December 21, 2011

From Geekbooks to Gas Mileage?

I've been lucky over the years. Not big-time, lottery-winning lucky, but fortunate in my chosen career. To earn one's living as a writer is a wonderful thing, though it can be a grind when the process becomes an assembly line.

After putting twenty geekbooks to bed, I filled up a bookshelf and shelved the chainsaw. Bang your head against the wall for long enough, and you'll either see the light or pass out. All those years of working on the web while being simultaneously tied to a traditional publishing mechanism finally brought on the light; the online world simply provides a greater return on a writer's investment in time.

Transitioning from technical how-to books to gas mileage wasn't intentional. In 2007, I reached the end of a research project. The concept was left unsold, but the core research eventually brought focus. There was nothing left to do but launch a website to further the cause.

When I brought up the idea of a MPG-focused website with my entrepreneur pals, they questioned the need. "Why create a website about gas mileage?" they asked, nearly in unison. Keep in mind that this was 2007, before the first of the recent spikes in gasoline prices. "Just wait," I explained. "it will be evident, soon enough."

Oil can be a polarizing issue. There are plenty of folks that will tell you that there's plenty of oil within America's borders ... enough to take care of all of our country's needs, if only we could drill with abandon, wherever and whenever the oil companies choose.

Alas, that's not the case.

While we do need to drill more - in the right places - there's not enough easily accessible American oil to cover our current or future demand. We need to reduce consumption while increasing production of domestic renewable fuels. The great news is that this country is finally on our way to achieving those goals ... if only conventional media sources chose to share the news.

That's where MPGomatic fits in.

Words are cheap in this day and age. Video is marginally more expensive. Everyone has access to a keyboard, but too few want to lean forward and read. The ascendance of YouTube and other video-sharing sites provide the ability to share stories visually, so all can lean back ... whether or not they choose to learn from it.

Watch an evening newscast on any of the major conventional channels. Keep track of which companies and industries are advertising ... and which ideas they're attempting to push into your head.

The Internet is the antidote. A motivated viewer follows the stories. You decide what's fact and what's fiction by choosing your sources and filters.

I didn't find this story ... this story found me. There is no editorial control from on high. No publisher to appease.

I'm a lucky guy ...

Posted by geekbooks at December 21, 2011 10:26 AM


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