All this week's talk of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook is making people smugly state, 'If the product is free, you're the product,' and that is plainly horseshit spouted by someone who has conveniently forgotten about blogs. Or charity, or volunteering, or plenty of other stuff, but mainly blogs.
Blogs, God, I miss blogs. I still visit some of my old favourites, try the locks, knock on the windows, shout through the catflap. I don't get much back. Sure, there are a few other loons out there, barking at the moon, but not many of my old faves. Some blogs raised themselves above the purely amateur moshpit of online publishing, embraced advertising and ripped cyberspace a new cornhole. Bike Exif is the uberbikeblog, I guess. And it is free, but with blink-blink-blinking advertising. Bike Shed and Pipeburn are in the same vein. Their content is all interchangeable, at least from where I'm sat. What I'm talking about is the true enthusiast blog, a published on Blogger blog, like Travis's 747 Rider, Lenny Schuurmans' Bubble Visor, Bram's Baron73 , Norm's Motorcycho and Jeff Wright's Church of Choppers. The latter is where these shots are taken from.
The best blogs gave a glimpse into the owner's lives and Church of Choppers still does it brilliantly, with Jeff's word light, photo-heavy posts of his drive to work, his weekends away with his kids, the workshop, his studio... These caught my eye, and I downloaded them, because one of our tea towels is hanging in the restroom (above).
I know people were perturbed when I decided to move from Blogger to hosting the blog on this website. Plus Instagram has definitely made me post less personal stuff, I just slam it up on there, plus I've increased the frequency and amount of pages in every Sideburn (we started out twice a year with 80 pages, now we're four times a year with 116-pages and supplements). The blog was the part of the Sideburn mix that took the hit, but with new SB blog contributors like Todd Marella and John Harrison, I feel it's offering perspectives nowhere else is. I'm going on holiday soon and I want to keep the blog delivering while I'm away, so I put the call out to friends around the world to deliver posts and we've got a great mix coming up. So keep coming back. I wasn't willing to keep up the frankly nuts promise of a post a day, like we did for years on end at the old Sideburn blog, but we have been posting six times a week, most weeks of the year, since we've moved here.
I never look at the data to see if anyone's reading, so maybe I am just a lone idiot barking at the moon. If not, I hope you're enjoying the blog still. It's free and YOU ARE NOT THE PRODUCT!
If you are interested in contributing to the Sideburn blog, email me with what you can contribute and how easy you're going to make life for me.