Friday, November 18, 2005

A money-making idea!

According to the DailyKos, the Federal Election Commission approved Advisory Opinion 2005-16, agreeing that the Fired Up! sites were entitled to the same press exception from campaign finance laws as are the New York Times, National Review and Sean Hannity.

This means that in the next election cycle, bloggers are free to endorse candidates for political office without fear of violating campaign finance laws. So in effect, we can endorse, say, a road cyclist over a mountain biker, or go on a rant about a candidate or political party being in the pocket of some multi-national oil company. We can do so without fear of a knock on the door in the middle of the night.

I'll be right back. Someone's ringing the doorbell.

Never mind. Forget what I just said. A pair of nice government agents in very expensive suits just told me that I can't do that. Then they got back into their black helicopter and flew off. Why is it that I never hear those things landing?

OK, so I probably won't get rich via campaign finance, though I'm not philosophically opposed to accepting large sums of cash to endorse a candidate here on CycleDog. At this point, even paltry sums might do. What I write here influences dozens of people. They influence dozens more, in turn, and it spreads like a virus or an Amway distribution scheme until it reaches the entire world!

So I really deserve that money.

Everyone should have a fallback position, though, a Plan B to implement when Plan A doesn't quite work out. In my case, even Plan B hasn't worked out since the devil said he was full up on souls this week. He muttered something about a busload of attorneys crashing into a televangelist’s convention and going way over budget on all the overtime pay for his staff. But he did say he'd put my name on the waiting list and get back to me soon.

In the meantime, I've gone to Plan C. This is the one where adoring fans and manufacturers shower me with swag. Given the vast influence of CycleDog, this should be a cakewalk.

But first, a brief digression.

Long, long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I worked in a bike shop back in Pittsburgh. Bicycles were carved out of stone back then, though there was this new material that promised to revolutionize the industry. Unfortunately, the UCI ruled that wood was against nature, and we couldn't use it.

I had two customers, Greg K., and Andy R., who rode year-round. That's a tough act for Pittsburgh in the winter! Andy was qualifying for Paris-Brest-Paris. Greg didn't own a car so he used his bicycle for daily transportation. Both of them were high-mileage riders, being outside in all sorts of weather. They were the ones I turned to when I needed to know about durability.

One of the best salesmen I met simply walked in the door one day, handed me a spray can of lubricant and a stack of technical documents, and then left. He'd given me a sample of Tri-Flow (called Tri-Flon back then, if I recall right). I asked Greg and Andy to try it. Within a week or so, they both wanted more. I tried it on a black-powder pistol and was impressed with the results. Black powder is notoriously difficult to clean and highly corrosive.

When the salesman returned, I bought a case. It sold quickly.

And this brings me back around to Plan C. Some bicycle commuters are out in all kinds of weather. We don't often put in the long miles that professional racers do, but we ride a lot nonetheless. And our needs differ enough that we benefit from equally specialized equipment. It makes sense to have that equipment tested by the very people who are the target market.

That's where I come in. Here's an open offer to bicycle and accessory manufacturers. Send your stuff to me, I'll use it for a while and write about it. If it's really good, a small fee will cover my time. If it's really putrid stuff I wouldn't give to my brother-in-law, I'll still write a glowing report - for a much LARGER fee and give it to my brother-in-law anyway. If I ran a bicycle-related magazine, I'd even put that copy opposite a full page ad for the product, so maybe I should reconsider putting ads on CycleDog. I'm only in it for the money!

If this doesn't work, I'll have to go to Plan D, which involves trying to take over the world, again. If any of you want to help, I'll send you the secret decoder ring that lets you see the current plan encrypted in today's episode of Pinky and the Brain. The rings are available for a small fee, of course.

3 Comments:

Blogger Fritz said...

This is pretty pathetic, Ed. Reduced to asking for handouts from vendors. I can't believe you would sink so low.

I'm just mad I didn't think of it first!

9:54 PM  
Blogger bikefridaywalter said...

re: plan d, isn't that what critical mass is for?

11:53 AM  
Blogger Ed W said...

Sshhh! Walter, that's why you need the SECRET decoder ring! It's secret!

...and you're a rabble-rouser. I like that.

2:32 PM  

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