So, Who Isn't Doing A MySpace Clone?

from the hybridization dept

These days it's becoming almost a joke when a company say it's going to offer social networking services. Most of the time these attempts seem to fizzle out and go nowhere, or they're just simply dumb ideas. The latest such offering is from Toyota, which wants to let buyers of its hybrid vehicles put up a page about themselves, complete with personal information and their reasons for driving a hybrid. Users can then search out other like-minded drivers, though it's unclear whether the site is designed to facilitate actual communication, or if it's just a place for drivers to "express themselves". To its credit, Toyota realizes there is a social component to purchasing a hybrid vehicle. By their nature they do say something about the buyer's tastes, and often their political and philosophical attitudes. But there's no need to try corralling hybrid drivers onto Toyota's site. There are already clubs online and offline for hybrid drivers, just as there are for drivers of Porsches or BMWs. There's almost certainly a MySpace hybrid car group as well. The mistake in Toyota's thinking is that the only way to profit from social networking is to set up a site. In fact, they'd probably do better to facilitate and help expand the groups that already exist, rather than taking it all for themselves.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Spud, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 3:28pm

    What a stupid idea and complete waste of money. How about making your cars better. This site is going to go nowhere.

     

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  2.  
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    The Man, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 3:47pm

    I don't understand

    Why is everyone who tries to do a social networking site other than myspace "not understanding the market" and "wasting money". Can there only be one social networking site and everyone else should just stop trying? I have news for you, MySpace has a very limited market. Only specific types of people want to use my space. That is fine for those people. But that still leaves room for other social networking sites to be popular in their own target market. MySpace markets to younger kids. Older people may be put off by it. If a social networking site called MyOldPerson starts up and gets several million subscribers of people 65-90 years old, is it a "stupid copy" and not sucessful?

    Success is also subjective. If Toyota uses this site to cater to stupid hippies that like Hybrid cars, knowing they like to brag to people about how they are saving the earth, they are helping to build brand loyalty. They may not be trying to get millions of sex starved people sending naked pictures to each other, they may just want to build enough loyalty that when the hippies want a new car, they buy another toyota. Another benifit would be that the social network site would become a "Testimonial" type site where other hippies can log on and read about how cool it is to waste money on a hybrid car.

    With how cheap it is to create a site like that, if they pursuade just a few people to buy a Toyota is the site a waste of time and money? Tech Dirt is always saying that companies do not understand advertising and should find alternative methods. Is this not just an alternative method? Even if it does not work, should nobody ever try anyting again because it has already been done well?

    That is not how the free market works.

     

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  3.  
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    Cyryl, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 3:49pm

    Ummm...

    Hey Spud.

    Don't look NOW but...

    TOYOTA OWNS YOU.

    And it owns the MARKET as well.

    Or haven't you been paying attention to the market? Toyota has enjoyed a very nice profit in their annual reports this last year...

    "Why is that?" you may ask?

    Because they make GREAT VEHICLES.

    You've got a big mouth with a tiny brain behind it if you're going to say things like that.

    Idiot.

     

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  4.  
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    Cyryl, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 4:01pm

    Ummm... Great. Another idiot.

    Hey "The Man".

    You call them "hippies". How thoughtful of you.

    Or is that 'How thoughtless.'?

    Just because there are those among us who actually have the intelligence to RECOGNIZE THE PROBLEM THAT WE AS A PLANET ARE FACING RIGHT NOW, you give us some sociopathic lable.

    Sorry dude but... The earth itself IS in a serious 'world' of shit right now. If you have done ANY research; AT ALL, about the current physiological state of the environment and the way that people are living their lives, you'd realize that we'll probably be FUCKED in 50-100 years time at the current projection.

    Take into account...the polution levels 50 years ago. It took HUNDREDS of years to accumulate the amount of greenhouse gases that we had at the current point we were at 50 years ago. Think about how long it took to build the population we also had 50 years ago.

    Now... Consider this...

    IN A MERE 50 YEARS, THE WORLD'S POPULATION HAS DOUBLED.

    Also take into account...the industrial revolution. ALL of those fancy technologies that we now have and have continued to develop IN that 50 years time...which has more than QUADRUPLED the volume of greenhouse emissions that we have incurred.

    Do some math. The level of greenhouse emissions has increased OVER 200% in the last 50 years.

    And with the increase in population that one should expect in the NEXT 50 years time... It will be EIGHT TIMES the number that it was 50 years ago!!

    We sure as HELL don't have enough fossil fuels to last THAT long. Even so, the level of pollution that we are currently creating and the PROJECTED INCREASE of greenhouse emissions that we will create BEFORE we even run out of fossil fuels...will pretty much leave us FUCKED as far as the worldwide increase in the average temperature is concerned.

    FUCKING IDIOTS LIKE YOU DON'T GET IT. You DENY the existence of...

    *GASP*

    ....GLOBAL WARMING.

    And you know why that is? Because you're JUST AS FUCKING SCARED as the REST of us who DO recognize it for what it REALLY IS.

    Whether or not YOU like it or want to even recognize the existence of it...

    GLOBAL WARMING is fucking HERE, dude.

    So STFU with your shit. Recognize that while the cars MAY be ridiculously expensive, it is the price that we NOW have to pay to develop these technologies at the LAST MINUTE due to our NEGLECT to get on this shit YEARS ago the way we should have. It is the price we now pay due to heavy goverment restrictions and laws.

    We're running out of options. THIS is reality. ACCEPT it.

    Fuckin' 'hippies'... WTFE dude.

    You're a fucking UNEDUCATED IDIOT.

    This shit is REAL.

    GET OVER IT.

    And FOR THE LOVE OF THE GODS...PLEASE EDUCATE YOUR-FUCKING-SELF BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR N00B MOUTH!!!

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 4:13pm

    Well...

    You Cyryl, are a moron. You start off the comment thoughtfully, stating your opinion, and then abruptly shoot off into the other direction throwing around a bunch of unreferrenced statistics and foul language.

    Perhaps it is you that needs to put more thought into your comment.

     

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  6.  
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    The Man, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 4:20pm

    Global Warming and Cooling

    This has nothing to do with the topic at hand so I will keep it short. The Earth is a lot older than 100 years. 1000 years ago Greenland was green. The Vikings had a settlement there where they raised crops, including grapes. They raised animals as well and they did not have to dig through snow to do it. The settlement failed after hundreds of years when greenland became covered with ice again. Their were no SUV's 1000 years ago, why was the earth warm enough that greenland was not covered with ice? The earth is old and goes through cycles. Their is warming, but the sun is also at its hottest levels in hundreds of years. The polar icecaps on Mars have also receded. No martian SUV's. Stop freaking out and do some reasearch yourself.

    Also, running out of oil will not be the end of the world. When we do run out you will get what you want, "Alternative Fuels". Government regulations will not bring about the control of the use of oil, only the free market will. When oil prices get so high that it is cheeper to buy cars that run on alternate fuel, then consumers will want them. When consumers want them, companies will make them. Do you know who will lead the charge to alternative fuels? The evil Oil compaies. Do you think Chevron wants to go out of business when oil is too expensive to sell? They will be on the forefront of the alternative fuel business so they can sell the goods and services the consumer wants to buy. That is how the system works, not government regulations or people crying that we are killing the earth.

    So I did not keep it short. Sorry.

     

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  7.  
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    misanthropic humansit, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 4:25pm

    myspace clones

    Climate change is very real, nobody disputes that any longer (and about time too). It is not entirely clear that it is the result of mankind or industrialisation, although even the most sceptical like myself think that it's more likely than not that we are a contributer.

    What is slightly worrying is this:

    If we are NOT the cause of climate change, then no amount of action by us to reverse it is going to help. If we ARE the cause of climate change then it is certainly already too late to reverse a runaway process given the figures.

    In that case one would actually prefer the former scenario.

    Now, about MySpace.

    MySpace is a different way of looking at web page hosting, nothing more. Fortunecity, geocities, yahoo, these are all precursors of the same basic idea - a couple of cheap or free webpages with a nice builder app for people who can't be assed to buy proper hosting. The only thing they add to make it "social networking" is some hooks on top the directory manager to form groups of "friends" and instant messages.

    The only real reason the kids stay is because they are allowed to post a meagre amount of media content on the site like photos. Take that away and you remove the entire raison d'etre for teh audience who will quietly shuffle over to the next site offering free hosting with "friend" links.

    I have a number of ideas for similar sites, personally I would use highly dynamic CMS systems based on IM identities - but here's the business kicker...too risky, it's just too fickle and too precarious, the audience is ethereal and unless you are prepared to offer substantial offsite storage as a carrot nobody has any reason to stay. So unless you happen to be building such a site as a toy for your mates to play with for altrusitic/hobby reasons I can't see any point in making a MySpace clone really. Not unless you already have access to an established and stable audience ready to move in. Look at the way a property devloper would - not enough demand for housing don't build. :)

     

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  8.  
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    Someone Conservative and who supports Bush, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Ummm... Great. Another idiot.

    Uhh...

    No-one knows what is causing Global Warming.

    No proof we are, toehr than the Greenhouse Effect, which last time I checked, is almost over (the hole in the Ozone is smaller).

    The Earth has gone through Global Warming before. They end Ice Ages.

    Who knows? These new hybrid cars may cause Global Warming (ah the irony).

    Either way, Global Warming is going to happen. We can't stop it. So I'm not going to watse my money on a fucking car to try and stop it.

    I'm going to waste my money to modify my house for the climate change. I'm going to PREPARE for it, which is what we need to do. Not arque how to STOP it (since it is coming, you said so yourself).

    So stop trying to get a hyrbid. Start preparing for it.

    That is all we need to do. If we are prepared, we won't be hit as hard while it happens.

    Which is what we NEED to do.

    So yeah.

     

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  9.  
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    PhysicsGuy, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 4:30pm

    of course we're killing the earth. it's similar to when i go running. when i run, i have really bad asthma. i also run during the day when the sun's out. did i tell you that the sun causes asthma? you should stay out of it so you don't get asthma... i'm super serial guys :P

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Cyryl, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 5:10pm

    0_O Are you serious?

    1.) There is PLENTY of evidence supporting the 'theory' of global warming.

    IT'S NO LONGER THEORY.

    And NO I'm not going to sit here and list sources for you, etc. It's on the internet. Look it up. You shouldn't have ANY trouble finding all of the elements supporting the PROOF of this problem.

    2.) The hole in the ozone is certainly NOT getting smaller. It DOES however expand and detract. READ UP ON IT.

    3.) Global warming CAUSES ice ages in the long run. The glaciers melt, the edges of continents and a good deal of inward land are BURIED in water. After some time, the temperature DROPS...which inevitably FREEZES the water, therefore CAUSING the ice age.

    I mean...what? Did you think that the ice just suddenly APPEARED on-land?? "Oops! ICE AGE forecasted next year!" *shakes head*

    The ice age ends only AFTER the average temperature settles itself again after years and years. THAT is the natural process.

    4.) These cars will OF COURSE contribute to it. Just on a much SMALLER scale. No on said that they were completely devoid of the very same things that cause the issue at hand. However, had we actually developed this kind of technology YEARS ago, it would have helped to reduce the volume of greenhouse gases and the rate at which they're being produced, therefore prolonging the problem and MAYBE even making it MANAGEABLE. (We'll never know if that was possible, now. It's just something to consider.) So there is NOTHING ironic about it.

    5.) I don't have even HALF the money it would take to get a hybrid. I have a MOUNTAIN BIKE. I ride it to and from work. IN THE SNOW. (Which we've seen nowhere NEAR the amount this year that we USED to see EVERY year...10 years ago. That amount has steadily decreased over the last 10 years. Wonder why THAT is...?)

    6.) Funny how you obviously dismiss the idea of global warming...but then completely contradict yourself by stating that you're going to 'prepare for it'.

    So ...if it's not real, then WHAT is it that you're preparing for? Could it be the very same thing which you so readily dismissed at the beginning of your post? YEAH. That is the only logical conclusion... *shakes head in disgust*

    Oh. And by the way... I did NOT say that 'it's coming'.

    I said that it's ALREADY HERE. It's already begun.

    7.) I never said that we shouldn't be preparing for it. MOREOVER, I would say that WE SIMPLY NEED TO BE PREPARED FOR IT. But are you going to be so quick as to write off the efforts that we should put forth NOW to at least PROLONG it or MINIMIZE it?

    WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT!?

    And uh... Hate to break it to you but... We're going to be hit by it however hard science dictates.

    So...YEAH. Get your shit straight.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Cyryl, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 5:23pm

    Oh. And by the way...

    Bush is a MORON and even the MAJORITY of the Republican Party KNOWS this. Many of them have even gone so far as OPENLY ADMITTING it...

    ...and THEN they voted DEMOCRAT.

    Or have you not been paying attention?

    Republicans don't KNOW the true meaning of the word "conservative" unless it involves THEIR money.

    Otherwise, they could give a FUCK LESS about anyone else's. OR their problems. OR the actual, realistic, THREATENING issues at hand.

    If Bush really gave a flying fuck about anyone but his cabinet, he would have been more selective in how he approached the situation in Iraq...and LESS of my fellow soldiers would have ended up making the ultimate sacrifice.

    I'm sure that even YOU have seen that Bush NOT ONLY has VERY LITTLE support at this time...but it decreased VERY rapidly after the 2,000th death.

    No one gives a SHIT who you support because we all know he's a FUCKING MORON and that the general populace (REPUBLICANS INCLUDED...) will heave a VERY HEAVY, LONG OVERDUE, COLLECTIVE SIGH OF RELIEF once that idiot leaves office in 2007.

    (Just so you know... I have no affiliation with any particular party. I look at each candidate on a per-individual basis...and simply try to figure out which one is going to do the LEAST amount of damage to our already stressed country and it's people. So don't point a finger at me and scream, "BIAS!" I hated ALL of the Democratic candidates in the last two runnings as well.)

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Bozzy, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 5:31pm

    Re: 0_O Are you serious?

    Oy, get over it crylyl. Toyota sucks.

    German engineering in da house yo! Mein auto ist unpimped und ready zu go!!

    But seriously, just because toyota is the best selling sedan in the states doesn't mean it's the best sedan (or the best of any other kind of car). It just means there are people who actually pay attention to the barage of car ads the creators (read: plural) of the cars you see... well fucking everywhere... put out on every form of media.

    I personally think most low-end japanese cars are ugly under-performing plastic little boxes, but that's just me having been born in europe.

    And it is a dumb idea because there are several HUGE (and I mean absolutely giant. Bigger than any gaming/console forums I've been to) forums dedicated to different big car makers - and they all branch off from this http://www.thecarlounge.net. But the reason THEY are successful is because they appeal to a wide market, something specific to toyota hybrids, well, expect no more than a few hundred people networking - if that.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    PhysicsGuy, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 5:33pm

    Cyryl

    Actually, you're wrong on several issues. The issue of whether the earth is warming or not has never been a "theory", except to the lay man. Greenhouse warming is a theory, it's not a scientific law. Anthropogenic Global Warming (human induced global warming) is a hypothesis. Were this hypothesis to be validated it would then become a theory.

    There has always been a general consensus among scientists that the earth is indeed warming. The disagreement has mostly been about the cause of the warming. There is NOT evidence that shows any causation of global warming. There are countless studies which so a correlation between human activities and global warming, however with my "the sun causes asthma" post, I pointed out that correlation does not mean causation. Look closely at any study you see and ask to yourself "does this show CAUSE of global warming or does this merely show a CORRELATION between two or more things.

    Global Warming does NOT cause ice ages. That's like saying the day causes the night. One merely follows the other in a cycle. "After some time, the temperature DROPS...which inevitably FREEZES the water, therefore CAUSING the ice age." Yes, this period where the temperature drops is called Global Cooling. A few decades ago the same alarmist scientists mindset which proclaims humans are definitely causing the earth to warm proclaimed that we were causing the earth to freeze due to the fact that the earth was in a small cooling stage. Did us humans cause the earth to freeze?

    @6 ... Nobody here is saying that global warming doesn't exist. We are saying that there is no proof that there is anthropogenic global warming (and proof requires a demonstration of causation without observable objections, not just correlation)

    We're going to be hit by it however hard science dictates.

    science does not dictate nature. nature dictates science. perhaps you erred in syntax in that sentence.

    so yea, your simple demonstration of a lack of scientific understanding (in your lack of knowledge as to what constitutes a theory in the scientific world, not the layman's world) easily leads one to believe that you do not, in fact, understand the science involved.

    on a side note, from a mathematical perspective, their use of climatic models is horrendous. to completely leave out variables, especially variables that involve cloud coverage and solar variances (both of which are extremely important to climate effects), and then to proclaim them to be valid is a crime against all higher level thought.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    ???, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 5:35pm

    Why is it that the comments start off ok, then everyone starts bashing each other... Not everyone is an idiot if they have a different opinion then yourself.

    Just a thought

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    misanthropic humanist, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 5:36pm

    let me play

    Ok sod this....

    I blame the FRENCH! If they didn't fart so much because of garlic we wouldn't have this problem. That hole in the ozone layer? The JEWS did that, they drilled a hole in it. BASTARDS. Isreal has secretly been mining ozone from the antartctic to build a TIME MACHINE you know, to go back to 1967 and replace Yasser Arafat with an exploding replica. But none of that would have happened if the Balfour agreement hadn't been pushed by the BRITISH, trying to get the FRENCH CHEESE EATING SURRENDER MONKEYS out of Suez so they wouldn't control the worlds garlic supply. Well obviously that whole CONSPIRACY was created because really they are VAMPIRES, led by the BLACK POPE at the behest of the SAUCER PEOPLE to stop the ILLUMINATI, without garlic they are invincible. But GARLIC is almost a anagram of CIGAR which is where CASTRO comes into it. rant, rant, BAY OF PIGS, rant CABBAGES, rant , rant, rant, rant, rant, rant BABY JESUS, rant, rant, rant, rant SAVED YOUR ASS IN THE WAR, , rant, rant, rant, F**KING DOGS, rant, rant, rant ANTI GRAVITY WATER POWERED DILDO, rant, rant, rant, rant, rant, rant, rant GLEN HODDLE, rant, rant, rant, rant MICHAEL JACKSON, rant, rant, rant, rant BUSH KILLED THE BABIES, rant, rant, rant SADDAMS GHOST, rant, rant, rant BLAMANGE, rant, rant, rant

    WE'RE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS HERE PEOPLE
    THIS GOES TO THE TOP
    WAKE UP IDIOTS

    and that is WHY TEAPOTS HAVE HANDLES.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Jack Sombra, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Global Warming and Cooling

    "1000 years ago Greenland was green. The Vikings had a settlement there where they raised crops, including grapes. They raised animals as well and they did not have to dig through snow to do it."
    God i love idiots you try to take one peice of "anecdotal evidence" to try to disprove tons of actual proof and get their evidence so screwed up that the rest of us can have a good laugh at their expence

    Some little facts for you: "Greenland" was originally called "Groundland", this morphed into "Greenland" over time. Did this happen because back then Greenland was a lot warmer? Nope it's because, then as now and all the times in between (except possibly the period know as the little ice age around the 16th centry), Greenland is VERY green in SUMMER

     

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  17.  
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    PhysicsGuy, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 5:39pm

    oh yea

    and the earth doesn't have to be covered in ice to have an ice age.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 5:42pm

    i attribute the ANTI GRAVITY WATER POWERED DILDO to the FRENCH CHEESE EATING SURRENDER MONKEYS

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    A Conservative, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 5:50pm

    Due to the fact that the "open-minded" people in this conversation are completely close-minded, I really can't reply (a whole post bashing Bush...wow..., not only that but the person helping me was called an idiot and so have I. I am a Republican cause all I see are Democrats dissing Republicans, and that's how they win.).

    I never said Global Warming wasn't going to happen (or is happening as some people claim).

    I simply said it doesn't matter what caused it (or for that matter proof on what caused it), what matters is that it is there and we need to prepare for it (or be preparing for it), not trying to see what is causing it, or bying hybrid cars.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 5:54pm

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    PhysicsGuy, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 6:02pm

    Re: A Conservative

    I disagree with your statement that we shouldn't try to find out what is causing it. this goes against the very fiber of scientific curiosity that lies within me. however, there is a very nice method to help discover the cause that people such as Cyryl would like to completely disregard and jump to the melodramatic conclusion that humans must inevitably be our own down fall and everything negative that happens is our fault. We should attempt to explain all things... it is a part of human nature :)

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    me, myself, and i, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 6:23pm

    isn't anyone getting annoyed by the overuse of the caps-lock key?

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    David Binkowski, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 7:33pm

    Dude, you're so far off

    Ok, maybe with the Toyota example, but if you have brand enthusiast who better to provide exclusive inside information and reward them than the brand itself? A third party site? C'mon.

    Now if the site's done poorly and doesn't really give users what they want, well, then that's another story.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Jonathan Mac, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 7:57pm

    Clones clones clones

    I run a custom myspace design company and get about three people a day asking me to design them a website just like myspace. Everyone wants to be the next myspace.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Jonathan Mac, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 7:59pm

    Clones clones clones

    I run a custom myspace design company and get about three people a day asking me to design them a website just like myspace. Everyone wants to be the next myspace.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Jonathan Mac, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 8:00pm

    Clones clones clones

    I run a custom myspace design company and get about three people a day asking me to design them a website just like myspace. Everyone wants to be the next myspace. pearsestreet.com

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    ShadowSoldier, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 9:20pm

    Re: Global Warming and Cooling

    Dude, Greenland is still green, just on the coast though which is where the vikings settled. But I had to correct you, history geek. But Oil running out would kinda, you know, cause a second dark ages. Oil is used for a lot more than just fuel. For example plastic, now chances are that you can't look around without seeing some kind of plastic. So not having any oil would suck, because our entire society would probably fall into chaos. Of course this would be followed by the obvious zombie outbreak and uprising.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    astarre, Jan 4th, 2007 @ 10:01am

    Re: 0_O Are you serious?

    Global warming schmobal warming...I'll be dead in 50-100 years so why do I care? Letthe next generation fend or themselves. Get over it.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Matt, Jan 4th, 2007 @ 10:34am

    Re: let me play

    Comments like this one are the reason i love TechDirt...

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2007 @ 5:16pm

    @ #4

    You are a fucking moron. I'm sorry to say but if you actually used the fucking internet the way it was intended to be used, you might have stumbled across this site:

    http://nov55.com/gbwm.html

    which basically describes that since the LAST ICE AGE. Yes, that long, the oceans' temperatures have slowly been rising, thus allowing the water to release more greenhouse gases, which, by the way, includes good ol' Oxygen.

    And if that site isn't good enough for you, check this one:

    http://www.oism.org/news/s49p725.htm

    Yep, that's a bunch of SCIENTISTS saying that mankind cannot be held solely responsible for the increase in greenhouse gases.

    You are a piece of hippie trash, and I hate to say it, because it makes me look bad as a republican.

    when, however, i get into office, stupid people will be put to trial, and if found sufficiently stupid, removed from the gene pool. (That does NOT mean killed, democrats, just spayed or neutered(sp?))

    Thank you.

     

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