Wednesday, November 29, 2006 Unveils a Company Blog

[www] The View from Inside (Blog)

This morning I discovered an entry on that has a company blog. How timely in that jsut last week HomeNet too had unveiled its blogs. As stated earlier, blogs are an excellent way for companies to reach out to the marketplace for customers and partners and I think this will become a common thing throughout the automotive industry in due time.'s blog seems to be geared towards industry news and information whereas HomeNet's concentrate on product and company info. It will be interesting to see where these companies go with their blogs and how quickly other companies in the industry will be with publishing their own.

Discuss Online at
Discuss Online at

Be sure to leave your comments below about this entry.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

iMagicLab Produces One for the Team…a blog, that is, called


If you are looking for the Dealer Magazine website and forget to or don’t think about putting a hyphen (-) between the two words (dealer & magazine) and the three double ewes (www) and the dot com (.com), then you will have appear before your very eyes a newly created blog called Produced by Keith Latman of iMagicLab, formerly known as iCarMagic, is a blog for the next generation auto professional.

The format looks more like a discussion forum with dedicated contributing writers concentrating on specific topics like CRM and advertising, which are two things Jeff Kershner writes a lot about on his blog I have a feeling however that the Dealer Magazine people will have some concerns once they learn of the name and domain being used.

I will go ahead and add this site to my blogroll and make a point to reference content posted there that is relevant to BlogPro.

Online Discussion at Auto Industry Forum

Online Discussion at Car Dealer Forums

Be sure to let me know your thoughts about this site by entering your comments below.

Friday, November 24, 2006 is good for your brain and for your soul

[www] is one of the original blog sites, if not the original one, specific to the automotive internet sales professional. Conceived and produced by Jeff Kershner, a young, but veteran automotive sales professional, DealerRefresh offers opinions, tips, and input not just for Internet Sales Managers but also for anyone in the automotive online retail business.

The first time I met Jeff was in 2005 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas during an AutoSuccess show. Jeff’s blog was less than a year young at the time and I was impressed with the insight of the content he was producing. Jeff knows CRM and he know SEM, among other things. Naturally, I was excited about meeting him. Jeff’s laid back style and witty approach overshadow his passion for and deep understanding of today’s technology and the car business, but his blog puts Jeff’s professional philosophy in perspective.

If you sell cars online or if you help dealers market their cars online then DealerRefresh should be bookmarked in your browser. You will find that the content being posted is completely relevant to what you do. Jeff does offer an irregular newsletter as well. Be sure to let Jeff know that Ryan sent you too.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Dealer Magazine - "A conduit of information"


Dealer Magazine was founded by Mike Roscoe over 10 years ago and presently Mark Dubis is the Editor. It is a digest of expert advice and opinion, edited from the perspective of the franchise automobile dealer. The magazine takes the position of being an advocate for the individual independent business men and women who are franchised automobile dealership owners. It is a conduit of information between dealers and top experts in the retail automotive business.

Essentially there are three core monthly publications – Dealer Magazine, Digital Dealer, and Dealer Fixed Operations, each one catering obviously to specific audiences and each one circulated individually. Digital Dealer however is often incorporated inside of the primary Dealer Magazine distribution as well.

Dealer Magazine also has seven free weekly eNewsletters to which you can subscribe. Click here to visit the subscribe page. The website has an extensive archive and also plays host to online forums for each publication, which I think is a great addition.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

HomeNet, Inc. Launches Two Company Blogs for Public Use

HomeNet, Inc., the creators of Inventory Online (IOL) are publishing two company blogs for public use - HomeNet News & HomeNet Ministry. The company has also published a blog for internal use. will be used to post information about HomeNet's product, its organization, its, customers and its partners. On it you will see postings that date back to the beginning of 2006. will be used to post information about the company's Christian Ministry. Information about the Ministry is available on the blog including the covenant which explains the purpose for the ministry.

Blogs are a great way for companies to reach out to the marketplace with information relevant to those its does business so I suspect we will see more of this in due time.

Be sure to leave your comments below.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

How the New AutoMoBids System Affects the Car Buying Experience

AutomoBids is closing a $1.2 million round of seed funding and going live with an online service that allows car buyers to haggle over price without ever seeing a sales agent. This is not necessarily a new concept as it has been talked about for a few years now, but it is the first system of its kind that I know of.

The way it works is dealers load their inventory into the system and set a floor price for each vehicle. Essentially, the dealers are creating a branded virtual sales lot on the AutomoBids system. They also have the ability to create vehicle-specific ads with search engine marketing campaigns. Consumers register their credit cards with the system and then can search for vehicles in the sales lots. They can bid up to three times on a vehicle and up to 10 vehicles at a time. The bidder can then lock in a price for up to seven days by exceeding the dealer’s floor price which is not disclosed to the bidder.

Although there is more meat to the equation, this new buying process has the potential to change the way autos are shopped and purchased, just like eBay Autos has done. This of course could take years to become a part of the consumer culture, but from what see it should have a lasting impact. This will not replace the sales rep, but it will force the sales rep to adapt to the new method by finding alternate ways to add unique value to the consumers’ online buying experience.

A link to the original press release is below. Be sure to leave your comments to this entry and share your thoughts on it. You may also visit the online discussion forum for AutomoBids on to rate this company and access more detailed company info and other peoples’ feedback.

Source Article

Discuss Online at Auto Industry Forum

Discuss Online at Car Dealer Forums

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Memorial Entry for Elisabeth Kelly Reilly of

This past weekend Elisabeth Kelly Reilly was shot and killed at a shopping center in Virginia Beach. It appears as though the shooting was the result of a mugging that went awry. Kelly was an employee with The link below leads to the article about the incident.

Source Article

My condolences go out to family, friends, and co-workers that knew Kelly, who was recently married and probably seemed to have had a bright future before her. There is little that can be said to provide comfort in times like this, but in my experience I find comfort in knowing that people like Kelly who came to this earth for such a short period of time when it seemed they had everything to live for, were here to fulfill a God-given purpose that may or may not be known to us here on earth. May peace and understanding be made available to those closest to her.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

True Leadership Requires Giving Credit and Praise To Those Around You

My Uncle Roger was an independent electrician in his hometown in the state of Michigan. He had a great reputation for quality work and an amazing network of contacts in the construction and remodeling industry throughout the area that was of great use to him not only for business but also for bartering. Roger was always doing favors for people and always making friends.

Roger was also a stickler for quality and when I worked for him he didn’t go easy on me because I was his nephew. In fact, the first time I worked for him he let me go after a few months because I wasn’t meeting is quality standards. The final straw that summer was when I had goofed up big on a job, which interestingly I think, was a favor. But my Uncle didn’t give me the boot with my head down. Roger made sure I left that summer job feeling like a winner.

When my goof-up became apparent, Roger showed up to the site hours early and re-ran the cables I had laid the day before which had holes drilled in them. He didn’t make a big deal about the error; in fact, he even praised me in front of the homeowner for doing such a great job. Of course, this was probably more about storing confidence in the homeowner than anything, but still.

This was not the only time Roger gave praise to me or others for things that may or may not have even deserved praise. Roger would give people so much praise for their work it made you want to do a better job for him. After all, he was giving you praise before you deserved it, or even when you didn’t deserve it at all.

This is not easy to do. So often in the business world we want people to see and know how much we do, how hard we work, and what good work we do. Often I hear things like, “welcome to my world” or “now you know what I go through”. I too am a culprit for this. I catch my self all the time wanting people to see and acknowledge my sacrifice, but ingenuity, and my contribution to the things going on. The reality is that people are not that interested in what you do. People are interested in what they do. People want to be acknowledged, praised, and glorified for their own efforts.

A good leader realizes this and lovingly and selflessly finds ways to give others that praise and let others feel good about themselves. A good leader understands that by allowing, or even encouraging those around him to be recognized ultimately comes back to the purpose of the matter in positive ways which naturally impacts everyone.

So be willing to give credit and praise to those around you, and be willing to receive none. By doing this, you can focus on making others feel good about them selves and if someone else does the same for you then it is just one more thing to be happy about.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mosley Automotive Group Sends Me Its Newsletter But I Never Subscribed

The other day I discovered in my inbox a newsletter from Mosley Automotive Group. Based on the name I presumed it to be from a dealer group and did not read it right away. But tonight I had a few minutes to dig through my inbox and looked into it further.

What I found was the Mosley is actually a consulting firm for auto dealers that is geared towards helping dealers maximize their online selling technique. Complete with process analysis, coaching, consulting, training, and workshops, these guys seem like one of a kind in that they are geared towards online retailing vs. conventional retailing. How they got my email address is beyond me, but kudos to them for spamming me.

Anyhow, check them out and please provide your feedback. The website is I will add them to my lineup and keep an eye on their procession in the industry.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Interview with 37Signals Jason Fried

Here is a quick interview read on Web Worker Daily with Jason Fried, founder of 37Signals. I do not know much about the company 37Signals other than the names of some of their products like Basecamp and Campfire. We use Basecamp in my company for project management. It is not fully sufficient for needs but that is because our needs are beyond the scope of the software, not that the software itself is insufficient. In fact, the Basecamp software is quite modest, simple, and extremely useful.

What struck me about Fried’s comments in this interview was his take on physical proximity being more of a distraction and interference with productivity in the workplace than it is a benefit. In my work, I find this to be quite true. There are constant interruptions each day with people buzzing me on the phone and coming into my office (or me buzzing other people’s phones and going into their offices). Sometimes it seems that we would all get more done if we locked ourselves in our own offices. But then again, there is the irreplaceable benefit of face-to-face interaction for productivity.

Fried also commented that they rarely use email. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for this. Email has to be the single most counter-productive tool in the workplace. I spend more time filtering spam and deleting pointless threads between co-workers than I do actually addressing the legitimate needs and issues that come to me on email. I do believe an online collaboration tool would be better, but that requires buy-in from your co-workers.

Well check out the interview and let me know your thoughts or if you want to talk about Basecamp and/or Campfire.

Reference Article

Women Sites Making a Claim on the Web

According to an article The New York Times, women are increasingly becoming a recognized consumer in many industries, not just the auto industry…

- Shane Homes is building houses designed with the feedback from female consumers

- is an online home improvement site geared specifically for female handy(wo)men

- Crave Party seems to be a nationwide network of women that like to indulge in things like shopping, entertainment, and personal pampering

Like, these sites are designed exclusively for women. Identity is an increasingly important thing in our culture these days and these sites are obviously catering to this popularity.

One site I found of interest while reading this NYT article is called My Open Wallet, a site run by a female New Yorker revealing the details of her personal financial lifestyle. The blog site is pretty cool and definitely rich with content, not to mention a sense of bold honesty and openness. There is a great section on the site called “My Rules”. Check it out when you get the chance.

Shouts out to the girls at for forwarding this article. I think it is quite revealing for what sort of possibilities are out there in the marketplace these days for women and men.