That's the attitude that Joe over on Techdirt is taking on Toyota's attempt to connect hybrid owners to one another through a Toyota-owned social networking site. He's equating it to the failed Wal-Mart social networking experiment. I completely disagree. It's apples to oranges in my book. I mean, what teenager wants to admit to wearing low end clothes? A hybrid vehicle, on the other hand carries a completely different status symbol.
Look, there are a lot of sites out there for social networking. My friends at Phonezoo are doing it through ringtones. Flickr does it through photos. Just because MySpace is the big player in this market doesn't mean brands can't throw their hat in the ring.
In fact, I'd argue that brands have a right to this sort of property. Remember the Saturn customer appreciation picnics in Spring Hill, Tennessee? They were genius. Why not do something similar online? Who else can bring you inside information than the brand itself?
Anyone else read Jackie's book (and blog) for cryin' out loud?
Tagged: social networking, TechDirt, Toyota, MySpace, Phonezoo, Flckr, Jackie Huba