Blogger Crystal Waters retired from Vespaway today, pretty much bringing an end to the “official” Vespa blog project that started in May 2005. Waters left Vespaquest, her original official Vespa blog, to join Neil Barton at Vespaway in March, after their blogging partners lost interest. Barton has posted only seven entries since April, (vs. 500+ posts on 2strokebuzz, brag brag), so Waters’ departure — and her frank admission that Vespa and their marketing firm, CooperKatz have lost interest in the blogs — seems to spell the end of Vespaway. Like many Piaggio marketing initiatives, the blogs seemed woefully ignored by Piaggio after a bright start, and the bloggers’ frustration even snuck to the surface a few times. Luckily, Waters’ better personal blog will continue, and I would link it up, if she hadn’t snubbed the world’s first and best scooter blog (that would be us) in her list of other resources. OK, I won’t be petty, ha, it’s girlbike.com. Best of luck, Crystal, ride on.
3 thoughts on “Goodbye, Vespaway”
It is sad that the Vespaway site could not continue. Crystal has all the experience, energy and skill to make it a rich site if there would have been more support. I always thought it would be great if Piaggio would supply the blogger with a scooter to test every two to three months. Just from my own blog experience I have seen more than a handful of people read, question, and actually purchase a Vespa. With the potential for audience with Piaggio’s support I would have thought it something easy to justify.
Oh well, I guess that’s why I’m only riding a scooter in the sticks….
I concur that Neil and Crystal are good bloggers (judging from their personal blogs) and fine, upstanding citizens, with much more patience than I have, I would have given up on the site a long time ago. While corporate blogs *can* be fascinating, they’re usually born because a clueless executive heard about blogs on the news and figured it would require little budget or committment. They’re almost always tepid and “marketingy” at first and then eventually abandoned. Sadly, Vespaway and Vespaquest fell into that trap, too, and it didn’t help that Piaggio USA provided them with pretty much nothing to work with.
I’d be willing to shill for anyone for very little money, but not for free, especially for a corporation that’s sued several of my friends that have done more to promote the Vespa name than Vespa themselves, and it kills me that they can’t be bothered with VCOA. I expected big changes with the new marketing guy, for better or for worse, but other than get lucky with high gas prices, he sure hasn’t done much.
Piaggio is an organization with a great product with legions of evangelists that love the product but hate the administration. Piaggio needs to find a way to capitalize on the fact that their product is so much more than a commodity, without alienating the customers who have made it so. Vespa means an awful lot to many, many people, and it seems like it means nothing but sales figures and press releases to PiaggioUSA.
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