AMC in the Facebook age
When Australian Muscle Car magazine was born in late 2001 a tablet was something you purchased from a chemist. Or what the 10 commandments were said to be inscribed upon. When GT Falcons and GTS Monaros first hit Aussie highways, social media was an unknown concept. The closest thing we had to social media last century was splitting up the weekend newspaper and distributing it around the breakfast table. Being the youngest in my family, I had Buckley’s chance of getting the sections I most coveted, the comics and sport.
Now, social media is central to many people’s lives, and not just the lives of the younger generations. Internet forums were probably the earliest examples to greatly infiltrate the motoring enthusiast world, although their heyday has now past, which is a shame for those who like a good online debate.
Although it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, Facebook is the most popular iteration of social networking in Australia today. AMC has had a presence on ‘Bookface’ since early 2010 and I encourage readers to ‘LIKE’ us if you are on FB and to share our posts.
Facebook definitely has benefits for both the mag and its loyal readers. Nextmedia’s subscriptions department offers special deals from time-to-time and we often post images and snippets we couldn’t squeeze into the pages of the printed mag.
What’s more, AMC’s Facebook posts allow likeminded readers to discuss topics, interact, pose questions and generally soak up the heritage of homegrown high performance.
It’s also a great way for us to publicise the magazine, spreading the word about the current issue’s contents to those who are yet to purchase it.
The downside is that social media also gives a voice to those who abuse their right to it. The perpetually outraged and ignorant are inevitably the most vocal online. Such folk would be shocked by what I say next, but I’m not going to sugar-coat it.
I’m not the slightest bit interested in the comments of those who have never bought – or will never buy – an issue of this magazine. Could. Not. Care. Less.
Such people who fired up on FB about, say, our ‘World’s Fastest Sierra’ issue – because a turbo four featured on an image of our cover served to them by Mark Zuckerberg’s mob – were wasting their time. Clicking ‘LIKE’ on Australian Muscle Car Magazine’s page might give non- AMC readers the right to an opinion, but it also gives us the right to ignore it.
If that sounds harsh, consider this: how do we know whether a Facebooker is a loyal reader or some random person simply reacting to the photo we’ve posted? Or worse, that saddest of internet dwellers, a troll looking for a reaction?
I don’t want to discourage readers from doing the Facebook thing, as its positives outweigh the negatives. However, we can’t always distinguish between the two groups – readers and nonreaders. Therefore, if you’ve got something you’d like me to know, the best way is to drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m all ears. I directly monitor that email address and make it my business to know what’s on the mind of readers (if you’re reading this page, that means YOU). I do my very best to reply to each email, although I’ll apologise now to any that slip through the net in deadline week. No apologies for not replying to those using an abusive or disrespectful tone.
Subscribers with a problem should email email@example.com
Sales of individual issues remain the best indication of whether the contents of a particular edition, particularly the cover story, appealed or not.
The bottomline: If you want the editor of your favourite magazine to know your thoughts, email firstname.lastname@example.org – we only publicise that address in the printed mag. So for God’s sakes don’t list that email address on Facebook!