The outro

Take 42.

I like where it went. It speaks to the spirit of this podcast and how much I care about my audience.

Still quite a bit of work to get The Gearhead Project as polished as I’d like, but this works.

Thanks for listening to The Gearhead Project today.

Hey. Before you skip to the next episode in the player, do me a favor. Take action on ANYTHING you heard today that got you excited. Doesn’t matter how small.

You want something more out of life? Go get it.

And if you’re not sure what to do? And you can’t find the answer? You come find me online. I will help you find the answer. I can’t promise we’ll find the right answer, but damnit—that’s is what this is all about.

I want to help gearheads like us evolve beyond the mod list.

So if you’ve got a question, if you’ve got a problem, let’s get it figured out together.

And if you know a gearhead, if you’ve got a buddy who’s got a problem who could be inspired by this conversation you just heard, share it with them. Give them a link to wherever you found it.

And if you want a generic link you can point people to all the time that’s easy to remember?

For The Gearhead Project.

Until next time, keep going fast with class and press on regardless.

It’s the conversations, dummy!

It’s easy to grin, when your ship comes in,
And you’ve got the stock market beat.
But the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile,
When his shorts are too tight in the seat.

This little thing you’re reading right now exists because of one thing: conversations.

I talked to gearheads in forums. I talked with marketers, educators, and entrepreneurs in blog post comments. I decided to start a car magazine based on simply emailing gearheads questions about their cars.

Along the way, I started discovering patterns in the spaces where cars, education, marketing, and business overlapped. I had to go deeper. I had to learn more. And the more I learned, the more excited I got. You’ve probably experienced this yourself in some aspect of your life.

Conversation is at the heart of it all. In fact, I’ll go on the record saying Conversation Agent was the blog that inspired me to take those first steps—commenting on blogs AND interviewing interesting people.

Our interests expose us to new people, but it’s the conversations we have with those people that keeps us coming back long after our interests evolve.

I’m an introvert. I tend to struggle with just walking up and talking to people. I don’t want to interrupt. I don’t want to look like a tool just standing there waiting to say something, either. But I’ll email just about anyone. It’s easier.

But just like how meeting all your online buddies in person somewhere completely changes the game, actually speaking with others in realtime—on the phone, Skype, webinar, whatever—radically changes things.

Live conversation takes more effort than time-shifted email. And I wonder how much of my/our relative aversion to the phone these days stems from our attention spans being eroded by the 24-hour news cycle and social media moreso than anti-social introversion.

But I’ll tell you one thing, you can’t beat it. I stayed up WAY too late again this last night talking to someone for the first time. That conversation changed everything. Again.

Try calling one of the cool people you only know online. See for yourself.

Journalism is hard, yo.

There are principles involved.

1. Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.
2. Its first loyalty is to citizens.
3. Its essence is a discipline of verification.
4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.
5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power.
6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
7. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.
8. It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.
9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.

I’ve loved these principles since I first laid eyes on them back in 2011, when I was building Penmanshift. Numbers 1, 2, 4, and 7 have particularly resonated with me, as someone aspiring to be somewhat journalistic with his magazine-themed blogging efforts over the years.

(I’ve long struggled with #7, but the recent Gearbox Magazine reboot is working on that.)

The Pew Research Center’s “Project for Excellence in Journalism” (where I originally found these principles back in 2011 as I was building out Penmanshift) was eventually renamed the Journalism Project and I can only guess you’d need the Wayback Machine to find the page today.

Regardless, they stand the test of time.

There’s a real difference between news and journalism these days. And there’s an even bigger difference between publishing blog posts or magazine articles (note the semantics, there, people—please) and practicing journalism.

In the last 24 hours, I’ve had TWO article ideas that absolutely require me to get as close to real, actual journalism as I possibly can. These ideas thrill the living shit out of me.

And I’ll be damned if these pieces aren’t at least 100% more difficult than simply cranking out another ideological, next level gearhead-type editorial.

Journalism is the real deal. And it’s hard, yo.