By Seb Kemp
Pre-emptive apologies for a rather stunted NOTT this week but I had a glass or a mince pie in my hand most of the week instead of just scrolling through the internet. As did a lot of people it seems.
I recently took up yoga. Being a jobless yob means I couldn't afford to go to expensive peepshows anymore and a month long yoga membership costs less than one big blow out at my favorite hole in the wall.
Whilst stretching out the Christmas excess in the yoga studio the Lululemon clad yogi with the lioness eyes read a passage about living in the moment – the now – because the past has gone and the future doesn't exist. Whilst very sage advice, I think this time of year is precisely the time when we should take the time to reflect on the past and look to the future with open eyes. As lots of websites and Twitter users did this week.
Let's start easy and build up. Bike Retailer went through a comprehensive run down of the years big stories. Click the link to remind yourself of who sued who and which month was the best for bike rack manufacturers (Here and Here). Also, click this one to find out why Specialized's Mike Sinyard is getting personally involved in the war between brick-and-mortar stores and on-line retailers.
Vice used their cynical lensless, thick framed specs to hone in on the years most important political and pop cultural events. It is a brilliant read, if not slightly cryptic.
Bike Rumor, the website devoted to pushing mountain biking as an utterly consumerist exercise, published the latest installment of its 'how to break into the industry" features. This weeks subjects were the Sagarian duo, Adrian Marcoux and Taylor Sage who elucidate on the way they managed to break and enter into the industry. Rather funny and full of useful advice is one way to describe it. Taylor Sage is full of wonderful advice as his Twitter account attests to.
Which acts as a lovely segue into our next topic. Taylor Sage was also the recipient of the first annual Vital MTB Shreddy for the Best Out of Focus Video But It Doesn't Matter Because The Video Is So Sick Award.
Vital MTB revitalized the typical end of year tradition by bringing the party to town with their VitalMTB Shreddy awards. Shaun Spomer deserves an award for his contribution to biking because the Shreddys contain the correct mix of being funny, pragmatic, clever, stupid, tongue-in-cheek and home brewed. The gentle prods and witty nods, as well as the brilliantly over the top jingle, is a reminder that a sense of humor and effective communication can frolic hand-in-hand.
NSMB.com have moved with the times and in 2011 they purchased Matthew Dennison's talents in order to bring their readers constant and consistent videography. This week they compiled all the videos that they produced over the past 12 months. Only once I saw all the videos lined up like that did it really strike me how much we are spoilt for quality videos. And this is just one website! Everyone is doing such amazing things each day that it is easy to forget how good we have it.
However, there is a flip side to this. The internet is a voracious monster which ingest and shits out content so fast that it actually devaluing it. Each day so much good content flashes before our eyes before zooming down the front page and into the abyss. Unlike magazines which sit by the crapper waiting to be rediscovered, internet content just goes into the crapper. NSMB have started recycling content from the near and distance past. Top of the pick was their short story and video of Dangerous Dan revisiting his old trails.
So come on websters, how about making 2012 the year of the recurring content? Look back into the servers to scoop out the good stuff and make a way of having quality programming stand out from the daily dross. I'm led to believe that commercial interneting is a video game of visitor hits, clicks and duration of visit, so give them stuff to look through and be engaged by over and over again.
Talking of engaging websites, as we stumble into 2012 whilst looking backwards Rocky Roads Network are getting closer and closer to having to put their broken visitor counter where their mouth is (or vice versa). 2012 marks the year they take the throne as title sponsor of the UCI World Cup series so let's hope that by the end of the year they have something memorable to look back upon.
Rocky Roads decided not to go with a summary of their year's content. Probably because it would highlight that they were only born yesterday and that a compilation of all the press releases would be about as interesting as, well, a compilation of press releases. In this cutesy Christmas post they show how behind the times they are when they referenced the Single Speed Santa. Single Speed? Wasn't that a fad two years ago? Aren't we onto 11-speed Santa by now?
A finally, to finish the week in the web, let's look at one of the funniest PR blunders ever to be documented. On Thursday, PR man Paul Christoforo woke up wondering how his awesome life could get any better and by the afternoon he had become the most famous man on the internet. But not for good things. The story of how a delusional megalomaniac emailed his way to Coventry (go look it up) is way too long and hilarious to document here, but I urge everyone click the link. It should be a how-not-to for anyone given a corporate email account before they learnt to stop writing their own name in poop.
Anyway, that has been a soft recap of what proved not to be the year the world ended. Perhaps next week we will be looking at what the year has ahead, which is only a short year because the Mayans predict it will be all over before Christmas next year. So get out there and keeping tweeting before it is too late.