Ah...The Quest For Subject Matter. How About Advocacy?

Browneye

Active Member
Since you're nearly famous now in the ebike industry, with scores of loyal followers, now might be the time to flex those political muscles for advocacy. You know, like keeping access open and free to ebikes around the world, or the country at least.

I grew up over the birth and growth, and near death of, the offroad motorcycle sport and industry. Over the past fifty-plus years I watched land access be reduced by 93%. I saw millions of people shut out of our public lands. I saw an explosive growth of a sport that nearly killed itself from it's own success.

And now we face a similar situation with ebikes. Even regular bicycle riders don't want to give them free access to wherever they ride. In my opinion that is just wrong. If a bike can ride somewhere then an ebike should be able to.

How 'bout a public service announcement about how to engage your followership on how to be involved, active in shaping opinions, and local laws and jurisdictions?

Much of the country has made great strides in pedestrian and bicycle access, bike lanes, signs, paths, trails. We want to ensure that ebikes have access to these same places.

Why I'll bet you could even organize a national event or two where riders gather for seminars and symposiums, organized rides and entertainment, industry leaders, shapers, people connected to the industry.

You're in a prime position now to capitalize on any of these things.

Okay...now I'm just throwing stuff off the top of my head. 🤣
Keep up the good work. 👏
 
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Court

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for the encouragement, Chris. I've done a couple of interviews with People for Bikes, spoke on Bosch panels for free at Interbike, and have a few videos mixed in with a gentle message of acceptance for ebikes. Right now, I'm feeling overwhelmed, trying to balance out how EBR runs to stay profitable, but also authentic. I've been pouring myself into the company for the past seven and a half years, and see other sites going with affiliate programs or paid top ten lists... and I'm trying not to do that. For example, I see value in Pedego as an ebike company that gets more people exposed to the technology, offers throttles, and makes decent quality stuff, but also see how their designs haven't changed a lot and are vulnerable to direct competitors. I try to look at each bike with fresh eyes and share the pros cons, but my model isn't setup to make lots of money... but I do need help to moderate here, keep the technology running, and maintain business relationships. Adding advocacy work to this list is something I'd like to do, and I strive for in passing, but I'm pretty tapped at the moment. Can you think of specific actions I could take? This is a whole new area of influence and action for me, so maybe I'm feeling like it's more work than it actually is?
 

Browneye

Active Member
First, thank you for answering. I suspected you kept pretty busy already, keeping things going.

I've not known of a way to get forums to earn any profits unless you sell advertising. One way to support it though, to cover admin and hosting costs, are with paid subscriptions, or support donations from the members. For example, I can make you t-shirts for $5 and you can sell them for $20 or $25 and put profits toward hosting costs. Paid members get a badge designation on their profile, and you promote the process of supporting the site. The members here really like the place and the people, so you would have all the regulars pitching in.

I also know that tradeshows and events can be profitable if they're structured right. Supporting vendors and their displays generate profits over what it costs to host the event. Attendees are free, or low cost, have activities that draw them in. You have a built-in audience here, so it seems like a natural. I've been in sales and marketing for the better part of my career, even did the tradeshow circuit for an electronics manufacturer some years back. It was an opportunity to see the country that I would not otherwise have been able to do. We literally lived show to show - each one would generate enough profits to live on and get to the next one.

One of my clients in years past was the organizer/promoter of national boatshows. It was a non-profit 501 corp, but they generated a lot of $$ so the people that worked there were paid handsomely under the corporation.

I'm still too new at all of this to make recommendations on specific actions for advocacy, but your vids have a lot of subscribers so you have a built-in audience for promoting anything associated with the industry. It just seems like more education and more connecting with the public about what ebikes are and what they're about, keeps furthering acceptance by newcomers as well as the old guard. Somehow we need to get the pedal-only mountain bikers to understand and accept the ebike community, to understand they're not their enemy.

The last thing I thought of was to employ the assistance of fellow enthusiasts, site members, associates. Pinpoint areas where you need help, or where others could provide knowledge and assistance, or fill in for you where possible. In other words, flesh out your affiliations, and ask for help. Like for site admin, moderating, or even researching content for vids, dissemination of knowledge, events, newsworthy happenings, blogs, and etc.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for the creative ideas Chris! I also like how Reddit sells gold, so members can "guild" posts that they really like. I could see that being a fun way for people to support the space, keep it authentic, and be interesting and fun. Are you familiar with that sort of thing?
 

Browneye

Active Member
I'm not. A rare visitor of Reddit. I'm also not a social media guru. I tend to run for the hills on that stuff. 🤣
But I do know it can be a successful way of marketing a product or concept. The distribution company I work for employs a consulting firm for that type of content, for search engine optimization, and pay-per-click advertising. They are real pros.

I am the site admin though, actually the IT department - ecommerce, enterprise, email, systems administrator. Grew into it with the business.