On the whole, I think that my 4x4 lifestyle is pretty much like the rest of our readership. In fact, my staff and I represent the demographics for age, income, and vehicle ownership right on the money. That puts us in a unique category of magazine staffers-ones that actually live what they write about, and enjoy it as well. True, we do get a few perks here such as building projects with someone else's money and driving a selection of new rigs for a while, but overall we are pretty much just normal guys. In fact, we want to go wheeling a heck of a lot more than we do, and most of our rides need minor (or major) work before that can even happen. And those project vehicles? Yeah, we have a budget there as well, so it's not like we can be a spendthrift magazine and go nutso with the things.
But all of this doesn't mean we know it all, even though we are the 4x4 experts you've grown to trust. Learning is a journey and as we learn, we pass on the knowledge you need. And we always appreciate feedback and information so we listen to what you, the readers, want in a magazine, whether you're a subscriber or first-time buyer. We've had many a survey in the past that have shown us lots of information, and the letters and e-mails you send also go into the decision making process of what's right for the magazine. And by that account, we know what to ignore as well, such as "I only want to read about (insert brand preference here) vehicles, they're my favorite." Just like any type of intolerance, you better get over it as we're all in this together and you're going to read about Fords even if you're a Dodge guy, and vice versa.
So what the heck does all this rambling mean to you? In brief, more testing and listening to your feedback on covers, content, and cost. We really want to know what you think on every aspect of the magazine, and will be setting up a special forum to tap into our reader base where we can ask questions, get answers, and let you get the same from us. It will be Web-based, so that means you better be at least a little computer savvy or have a friend that can help you along. But, of course, to institute anything like this in the big corporate world means that forms, applications, approvals, and a ponderous process which drags out forever need to be done; I'm just doing an end run around that scenario and asking you guys and gals that read our mag to tell us what you think. And that means telling your club members and friends who read the mag to tell us as well. I figure with a readership around 500,000, of which some 320,000 are subscribers, there should be a heck of a lot of good information available, if you're willing to share. Just log onto 4wheeloffroad.com and look for the survey link, and we'll keep in touch on a regular basis. And thanks, we're looking forward to it!