TTAC Bites the Bullet; Help Wanted

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
ttac bites the bullet help wanted
I’ve looked at this TTAC paid subscription thing seven ways to Sunday. After more than four months, I still can't make it work. According to the vast majority of web-savvy TTAC’ers, this is no bad thing. Your advice has been steadfast: accept advertising. So when Federated Media Publishing offered to run TTAC’s advertising business for 40% of gross, I looked into it. My contact, Bill Brazell, assured me that TTAC’s editorial independence would be sacrosanct. Yeah, right. And then I read the fine print…

2.2 Review of Potential Advertisements. When FMP locates a potential buyer for all or part of an Available Advertising Space subject to an Availability Notice, FMP will send Author a notice (an “Advertising Review Notice”) to the email address specified on the Author Information Sheet. Each Advertising Review Notice will identify the buyer, the nature of advertisement the buyer wishes to place, the time period(s) during which the advertisement would run, and the price the buyer has offered to pay for the advertisement. Author will promptly respond to each Advertising Review Notice received and will indicate to FMP whether or not Author approves the proposed advertising described therein.

Advertising sucks. But it’s become clear that I can’t “gate” the TTAC community (sub it up) without losing the majority of current readers and, far worse, the possibility of new ones. Truth be told, if Federated Media Publishing hadn’t contacted me, that’s the way I would have gone, come Hell or lost visitors. But I don’t have the energy or financial resources to make it work, and I really do believe that the Fed’s different from the packs of jackals who’ve attempted to hijack TTAC in the past. To wit, another part of the contract gives me the right to restrict certain types of advertising, advertising categories and named advertisers. And then there's Federated Media Publishing’s “Author Mores:"

Authors who join the FM network of sites hold these values in common:

– Voice and Point of View: Strong voices and intelligent points of view drive robust conversations.

– Accuracy: Some FM sites are journalistic in nature; others are not. Regardless, FM sites strive for accuracy regarding items we post as facts.

– Community: Weblogs are conversations, not lectures. The community that gathers around each site is the essence of its value, and we treat that community accordingly. We listen and respond to feedback, and incorporate it into the way we manage our sites.

– Responsibility: We take our role in the community we serve seriously, and feel responsible for our own words. When we make mistakes, we correct them. We do not seek to use our sites maliciously.

– Transparency: We err on the side of disclosure to our readers. If we have an interest in something we’re writing about, we disclose that interest. We are as transparent as we can be about our site’s statistics, practices and policies.

Bottom line: TTAC needs money, if only to pay our writers a fee [more] commensurate with their time and talent. So I’ve decided to bite the bullet and sign-on with the Fed. I formally declare right here that I will never let advertising compromise TTAC’s editorial. At no point, now or in the future, will we pull our punches to please commercial sponsors. By now, I hope you’ll take me at my word. If not, well, by my deeds I shall be known.

OK, now, TTAC needs some help. First, we need a car booker: someone who can liaise with automotive manufacturers’ press departments to secure test vehicles for our far-flung editorial team. (I lack both the charm and the time for the gig.) The job’s best suited to a pistonhead who doesn’t have a “real job,” who doesn’t require a “real salary” or any “any” benefits. They need to be organized enough to remember who got what when, who’s getting what when (and where) and what we need to get for whom when and where. I’ll pay a stipend (for now) for each vehicle booked, plus all phone expenses. It’s an ideal job for someone who wants to get into automotive PR (baby Darth?).

We also need a racing correspondent, for NASCAR or any other major race series. There’s a lot of baseless hype and shady corporate shenanigans in mainstream motorsports, and I’d like TTAC to deal the inside dope. Obviously, the pay sucks, but the glory is infinite. If you’re interested in either position, use the contact button and email me your qualifications. Meanwhile, thanks again for your support. I promise TTAC will continue to lead the crusade for honest and passionate automotive journalism. I won’t let you down.

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2 of 56 comments
  • Aaronmc Aaronmc on Jul 26, 2006

    I support this endeavor completely. I think it's the best way to go. I would have paid, I really would have, but it's a fact of the internet that when previously free companies went for-pay, they died. Whatever keeps this site on the web. I actually really, really need it. I don't read anything else.

  • Lesley Lesley on Jul 26, 2006

    Oh yeah? Well your inverted sentence cancels out my typo, nanner, nanner.

  • SPPPP The little boosters work way better than you would expect. I am a little nervous about carrying one more lithium battery around in the car (because of fire risk). But I have used the booster more than once on trips, and it has done the job. Also, it seems to hold charge for a very long time - months at least - when you don't use it. (I guess I could start packing it for trips, but leaving it out of the car on normal days, to minimize the fire risk.)
  • Bader Hi I want the driver side lights including the bazl and signal
  • Theflyersfan One positive: doesn't appear to have a sunroof. So you won't need to keep paper towels in the car.But there's a serious question to ask this seller - he has less than 40,000 miles on some major engine work, and the transmission and clutch work and mods are less than 2 months old...why are you selling? That's some serious money in upgrades and repairs, knowing that the odds of getting it back at the time of sale is going to be close to nil. This applies to most cars and it needs to be broadcasted - these kinds of upgrades and mods are really just for the current owner. At the time of sale, a lot of buyers will hit pause or just won't pay for the work you've done. Something just doesn't sit well with me and this car. It could be a snowbelt beast and help save the manuals and all that, but a six year old VW with over 100,000 miles normally equals gremlins and electrical issues too numerous to list. Plus rust in New England. I like it, but I'd have to look for a crack pipe somewhere if the seller thinks he's selling at that price.
  • 2ACL I can't help feeling that baby is a gross misnomer for a vehicle which the owner's use necessitated a (manual!) transmission rebuild at 80,000 miles. An expensive lesson in diminishing returns I wouldn't recommend to anyone I know.
  • El scotto Rumbling through my pantry and looking for the box of sheets of aluminum foil. More alt right comments than actual comments on international trade policy. Also a great deal of ignorance about the global oil industry. I'm a geophysicist and I pay attention such things. Best of all we got to watch Tassos go FULL BOT on us.