After lots of talking, and some work, and then lots more talking, at last I have a youtube outlet, Just Go Drive.
Please watch, subscribe, like, and if you think its bad, refrain from hurting my feelings by saying so.
After listening to advice from someone we know who works in measurement and branding at youtube to focus on one simple concept, we decided on three kinds of content. The first kind, from my perspective, is historical and contemporary opinions on everything from “Nascar and Moonshine” to “Why Hyundai are The Most Interesting Car Company at the Moment”. The second kind is an evolution of a previous project of my partners, to create screen saver, “in the background, beautiful nature” content. This time instead of beautiful beaches in Tahiti, or penguin nests in the arctic, it is “Great Drives From Around the World”. The third kind of content, “Cars Reviewed”, comes as a response to my involvement with the Western Automotive Journalists. It seems that eyeballs are migrating from text to video fast, and reviews of cars are in enormous demand. Everything from new, practical grocery-getters to classics and aspirational exotics, from CNet or Edmunds super objective reviews to camera shake and a$$hat opinion. Top Gear impersonations abound. All draw traffic, so it seemed obvious to put our commentated opinion over some B roll of new cars we’ve actually driven, and to create running reports of the semi-classics we own.
At this stage, I should point out that this has been enabled by my oldest partner in crime, school friend Mark Gammie, who has learned video editing software. Now, if there is something Mark Gammie and Jon Summers can do, it is Tell A Story. The youtube video format offers a different, very 21st century riff on the notion of the bard, whether it is a Shakespeare, the playwrite and his travelling company, or a single individual, such as Homer, skilled in rhetoric, addressing the camera in monologue/soliloquy, different from the powerpoint and narrative we both typically use in our professional settings, closest to the movie and film projects I did five or ten years ago, but with the chance to create far more content in a far more rough and ready way. Exciting!
Over the last decade I have done a large number of start up projects, but none with the fire or belief I have in this one. It works that Mark and I know each other well – we can be critical of each others work without hurting egos and our friendship. We are also both pretty lazy, in that we regard the French short working week as a Good Idea, and the Protestant Work Ethic as hokum dreamt up by rich people to keep the poor/stupid working harder than they need to. However, we are each highly motivated, enough to continually move the project forward step by step, day by day.
There is a deeper layer for me, which might sound like something from Pseuds Corner in Private Eye. Many years ago I visited the two largest Etruscan sites, Cerveteri and Tarquinia. In both cases, the wooden cities have gone, but what remains are the necropoli, the tombs wealthy Etruscans built to themselves. They are each personalized. Stand in the tombs now, 2500 years later, and you know whether this guy liked ships, or birds, or if he was a warrior, or a big drinker/party guy (one tomb has a fresco depicting a drinking game involving flicking wine across the room). Today, in the twenty first century, we have the same opportunity wealthy Etruscans perceived: to leave a personal mark on posterity. Today, our tomb is the digital footprint we leave behind us. When people in 100 years google your name, you can control what they might find. So, a lot of hot air about cars is going to be my digital necropolis. Help me make it grand. Subscribe and like 😉
I will of course continue to post here. But please do visit the channel, and subscribe!