New Me and Old Me walk into a bar

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As many of you in the weird little world of bikes have probably already seen, Preem TV launched recently. My first video for Preem also went live…and suddenly, I’m a video personality!

Didn’t see that one coming.

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I’ve never had any problems with public speaking — other than perhaps enjoying it a little too much… a friend of mine used to say, “If you ever want to hear Dan say something stupid, put a mic in front of him.” And I suppose that holds true today.

That said, I’ve never considered myself a ‘personality’ either. Journalists very much enjoy letting others talk, writing it down, and moving on (usually to the bar).

In my line of work, it certainly helps to be a personality now, since clicks are apparently king these days. But I never intended for this face made for podcasting to be plastered in video form on your screen.

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It’s been a cool experience. Of course, I was already doing videos for VeloNews for quite some time, but that was more of a thing I did because the bosses wanted me to. I guess Preem and the other titles I’m doing content for is no different; I’m just surprised at how many people enjoy watching me bloviate about derailleurs — now in video form!

When my buddy Mark and I dreamed up The Practical Still, we dreamed it as a whiskey podcast. Yet the opportunity to make videos surfaced quickly and Mark jumped on it. I was slower to react; who the hell needs to see more of me?

Lots of people, apparently.

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Look, I was supposed to be a famous novelist by now. I’m supposed to stare out at the rocky Maine coast contemplating life, then writing sparse and poignant prose 750 words at a time. I’m supposed to have a serious author photo, taken as the wind gently ripples my hair. It will be black and white and show the deep crevasses in my learned face. It is a face that has not worn a smile since 1991.

Instead, I’m this dude.

Which is to say, I’ve always considered myself a writer, not a video/podcast/male-model guy. They say journalism’s dead, but I think it’s just changed a bit. We’re being asked to be more things to more people. Sometimes we pull it off and sometimes we don’t.

I’m having fun figuring it all out. Along the way I’ll screw up. But I ask of you a favor: If you’re the type to complain about THE MEDIA, as though we’re this exclusive club that gets together to drink beer and hatch plans to mislead the public, please stop.

Media is a collection. There’s good media and crappy media. Be discerning. Pay attention to the journalists who are putting in the effort to check, double check, edit, re-edit, confirm…

Be wary of those who throw up content for the sake of clicks only. Be wary of claims without citations. Look for hard work that’s thorough and well-constructed.

And understand your part in media. You’re the consumer; you have to choose what media matters and what doesn’t. If you want better media, demand it. (And FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PAY FOR THE GOOD STUFF!)

Be discerning.

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Please support my work!

Now that I’ve baited you with discount codes, if you could spare a few more bucks, I’d love it if you’d help keep me in business by purchasing one of my prints or image downloads. Here’s this week’s featured photo.

I shot this when I was visiting my brother and his family in Maine about a year and a half ago. This is Pemaquid Lighthouse, and while this may not be neat to you, it was neat to me because it was the first time my daughter had ever seen the ocean. What a moment.