MailChimp's brilliant piece of marketing

Most of the 10 of you who visit my site regularly know that I’m working on launching a classic car web site/brand called Gone Autos.

I opened a free account with a company called MailChimp in order to do some email/newsletter marketing. I thought the whole process of email marketing would be fairly straightforward and simple.



A January flurry

Torq-O, my old classic car web site has inspired a surge in sales this month. I’ve sold a small quantity of Met Set and Rootes 3 DVDs to a British distributor. Plus, The Met Set and my Airflyte font continue to move. (Imagine what a little active marketing could do! If only I wasn’t working on Gone Autos.)

Who says January is not a good month for retail?

Where's my V.A.????

I’m a video writer/producer by training (and indoctrination), but when you’re in business for yourself, you do everything from client meetings to taking out the trash.

Recently a British customer wanted to buy two of my classic car DVDs in bulk (sfx: cash register). All he wanted to know was the shipping price for sending 10 DVDs, 2 DVDs, and 1 DVD.

Sounds simple, but...


Double time at the Detroit Auto Show!

Just got back from Detroit this evening after roaming the floor of the North American International Auto Show for two exhausting days.

For the first time ever, I was able to shoot the booths of every car company on the main floor. Can’t tell you the number of times I had to
hold my 6 lb. camera extended steady at chest level or overhead for 30 seconds or more at a time. I do a lot of cardio, so the legs were in good shape after two days of Auto Show Death March.

But the arms are more useless than my appendix. Or anything built by BYD. (By the way, BYD stands for Build Your Dream. If your dream is to build your own carbon copy of a 2004 Corolla, then you’re not reaching for the stars, my friend.)

My Death March included several long, hard slogs back to my car parked outside Cobo Hall across the street. You need a hand stamp to get back onto the show floor if you leave it. I left so many times that I got inked more than once. Yes, my peeps, I was drinking Dedication from Pure Concentrate. The commitment never gets watered down.

Soon, I’ll try to share a 30-second contest spot that I made for Toyota. Can’t wait till I get to do product narration. (Those tottering heels will hurt after hours on the turntable, but I can’t wait to say, “Thanks for your time, and enjoy the rest of your day here at the North American International Auto Show!”)

I accepted Laura's Challeng(er).

My wife Laura couldn’t
Challenger smooch
go to the North American International Auto Show this year, but she said, “kiss the Challenger for me!”

Mission accomplished.

(It was late. I was tired. The Challenger seemed...willing.)


Going to the Motor City!

This week I’m taking my annual pilgrimage to The North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center in Detroit.

I’ve been there every year since 2000, and I’ve shot footage at every show. This year things will be different.


Gone Autos has a logo.

Several moons ago, a wise writer friend of mine, whose networking skills I greatly admire, told me to tap into my social network for jobs and for help. She told me that there were friends scattered throughout my past who remembered me and liked me.



Every podcast should have a great identity package to accompany it. As of yesterday, Gone Autos (my forthcoming brand devoted to orphan cars) now has one! And I wanna share a track with you.


History of Photography: done!

Yup. Finished. From camera obscura to cameras in our cell phones, I cranked out a script for Tricia Nolan on the history of photography.

Truth is, when I got the final script back from Tricia, I had actually cranked out the bones for a script. Very few of the fleshy parts remained. But that’s the nature of creative collaboration. We’re all helping each other inch forward.

At one point, Tricia was a little flustered and apologetic about not giving me enough helpful creative direction. I was feeling adrift as well, but I had to remind myself that the creative process is often one of discovery. Sometimes you don’t know what you like until you create a couple of things you don’t like.

By the way, I’d like to thank Mr. Vinny Steves (a pal from my Nickelodeon days) for helping me get this job. I didn’t lobby him for it. I didn’t suck up to him (too much). I simply contacted him back in September through Linkedin. When the job came along, he remembered me and recommended me to Tricia. Good old-fashioned networking triumphs again.

Anyway, the project is done. Now if only I could get Tricia to tell me the name of the film that we were working on.

Report Card

Okay, for all of you whining/complaining/begging to see my second grade report card, here it is.
2nd Grade Rpt Card Envelope

I rarely share such personal details, because I’m not very nostalgic about my school career.

I went to Fairport Elementary in Dayton, Ohio, back in the 1970’s. Back then, the Dayton City Schools were in decent shape. I lived in the decaying suburb of Dayton View. Mom and Dad fled to the south suburbs two years later, because I kept getting the adolescent crap kicked out of me at Fairport, which has since been torn down.

Today, you don’t wanna go get lost in Dayton View unless you have a 50-caliber machine gun mounted in the payload of your pickup truck.

But back to those sunny days before Nixon’s henchmen broke into the Watergate Hotel.