29th July 2016
Blog | Gasoline culture | Gear | Gadgets
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James McBride is the man behind Silodrome. Based at various times in Hong Kong, London and (we think) New York he founded the online magazine in 2010. His background, he tells us, is in print media and journalism. He writes for half a dozen or more magazines and online blogs detailing everything from custom bikes, to hot rods to classic aircraft to gentlemen's shaving equipment to knives to interesting digital wallpapers to whatever else he feels is cool and likely to be of interest to other coolsters.
He describes himself as an entrepreneur and a designer, and he appears to manage Silodrome on his own. He claims a lofty 1.2 million monthly readers, most of whom he says are aged between 25 and 45, are usually college educated, and live and spend their money in the richer parts of the world (USA, UK, Western Europe, Japan and Australia).
He has a busy Facebook page and posts regular updates there and on Silodrome.
His site carries a range of paid-for adverts from manufacturers of leather bags, shoes, shirts, jackets, wristwatches, etc. At least it used to. But in more recent times, the ads are looking a little thin on the page. Or maybe we missed something. Actually, on second glance it looks like there's some other kind of online shop monetisation deal going on. But whatever it is, it evidently pays the bills.
Regardless, McBride's writing style is simple and to the point. The website is generally fairly clean and uncluttered. And he likes to splash big images around. Here's what he says about the site:
"We wanted the magazine to communicate an elegance of the classic vehicles and the whole gasoline culture. But at the same time it had to emphazise the passion, the roughness and boldness of the ones who ride. Giving a stage to the fantastic photographs from the blog was a natural choice."
The site used to have a comments section beneath the blog posts, but McBride abandoned that. He's said:
"I actually dropped the comments for this very reason [threats]. I spent half my time moderating arguments, personal insults and spam. The last straw was when a guy threatened to "find and kill" another commenter who had made a lighthearted joke about people who wore RayBan Wayfarers."
And what exactly is a silodrome? Well, James can explain that for himself:
"The Silodrome is a carnival sideshow attraction sometimes referred to as the “Wall of Death” – you may have seen one at a small county fair or circus, the vertical velodromes were originally built in the countryside from old grain silos, leading to the name "Silodrome".
The image above, incidentally, is taken from Silodrome's "About" page, and it's typical of much of the stuff on his blog. Vintage. Atmospheric. Fast. Dangerous. And, of course, sepia.
We check into the site from time to time. There's certainly some interesting stuff there, but you can overdose on interesting, and generally Silodrome doesn't keep our attention for very long. But then, here at Sump we're very busy people, and there's always another story to post, another email to field, and another beer to get outside of.
You might have better luck...
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