As fun as my job is, it's still a job, and at the end of the day, it's still a business, not just merely a charity or club. Consequently, I've been under a lot of pressure lately to increase participation in our new community properties. Namely, Forums, Blogs and the new Reader's Rides. I've tried all sorts of spiffs and enticements to get people to jump in and participate actively. Nothing seemed to work.
Looking back on Truckin's history, I came to find out in the early days of the magazine, it was predominantly a custom van magazine. While in the greater scheme of things, custom vans have been eclipsed by pickups and SUVs, there is still a significant contingent of these enthusiasts out there, as I came to find out.
I sent an E-mail to the webmaster of Vannin.com, inviting the site's members to come on over to Truckin', that we've got a place for them, and they're always welcome. The next day, I received a reply back from Doug, the site's webmaster, with an enthusiastic welcome, and a promise that Truckin' would be visited by van enthusiasts. That is an understatement to say the least. Some would say the forums have been over-run with vanners!
But you know what? I couldn't be happier. Finally, a group dedicated and passionate enough about their lifestyle and hobby to jump in and prove it. I'm not trash-talking any other group, or saying their participation is weak, but by far I've had the strongest response from van guys. I hope they will continue to contribute to the Truckin' community, and make it a welcoming place for all custom enthusiasts.