EDITORIAL – 7TUNE AND 9TRO JOIN FORCES
2011 has been a turbulent, trying but ultimately rewarding year for me as an individual and business entrepreneur. I’ve only been in the industry 18 short months and it has now been just over a year since I took over 7Tune. More has happened during this last year and a half than ever before during 7Tune’s 6 and bit year online history. One of the bigger announcements I have to make this year is my appointment as Japan Regional Editor for respected and revered Singapore JDM magazines, “9tro” and “Black”…
It almost didn’t happen. Money was really tight at that time and I was paying my own way for the entire trip to the WTAC, so I really had to weigh up whether or not it was going to be worth the risk. In the end I decided to feed my risk appetite and just go anyway and leave it in God’s hands. I flew into Singapore at the beginning of August to meet with Director, Hong Tsui and Associate Editor, Brendan Mok, together with newly appointed Assistant Director for 7Tune, Benson Lau to discuss the partnership. It was most definitely a positive meeting of minds that removed all doubts on the decision to make the trip.
We all shared a direct connection for the way we perceive things are done and should not be done in the industry. It was refreshing to hear Hong in particular, recount the effort exerted in climbing to the top in the Singapore market and how he successfully works to stay there. Personally, I am acutely aware of the importance that 7Tune has in the overall structure of online automotive content from or about Japan and it is significant enough to hold my attention and capture the attention of others. The connection between us was obvious.
I admit I still feel sheepish when people recognize me, speak of how much they love reading 7Tune content or sharing posts and ideas through comments; how much they just enjoy being part of the experience and that we actually care about them enough to regularly keep in touch with them. I don’t have the right words to express how deeply that moves me.
These responses really spur us all on to greater goals and together with the “Se7en Samurai”, a 12 strong team of talented and passionate people from all over the world, we have supported a rapidly growing Facebook Fanpage that has literally exploded past all of our expectations. To be knocking on the door of 10,000 fans in just over 4 months is really something special. We feel that’s down to us doing and seeing things differently.
Our fans agree and our numbers support that. 118,000% growth? We’ll take it.
We aren’t just a blog or a page. 7Tune is a special place at the hearts of anyone who loves their automotive content and we have put the readers first from day ZERO. We write our own rules on the way things are going to work with others in mind. We’ve also had some amazing support from other pages that are in the same frame of mind. Truth be told, there is actually an element out there that have tried ( and failed ) to shut the page down. We know who they are ( most of them are here in Japan ) but I’m not going to bother wasting another word on them.
I just don’t expect that sort of behavior from people who call themselves “professionals” and I’m anticipating some caustic, vitriol from veiled user names on that comment alone.
Still, it’s nice to remember the great things people constantly say as a validation of all the effort that has gone into rebuilding 7Tune from the ground up but when Hong and Brendan expressed their respect and appreciation for the site in professional terms, it just reminded me that everything was in the right place at exactly the right time.
Now, I’m not religious but I believe God’s timing to be perfect in everything and to me, this was yet another example of it opening up right in front of someone like some sort of present that unwraps itself. 7Tune and all its supporters are in good hands.
As fate would have it, the three of us were to be travelling companions for the next leg of the trip from Singapore to “Down Under” Sydney and the 2011 World Time Attack Challenge, hosted by Ian Baker, Greg Lysien and the good people at Eastern Creek Raceway. It gave us time to discuss the connection and plan the way forward as well as run ourselves into the ground capturing all the amazing motor racing experiences on offer. We already posted on who won and what times were set but there was a warmth and genuine camaraderie to the weekend that we don’t feel has been touched on yet. Stay tuned for that.
Because it was Hong and Brendan’s first time to Sydney, both Benson Lau and I planned ahead to help them out getting around. Benson proved invaluable in this regard, kindly lending me his Maroon JZX100 Chaser for the weekend so that we could stay mobile. ( Incidentally, Benson’s car is currently for sale so if anyone is in the market for a JZX100 drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org ) We were more than happy to make their stay as comfortable as possible; any new place, especially a large, bustling city like Sydney can be daunting for a first timer. (In actual fact it was also my first time to Sydney, let alone driving around in Sydney but I’m an Aussie so I had no excuse…)
The saloon was smooth as silk and the three of us remarked how Audi’ish the car sounded when changing up gears! It really did bark like it was shifting up through a DSG box!
Needless to say the weekend was fantastic and both personal and business relationships took a very natural and positive turn for the better. It wasn’t all smooth sailing as schedules needed to be kept tight and the right people needed to be talked to but it was memorable none the less. ( I have to thank my “fairy Godmother” for the WTAC shirt I found on my laptop after returning from a jaunt around the track on Saturday! )
We all came away with some fresh ideas and some great new connections which have benefited both our brands. That is testament to the power of positive marketing and networking in action – just finding the best in other people and building on that instead of trying to find the worst and attempting to tear someone down or even worse; creating lies in order to sabotage someones growth. We have experienced that multiple times this year.
What this all means for you Singaporeans who are reading this, is that you will be seeing a lot more of me every month in your local 9tro and Black magazines on all things JDM and EDM in Japan! ( You can find my first editorial in the latest edition of 9tro magazine out now… )
For all the other countries we reach through 7tune every year ( at last count over 190 ) perhaps you would also like to see fresh content from Japan on your local book shelves as well. If you are in the industry and that interests you, then drop me a line.
I am honored to be associated with the Se7en Samurai and the people from 9tro, satisfied with the way 7Tune is progressing as a web force in automotive culture, intent on providing the best automotive content on the net and supremely optimistic and confident that we are overcoming the last of the barriers standing in our way to continue forging a path toward creating what you guys enjoy most from all corners of the globe. Yes, our goals are huge but our vision matches the intent and we’ve picked up enough motivation along the way to convince us things are heading in the right direction.
Detractors from the good work we are doing at 7Tune are only adding coals to the fire burning in the boiler room that powers us forward. Shovel on, I say.
Content on 7Tune has never been a one-way street. We thank the readers, supporters and fans of 7Tune for that and ask for your continued support.
7Tune. The Ultimate JDM Experience for a Reason.