Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
February 11, 2014

I'm a visual person. It took quite some time for me to realize that, and I think it's that visual focus that likely drew me to car magazines. Growing up in suburban Ohio, there weren't many cool cars to look at unless you ventured out of the county, so a trip to the convenience store for a magazine was a far better option for an adolescent without a driver's license.

This of course was long before the Internet, which put everything at your fingertips while having to travel no further than the room in your house with the computer in it (long before laptops, tablets, and smart phones). As an early page flipper, I enjoyed the reader's rides section of enthusiast magazines just as much as the features. They were like a dozen mini features all in two pages. If you look hard enough, you can take away many things from a single image.

The next step in my image search was within web forums. I would still check out the reader's rides sections in my favorite magazines, but web forums carved deep niches within the hobby; if you wanted to find white fastback Mustangs, there was usually a thread just for those. Wheel threads are also popular, and there's usually at least one person willing to photochop them onto your model car so you can see what it will look like. How cool is that?

With so many websites popping up, I've found it difficult to maintain relationships with specific websites. A quicker approach, I have found, is the Google image search.

The writing side of my creative mind struggles to keep up with the design side, but I guess it goes back to that visual thing. Whether it's offering suggestions to my friends who have projects or just conceptualizing my own current and/or future projects, I'm always searching out options. The image search is a great tool to have these days, and it's something that will benefit from an upcoming change to our website.

We upload additional photos with our web articles whenever possible, and this will be come increasingly important as changes to our website come into effect this spring. The fact that image searches account for more than 50 percent of our website traffic makes sense considering my own vast amount of image searches, and it suggests that there are a lot of visually inclined folks just like myself—if schools could recognize this and teach appropriately, I think a lot of people would be more successful in their education, but I digress.

We'll be ramping up the photo content of our site to make sure it is a destination for those visual types. The "Reader's Roundup" column in the magazine will likely be uploaded to our website like the features and tech are now, and once our website upgrade rolls out in March, we want to see your photos on our updated forums as well. Who knows? I might just come across one of them during one of my image searches.

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