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Yes, you are.

You – the reader of this blog.

At least, that’s the answer give by, a website that tracks “social media marketing strategy.”

Were you aware that you’re part of the “social media?”

Yeah, we know. You thought you were just one of those folks that likes cars. Us, too.

But, it turns out we’re more than that. We’re the new frontier.

(more after the jump - and this his hot stuff, so you should read it!!)

Actually, you probably already sensed this.

According to a website that tracks “social media,” General Motors figured this out, too.

Liking cars increasingly translates into getting information from the internet, blogs in particular, rather than dead trees.

And, according to, there’s no car company that’s figured this out nearly as well as the General – General Motors.

It points out that no car company compares to GM in adopting “social media” as a marketing strategy and that GM’s sales are up while those of its competitors, particularly Ford and Toyota, are down.

(Don’t you get nasty with me, you Toyota fans. I’m just reporting.)

Here’s the info, as sees it:

GM has a blog, the FastLane blog. Not only was GM the first to launch a blog populated by top executives, it’s the only one to do it. GM also launched a “community site,” GMNext. It is built on the WordPress Open Source blogging platform, which means that it is interactive with its users.

And the others:

Well, there aren’t any.

Ford, according to, tried. But, it failed because its lawyers hold more sway than its executives. It all started with a social media release – a form of press release that invites participation. But when members of the “Black Mustang Club” wanted to use it to create a calendar of members’ Mustangs – well, that’s when the brilliant legal minds in the FoMoCo legal department said, “no.” Can’t use the Ford logo. Can’t use the Mustang image. Must have permission and cannot have permission.

(No wonder the pony runs backwards.)

Meantime, back at General Motors, according to

Bob Lutz says he gets better consumer intelligence from reading the comments on FastLane than from “market research,” which is pretty impressive since he’s one of the “new sixties” guys (i.e., age 70 plus),

Some at GM think FastLane gives them better feedback than focus groups – and focus groups cost $180,000 per year each.

GM execs that are in charge of getting GM’s environmental message across think they’re doing it through the communication the company has created by blogs

And, the company believes that it’s “transparency” about design allows it to do a better job of creating, ultimately, the design consumers want to buy.

So, where do you figure into the pecking order at GM?

Right at the Top. That’s at the top, of course.

But, seriously,

If you don’t think you matter, consider this little vignette, from the North American International Auto Show, in Detroit, a mere three weeks ago.

We’ve all seen “MotorWeek” on TV. We’ve probably all had pretty much the same reaction to it. But, sometimes it’s the only car show on TV.

So, we watch.

So, there’s the host of MotorWeek, in a booming voice, sitting on the edge of a Dodge exhibit at Cobo Hall, bitching up a storm in stentorian tones.

Complaining about what? The rather unattractive product behind him?


He was complaining about “websites” and their readers.

Here today, gone tomorrow, he said.

Ah, “MotorWeek” is for the ages.

Of course, tomorrow will be in Chicago.

But, just as a friendly guide to MotorWeek, they’ve got some other things in Chicago that once were for the ages:

Starting with “Sue.”

Sue is the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever recovered. She’s at the Field Museum on Lake Shore Drive, in Chicago. She probably was pretty menacing in her day, before she was only bones.

Then there’s the “Field” in Field Museum. It refers to Marshall Field, the founder of the department store chain of the same name.

They’re both extinct.

Just a friendly hint.

Ralph Kalal
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