Commentary: A Maiden Voyage

Delta 737 w/winglets
Photo by Randy Stern

I have an old saying: "If you could dream, you can achieve."

This dream began with a series of columns from various automotive magazines of editor's tales of media junkets on both sides of the Atlantic. In Car magazine about a few decades in the past, editors told tales of a drive to some inn somewhere in the middle of England for a French compact, then to Spain for a German car and back to Surrey for a Japanese hatchback.

As I grew into this work and art, I began to connect with other colleagues who were enjoying the same perks of attending these press junkets. They could be held in Detroit where a manufacturer opened up their proving grounds for a group of journalists to drive a new product. It could be at some far away place – like San Francisco – for the same experience. The most exciting events are held at racetracks where journalists are thrown the keys for some hot laps in a high performance superstar.

Of course, we were held to a single word: Embargo. This is the word that keeps us from saying what we did, how it drove and why was it so important to keep under wraps until midnight Eastern Time of our thoughts on said new vehicle. It is also a word that some opportunists refuse to comprehend, until the security department of a manufacturer comes knocking on their e-mail inbox.

In the middle are people like us – social media influencers. While some of us are journalists in our own right, we are seen as thought provokers, messengers of content capped at 140 characters, living our lives as Facebook friends, Pinterest pinners and Google Plussers. We engage with everyone – near and far. It is an extension of our personalities, though some of us would rather stay behind the curtain.

The reward of being an influencer is to participate in an event that provides us an opportunity to present a new product to the Twitterverse – just like our higher paid and highly credentialed colleagues.

This week, I will embark on my maiden voyage to one of these events. This is a fulfillment of a dream I had going on a decade since I began plugging in automotive content in Midwest Ursine.

I arrive to this event foremost as the automotive contributing writer for Lavender magazine – a regional LGBT publication with multiple platforms for content delivery. My secondary role is to also represent this small piece of automotive writing alongside my somewhat prominent role in the LGBT press. In both capacities, I will arrive at this destination – a place I have never been before in my life – with a mission to bring to a full circle an ongoing story that had been in play for almost thirty years.

Yet, I cannot reveal much of what will transpire at this place.

It is not because of an embargo – one was not imposed upon me per se. It is because I choose to do so. It is my duty to work in an ethical manner that keeps my stakeholders and the manufacturer sponsoring said event happy.

Of course I am very excited to go on this adventure into a new realm of this work and art. And, you are invited to follow along! If you are on Twitter, you can join in the mission by following @VictoryReseda for live tweeting beginning on Tuesday, May 1. That day, you will find out where I will be. You will also find out who else will be part of this adventure. I will also post similar content on Victory & Reseda's Facebook page. You might even get some images from my destination on V&R's Flickr site.

On Wednesday, May 2, all will be revealed. The curtain will rise and you get to see what it is all about. I think you all will appreciate the effort that has been put into this journey.

I hope you're ready for this. I am. Stay tuned for more…

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