Communities Are The Way To Build Success

I am a bit of a car nut.

One of my daily browsing rituals is to check out a small list of automotive news sites from the huge range around the world.

Most of these sites have reasonably comprehensive content, but this was not always the case. Previously one of the foremost Australian automotive web presences was Fairfax’s Drive, as it leveraged it’s content and brand from Fairfax’s newsprint. This was all well and good, but it’s content tended to be a mere veneer on the raw advertising that comprised the vast majority of the liftout, the web site continued this practice. Car ads do not make interesting reading.

What does interest me is a rich variety of information and a like-minded community to discuss it with. The explosion in popularity in social networking just reinforces the fact that we are social creatures and we like to digest and relate information communally. We like to contribute and we have a suspicion of one-way communication.

The best auto sites have recognised this, Drive in my opinion, has not. It’s blogs and comments are subsidiary to pushing car sales. It’s news is basic and commentary is not universally enabled (only on blogs and user reviews).

The Motor Report and Car Advice, on the other hand,  are far more interesting. They have earnt my loyalty with a high turnover of news and information, all with commentary to read and contribute to - which is half the fun.

If I was going to buy a car, I would go to one of the above sites, look for relevant recommendations and information, then browse to another site purely to check prices and local dealers. Obviously if the ability to actually source this information on a site I already trust, there would be no need to leave the site.

So basically the news for Drive is, pull up your socks or you’ll get left behind.