The latest project I’ve been working on has finally launched. My buddy from college, Aaron Draplin, is the Art Director of a new snowboarding magazine called SNOWBOARD Magazine (3rd issue currently in pre-production). Aaron was the Art Director of Transworld Snowboarder for a few years and at that time the Editor-in-Chief was a guy named Mark Sullivan. Sullivan recently decided to start up a new snowboard magazine and hired Aaron to do the design. I met Mark back in July when I was out in Oregon and we’ve talked ever since about building a true community-based web site to accompany the magazine.
Snowboarders have always had a strong independent community spirit about them so no other type of site would do. The last thing this audience wanted was yet another brochure-ware web site with no interaction. These are consumers who are extremely loyal to the brands they buy and the site needed to reflect that. By opening up the web site to give them the ability to drive the discussion in whichever way they wanted it to go and providing them with the tools to create their own content, snowboard-mag.com is their web site.
The site could never have been developed as fast as it was without the amazing back-end that is Drupal. I’ve come to truly love this community framework, and now choose it over any of the other community management platforms. Much thanks to Matt Westgate for finishing the Authorize.net Drupal module which powers SSL-enabled credit card transactions. Look for this module to be rolled into the Drupal E-commerce project in the very near future.
Even if you are not a snowboarder, check out the site and see it for what it is: a powerful community-driven site that caters to a pre-defined niche market audience. This is the future of the web and the smart marketers know it and they are the ones who know that its the loyal consumers that own the brand. Ad agencies take note: adapt or die. No amount of brute-force advertising can compete with brand loyalty and catering to the influencers and persuaders.
Posted by Cameron Barrett at December 13, 2004 12:40 AM