You probably don’t know Simon Ford. But he’s a perfect example to illustrate my point.
Simon is a car nut with a passion. If he’d been born and lived in the time before social media existed that is what he would have remained.
But thanks to social media, he’s on the cusp of turning his passion into a business, and I suspect he’s also had a lot of fun doing so.
He appeared on Twitter just over a year ago (he’s @sf4d74 there) and immediately started connecting with other petrol heads (like me) as well as people who work for car manufacturers, and several notable motoring journalists – that’s one of the many fabulous things about social media that I love – for the first time in years of reading their work, I now have a direct line and daily contact with the people who write and manage the magazines I enjoy so much.
Simon proved to be a good follow – chatty, knowledgeable and humorous.
And then he hit on an idea, and like so many good ones, it was beautifully simple. He started taking images of interesting cars he saw on his travels and posted them to Twitter.
Many of us enjoyed them and we did the same.
In what seems like no time at all, the site has been populated with thousands of images of some really interesting, bizarre and very cool cars. Thanks to Simon’s hard work, and the contributions from guest spotters (I’m one!) you can see everything from an original Lamborghini tractor on there to a very sad looking VW Split screen pick up.
A thriving, vibrant community has been built up around the site and traffic is excellent for such a new project. The guys are currently working up their advertising offering, and I suspect there’s much more to come from them in the future, both in terms of the what the site can do, and different ways for them to generate in income.
I honestly don’t know if Simon's Car Spots will become a huge smash, go viral and makes millions, but I do feel it has the potential to do so.
My point is that social media has given Simon the opportunity to turn his interest, his passion, into a business.
The playing field is more level than it has ever been in history.
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