Thursday, September 28, 2006

Where is the Community?

Last month I decided to partake in the automotive blog community by creating this blog for the automotive industry technology professional. At first, I thought there was a promising online community but in the past two weeks I have come to realize there is not much activity there for technology professionals in the automotive industry. By “technology professional” I mean those working for companies that provide technology solutions for the dealer market. This would include companies like mine, HomeNet, and those that HomeNet does business with. Go to their website to see examples of these companies.

Granted I have not done much in the way of advertising or soliciting this blog, rather I have been searching about for other online communities. Here is what I have discovered so far:

Edmunds InsideLine has a nice online community developed but it is geared more towards the automobile consumer and other car buffs. They also have a blog-forum community called CarSpace but again it is geared towards the car lovers and consumers.

Jeff Kershner’s DealerRefresh blog is by and far one of the most constructive and useful blogs. It is catered to the dealership ISM’s but much of what he produces is applicable to the industry players that work with the dealers. is one of the busiest blog sites I have come by within this industry but it is certainly geared towards vehicles and not the automotive professional in any way.

Then there are the two vBulletin forums, started recently by my colleague John DeGlavina, and which looks like it has been around a little while but as far as traffic and readership goes is minimal.

In addition to my new finds, I should comment on the following two industry sources that I frequent and find useful:

Dealer Magazine has a great collection of newsletters which although are geared primarily toward the franchise dealer they are relevant to the automotive professional.

AutoSuccess has a weekly newsletter but it seems a bit old school, e.g. no blog or RSS activity going on with it. The articles are great and are geared toward the sales and management professionals at dealerships.

So where is the community? Is it really this dry? If we are “technology” companies then why are those working in the companies not online interacting with one another to establish a sense of community? Does this stem back to something that plagues us as a nation which is that you can spend years living in the same complex or by the same neighbors and not get to know one another, while you have friends and networks all over the world often times with people you hardly ever see.

My call to you is that if you are a technology professional in this automotive industry, let me know what it is you seek. What sort of content or information will keep you coming back for more? What tools and resources do you use and need to get your job accomplished? What are your major hurdles and road blocks in your career?

I am going to start sharing with you the challenges and obstacles of my work. I will post my blogs on the two (1)(2) vBulletin forums that are out there and you can use whichever medium works best for you to help me help you generate this online community.

Comments on "Where is the Community?"


Anonymous Jeff Kershner said ... (21:11) : 

Ryan, I totally know what you mean. I'm often on the DigitalDealer forums only to find out no one has posted or commented since I was last on there. My site only gets an average of 2-3 comments a week and looking at the unique traffic I would think I would be getting more. Maybe it's due to the readers that we are targeting are too busy to have time to comment or maybe we are too ahead of the time for this industry and most people are reading and absorbing and feel as if they are not ready to contribute.


Blogger Cathy said ... (01:51) : 

Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one ,so that when we
finally meet the person , we will know how to be grateful.
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