It will probably come as no great surprise to you when we confess that you, our loyal readers, are a vanishing breed. At least if our circulation numbers are correct.
Yes, it's true-Four Wheeler, like most other print publications these days, is experiencing declines in readership. The reasons for this lamentable fact are many-a proliferation of competing magazines, shrinking retail spaces, and the rise of the Internet and alternative media have all played a roll in it. But no matter the cause, the fact remains that we, like most other magazines out there, are busy exploring new methods and new media tools to expand our readership and remain relevant into the future.
That's not to say that the demise of Four Wheeler the magazine is looming on the horizon. Like the publishing business in general, we still figure to be around a good while longer. We may be an example of old-fashioned media, but magazines still have their place in the information and entertainment spheres. They never need to have their batteries replaced, they won't cost you a fortune if you spill your morning coffee on them, and they're convenient to carry around. Like the old saying goes, you can't take your laptop to the bathroom with you. (Well, actually, you can, but would you really want to?) So in case you were worried, please don't-we've been in business 48 years now, and have no intentions of going away.
However, there's no question that the Internet represents the future of publishing, so we're making plans already to revamp our website, fourwheeler.com, with an eye on keeping up with the competition.
Fortunately, our website has shown tremendous growth over the past 12 months, and while we humble editors have all pitched in to populate the site with more engaging and exclusive stories, we owe the lion's share of praise to you, our loyal readers, for all your forum posts, readers' rigs, photo uploads, and everything else you've chosen to share.
So we're glad to be able to announce that over the course of the coming year, we're going to be rolling out a number of new features on our site that will hopefully make the online experience even more user-friendly and interactive. We'll be re-launching the site on a brand-new platform, and we'll be implementing some cool new web creation tools that will, hopefully, allow our readers to create their own pages, upload photos and videos more easily, and provide more comments. Think "Facebook with a transfer case," and you get the idea of our ultimate goal.
While we're making big plans, we'd be happy to hear from you if you have any ideas about our site, and how we can make it better for you. (We're pretty savvy when it comes to suspensions and axles, but we're still learning the ropes of website design.) What brings you to our site? What kinds of things keep you engaged on the site? What brings you back to it? What sorts of things could you live without?
And if for some crazy reason you're not familiar with fourwheeler.com, now's the perfect time to log on, create your own account (don't worry, it's free), surf around the site, and join the conversation at our forums, blogs, and elsewhere.
Finally, if you're one of those Great Grizzled Ones who thinks that all of this Interweb stuff is a waste of time and that we ought to be devoting more energy and resources to the magazine, please let us know, too. We're sure that the powers-that-be around here would be delighted to hear from you.