We're stunters, not web designers, not graphic designers and not necessarily writers. Yet as the sport grows, it is becoming increasingly obvious, that a strong online presence and personal brand is necessary to be a "professional" rider or icon for the sport. So now while stunters struggle to keep their bikes running, weld cracked frames, get tires changed, drive 50 hours across the country, nurse broken bones and repeatedly get kicked out of their spot by the cops, they also need to think about documenting it, sharing it and creating a visible, coherent online presence to sell fans and brands.
It's no easy task. We know from experience, when you get to the spot, you want to ride - not record video and when you get home you want to have a beer and watch Hulu - not blog, edit video and deal with bugs on your website. To salute the riders with the vision and motivation to create a website, social network and personality online I wanted to highlight a few of the world's best stunt websites and what makes them great.
While the following are not exclusively PRO riders, they are people or organizations that produce engaging content - often and do a great job describing aspects of the sport. These riders, groups and brands are making sure followers can visibly learn about who they are, what they stand for, where they're going and how they can get more (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube).
In this developmental period of our sport, where people may Google us, follow us or otherwise stalk us; it's important we are taking at least a few minutes to snap some photos and write a story every week. We are stunting, let's make that mean something! Stunt, Shoot, Tweet, Blog - repeat.
Ernie's homepage is a blog and a awesome way to keep updated on his day to day happenings, interesting industry events and news. Ernie paints a vivid picture of the life of a pro rider through great stories, excellent quality photos and bright sponsor logos.
The rest of his website is equally clear and engaging. He offers a media section to browse videos, a sponsor's section to see who supports him and even a tutorial section full of how-to videos on how to stunt (it truly rocks). Ernie's blog speaks to and invites anyone to participate and feel connected to his unique lifestyle and brand
The SoCal bike club, "Streetlife", reps hard both on and off the streets and have developed a unique blog that chronicles the life of a street riding-lot supporting rider. The president of the club collects the media, fly's to XDL, tweets like a maniac and has become a very cool voice for the street.
The most fleshed out component of the site is the homepage blog. The blog covers street news, national events, stunt related media and their very own "First Time Friday" video series where riders attempt a new trick, for the first time, normally in the streets - madness. Progressive, engaging content and new ideas that undoubtedly keep fans refreshing and checking back for their weekly fill of stunt news
Stunter13, the Polish sensation, just launched his website, which is a flash based display of the beauty and imagination that is stunting. The site cycles through supernatural images of Stunter13, with his bike, in various surreal locations, like the top of a building in Armageddon, or doing a no handed circle in a futuristic city, or a Superman at the bottom of the sea - rad.
His news section covers his travels, competitions and placing, his bio talks extensively about his background and he offers tons of media and photos to really paint a picture both of the sport and his lifestyle. The best part, the site is in both English and Polish
Another example of a man who hardly has time to eat and sleep let alone maintain a website. Nick has gradually begun giving his fans and followers a insight into his wild life through stories, pictures and videos.
His blog really shows who he is and he paints a picture of his unique personality in his stories and content. Nick is virtually connecting with fans that can't see him in person by developing a online persona very much in line with his true identity
French rider Julien "Razerback" Welsch offers a easy to navigate website with a regularly updated blog covering all aspects of his crazy life. From his events and competitions to his van problems and training pictures, Julien works hard to keep his fans engaged and informed. And I must admit, I'm a fan - MORE TRIUMPH PICS!!
Streetstyle SHIN! The most dedicated international competitor in the history of our sport, Shin's blog looks sweet, even if we can't understand it. Regardless, pictures are universal, we even found some pictures from Indy, Shin updating his blog on the road - putting in work! And I'm sure his fans appreciate it
It's wrong to put myself in here, I know...but I've been blogging for over three years! I guess I have it easy as a photographer and writer, I love updating my blog with stories on everything from my latest crash to the epic omelet I made for breakfast. But since I'm writing from this perspective I will let you know, my blog has gotten me jobs, made me new friends and connected me with amazing people all over the world. So I know from experience - it's worth the effort!
I figure, if I expect people to watch a video of me, come watch me at an event or follow my blog and tweets, I should have the respect to give them quality content to show my appreciation. (I appreciate YOU!)\
While it's not solely stunt related the guys at Icon regularly update their blog with sick pictures, stories and video from their fans and sponsored team. Beyond riding related material they also write about motorcycle fashion, trends and custom bikes. To stay up to date with their riders, products and fashionista moto-trends the Icon blog is a good bet for weekly entertainment.
Update (12/14) Icon just redesigned their blog - and it's really sick
And last but definitely not least, the Stuntride homepage offers an eclectic mash-up of all stunt related news and videos from around the web. Thomas keeps us updated on the Stuntride and XDL brand, as well as what our favorite pro riders and personalities are up to