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SR! 2016 Tech Update

Every now and then I like to take a moment, pause and look at where we’ve been and where we’re going. Living in a tech driven area of the world, and having so many in the tech industry reading our online magazine, there’s a lot that goes on in the back office to keep things running and up to date with the latest industry standards. So, here it is spring, a year since I last discussed the issues and a lot has happened – all for the better.

We’re fully mobile

If you caught my column last year, you may recall we had tried several ways around getting the site to function in mobile, with varying issues that caused me to abort the effort – twice. But in July I decided to give it a shot a third time, only this time I would write the code and not try and utilize a third party plug-in that wanted a steep monthly fee, trashed our server file directories and didn’t work in the end.

With the help of several books on CSS and HTML5, along with a few code samples I went to work incorporating a structure into our existing ASP.NET format. And after 8 hours of propeller head time it was working.

We continued to fine tune it throughout the summer. In the winter I went to work on the rally sites. At this time, I’m contemplating NOT printing a program for the rally and advising people to use their phones to access schedule and event info. What would you think of that?

The Blotter moves to News Bytes

It’s been a lot of fun running The Blotter column over the last 5 years we’ve had it, but I’d have to say, it’s a bit cumbersome to keep up the way we were doing it. We’re going to change direction now and run it via our News Bytes column. Anything worthy of being published will begin with #SRBlotter: (headline here and link following). Some of you know that the News Bytes column you see on Sound RIDER! actually draws from our Twitter feed. That also replicates across our Facebook page, so whatever way you want your news about fools on the road, you won’t miss a thing. That hashtag in front of SRBlotter will make it simple for you to go back and read what you’ve missed by searching it in Twitter if you use their medium.

Taking advantage of social media

The above scenario referenced above is just one of the ways we’re using social media to fuel our content and reach our readers efficiently.

In the winter we hired an outside consultant to look at our online magazine and advise up on the best ways to reach our readers and new readers across social media. If you’re a Facebook user, you’ve probably noticed we post about 1-2 times a day. The posts we put up are meant to be informative about what’s going on inside the magazine, with our events and inside the local motorcycle community. Most of our posts link back to a page within Sound RIDER! where more information can be picked up. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who posts nonsensical jive at a higher rate than 1-2 times a day is annoying and I usually bail from liking them.

Site stats are on the way back up

So what do you think all those link-backs are doing for traffic on the Sound RIDER! server? A lot. We’re seeing the highest levels of traffic we’ve seen in 4 years and at this rate we’ll surpass any site traffic records we had in the past by summer. And that’s a good thing because it shows that Sound RIDER! is just as vital to the community today as it was when it began 17 years ago. It’s also great for the sponsors who keep us going. Be sure to support them when you can.

Podcast performance

Stats on our podcast continue to climb, with the average number of listeners doubling every three months. We’ve had some good guests on in the 17 months it’s been around and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Our big, fat calendar

If you look at our calendar today, you might notice it’s bigger than ever before. And it gets a lot more attention than ever before from the back office side. Because of both posts we do on social media and the rundown we provide each month of Sound RIDER! Show, the calendar gets a lot more love today. Track days, rallies, MX nights, trials competitions, car and motorcycle shows and more are on tap for you to enjoy month in and month out.

Win 10 Upgrade

We didn’t sit on the fence about this. In fact, we were Guinea pigs 17 months ago running preview editions on non-critical machines here in the office. When the upgrade rolled out officially last July, we took the plunge with every machine and never looked back. As expected there was a hic-cup here and there, but things get ironed out and progress rolls on. Our devices talk better to each other than ever before, file storage is much simpler, speed and abilities are all better and it’s great to know we’re going to take several of our machines forward another few years, rather than feeling we need to replace them just because they are several years old.

Which leaves us with more time and money to ride!

TM/May 2016


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