Ever wanted to know more about your beloved ZNN? I mean sure, we know we’re your absolute favorite source for Zwift news and information, but perhaps there’s a bit more ‘behind the scenes’ (or behind the mask) information you’d like to have about the team that puts together the greatest content in the history of Zwift media? Well that’s why we’ve come to your second favorite source for Zwift content, Zwift Insider, to share a little bit more about us.
Regarding my identity, that’s a trade secret. But I wanted to take this generous opportunity, provided by Eric, to explain “why.” Zwift News Network was created in an attempt to be a humorous, satirical “voice of the community.” We’re nameless not because we don’t believe what we say or are somehow “concerned” about the content that we share. But rather, because we think it’s really important that it could, in fact, be “any one of us.” As a personal filter before writing or sharing any content for ZNN, it’s important to me that the content sound like it could have come from just about anyone within the Zwift community. Sure, very few opinions held by ZNN are universally held by the Zwift community. There are Zwifters who love Richmond for its rich racing heritage and punchy steep climbs, and both of them comment regularly on ZNN posts which could be seen by some as “critical” of the first American Zwift course.
In other words, ZNN’s identity is you! Or rather, it could be you at any given moment. ZNN is your voice. ZNN is people who love Zwift, who use Zwift regularly, who wouldn’t know what to do without Zwift. And who enjoy poking a little fun at some of Zwift’s curious quirks, bugs, and even the occasional strange decision made by ZwiftHQ that doesn’t immediately make sense to the Zwift userbase.
Zwift UI engineers release update unnecessarily and arbitrarily increasing the number of steps required to change direction on a course.
“The old way was so simple, intuitive, and easy” said new chief of UI, Beelzebub. “This is much worse, and we’re really happy with it.”
— Zwift News Network (@ZwiftNews) October 4, 2018
Coupled with that understanding that “ZNN is everyone” is the ethos that “ZNN is FOR everyone.” Often we get asked to make satirical posts about niche racing issues or to poke fun at individuals within the Zwift community. While occasionally we do poke a little light-hearted fun at prominent members of the Zwift community, we’re never mean. We don’t create content about niche elements of Zwift, like individual race events or series. Not because these aren’t essential to the fabric of Zwift, but because they aren’t relevant to everyone. Furthermore, we’re not in the business of exposing cheaters, making mean-spirited comments about ZwiftHQ members or other community members, or other things that cross the line from “light-hearted satire” into “vindictive and anonymous criticism.”
Sadly, ZNN does occasionally receive requests or submissions of content that fall well outside of our established ethical criteria. But far and away more, we hear about what a great job Zwift is doing, how much they love Zwift, and suggestions for other light-hearted ways to poke fun at what we love. We also love that, on occasion, we get angry feedback from people who don’t understand that we’re fans of Zwift just poking a little fun at Zwift, and who angrily push back at our content. We think that’s great— really! It shows what a devoted and supportive fanbase Zwift has.
Maybe you’re a big fan of ZNN, maybe you think it’s petulant and silly, or maybe you’ve never even heard of ZNN (@ZwiftNews on Twitter and Facebook). Regardless, we hope to make this little essay the start of a short series of essays not only detailing ZNN and it’s impact on Zwift, as told by its creators and others who have interacted with us over the last year, but also as a sort of “state of the Zwift community” evaluation as interpreted by ZNN. We cannot claim to speak for the Zwift community (only that we try to speak as if we could), but we think we are uniquely connected to the people who make Zwift the incredible social fabric that it is. And we think that gives us a really special story to tell.
Of course, ZNN is nothing without content. (It’s barely something WITH our terrible content). Did you know that you can send direct messages to ZNN on both Twitter and Facebook? We read every message we receive! (Mostly because we never really receive any). If you’ve got something to say, say it! Your Zwift joke or satirical observation just might make it in to a ZNN post someday.
Making you smile and love Zwift even more is our mission, and we’d love to hear how we’re doing! Leave a comment on this post below to let ZNN know just how we’re getting along, or perhaps, if it’s time for us to finally get going. We can’t wait to hear from you, and to create even more smiles and chuckles from Zwifters in the future!
Your Secret Admirer,
ZNN Editor in Chief