become one of the Famous VI Writers!

If your talents run more in the direction of management than creative arts, there's a number of vacancies in the Project Dept. -And if there's isn't one to suit you, we'll make one.

A great example of this is the Blueprint Project, coordinated by Dave Clements. Dave heads a team of draftsmen (draftspersons? Any women involved yet? I hope so), putting together their work on the monthly Blueprint page.

Another is the Warpath project, Lyle's baby. While the cases and other engine parts is a private project of Lyle's (which has all the support the VI can give it), the rest of the parts, needed for the new "Peoples' Indian", needs some coordination too. So far Jim Wall is Captain of the frame team, but there's a lot more to a bike than engine and frame...

Smaller jobs available too. Wanna be an Official VI Proofreader? Or take a camera to a bike meet or show? Get in touch.

More of a hands-on type of person? Happen to be in the US Mid-West?
Well, there will be a VI booth at the AMCA meet in Davenport, Iowa in early September. Come and help staffing it!

More about Davenport & the VI next time -and on the VI Mailing List.

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