Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Car Is a Social Network

In trying to understand social networks I have come to realize my car is a social network.

Let me explain why.

First, I have had many cars in my life and I have never had a car that I would have thought this about. I have had Porsche's, Pininfarina's, GMC 3500's, minivan's, Honda Accord's, Toyota Celia's, Chev Vega's, Ford F150's, Land Cruiser's, Peugeot's, VW's - including Herbie's Father, and Mercedes Benz's.

My current car is a social network because in the 18 months I have had it I still get people - OK strangers - coming up to me and wanting to talk about the car. The car creates a way for people to connect to me and for me to connect to them.

I have people come up to me in parking lots. I can understand that. Folks in drive thru's - I get that too. Dozens of times I have been pumping gas to have people pull off the road and park in front of me - not buying gas mind you - just to talk to about my car. I really can't see myself ever doing that. I took my son to several car dealerships to buy him a car and the sales folks all came out to see my car. In fact, we came back from a test drive and one of them was under the car looking at stuff. I can't imagine what.

As I think I understand things, that is what a good social network does. Creates a common connection that lets folks meet, greet and get to know in a non threatening way.

What do you think? I am getting close?

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