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Monday, April 17, 2006

Car Talk: Debate on Chevy's experiment goes offline

"Anyway, it sure got people talking about the Tahoe. Which was the whole idea, after all."
- Ed Peper, General Manager of Chevrolet

I know nothing about cars. But, like many of my auto-ignorant brethren, I am a big fan of the Tappet Brothers' (Tom and Ray Magliozzi) NPR show, Car Talk. The extent of what's under the hood of my 1995 Honda Civic hood is 1) where to pour oil, and 2) where to jump my battery when I leave my headlights on. I consider Click and Clack from "Boston, MAH" to be my trusted experts on all things car-related. I listen to them every week Saturday AM on the way back from morning errands.

So when I tuned in to the most recent episode this past Saturday (april 15th podcast available via audible.com) that the recent Chevy blogosphere experiment had crossed over and made a mention on that other most populist of media forms, call-in talk radio, I got to thinking. Why do so many find it so compelling to listen to (on the radio) or to read (on a blog) unique voices and opinions of people you may have never otherwise heard from?

Whether it be related to car maintenance on a beat-up '85 volvo wagon or the latest Web services mash-up, people naturally gather in online and offline places where people are relating their own individual experiences. Blogs are only the most recent way to tune into (via RSS) these voices.

As acknowledged by Ed Peper in his blog post, I may never buy a Chevy Tahoe. But I did learn something from a Detroit-based auto manufacturing behemoth last week about courage and transparency in corporate communication - and it was compelling.


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