Gearheads like us need a place where we can help each other build better lives.
We’ve started thinking about where and how we’ll build such a place.
Facebook is the easy answer, but Facebook is evil. LinkedIn is nice in theory, as it’s a place where we highlight our careers and professional experiences, but it’s also a corporate entity hoovering up personal information for profit.
What we need is something like a good, old fashioned, private forum.
Someplace that feels like home; where homies help homies.
Trouble is, Facebook’s kind of ruined our attention spans. We used to challenge newbies to use the search—but Facebook deals in attention and data, so the lazies have won. It’s a race to the bottom, pandering to the lowest common denominators with lazy, low-intent echo chambers full of what-tires/turbos/engines fit discussions.
While we might collectively decry such things and claim to want a more intentional community experience, the current state of forums says otherwise. Gone are the days of simply setting up a forum, inviting a few friends, and seeing things take care of themselves.
We just get distracted by other things and forget about our forums.
So how do we bridge the gap between all the good things we still love (and miss) about the golden age of discussion forums with the ease and simplicity of contemporary social media?
It won’t be easy to pry ourselves away from Facebook and corporate social media, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it easier than things are now.
Should we even do a forum, though? How so?
XenForo runs about $300 a year. That’s a lot of coin for something we might find ourselves struggling to keep in use. I mean, this little community is going to be different—built around intent, meaningful, and inherently interesting—but successfully establishing a new community in the age of Soshul Mediuh requires we take these concerns seriously.
We could stand up a free board with something like Simple Machines, but even then, it’s “just another forum”, ya know? The value of being part of the community has to far outweigh the effort required to show up on a regular basis—which we need to make as easy as possible.
Maybe at some point we could build some kind of mobile-first, RSS-driven application that meant anyone with an affiliated blog could use their own blog posts like threads and app users could comment on those threads from within the app—a distributed community experience if you will—but that’s a bit overkill for this stage of the game.
Maybe we could even reboot ye olde email newsletter a la The Talon Digest. Email’s come a long way in the last 20 years. Maybe you can teach old dogs new tricks.
For now, we’re just inviting the early adopters in the audience who truly care about what we’re doing to join us on Slack to hangout and talk about the future of The Gearhead Project Alliance (TGPA).
We’ll build this thing together.
Are you a next level gearhead like us, looking to spend more time doing intentional things that bring work and life into closer alignment? Maybe you should join us.
We’re looking for a few good people who believe in what we’re trying to do enough to help us build the future of TGP. If that’s you, I’ve got a link for you, below.
Something you should know, though, before you click that link:
This isn’t going to be another cookie cutter car forum, with subs for engine, transmission, interior, and sale/wanted. Sure, those conversations will likely take place, but elsewhere. The vision, as it currently stands, is a place where people who do their homework can ask any question and have others rally around them to find the answer.
Those who do their homework will get all the help in the world. Those who have not will find they have lots of questions to answer before they get any answers themselves.
And that’s only the beginning.
Long story short, we’re building a place where people like us talk about things like this. We’re going to build it together. And then we’re putting a price tag on it. And then we’re scaling it to the friggin’ moon.
If you want a more meaningful life, where you spend more time legitimately engaged with interesting people storming, forming, and norming on their way to collectively performing—you might want to be part of this. Now.
Click here and tell me you’re in. I’ll send you an invite link ASAP.