I remember when I was a little kid, and I couldn't wait for the newest issue of my favorite magazine to show up in the mailbox. Nevermind the fact that it was wrapped in black plastic and I would have to manipulate the top of the plastic just right to get a glimpse of who was on the cover. Then I would have to wait for my dad to have some downtime to open it up and read it, then yet still wait for some alone time when I could sneak into his closet and pull the new issue down and peruse it myself. Thank you, Mr. Hefner.
As I got older, I started getting my own magazine subscriptions, albeit mine were Sports Illustrated and water skiing magazines, and therefore didn't require their covers being hidden behind black plastic. Either way, I still eagerly awaited my newest issues and had specific sections I would immediately read first, like SI's "Faces in the Crowd." Over the years my mag subscriptions have fluctuated in numbers and changed in content, and sadly, some of my favorites have simply disappeared. But even today I still have several subscriptions that I continue to re-up without hesitation. While some may say, "Print is dead," I still find it totally relevant and serving a purpose; it's just not the same animal it was several years ago. Over the years we've just had to adapt and change the manner and format in which we deliver and report on various types of stories and communicate with our readers. And now we've become a mesh of print and digital publishing with each serving its purpose. Personally, if I want to relax and thoroughly engage myself in an article, or if it's important information that I really want to absorb, I'll read a printed page, but if I just need some quick info or an answer, I'll read it online. I've come to learn from years of working with computers and researching and reading online, I do not retain material as well by reading off a screen as I do off a printed page. I've noticed when I read a computer screen I tend to scan the text rather than read each word-I'm sure this is the case for many others as well.
It seems that every year we add some new form of media to our method of communicating with our readers. First it was hotbikeweb.com, then it was our Myspace page (myspace.com/hotbikeweb), then the blog on our website, then Zinio, Facebook (facebook.com/hotbike), and now Twitter (twitter.com/HotBikeMagazine). No matter how you want to stay connected with us or consume our content, we have a way for you to do so, whether it be reading full articles via our printed or digital magazines, or our website. If you just want little tidbits of what we're doing or what's going on in the V-twin world and/or you just want to socialize with us and other HOT BIKE and American V-twin enthusiasts, you can do so via the blog on our website, or our Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Speaking of magazines, just a little heads up: our annual newsstand-only HOT BIKE BUYER'S GUIDE will be hitting newsstands at the end of January. Packed with hundreds of parts from exhausts to saddlebags, this is one of those issues you'll hold onto and will be a valuable resource as you build or modify your bikes. And dropping at the beginning of January will be the winter edition of our sister publication, Street Chopper. Published bi-monthly, this mag will give you some insight as to what's going down in the garages and shops of the stripped-down chopper and bobber scene. Be sure to pick them both up.
Until next time, Eric