They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery….but screw that! I want in.
The latest Saab iNews, forwarded to me by several recipients in the US, includes a link to a readers poll where Saab USA are asking people what sort of things they’d like to see in an enthusiast website they’re thinking of starting up. Here’s a look at the options, click on the image to enlarge:
Wallpapers – check
Insider information – occasional, unfiltered check
Reminders for service appointments – read your owners manual, dumbass!
Warranty and user manual info – OK, that’s useful
Connect with enthusiasts – check
Pics, videos etc – check
Tips from experts – check, sort of
It all sounds a little familiar, no?
I’ve been doing this Saab Blogging thing for around 18 months now. SaabNet’s been around since 1988 and SaabCentral, TSL and Saabscene for between 2 and 5 years. With Trollhattan Saab and these other sites proving there’s a readership and a valid formula to stimulate the best enthusiast community in autodom, it seems SaabUSA want to jump on board.
My initial reaction was a little panicked. The site they’re outlining in the poll above sounds very much like this one (but without the constant news, car reviews, sales info and ability for readers to contribute to the content) – could I stay afloat if one branch of my muse is competing against me?
It’s now a few days later I’m feeling more comfortable with the whole thing. Trollhattan Saab, since its inception, has always provided the most comprehensive and honest coverage of Saab news that I can manage. Its mission is to the Saab brand – the cars that created it and all the cars made today that truly carry the Saab heritage forward.
Would I like to be involved in the SaabUSA site? Hell yes!
I’ve been very open about the fact that I’d love to work for Saab, in any market. It’d beat the hell out of my current well-paid-but-boring-as-watching-paint-dry employment. The opportunity to work in a field that you’re passionate about doesn’t come to everyone. And it may not come to me either.
I’ve expressed an interest in talking to Saab USA about this proposed site but so far, there’s been no reply. The most important part of running a site like this is sincerity. The fact that you’re conveying news and opinion with no alterior motive – it’s all about the fact that we drive and enjoy Saab cars. I think I’ve proven here that I can do that and I’m pretty sure that my occasionally critical style would prove to readers of a corporate site that the site truly is about promoting the brand and everything that’s good for it, that it’s not all spin. OK, the advance release spy photos may go missing, but that represents about 1% of this site’s content anyway.
Will Saab share my opinion? Probably not. It’s their site, their dime and their decision. It’ll live or die by its credibility. There’s a hell of an opportunity here for them do something really good. I honestly hope they do.
Trollhattan Saab will stick around and provide you with the most comprehensive, rounded, far-reaching and honest coverage of all things Saab. I hope you’ll stick around too.