Good People Run celebrated 4 years recently and I was not really that bothered. This made me reflect on why. The original goals of the project to connect like minded people- showcase other creative and artists work- develop and sell products- and ultimately build a small niche online with genuine content all worked out. I also wanted to keep in touch with the scene as a photographer- this worked out well too. You could say it achieved the goals so what’s the problem?
Well, put simply the creative aspects and freedom that were so important to me got blinkered somewhat along this journey. The project also in my opinion got in the way of me making friends with people within businesses and projects that competed for the similar audience of GPR.
Rather than being able to focus on what running means to me and sharing this authentic vision with others who felt the same in both a digital and ‘real world exhibition – people narrative- and printed GRIT zine vibe’ – it never really happened. GPR got pulled into believing content generation and social media were the best way to keep GPR moving forward- and it’s not the case. The quality content and art when shared online also got lost within the dated website design. Like so many parts of our modern life GPR created an echo chamber in a digital vacuum with no creative freedom at all. There is ZERO sustainability in this model of likes – shares and a filtered view of running life though devices. Authenticity and people are key.
As for content creation – the level of commitment required to pull a group of authors to create unique content and keep the narrative moving forward was really difficult. Put simply, people are not going to commit to a project and give up their precious time for free. I fully appreciate this and subsequently I simply could not operate all aspects of a project solo – finding that most of my time was spent on coordinating people to create digital ‘noise’ that gets lost in a like. Too much was going on with the project – and one bloke was not enough to keep it moving forward.
So onto the good stuff. Here is V2 of GPR that aims to focus on the original plan of creating imagery and art for exhibitions and publications- and sharing this on the way. Most of all the vision of GPR is now driven solely by me with no obligations to others (and vice versa) – and more time to connect with runners (oh the irony!).
What about the products? The blog posts? The community aspect? Well, community is everywhere in our sport so see you out there. That’s an easy one. GPR products will continue and i’m working on a new shop experience as we speak. As for the blog posts… I’m going to add the original ‘inspiring runner’ features and narrative that I wrote, alongside a more story driven personal experience of interviews with people who run or involved with running culture. Most of all the visual experience from the site to offline exhibitions and zine – will be a better standard. Something i’m proud of – and I hope you will be proud of too.
Thanks for your support to date everyone- in particular the contributors and editors who not only believed in the early days of the project but also the vision of GPR. This decision has not been an easy one to make and with a feeling of pride looking forward- we head into a better GPR with what you loved from the original project – and more.
One thing is for sure- it will take sometime for V2 to find it’s groove once again as I add content from V1 and get the creative aspects back on track- so thanks for your support and patience.
Hang tight. Run well. Be kind.