TTAC: Shifting Gears

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
ttac shifting gears
In a recent comment, Stryker1 raised an excellent point: TTAC seems to have lost a bit of its "edge.” Upon reflection, I agree. I’m not one for excuses, but I reckon the loss of an internal organ threw me off my groove. At the same time, TTAC welcomed a large number of new writers and lost touch with a few familiar voices. The ad thing’s also jerking my chain. And the light’s bad in here. Anyway, I'm fully aware that TTAC will rise of fall depending on its ability to stick to its original remit: kick-ass reviews and take-no-prisoners industry-oriented rants. Here’s how I’m thinking of playing it…

The QOTD (Question of the Day) saw the site through my recent absence. When I returned, I relied on the "hey you" format to pad content. Sorry. From now on, the QOTD will run no more than three times per week, probably less. Equally important, the question will gain gravitas, covering subjects related to our mission, like Why Has Toyota Quality Gone South? And Should Lincoln build a Rolls Royce?

I also realize the posting schedule has been a bit erratic (though not as bad as it was a month ago). From now on, I’ll put up two posts per day on weekdays (AM and PM EST), with an additional podcast as and when. The material will consist of vehicle reviews (and more of ‘em) and serious-minded rants. On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll fire-up lifestyle, first personal narrative and nostalgia pieces. We’ll also run our motor sports coverage on the weekend.

At the risk of sounding egomaniacal, I’ll also amp-up my own contributions. Although TTAC’s administrative demands (and the need to earn some money elsewhere) have made it difficult for me to sit down and do the biz, I know that I need to deliver the goods and lead by example. So I will make sure my byline appears here at least twice a week. Stand back! I’ve got a Vaio, and I’m not afraid to use it.

As for the specific content, I'm open to suggestions. Obviously, the Death Watch continues, as do the reviews (our pursuit of a press car booker should bear some fruit later this month). Which type of [new] cars float your boat: budget, mid-market, exotics or all and sundry? Are there any editorial topics you enjoy more than others (e.g. alternative fuels, hybrids, muscle cars, safety, media/corporate critiques)? Are there any you'd rather not see (I'm not gonna help you on that one)? I've got an excellent team of scribes who enjoy editorial direction. Help me help them to help you help me help you.

Meanwhile, if you look up on the top right of the main menu bar, you’ll see the word “blog” has snuck in. As these behind-the-scenes, stop-me-before-I-make-a-fool-of-myself deals have proven popular in their own right, I decided to give you the chance to steer TTAC on a regular basis. Just as soon as Redwing tells me how to upload text and photos, TTAC’s new blog will be a daily feature. I’ll still bring the noise to the main page when needs must, but the blog will provide the kind of detail that gives OCD’s a good name and keeps things party real. Or something like that.

And there you have it. I’ve got a good feeling about the site these days. As Sam might say, by fall, we should have our varkies by maker (pigs in a row). TTAC will be tight, right (more often than not) and commercially viable. Of course, your comments, criticisms, suggestions and submissions are always welcome.

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2 of 47 comments
  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on Aug 01, 2006

    Thanks for all your comments. I've read them all, and altered our strategy in accordance with many of your suggestions. I really appreciate the time and effort you spend communicating with me, each other and the wider world. You've added a critical element to this site: informed, passionate and honest (for the most part) suggestions and debate. To those of you who write long comments, please consider becoming a TTAC correspondent. We are ALWAYS looking for new talent. The pay sucks, but the glory is infinite.

  • Chuckgoolsbee Chuckgoolsbee on Aug 02, 2006

    Note to Terry Parkhurst: When you get back to Seattle after HAN in Reno, drop me a line. You're welcome to take my vintage ride for a drive. Looking at old cars is nowhere as satisfying as DRIVING one. --chuck goolsbee